Studying advices because of lack of confidence

BdeadbuddyBdeadbuddy Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all,


*** Sorry the post is longer that i expected... be warned !! ;) you can jump to the last part to get the question... :) ***


First of i'd like to say that this site is amazing... i know it's been said before but it's so easy to complain and sometime we don't take the time to give positive feedback since we take for granted that people know about it.

So to everyone who participate on this site at all level... Keep up the good work it looks to me like a solid community of the best geeks in the world !!

Let me introduce my self a little so you know about my background exp, then it might be easier to answer my question.

31 yo Site Support Tech, working for a big Financial company that has offices all around the globe. I'm french Canadian working/living in Montreal, Qc, Canada. (that could explain some writing mistake i may do... apologize)

I've been messing around with PCs as far as i can remember but my real IT experience started in January 2008. So i'm officially Junior but as i said, i've always been able to fix my issues, building PC and gaining experience on my own with a small network of PCs i've been building for some times now (5 pc hooked together, including 1 MAC, and a linux machine)

Since i've started working there, i kept on building confidence about my knowledge and skills. My boss and her higher up keep telling me how they're impress about my skills and that i've made a big difference since i've been hired. Taps on the back are always welcome and helped me considering myself as not so junior tech.

for couple months now, certifications been growing on me, i want to officialize my status as a complete tech. They only paper i have is a professional degree that i've completed prior of getting my current job but i find it's not enough. i've always suffer of a big lack of confidence while i was studying... every exam i did i've been so nervous, always expecting to fail and always ending up having marks above 90%, my average mark for that 2 year course i took was 93%. So you may be asking yourself why the hell is he not having confidence in himself.... i don't know it's just who I am i guess.

So here come my question... finally... I'm getting prepared for the A+ exams, scheduled at the end of June. i've read Mike Myers All-in-One book 6th edition, done some practice exam with 80-90% marks lately. Althought i can't help but being nervous and doubting of my success.
I've read another thread and someone was suggesting to read more than one book to get prepared (were talking about Myers and Sybex). I don't feel going to buy another one, as i'm saving to start Net + and some MS certs after.
How do you guys know you're ready ? how do you deal with the stress of failure ? mind sharing some of your tricks ?

Thanks in advance
Cheers

Comments

  • Alif_Sadida_EkinAlif_Sadida_Ekin Member Posts: 341 ■■■■□□□□□□
    First of all you really need to get over this whole, "being too scared to take a test" attitude. A+ is an entry level certification that measures the skills of a pc technician with 6 months of experience. From what I've gathered, you've been doing pc work professionally for over a year. The test is not difficult. I think you're already prepared to take it.

    I totally understand being nervous, but being too scared to take this little test is just ridiculous. If you're scared now, then don't bother with certification tests, because they only get harder from here.

    It's true about what you heard. With CompTIA exams, it's always better to read from multiple sources to get a different perspective on certain subjects. Mike Meyer's all in one guide is an excellent book and I think you'll do fine with just that one source, but you also have this forum and the whole internet at your disposal. Start looking at the technotes and practice exams from this site. Start googling subjects that the book doesn't cover clearly. One thing that helped me in my confidence was to print out the A+ objectives and go through each one. If I was unclear about a certain objective, I would go back and review until I knew it. Once you can look at each objective and explain what each one is, then you're ready. Also, don't forget that wherever you purchase your A+ exam voucher, it will always come with practice tests and other additional resources that you can use to study. CompTIA made this mandatory for their vouchers.

    Again, I will reiterate the part about being scared. You really need to get over that. IT is a pretty competitive field. You need to build up your confidence so you can succeed and move up the ladder. If you do fail your exam? So what?! Almost all of us here have failed an exam at one point. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go at it again. I remember reading a thread here about some guy that failed a test 10 times (no exaggeration) before he finally passed. That's amazing.

    So with that said, good luck, welcome to the forums, and let us know how you do!

