Is A+ REALLY this outdated in questions?

s0me0nesmind1s0me0nesmind1 Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey folks, first time poster here

I just graduated, fresh out of college with a nice business computing degree, I am looking to get some certifications under my belt in order to beef up the resume a little bit.

I have been looking over books, videos, practice tests, etc of A+ and I have to say, I am flabbergasted at how absolutely retarded this **** is. Are you serious? Asking questions about serial ports, pin counts of outdated processors? Please for the love of god tell me that this isn't how the test still is, I will be absolutely mortified if they ask questions like "Which of the following contact pin packages do SIMMs appear in?".

I mean, I have been building my own computer since age 12, learning and building my experience from the ground up. I have taken plenty of advanced courses on just about everything, but not a single time in my life have I even been asked, considered, or thought about bullshit like PIN counts. I laughed at all the questions about laser printers as well - I guess that's still the same, but I suppose that's somewhat excusable.

So please enlighten me a little bit on the best of concentrations for this exam - should I study some retarded numbers that have no bearing to actual knowledge, or is my real life experience for the last 8 years good enough?

edit: I should also mention, I ran into a practice question that litterally made me fall over laughing:

Which of the following is the most effective CPU cooling method?
-Install a heatsink was the answer I chose for obvious reasons, in order to get rid of the heat you must first transfer it off the processor. The correct answer according to it was "Ensure the CPU Fan is working"... Get real icon_rolleyes.gif

Comments

  • nicklauscombsnicklauscombs Posts: 885Member
    yes some of the material is a little "outdated" and i was a little annoyed as well to study parts of it. truth be told a lot of that equipment is still out there in use so it is relevant.

    word to the wise though don't underestimate the difficulty level of this test, it has been known to trip more than its fair share up.
    WIP: IPS exam
  • s0me0nesmind1s0me0nesmind1 Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    yes some of the material is a little "outdated" and i was a little annoyed as well to study parts of it. truth be told a lot of that equipment is still out there in use so it is relevant.

    word to the wise though don't underestimate the difficulty level of this test, it has been known to trip more than its fair share up.

    Oh no - don't take it that I am underestimating the test. I mean, I did at first until I saw the study material, now im glad I didn't set a date. Given, I will have it down within a week, but still.

    I just don't understand the concept of making 80+% of it outdated technology. Sure, you need to know some outdated technology, but anything past Windows 2000 era days is 100% pointless. Why is that you ask? Because any business still running anything prior to that is destined for failure. The problem with learning outdated technology is simple - it's only going to die even harder in the next month, so why learn something that's only dieing more and more? I just fail to see the logic in most of this. But regardless, I guess I will have to bring my intellect down a few notches and study for this. Things like counting pins on the back of a cable instead of calling it by its name is just way too hard!
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think you might be pleasantly surprised when you actually take the exam. I took it a few months ago and found the questions to be very updated. Of course this could also have just been the batch of questions I received.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • s0me0nesmind1s0me0nesmind1 Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think you might be pleasantly surprised when you actually take the exam. I took it a few months ago and found the questions to be very updated. Of course this could also have just been the batch of questions I received.

    I thought about that too - so maybe I am overestimating a little since this test has been around for quite some time. But most of the guides im going into is talking about dead motherboards, dead processors, dead ports, dead everything. I just don't understand the concept of verifying dead content. That's not even the biggest part though, if it were actual conceptual knowledge, that would be understandable, but its not! Knowing the pin-count doesn't mean you know a single thing other than a Kindergarten concept of counting icon_rolleyes.gif

    Oh: I searched a little but came up a little confused, how many questions is there for both exams?
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Oh: I searched a little but came up a little
    confused, how many questions is there for both exams?

    Look on the right side:

    CompTIA A+
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • Norrlands TurkNorrlands Turk Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Some of the subjects may be outdated, but is that really a bad thing?

