How to best structure my studies?
Firstly I'm curious to know how many of you had a background in IT before studying for the A+ and how long it took you to be ready? Some people say they took only two months for preparation. I've been studying for over one month and couldn't imagine taking the test in a month! I feel like I'm at the base of Mt. Everest here. There is SO much info I feel like there's no way I'll be able to retain enough to pass an exam on it. Mike Myer's All-In-One exam guide is about 1,200 pages and Professor Messer has a ton of videos (nine on printers alone!). Which brings me to my main question.
I started out using the Myer's exam guide and Udemy video series, currently on chapter 8. Recently started Messer's video series on top of that. Liked that he teaches to the test and doesn't give you a bunch of fluff like Myers. Do you think it'd be best to follow the Messer video series and reinforce it with the corresponding Myer's Exam Guide chapter or should I just continue doing each separately? Myers jumps around from Core 1 and 2 all over the place where as Messer teaches to the test objectives as they're written but is often scant on details. Both have their own way of leaving me confused.
Trying to get certified by October before I'll be forced to take the new edition and the task feels insurmountable. I've studied for over a month and feel like I haven't learned nearly enough.
Remember also that A+ is a test validating the experience of 6 month of desktop support... not 10 years. Many technicians are acting like a drama queen about failing the exam. Remember it is only 240$ for the exam, and failure is part of the processs, sometime. Also, allowing yourself to fail is sometime a very good way to relieve the pressure. Finally, failing an exam is only a time and money waste.. there is no one who will shame you. Most people dont even care that you are A+ certified. Another trick, don't tell everyone that you will do your exam a particular day.. so if you fail, nobody will know about it and you will not have to tell them about your failure.
On the training itself, maybe I am old but I still prefer books above video, most of my technician use the Myers's guide. IMO, video is too slow, the ratio time/content is not good. I will watch a video only for some part of the subject or if I want a second or third source of training. Reading the book help you get a visual memory of the acronym, so when you see them in a question, it will help you
Finally, read the book, do all review question in the book. Do a practice test and evaluate your readyness... Return to your weak area... redo the practice test. Do this cycle until you feel confident. This exam is easier if studied intensively for a few week, dont drag it for 6 month.
Don't forget 6 month experience, not autistic level photomemory with 10 years of desktop support. You can do it
Forum Admin at www.techexams.net
On a good friends advice who was more experienced and advanced in IT and who went from a 10th grade drop out to now being a Senior Network engineer for the United states army. (on contract he is not enlisted) his father was a retired Sgt Major so that with his extensive experience i imagine got him his great job. But I set up a lab at home. I bought many books. would watch CBT nuggets, I had said friend to call when and if I had a question and trust me i had tons and called him many times just to ask questions.
first key to success in IT is you truly have to enjoy it and have a passion for it. Passing my A+ was easy. my Network+ i failed by a few questions on my first attempt but i nailed it on my second try..
and always remember a cert is just a piece of paper. there are many paper techs and you dont want to be one of those. You want your certs but you want and need the knowledge and experience behind those certs. anyone can memorize a book and pass a test. Learn why and how things work. Learn why they are in place and how one thing can affect another thing. Dont stress yourself out when you come across a problem. Turn that problem into a learning experience that will add to your knowledge.
I wish I could offer more advice but I dont know what area of IT you want to get into. Go for a cert that interest you and then choose other certs that compliment the one or ones you have. .
A lot of what you re going to need to pass your A+ you really will rarely if ever even come across in your daily job duties but everything is there for reason.. The little nuances will get you far if you dont just memorize them but learn their practicalities .
No passion for IT, you will burnt out in a few years, IT is hard if you dont really love it. That's my main criteria when I hire people, I want people who love IT. You need to be constantly learning if you want to stay relevant.
If you want a steady job that pay well and one that you dont need to love it as much as IT look at some trade work(carpenter, auto mechanic, hvac ....)
Generally speaking we are either labeled Business Intelligence, Business Systems, or Integration. It's very niche and once you are in, it seems you are in for life. 0 opportunities to move to other teams....