Failed A+ Essenttials exam!

TheHmanTheHman Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi,

I started with the A+ essentials/hardware. I studied my butt off real hard even on my lunch breaks at work. 5 months later Through taking practice exams and alot of reading over and over. They encouraged me to take the exam. So I took it and failed by two questions perhaps. My score was a 655. 675 is needed to pass. It really bothered me and discouraged me to fail this exam when I studied my tail off really hard on my own. They have mentored learning classes but I have done all of that and absorbed everything. And even when I go over the sections that I am weak at I feel as though I'm not learning much.

Can anyone give me some advice?

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If it's any consolation, this literally made me laugh out load:
    hhudson wrote:
    I should have taken up underwater welding.

    What is your background, and why did you decide to pursue this?

    If you're not experienced, there is an almost overwhelming amount of information in the A+. I'm not familiar with the program you enrolled in, but consider CBT Nuggets, Transcender, and the Meyers book as other study resources.

    You shouldn't get so down on yourself. The CompTIA exams are notorious for asking oddball questions that no amount of preparation could have prepared for. You only missed a pass by a couple of questions; that's nothing to scoff at. A fail will always sting, but there's no reason to let such a good attempt get you down.

    I don't consider myself to be an academic type either. In fact, I have a pretty good case of ADD, and I have a hard time concentrating on my studies for any significant amount of time. You just need to find a method that works for you. I try to get as much "hands-on" experience as I can, since actually doing something keeps my attention. I always zone out when I'm reading or watching Nuggets. You just need to take some time and find your groove. The hardest part is getting started. After you get your first cert, you'll carry that momentum into the next one, and you'll keep going from there.
  • ULWizULWiz Member Posts: 722
    There are plenty of people that fail a exam its part of live. I have studied extremely hard for the network+ and have to take it this friday. I would also feel extremely dissapointed if i fail the exam. But that is definately not going to make me look for a new field.

    I took the aplus when i was 17 when it first came out in 97 or 98. I passed the exam on the first try and only studied in school. We used a test bank software and the school paid for two students to take the exam.

    Dont feel down study a little more and try and take the exam again. :D

    How much is the A+ exam currently not looking for a link here just a answer.
    CompTIA A+ Nov 25, 1997
    CompTIA Network+ March 7, 2008
    MCTS Vista 620 June 14, 2008
    MCP Server 290 Nov 15, 2008
    MCP Server 291 In Progress (Exam 12/28/09)
    Cisco CCENT In Progress
    MCP Server 291 In Progress
    C|EH In Progress
  • TheHmanTheHman Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Glad to make you laugh dynamik! I like to take things from a humorous stand point! Atleast that's something I'm good at! Helps me feel better.

    My past work experience is in warehousing and receiving. I decided to pursue a career in the computer industry due to my knowledge of computers. Everytime a friend or family has a problem, they come to me. They also encouraged me to pursue a career in this field. I've taken apart computers upgraded and added components and fixed software issues. I've been fooling around with computers for the past 4 years. It was sort of a hobby.

    I decided to pursue this field due to the lack of jobs in my community. Also most of the jobs out there are low paying jobs. I have never earned enough money to support myself. And I hate the job that I am at currently. I hate working in a supermarket doing grocery stock. The pay isn't good at all and you take alot of crap from pushy managers who are rude. All of my past jobs were like this.

    I used Trancendors and Measure up practice exams. One thing that one of the instructors told me is that I might have rushed through reading the questions. But I didn't, even though the test is timed. Some of them just confused me.

    Thanks for your reply and encouragment!
  • supertechCETmasupertechCETma Member Posts: 377
    Advice? Sure, that's easy.

    First off, quit whining. It is a waste of energy and nobody really wants to hear it.
    Second, this is not rocket science. Many have gone before you so it is doable. You are being confronted with your own personal shortcomings and that is not an easy thing to deal with. Not at first. Don't look at this as a failure but an opportunity. Sounds corny but stick with me for a minute. Learning is an acquried skill. The more you do it, the better you should get at it. In this field of endeavor, you must constantly learn to keep up.