    Yes, questions about PIN numbers are overkill. But when you think about it, it is middle of 2010 and still majority of enterprises use Server 2003 and even Server 2000. So you don't deal with most up to date stuff in the IT world. icon_rolleyes.gif

    Besides, you can always skip A+ and do MSFT / Cisco track instead. Thats what I would do if I had an IT related degree.
    WIP (Q2 - 2012):
    Undecided
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I just don't understand the concept of making 80+% of it outdated technology. Sure, you need to know some outdated technology, but anything past Windows 2000 era days is 100% pointless. Why is that you ask? Because any business still running anything prior to that is destined for failure. The problem with learning outdated technology is simple - it's only going to die even harder in the next month, so why learn something that's only dieing more and more? I just fail to see the logic in most of this. But regardless, I guess I will have to bring my intellect down a few notches and study for this. Things like counting pins on the back of a cable instead of calling it by its name is just way too hard!

    If your intellect is so high why are you targeting the A+?
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Posts: 1,501Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    If your intellect is so high why are you targeting the A+?

    +1 icon_lol.gif

  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think you might be pleasantly surprised when you actually take the exam. I took it a few months ago and found the questions to be very updated. Of course this could also have just been the batch of questions I received.

    I'd like to add to this, that you would be surprised about what kinds of machines are still in use in businesses today. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
    Some of the subjects may be outdated, but is that really a bad thing?

    Yes, questions about PIN numbers are overkill. But when you think about it, it is middle of 2010 and still majority of enterprises use Server 2003 and even Server 2000. So you don't deal with most up to date stuff in the IT world.

    Agreed. Both 2000 and 2003 servers are still in use where I work. Not sure if any 2008's have been implemented yet, but we are still running at the 2003 functional level.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Hey folks, first time poster here

    I just graduated, fresh out of college with a nice business computing degree, I am looking to get some certifications under my belt in order to beef up the resume a little bit.

    I have been looking over books, videos, practice tests, etc of A+ and I have to say, I am flabbergasted at how absolutely retarded this **** is. Are you serious? Asking questions about serial ports, pin counts of outdated processors? Please for the love of god tell me that this isn't how the test still is, I will be absolutely mortified if they ask questions like "Which of the following contact pin packages do SIMMs appear in?".

    I mean, I have been building my own computer since age 12, learning and building my experience from the ground up. I have taken plenty of advanced courses on just about everything, but not a single time in my life have I even been asked, considered, or thought about bullshit like PIN counts. I laughed at all the questions about laser printers as well - I guess that's still the same, but I suppose that's somewhat excusable.

    So please enlighten me a little bit on the best of concentrations for this exam - should I study some retarded numbers that have no bearing to actual knowledge, or is my real life experience for the last 8 years good enough?


    Welcome to the forums. Certifications aren't something that you just walk off the street and take. They are something that you study for. Yes, even after 8 years in the field, and building computers since you were 12, you will still need to sit down and do some studying for the test.

    This is my belief on certifications. You need to work hard and study for them. Part of that includes memorizing things that you might never use. After the test is over, you can let them fade out of your brain. But because you learned it, you will be able to go back to it if ever comes up. For example, beep codes. CompTIA might test you on a couple, but nobody sits down with the goal of memorizing all of them. People that work 40 hours a week doing computer repair will become very familiar with the popular ones, but for the unpopular ones, they will turn to the internet. People like me who rarely encounter beep codes will turn to the internet for pretty much all of them. But at one point I did learn about them, and did have several of them in my head. I just haven't used them for 2 years.
    Which of the following is the most effective CPU cooling method?
    -Install a heatsink was the answer I chose for obvious reasons, in order to get rid of the heat you must first transfer it off the processor. The correct answer according to it was "Ensure the CPU Fan is working"... Get real icon_rolleyes.gif

    Keep in mind that this test is intended for people new to the field. If you aren't new, you have two choices. Take the test anyway, and find it easy since you know most of it already. Or skip it and do something that you believe to be better. To an entry level person, the question above is a great question. Also with the question above, it probably already has a heatsink. I don't think I've seen a computer without one. So the likely case is that it has a heatsink, but the fan stopped working.