    But seriously, you'll do fine.
    AWS: Solutions Architect Associate, MCSA, MCTS, CIW Professional, A+, Network+, Security+, Project+

    BS, Information Technology
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Bdeadbuddy wrote: »

    I've read another thread and someone was suggesting to read more than one book to get prepared (were talking about Myers and Sybex). I don't feel going to buy another one, as i'm saving to start Net + and some MS certs after.

    If you are unwilling to invest in study materials...the go back to college and earn a degree in CS.

    Seriously, this is recognition that stays with you for your life (unless found guilty of cheating...another topic for another time). Worst case, it is a few hundred dollars. IF that is too much for your own career...then find another career.
    How do you guys know you're ready ? how do you deal with the stress of failure ? mind sharing some of your tricks ?

    WHy do you think you are going to fail?

    Certainly with that attitude...you will.

    If you are only worried about pass/fail, then again, this may not be the correct career path for you. Life if full of failures...this is why the victories are so sweet!

    Your goal in preparing for exams should be to learn material/concepts/etc...that make you understand and perform in the market efficiently, so either you are hired by a company, or hired as a contractor.

    The end results are to benefit YOU.

    If you cannot or will not invest in yourself...why should an employer?
    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?
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Looks like you've found some tough love! icon_lol.gif

    It's all good advice though. While I have nothing to add as far as that goes, let's have a chat about self-esteem :D

    Don't give me that, "It's who I am, and there's nothing I can do about it." For whatever reason, you've developed a habit of thinking that way. You even admit there's no basis for it. I bet you always cut yourself down and feel like nothing you do is as good as it should be (perfectionism). I challenge you to do the exact opposite that you've been doing and compliment yourself for every little thing you do and downplay your mistakes, regardless of how severe.

    Try to do it for a few weeks and see if you notice a difference. Change isn't going to come about quickly since you've probably been this way for years. If you feel it's more than you can handle, get some counseling. There's nothing wrong with asking for some assistance; everyone could use a little guidance now and then. Things like that aren't set in stone, and there's no reason you have to go through life like that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_restructuring

    /psychmajor
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Hello, I read your post and sounds like everyone at your work appreciates your work, and I think that’s great! As far as certifications, in my opinion, there are never enough resources or information in the world for anyone to be 100% ready for the tests. You figure Comp Tia pulls 100 questions or so out of a pool of a 1000, so it’s hard for any test candidate to know everything. I’m study for my A+ and I’m taking an A+ essentials college class, using the Sybex practice tests, reading the Sybex book, I use measure up practice exams, and I have a all in one A+ certification for dummies test CD I use too. Later this summer, I’m going to build a computer, so that I have better understanding of the hardware side of things. The learning never ends!! I’m afraid to take the A+ too, but it’s something that you need to know be recognized by employers as a knowledgeable IT professional. I would set a goal to take the test and get it done and over with. I’m going to take my test in 5-6 weeks, so I’m preparing right now as we speak. My only advice is to try to take another practice exam that you haven’t taken yet, and see how you do. Also, you should set your tests to certify mode, and this helps gauge were you’re at, that’s if your tests have that option. If you’re hitting 90-80 percent then you are ready for the test. Well that’s my 2 cents Below I posted the passing scores.
    Ps The only thing I can tell you to better prepare is my instructor says you should practice with testing cd’s for 2 hours a day. I hope this helps
    What pass percentage do I need to get for A+ Essentials?
    A+ exams are graded differently than other exams you are used to as each question has it’s own weighting on the overall score depending on it’s difficulty. For example getting 50 questions out of 100 questions does not mean that you will get 50%. To pass A+ essentials you need 75 -80 percent of the questions right.
    Two - CompTIA A+ Essentials (220-601) and one of the following: 220-602 or 220-603 or 220-604
    Number of Questions CompTIA A+ Essentials 100
    220-602 (IT Technician) 90
    220-603 (Remote Support Technician) 90
    220-604 (Depot Technician) 90
    Exam Format Linear format; computer-based test (CBT)
    Exam Duration 90 minutes to complete each exam
    Recommended
    Experience Entry-level
    Minimum Passing Score (scale of 100-900) CompTIA A+ Essentials 675
    220-602 (IT Technician) 700
    220-603 (Remote Support Technician) 700

    220-604 (Depot Technician) 700
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • BdeadbuddyBdeadbuddy Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys for the replies...nice constructive ones !
    I totally understand being nervous, but being too scared to take this little test is just ridiculous. If you're scared now, then don't bother with certification tests, because they only get harder from here.

