What was the last certification exam you took? How did you prepare?

AkinjAkinj Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
Once you had decided you want to take the exam, what kind of resources(books/Videos/Platforms) did you use to study?  
Akin Babu Joseph, Marketing Specialist
Packt - Learning

Comments

  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,772 Admin
    Are you writing a book or a presentation?
  • AkinjAkinj Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Doing a study on learning habits of those who take tech certification exams
    Akin Babu Joseph, Marketing Specialist
    Packt - Learning
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 1,099 ■■■■■■■■■□
    To study for a certification, my usual plan is to get 2-3 books for this certification. It is my main reference. Then I will watch some video on Pluralsight/ITPRo.tv. 

    For most certification, I would use/spend my time:

    50 % books
    25 % labs time
    15 % video platform
    10 % practice test
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,772 Admin
    Akinj said:
    Doing a study on learning habits of those who take tech certification exams

    For marketing purposes?
  • AkinjAkinj Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    JDMurray said:
    Akinj said:
    Doing a study on learning habits of those who take tech certification exams

    For marketing purposes?
    Not for Marketing. We are trying to understand the pain points experienced when learning for tech exams and try to address those issues.
    Akin Babu Joseph, Marketing Specialist
    Packt - Learning
  • AkinjAkinj Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    To study for a certification, my usual plan is to get 2-3 books for this certification. It is my main reference. Then I will watch some video on Pluralsight/ITPRo.tv. 

    For most certification, I would use/spend my time:

    50 % books
    25 % labs time
    15 % video platform
    10 % practice test
    Hi, that's an interesting break up of your learning approach. What all exams have you taken until now?
    Akin Babu Joseph, Marketing Specialist
    Packt - Learning
  • thepawofrizzonthepawofrizzon Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Similar to Steve, I usually use 2 to 3 texts focused on the topic.  I'm probably a bit heavier on the reading and books, then 20% on labs and 20% on practice tests.  Videos provide a limited benefit in training for me, unless they are short and to the point.

    The last cert test I took was the Pentest+ beta from CompTIA.  I did rush studying for this since the beta was released for a limited time, but read a couple texts, and similarly used labs and practice exams from the previous Pentest+ version.  I don't have the results yet, so we'll see.  I thought I answered most of the questions pretty readily....but not fully confident I would pass given the rush to study.
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Member Posts: 1,099 ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited August 2021
    Akinj said:
    To study for a certification, my usual plan is to get 2-3 books for this certification. It is my main reference. Then I will watch some video on Pluralsight/ITPRo.tv. 

    For most certification, I would use/spend my time:

    50 % books
    25 % labs time
    15 % video platform
    10 % practice test
    Hi, that's an interesting break up of your learning approach. What all exams have you taken until now?
    I have done quite a bunch over the years, ISC2 SSCP, CISSP, VMware VCP 3.5, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, Veeam VMCE, GIAC GPEN, and others.  Books are my main source, and it is where I am spending most of my time.  

    Video are usually too long vs the content taught. But sometime they are great and permit to study differently. For me it is only a add-on on a serious study plan. 
  • AkinjAkinj Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Similar to Steve, I usually use 2 to 3 texts focused on the topic.  I'm probably a bit heavier on the reading and books, then 20% on labs and 20% on practice tests.  Videos provide a limited benefit in training for me, unless they are short and to the point.

    The last cert test I took was the Pentest+ beta from CompTIA.  I did rush studying for this since the beta was released for a limited time, but read a couple texts, and similarly used labs and practice exams from the previous Pentest+ version.  I don't have the results yet, so we'll see.  I thought I answered most of the questions pretty readily....but not fully confident I would pass given the rush to study.
    Other than Pentest+ beta, what cert tests have you taken? And has this approach worked out well for those?
    Akin Babu Joseph, Marketing Specialist
    Packt - Learning
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,140 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Which resources I use for study depends on the certification. Since 2013 I have achieved credentials from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, ITIL, Scrum, Microsoft, and Cisco. Here were my approaches:

    GIAC (GDSA, GCCC, GPEN, GCIH, GCIA) - Take week long SANS training which comes with books and labs. I go through all of the material and build an index to use during the exam which is open book. I always take two practice tests which is included with the SANS material.

    ISACA (CISM, CISA)  - Purchase the ISACA manual and the question/answer/explanation online database. Read the book, do practice tests until I am consistently scoring above 90%.

    Scrum/ITIL - Take a bootcamp and read the material which was included in the bootcamp. 

    Microsoft (AZ-900/500/303/304) - Take a bootcamp and read the material which was included in the bootcamp plus performed labs. Supplemental reading included free information on Microsoft's website which includes some videos on a few topics. Having access to Azure environment at work also helped. 

    (ISC)2 (CISSP, CCSP) - For (ISC)2 exams I usually read at least three books including one filled with practice questions. I always use the official CBK by (ISC)2, but am never impressed with it so I supplement their material with a book by McGraw Hill or Sybex. 

