Study methods: Watch, read, then lab VS watch+read+lab simultaneously

ps.89ps.89 Member Posts: 47 ■■■□□□□□□□
edited May 2019 in General Certification
I see that a lot of students watch a video series, then read a book, and finally do labs, as their study method. I used this method for my first IT cert and I like it. It's more of a psychological thing, but I feel more accomplished if I can finish one material in its entirety before moving onto another. However, I was debating if it would be more effective to do all three simultaneously on a single topic. Thoughts?
2021 Year Goals: CCNP Enterprise Core; finish a Python video course


  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think using one source at a time is the best method.  I know there are a lot of people that read a book or watch a video, and then they lab at the same time.  

    Doing everything at once might be alittle hard, because you need to keep track of 2-3 notebooks.  Also, you will need to keep track of were you are on three resources, instead of just one resource.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek 70-410, 70-411 Member Posts: 342 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would read a chapter, watch related videos, look it up in the vendor's online documentation and repeat if it still wasn't sinking in. Once it did, moved on to the next chapter.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    I also study by topic/domain. Using CISSP as an example, I would cover say the Security Operations domain on video, then books, then specific resources to fill any remaining gaps. Once I mastered that I would move to the next domain and repeat the process.

    They key here is to find what works for YOU. A lot of people swear by putting color tabs on SANS/GIAC material. I tried that and found it awful and will not do it in a million years. Others would go crazy if they didn't have their tabs. So again, try different approaches and see what works for you. Another example is audio/podcasts. If I don't have a visual, the content goes in one ear and out the other. People keep recommending me podcasts and put the weird faces when I tell them I can't use them because they are just noise to me. 
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I suspect that many people are kinesthetic learners like myself. I tend to understand a topic better with tactile feedback so I have to lab or try out concepts. 
  • november24november24 Member Posts: 76 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I watch a video for a topic, read about it in a book or multiple books and if I still feel uncomfortable with the concept I used to google it, read articles, watching Youtube (research it), then Lab. sometimes I lab while I am watching the videos so I trace what the instructor doing click by click.
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■■□
    A lot of people swear by putting color tabs on SANS/GIAC material.
    The colors don't matter to me, but numbering them and having an index to reference for quick lookups is the key for me. Since my company got complaint with government cyber security requirements, our training budget has been crap, I'm going though SANS withdrawal like a junkie. :)  
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,237 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Watch-read-lab works great for me. read-watch-lab can be fine for me too.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
    In progress: OSCP
  • clarsonclarson Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited May 2019
    First, I'll watch a video for an exam.  Just to get an understanding of the topics, but nothing in depth.  Then I start taking notes and studying.  My notes are taken from videos and written documents.  For me, cut & paste is easier than typing while listening to a video.  I don't lab here mostly because I'm dealing mostly with videos and documents.  I'd use my lab very little, but it would be on the whole time wasting electricity and generating heat and noise. Then I lab things.  verifying my notes and adding more details to my notes.  Then I start asking questions.  Some can be answered via a lab,  some are verified online.

    my way of studying is more time consuming, but the repetition helps me learn things and to remember them longer.

    So, i would sat my studying goes like this,

    1) watch for an overview
    2) watch, read, and write study notes
    3) lab with a little reading and watching, and write augments to the study notes
    4) repeat step 3 until you don't need the notes anymore

    and that is how I know I'm ready for the exam.  I don't need notes at home and the exam doesn't let me use any notes.  I feel that my chances of passing are very good.  And, I haven't failed any yet.  :)
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I prefer to watch a video series first. The main reason for this is I find it faster to read when I know where the topic is going. If I read first sometimes I let myself get hung up on minor details that slow me down.

    Just keep refining your approach since nothing is perfect.

  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    I'm in the camp for each topic doing read/watch/lab. For me if I do read the whole book, then watch all the videos, then lab all the concepts, I find that by the time I get to the end of the book, I've forgotten the material from the beginning as it wasn't as ingrained. By doing the read/watch/lab for each topic, each topic is more ingrained and I can remember longer. Also, I'm squarely in the read then watch camp. Seems most people do watch then read, but I like to read about a topic then see it in action.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
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