study tips

jmanrtajmanrta Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

I have an AS and two years experience but hold no certs. Reason being is I have trouble studying for them. I have a horrible attention span and have hard time sitting and reading a book. And some of the CBT stuff is even more grueling. I did do well though with the hands on training I got with my degree. The problem is right now I can't afford anything hands on. So does anyone have any good recommendations as far as studying for certs goes?


  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Which certs are you looking at? Have you looked at virtual machines at all? One moderately powerful PC can take of most, if not all, of your MS/*nix studies. Dynamips can do the equivalent for your Cisco studies (with the exception of switching).
  • jmanrtajmanrta Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I am leaning more towards MS and linux certs. Do you some of the books contain labs I can practice with at home? If so any recommendations as far as M$ goes?
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    You need to decide which specific cert you want to start working on. If you start with XP or Vista, you can get by with just a client OS. The MS Press books usually have good exercises for each certification.
  • DiminutiveDiminutive Member Posts: 102 ■■■□□□□□□□
    CBT Nuggets has a "fast" speed. Its quite nice, I tried Testout and it bored me ot tears.
    WIP: Win2008 MCITP Upgrade
  • jmanrtajmanrta Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Diminutive wrote:
    CBT Nuggets has a "fast" speed. Its quite nice, I tried Testout and it bored me ot tears.

    See I can't do CBT nuggets as most videos bore me even more then books. Like I said in my OP I do better with hands on training. Are there any cd-rom based or even online hands on based labs for microsoft?
  • DiminutiveDiminutive Member Posts: 102 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I do Open Book Transcender exams, usually after CBT Nugs though. You have your Virtual machines or whatever there to explore whatever questions you get.

    Starting out you could start with the questions at the end of a book's chapter and use that to dictate the "lesson." Only going to look at the chapter when you are at a loss where to go in the "lab." Then your study would be dictated by Help or man pages, that would not be a bad thing.
    WIP: Win2008 MCITP Upgrade
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I would start with the A+. Get a computer you can break and fix and follow the examples in the book. Nearyly every book you buy will have practice tests, e-book, and other extras. All the MS books have a disc with practice tests. They also have evaluation software you can use and hands-on practices you can do.
    If you have an AS, and 2 years of experience, you shouldn't have much trouble.
  • TalicTalic Member Posts: 423
    I think theres no way around not reading a book or watching a CBT, you can do some hands on stuff like scripting and doing what the book is showing you but you still need to read to know whats going on.

    Try doing a quick exercise like walk or run around, I find that helps me focus my attention a little more after that. A shower tends to help too.
  • mark_s0mark_s0 Member Posts: 82 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm not sure if this is quite what you're after or whether your experience is past this, but the virtual labs on the MS technet site are pretty good, it's a bit more interesting than the cbt stuff as you get to learn the software without having to install it on your machine.
  • TechBoy22TechBoy22 Member Posts: 81 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have the same problem .my attention span is short when I just read and I learn better hands on. What works for me to keep me focused while reading is to write my own notes down on a paper to kinda give me a quick ref study guide. This way when I go back to studying some of the material, I have my key points in shorter versions rather then re-reading the whole section. Kind of like an outline of what I originally read. Then after that, I go to my notebook and I rewrite what I wrote while trying to understand the concept of things. It keeps me busy and my attention stays more focused.

    Keep your mind moving and busy but on the material. Reading just gets boring and you can easily lose train of thought. Taking notes really helps.

    Dreams are made up of small ideas with BIG pictures. Focus is the key that unlocks the door to success.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think you just need to change you study habit. Sounds to me like you may be forcing yourself to sit too long. A professor I had for an online class made sure that each lesson had a break timed in after 30 mins. Somewhere someone showed that for adults about 30 mins on one subject is all they can handle. As for the hands on, whoever suggested the microsoft sims was right on. I did some of them in my microsoft class (beyond hands on in the course because as you know things don't always work) and found them to be quite helpful. No way around not reading because most cert exams will ask details one would only be able to find via reading! Good luck!
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