    I don't think it's the A+ in particular that makes me nervous... any test i take i've always felt that way... i've been anxious to fail a blood test once... icon_surprised.gif just kidding !!!
    you also have this forum and the whole internet at your disposal. Start looking at the technotes and practice exams from this site. Start googling subjects that the book doesn't cover clearly. One thing that helped me in my confidence was to print out the A+ objectives and go through each one.

    True this site is a treasure of info... i'll use it for sure till the exam and will have a look at the Objectives
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    If you are unwilling to invest in study materials...the go back to college and earn a degree in CS.

    I don't have any problem with buying study material, i love books, and love the fact that it's an "eternal" reference that you can go back to any time, but i'd prefer to save my money to buy more book on another tougher subject than on more A+ material. I love a nice well garnish bookshelves
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    If you are only worried about pass/fail, then again, this may not be the correct career path for you. Life if full of failures...this is why the victories are so sweet!

    That is so true... Who has never tasted what is bitter does not know what is sweet... I'll try to remember this and have a thought about your full of wisdom comment when those negative ideas shows up !!!!
    Dynamik wrote: »
    Don't give me that, "It's who I am, and there's nothing I can do about it." For whatever reason, you've developed a habit of thinking that way. You even admit there's no basis for it. I bet you always cut yourself down and feel like nothing you do is as good as it should be (perfectionism). I challenge you to do the exact opposite that you've been doing and compliment yourself for every little thing you do and downplay your mistakes, regardless of how severe.

    You psychik ?? it's so weird how you seem to have put the finger right where it hurt... wow... When you have something right in your face, most of the time you don't see it clearly. but you said it all, i'm a perfectionist in every thing i do (cooking, cleaning, studying, writing... name it) it's never good enough, i always found something to say at whatever i do.
    I'd never really seen this as being negative, but seeing it clearly as is, coming from someone who don't know me is shocking !! i know exactly where this is coming from thought, That's my mother's heritage. icon_silent.gif

    Guys thanks so much for the free consultation...icon_thumright.gif on top of using this site study ressources, i'll have to do some work on my "i could have done better" attitude.
    I know that IT is my field, i know that's what i want to do and i know I have what it needs to do it. Just gotta believe and keep working hard to get where i want.

    Again many thanks, i'll make sure to post my results and be part of the forum.icon_cheers.gif

    Regards
  • BdeadbuddyBdeadbuddy Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Later this summer, I’m going to build a computer, so that I have better understanding of the hardware side of things. The learning never ends!!

    I really encourage you to do so... Building a PC might be frightening at first but once you've done it once, it's not that hard. Especially in today's PC everything is more and well identified. I remember how stressed i was to assemble my first Processor on the Heat sink. Putting the thermal paste and hooking it on the motherboard. When you just bought 700$-1000$ new toy you don't want to make a mistake and waste it. One advice that suit me then... take your time, take all necessary precaution, make sure to have all you need before starting the duty and look at the instruction if you're not sure.

    That's what i like about IT... the never-ending learning !! i love reading, learning new stuff and get my hands dirty.
    I had to work on a HP Proliant DL360 G5 at work, we had to change the motherboard recently and i was sooooo nervous to break anything, but then i just thought of it as a standard PC, and all went well. That was fun !
    I’m going to take my test in 5-6 weeks, so I’m preparing right now as we speak.

    So am I, about the same timeframe... I wish you the best of luck my friend
    Let us know how it went !!! As John once said, Keep the faith.... !! :D

    Thanks for taking the time to share your advices with me !
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