    When I was starting out, repetition was the key to learning. I would read the same thing from as many sources as I could find. It would eventually sink in. The longer I did it, the better I got. In the process, I have turned into a professional student. I study certs for fun. I am wrapping up a Masters degree. There is nothing I cannot learn (except maybe calculus).

    Studying for certification exams is an excercise in self disipline. Use this time to become more focused. You are certainly capable of improving your ability to study this material and pass these certification exams. Ain't nothing to it but to do it.
    icon_cool.gif
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  • TheHmanTheHman Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey UL Wiz,

    I'm not thinking of pursuing another career. Just expressing a feeling, LOL.

    The exam costs $154.00 plus tax.
  • TheHmanTheHman Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey supertechCETma,

    I hear you. You're right on that one. I didn't mean to sound like a whinner.

    Thanks for the encouragment and the pep talk.

    Hope to hear from you soon!
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    You mentioned that you had some experience fixing computers for friends and family. That is good. You also have upgraded and put together computers as well. That is also good. Now go do more, lots more of it. Experience is the best thing for passing this exam is my personal opinion. The parts I found difficult were the customer service types of questions. Make scenarios for fixing things. Search out boards that do free tech support and help out people there and go through the past questions for some sample scenarious to work with. Those can really help to hone your skills if you can't find any hands on work in your area. Or you can try jumping right in and finding an entry level tech support role in your area such as an ISP, though preferably with a manufacturer or entry level help desk, maybe even one that will pay for your A+. Then you'll get lots of really good experience that way really fast. Don't forget to stop studying though. That will help give you the edge over everyone else.

    Never forget that you can do it! Frustration may set in but others have overcome it so you can too.
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  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,360
    Just hit the books again man. I failed the CCNA my first try. The second time around, though, I truly understood the material..I wasn't just skating by, it was almost easy.

    A test, no matter how hard, was originally designed for someone to pass..so why not you? You'll do fine. Just remember: "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."

    Also, I might have missed this but, have you scheduled a second attempt yet? I would if I were you. Knowing you have another date will keep you from forgetting all of the stuff you know. It's not like you failed horribly..you were close. Plus an impending test date is a good motivator.
  • TheHmanTheHman Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Mrock4!

    I had just taken this exam and failed. So I'm just feeling a little down at the moment. I will get over it. And yes, I plan to take it again.
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    Dont't sweat it. I have a 4 year development degree, pretty hardware savvy....I did A+ and N+ a few months ago and I passed, but not by much. I thought the exams were not geared to test any overall or general knowledge, but geared more towards trying to trick you, give you questions from left field, or ask rock dumb service questions. Its not you, or your teachers, its the tests itself.

    I would say, if you have the money, try Trancenders. If not, just make sure your study material is up to date and take your time reading the questions.

    You will find the MCDST questions to be a little more reasonable and relevant.
  • ThiassiThiassi Member Posts: 167
    Advice? Sure, that's easy.

    First off, quit whining. It is a waste of energy and nobody really wants to hear it.
    Second, this is not rocket science. Many have gone before you so it is doable. You are being confronted with your own personal shortcomings and that is not an easy thing to deal with. Not at first. Don't look at this as a failure but an opportunity. Sounds corny but stick with me for a minute. Learning is an acquried skill. The more you do it, the better you should get at it. In this field of endeavor, you must constantly learn to keep up.

    When I was starting out, repetition was the key to learning. I would read the same thing from as many sources as I could find. It would eventually sink in. The longer I did it, the better I got. In the process, I have turned into a professional student. I study certs for fun. I am wrapping up a Masters degree. There is nothing I cannot learn (except maybe calculus).

    Studying for certification exams is an excercise in self disipline. Use this time to become more focused. You are certainly capable of improving your ability to study this material and pass these certification exams. Ain't nothing to it but to do it.
    icon_cool.gif

    +1

    You can't beat tough love. ;)

    It's painful failing but a failure can give you the extra kick to try and make sure it doesn't happen again.
    ~Thiassi
  • TheHmanTheHman Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    I remember way back in the early 90's, I was going for the CNE, and I think I failed the 2nd exam in the series...it felt a lot like be kicked in the groin...and back then I think the test fee was like $60 or something...

    Anyway...I went back to the books and the next time I sat the exam I passed it...as mentioned previously, repetition is the key to success. Additionally, I took all of the subsequent exams and my preparation much more seriously.....

