Failed A+ exams

Tricon7Tricon7 Inactive Imported Users Posts: 238
I took my A+ exams and failed them - miserably. But let me elaborate: I had taken both A+ prep classes at the community college to get into Cisco, and I made an A in both of them. I learned a lot, too, and I also bought the book ExamCram 2 to help in the exam questions. On exam day I felt really prepared. Then I took the hardware exam, and the bulk of it was "break-and-fix" questions, which was totally NOT what I had studied. There is a lot of difference between knowing what the computer components are/what they do and doing diagnosis. The OS test was even worse. I aced my class with all the DOS commands, and incidentally, the class only covered XP, with a little of 2000, and that was it. The test, however, required extensive knowledge of XP pro, 2000, ME, 98 - even a 95 question. I think there were 2000 pro questions, but I can't remember if that's a real OS. Anyway, I got numerous DOS commands that were totally alien and that I had never seen before, which frustrated me.

My score in hardware was in the 470s and the OS was in the low 400s. IMHO, if you want to pass the A+ today, you'd better be a good PC repairman, knowing how to fix breaks, and also know all the older OSs inside and out. Unfortunately, I'm in the thick of Cisco right now and will be for the next year and a half, so I neither the time nor the inclination to retake a test that I probably don't really need for my career anyway. It would have been nice to have it on my resume, but - oh well. $315 down the tubes. I may decide to retake it one day. We'll see. I hope someone will benefit from my experience.

I would not recommend ExamCram 2 for this test. It helped me hardly at all. I would go with Michael Myers book(s).

Looking ahead.

Jeff

Comments

  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my opinion it is still good to know how to troubleshoot the old Operating Systems like Windows 98 SE and yes Windows 2000 Pro is a real OS. Take your score report and brush up on your weak areas with the Mike Myers book and if possible get some hands on experience troubleshooting/repairing PC's. I know the A+ certification exams are expensive but I think it is worth it to get them out of the way as soon as possible. Anyway, good luck in whatever cert you work on next.

    You can download the objectives for the A+ exams at http://certification.comptia.org/resources/objectives.aspx
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • supertechCETmasupertechCETma Member Posts: 377
    I'll be curious to see how you do on those Cisco exams.
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  • Tricon7Tricon7 Inactive Imported Users Posts: 238
    I'll be curious to see how you do on those Cisco exams.

    Yes, this was probably one of my failings before the A+ exam - not taking enough online practice tests. With the CCNA and CCNP I'll be sure and take every online test I can find before taking the real thing, so I won't run into any unexpected surprises.

    I certainly wish everyone success with the A+ exam(s).

    Btw, supertechCETma, how long did it take you to get all those certifications?
  • supertechCETmasupertechCETma Member Posts: 377
    Tricon7 wrote:
    Btw, supertechCETma, how long did it take you to get all those certifications?
    I got my A+ in 97. Net+ shortly after that. I beta tested Server+. I was an SME for Linux+, HTI+, and ebiz+.
    Electronic Technicians Association-International www.eta-i.org
    The Fiber Optic Association www.thefoa.org
    Home Acoustics Alliance® http://www.homeacoustics.net/
    Imaging Science Foundation http://www.imagingscience.com/
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Tricon7 wrote:
    Yes, this was probably one of my failings before the A+ exam - not taking enough online practice tests. With the CCNA and CCNP I'll be sure and take every online test I can find before taking the real thing, so I won't run into any unexpected surprises.

    Based on your description I would tend to think it was more of a failure of the community college classes, and you might want to provide them (the college) with some feedback on your experience with the exam. To ace all your A+ college courses and then bomb the exam reflects poorly on their currculum or instructor, not you.

    Regarding practice exams, I don't think that "more" is better. I usually like to take one early on in my studies to get a feel for what I need to look out for during study, then maybe one when I think I am almost ready as kind of a "progress check" and then once more right before I schedule my real exam. Many people make the mistake of taking a practice exam so many times that they get a false sense of progress simply by being asked the same 100 questions so many times that they have them memorized.

    Good luck on your cisco studies. There are literally a dozen or more true Cisco experts that frequent the forums here and can help if you have any questions during your journey. Best! icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • SteelySteely Member Posts: 28 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Really sorry you didn't pass.
    As I recall, you took both test on the same day? That may also made it harder on you. You mentioned how you were so ready and prepared at the time that I felt confident that you will pass them both.
    My former instructor told us to concentrate on the hardware aspect first and pass that test before continuing with the OS.
    But anyway, I think you should give it another go, since you have experienced the A+ tests. I'm just an average student and didn't do as well as you did in class, so I wouldn't give up on it. And $315 is anl investment you lose until you pass it.
  • Tricon7Tricon7 Inactive Imported Users Posts: 238
    sprkymrk wrote:
    Tricon7 wrote:
    Yes, this was probably one of my failings before the A+ exam - not taking enough online practice tests. With the CCNA and CCNP I'll be sure and take every online test I can find before taking the real thing, so I won't run into any unexpected surprises.

    Based on your description I would tend to think it was more of a failure of the community college classes, and you might want to provide them (the college) with some feedback on your experience with the exam. To ace all your A+ college courses and then bomb the exam reflects poorly on their currculum or instructor, not you.

    Yes, I had thought of that. However, I did learn a lot in those classes and my knowledge of computers has really expanded as a result. I just don't think that the classes were tailored to necessarily pass the A+ exams. More's the pity.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Tricon7 wrote:
    sprkymrk wrote:
    Tricon7 wrote:
    Yes, this was probably one of my failings before the A+ exam - not taking enough online practice tests. With the CCNA and CCNP I'll be sure and take every online test I can find before taking the real thing, so I won't run into any unexpected surprises.

    Based on your description I would tend to think it was more of a failure of the community college classes, and you might want to provide them (the college) with some feedback on your experience with the exam. To ace all your A+ college courses and then bomb the exam reflects poorly on their currculum or instructor, not you.

    Yes, I had thought of that. However, I did learn a lot in those classes and my knowledge of computers has really expanded as a result. I just don't think that the classes were tailored to necessarily pass the A+ exams. More's the pity.

    Sorry about your exams.

    I haven't heard of any 'class' that is exceptional to prepare a student to take the A+ exam (and that's a shame actually). The A+ (from my experience) is best prepared for with real experience and maybe the Meyers book.

    Hang in there! Work toward your CISCO exams and do well with them. While it's nice to have the A+, so many people have the A+ and cannot troubleshoot (based on the so-called 'techs' I've worked with) that saying you have an A+ just doesn't mean what it once did. Go for the certs that will benefit your career choice.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • pixelpersonpixelperson Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sorry that you didn't pass.

    I aggree that something is wrong if you did so well on your college classes and yet did not pass the Certification tests.

    My instructors strongly suggested that we NOT take both test on the same day! The only caveat to that is only UNLESS you have lots of previous field experiance and do extremely well on Transcender practice tests...90 percent scores or better.

    I was very fortunate that I was in a small class, only 9 students, so we each had a lot of personal hands on teaching/labs etc. Also they suggested that we grab a couple of old computers at a garage sale or somewhere. Which I did, for about twenty bucks. Used them for practice at home. Tore them apart, put them back together again about eight or nine times and loaded a bunch of different OS into them. Just for gigglees. :P

    The college also passed out multiple copies of the older OS, 98, Me, etc. eval disks so that we could practice at home, outside of class. This is very valuable.

    Don't be discouraged. We have all been there at one time or the other. :D
    Pixelperson
    Miami, FL
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