    EC-Council (C|EH) - Read the manual and played with open source tools plus purchased practice exams from Boson. 

    Cisco (CCNA/P Security) - Read the official Cisco Press books and watched CBT Nuggets by Keith Barker. I always had access to Cisco equipment (ASA, router, switch) during my studies due to my job responsibilities so I always practiced what I was learning in our DR environment (aka my personal lab lol). 

    Fun fact: most of the study material I used was a result of recommendations from TE members lol. I joined the site as I began CISSP preparation after completing CCNP Security in 2014. I always chose certifications that were related to the role I was in at at the time and used the newly acquired knowledge to compliment what I was learning on the job. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, etc.

    2022 goal(s): CRISC, land a new job

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • AkinjAkinj Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Which resources I use for study depends on the certification. Since 2013 I have achieved credentials from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, ITIL, Scrum, Microsoft, and Cisco. Here were my approaches:
    Really impressive set of certs you have achieved. Was it a challenge finding the time to study balancing work and personal life? 
    Akin Babu Joseph, Marketing Specialist
    Packt - Learning
  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,140 ■■■■■■■■■■
    edited August 2021
    @Akinj - No challenge at all. From early 2013 until spring 2016 I had a job that allowed me to do most of the studying while at work plus sitting in the car on my lunch break to study further. In spring 2016 I joined a new employer that required a 50 minute commute to the office by train. 100 minutes for at least four days a week spent on public trannsportation provided lots of study time :-)

    I have used some free time at home for exam prep as the test date approached, but the bulk of my studying has always been during my work day. Whenever I have had downtime at work I would use that time to study. Another great time to study is when my kids are sleep and my wife hangs out with friends. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, etc.

    2022 goal(s): CRISC, land a new job

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • trojintrojin tecnomancer Earth ... although some say "cosmos"Member Posts: 267 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Previously used a books but last few years switched to mp3, video and labs
    Mostly from vendor sources (MS, PaloAlto, F5, etc)
    For beta exams never prepare. If I'm good I will pass, if not - this mean I'm just not enough good and need to learn more.
    CompTIA betas 6 out of 7 last exams passed.
    Last time I really used books and "studied" for exam was TOGAF.
    Now I learn mostly by practicing

    Certs I have you can check on my LinkedIn
    I'm just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry

    xx+ certs...and I'm not counting anymore


  • AkinjAkinj Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Have you kept getting certified because your employer requires it or because you like to have your skills validated? If there were no more requirements from your employer, would you skill keeping getting certified? 
    Akin Babu Joseph, Marketing Specialist
    Packt - Learning
  • trojintrojin tecnomancer Earth ... although some say "cosmos"Member Posts: 267 ■■■■□□□□□□
    In most cases is just to validate my skills. I'm owning new security technology, learn, master, sit the exam to proof that I know, what I'm doing. There never was a requirement to be certified but my employees always supported learning and certifying. For beta exams - just to ensure myself that I'm still on the top of current knowledge requirements. Other side - I just love to learn ;)
    I'm just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry

    xx+ certs...and I'm not counting anymore


  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,140 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Akinj said:
    Have you kept getting certified because your employer requires it or because you like to have your skills validated? If there were no more requirements from your employer, would you skill keeping getting certified? 
    There have been several occassions over the years where I have taken certifications that were required by my current employer (ITIL 4 Foundation and all Azure certifications). Without the requirement I would not have pursued those credentials, but did not mind doing them as my employer paid for training and exam attempts plus I learned useful things that were applicable to my job. 

    All of the other credentials I mentioned in my post were initiated by me knowing I could take full advantage of my employer's budget. My employer even covers annual maintenance fees to maintain the credentials. Without that I am not sure that I would maintain all of them - maybe only ISACA and (ISC)2 as they are the most requested for the jobs that I aim for. The price tag on recertification for GIAC is too high for me. For any credential that requires taking exams for recertification I just let them expire like my CCNP Security. 
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, etc.

    2022 goal(s): CRISC, land a new job

    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
  • AkinjAkinj Member Posts: 10 ■■■□□□□□□□
    trojin said:
    In most cases is just to validate my skills. I'm owning new security technology, learn, master, sit the exam to proof that I know, what I'm doing. There never was a requirement to be certified but my employees always supported learning and certifying. For beta exams - just to ensure myself that I'm still on the top of current knowledge requirements. Other side - I just love to learn ;)
    That's really interesting @trojin, What all are the beta exams you have attempted till now. 
    Akin Babu Joseph, Marketing Specialist
    Packt - Learning
  • trojintrojin tecnomancer Earth ... although some say "cosmos"Member Posts: 267 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited September 2021
    7 comptia (CS1-001, CV1-002, PT1-001, XK1-004, CL1-002, CS1-002, CV1-003) results know
    2 comptia (CA1-004, PT1-002) still waiting for results
    3 F5 (301, 302, 303)
    1 Logical Operations (CFR)
    I'm just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry

    xx+ certs...and I'm not counting anymore


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