    Fast Forward to 2006....that year I took two ITIL Practitioner classes and exams...and guess what, I failed both by 1 question! Failing by exactly 1 question on 2 seperate exams was one of the most frustrating feelings....especially on material that I know and use everyday. Oh well...I retook both and ended up passing and scoring much higher. The re-test fee for each was $150....ITIL Practitioner exams are really tough....if you ever take one study hard.

    If the cert was worth whatever fee you paid for the first exam, then it is probably worth at least another test fee to your long-term earning potential if you earn the cert....if it wasn't, then you probably wouldn't be pursuing this new career....

    Pick yourself up, figure out where you were weak and hit it again....the only advice I can give, and what would probably work best for me in this situation would be to do a full week of cramming and then retake the exam as soon as possible.

    All the best to you,

    MS
  • aidan80aidan80 Member Posts: 147
    My advice is take the advice of others here! The exam can be passed, I just recently passed it. The key to the exam is to know what your going to be asked and what the "best" answer to the question is. A lot of answers can appear to be the best but, experience and understanding will tell you which is best. Experience is a big thing in the exams. I scored 780 for the 2006 Essentials and 790 on the IT Technician. I used the Mike Myers A+ Passport to get me in the right mind frame for the test and it worked!! I've had 5 years experience on the job (as the only tech person) in a small company. I got a ton of weird, never came across before questions on the IT Technician exam.

    Get some spare parts, put them together, take them apart! Get a VM Ware trial or Virtual PC. Practice networking, practice editing (in the VM or on a second computer) various ini files and other system files. Learn how the OS and hardware talk to each other, figure out and understand how it boots and you'll quickly understand which are the "best" answers on the test.

    Give it a go, we all killed many test machines just to figure out how it all worked before we could progress. Get yourself a test machine and start killing it, it's fun a lot you will learn a lot from it. A lot can also sink in by reading the A+ passport and other books. Carry out some exercises on your test subject. Experience in addition to reading is the best possible tool for learning in my opinion.

    Good Luck and keep going at it, we've all failed something at some point by a question or two! :D
  • kashif.umarkashif.umar Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi . . . . .

    Well listen to this . . . . . Its not exactly certification failure, but still I hope this would help.

    In my first 7 years at school, I topped the class in every test, quarterly exam, annual exam, everything. In 8th year I failed in English. In re-exam cleared it.

    Then in 12th standard, I failed in Chemistry and Biology, re-exam again Biology failed, re-exam still Biology failed, changed my subjects, complete re-exam, one subject failed, re-exam, clear. Took me 3 years to clear 12th standard.

    Today I have got a BS and MS in Computer Science, working as an SEO Analyst, writing this post here. If I had given up on any occasion, may be right now instead of writing this post I would have been worrying about what to do and how to do. Ok I agree that to earn and live well its not necessary to be educated but still . . . . . I hope you have got the point.

    So my dear, do not give up until you live. But you haev to ask yourself, how badly you want to do that certification, how badly you want something. Good Luck . . . . .
  • miller811miller811 Member Posts: 897
    TheHman wrote: »
    Hi,

    I started with the A+ essentials/hardware. I studied my butt off real hard even on my lunch breaks at work. 5 months later Through taking practice exams and alot of reading over and over. They encouraged me to take the exam. So I took it and failed by two questions perhaps. My score was a 655. 675 is needed to pass. It really bothered me and discouraged me to fail this exam when I studied my tail off really hard on my own. They have mentored learning classes but I have done all of that and absorbed everything. And even when I go over the sections that I am weak at I feel as though I'm not learning much.

    Can anyone give me some advice?


    What did you use to study with?
    How many sources of information?

    You are better prepared when you use multiple sources.

    Good luck on the retry....
    All failure sucks at the time, but use it as motivation ....
    I don't claim to be an expert, but I sure would like to become one someday.

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  • Vogon PoetVogon Poet Member Posts: 291
    miller811 wrote: »
    You are better prepared when you use multiple sources.

    Bingo.
    When I took the A+ test I used 3 textbooks and 3 practice tests (independent of the texts). It's a kitchen sink kind of test, so the more you use the better off you are. And yes, hands-on is important too.
    I know several people that failed it on they're first try. Unfortunately they gave up. You only missed it by a couple of questions. You're almost there.
    I found TestOut to be quite a good database of practice questions.
    No matter how paranoid you are, you're not paranoid enough.
  • LBC90805LBC90805 Member Posts: 247
    dynamic, I often tell people that i'm an underwater basket weaver when they ask me about what I do for a living. Also list that as my minor at myspace for when I got my bachelors degree.

    Also experiance in A field that you are certifying for can help a lot. I pretty much. Pass all the practice test for the A+ online when I was toying around with taking, though it is not the real deal. It helps that I deal with computers everyday at work in being a deskside analyst for IBM. But don't get me wrong. I doubt I would pass the actual exam without preparing for it. The A+ covers a lot ground.
  • BarryprBarrypr Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I failed N+ after a lot of study for it, I even attended a course that cost alot, the day I failed I got home got the book out again booked it for the next month and passed.

    Just keep at, study hard book the exam that gives you a deadline, you'll get it next time around, comptia do tend to have some strange questions.
  • skrpuneskrpune Member Posts: 1,409
    In my first 7 years at school, I topped the class in every test, quarterly exam, annual exam, everything. In 8th year I failed in English. In re-exam cleared it.

    Then in 12th standard, I failed in Chemistry and Biology, re-exam again Biology failed, re-exam still Biology failed, changed my subjects, complete re-exam, one subject failed, re-exam, clear. Took me 3 years to clear 12th standard.

    Today I have got a BS and MS in Computer Science, working as an SEO Analyst, writing this post here. If I had given up on any occasion, may be right now instead of writing this post I would have been worrying about what to do and how to do. Ok I agree that to earn and live well its not necessary to be educated but still . . . . . I hope you have got the point.

    So my dear, do not give up until you live. But you haev to ask yourself, how badly you want to do that certification, how badly you want something. Good Luck . . . . .
    Very good point. Sometimes you do well at a first shot at something, and sometimes it takes a couple tries for it to gel, and sometimes the timing just has to be right. Hell, my husband barely got into college & had to take calculus three times to get through it (he had a math phobia too), but now he's got a Ph.d. in geology/geochemistry. If you work hard and really put your mind to it, you can do just about anything.
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • markk2008markk2008 Member Posts: 47 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I wouldn't get too disheartened if I were you, I don't know much about these exams, but is there any chance you can retake it?

    Also it is a good idea to get as much knowledge as possible, so I agree with other members who are saying that you must learn, learn and learn, it will also make it easier to pass the exam the more knowledge you have.
    People who search for IT Jobs typically find Jobs in IT
  • puertorico123puertorico123 Member Posts: 95 ■■□□□□□□□□
    dynamik wrote: »
    You shouldn't get so down on yourself. The CompTIA exams are notorious for asking oddball questions that no amount of preparation could have prepared for. You only missed a pass by a couple of questions; that's nothing to scoff at. A fail will always sting, but there's no reason to let such a good attempt get you down.
    MS exam, like 70-290 have oddball questions too?
    HOLD:
    Comptia A+
    Comptia Network+

    2009 Plan:
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    2010 Plan:
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  • markk2008markk2008 Member Posts: 47 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree with puertorico123, you have only missed it by two marks, I remember when I first took my driving theory test then I failed by 1%, but passed second time. I wouldn't let it get you down too much. Like I said experience is worth more than qualifications, so just learn as much as you can. icon_study.gif
    People who search for IT Jobs typically find Jobs in IT
  • BigTex71BigTex71 Member Posts: 95 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I apologize in advance for this answer, because it will seem mean- but this is the first thing I thought when I read your post:

    If you studied for 5 months and couldn't pass the A+ ... then you may want to reconsider IT as a career.

    But I am guessing you just did not have a good guide to study. Go to your local library and see what they have available to check out and study.

    Also, I think the 'A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Sixth Edition' by Michael Meyers would help you pass with flying colors.
    A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCSE | CCNA

    Currently working towards MCITP: Enterprise Admin

    Current Title: Network Administrator

    Actual Job Functions: Network / Server / System Administrator, Tier-3 Help Desk, Jr. Project Manager, and "The Closer"
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