    Tests like to quiz you on what you do first. Would you run an ipconfig first, or would you check the nic lights? Questions like that one bothered me. I don't know which one I would do first, I could do both in 30 seconds so it doesn't really matter. Questions like what would you do first, reinstall the os or boot the last known good configuration, there is a clear step you should do first.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    As far as the hardware goes I still come upon a lot of old PC's doing independent PC tech work. People who just use their PC for email and facebook don't bother updating as the PC still works. I had to replace a sound card on an old HP with a 486 not too long ago (running windows 95..lol)
    If it weren't for needing more power to lab on I wouldn't be building a new PC for myself. My PC has got a Pentium D and it's still going to be my main PC for a while.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • Warsh1pWarsh1p Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    They updated the exam last year, but yes it still has some outdated questions but they are the minority of questions.

    The certification is great for resumes and proves you can understand older operational procedures, old and current hardware, basics of windows operating systems, etc.

    Sometimes you have to learn older technologies too better understand newer technologies.

    If you already have your college degree in a computer related field then I do not see why you need the certification. Unless of course you are having problems with employment.

    I have the certification because I am in College and I feel it has helped me get internships.
    #Current Studies#
    || B.S. in Management Information Systems
    || MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit: Configuring Microsoft Windows 7
    || Element K Windows 7 Configuration Courses
    || Transcender: MCTS Windows 7 Practice Exam

    #Certification Path#
    || August 2010: MCTS Win 7 Config (70-680)
    || November 2010: CompTIA Network+ (N10-004)
    || February 2011: CompTIA Project+ (PK0-003)
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    If your intellect is so high why are you targeting the A+?

    +2


    Thanks for saving me the /rant



    outdated my foot....don't take the exam and move on with the area of IT that has more meaning and interest to the area you desire to work. You'd be suprised if you WORKED in the field just how frequently this stuff comes up....
    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?
  • TheShadowTheShadow Posts: 1,057Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Hey folks, first time poster here

    I just graduated, fresh out of college with a nice business computing degree, I am looking to get some certifications under my belt in order to beef up the resume a little bit.

    :

    Welcome to TE and also the real world. You seem to be suffering from fresh out of school syndrome. I would guess you took no classes that covered capital assets and depreciation. Buy a machine today and you will live with it for 5 years. Be in the public sector, government, schools etc. and you may live with it for 10 years. Try working in the scientific field, people thought it strange that NASA looked for Pentiums on eBay once.

    Consider that CompTIA exams are designed to recognize the entire world. Not all countries are as affluent as the one that apparently you were gifted to be born in.

    Imagine having to support that machine that you built when you were 12 and the A+ is a relevant test.

    You go out and grab that world by the tail now and try not to appear so arrogant, you will make more friends.

    :)
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    TheShadow wrote: »
    Welcome to TE and also the real world. You seem to be suffering from fresh out of school syndrome. I would guess you took no classes that covered capital assets and depreciation. Buy a machine today and you will live with it for 5 years. Be in the public sector, government, schools etc. and you may live with it for 10 years.

    Or worse! icon_wink.gif

    Having worked at a Community College I can easily back up TheShadow's statement...
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • DeathgomperDeathgomper Posts: 356Member
    Or worse! icon_wink.gif

    Having worked at Community College I can easily back up TheShadow's statement...

    High Tech, Low Budget!
  • s0me0nesmind1s0me0nesmind1 Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Devilsbane wrote: »
    I'd like to add to this, that you would be surprised about what kinds of machines are still in use in businesses today. If it ain't broken, don't fix it

    Agreed. Both 2000 and 2003 servers are still in use where I work. Not sure if any 2008's have been implemented yet, but we are still running at the 2003 functional level.

    2000 and 2003 - yes, yes of course - I just got done taking a course that was all about Server 2003; by all means I completely agree that is more than useful material, but these questions / study material is age old motherboards, questions that were around the decade when optical mice didn't even exist (Win 95 and prior, really). If you still run Windows 98 or below, in addition to no longer being supported by Microsoft, you would be destined for failure (business wise, and security wise).
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    If your intellect is so high why are you targeting the A+?

    and the other folks who quoted this post...

    Never did I indicate I was such a genius I can start at the top of the latter. Are you that asinine to suggest such things that were never said? Again, I didn't put in the title "Why am I taking a stupid worthless certification and not just going directly to cisco / microsoft?" I asked "Is A+ really this outdated", but go ahead and change up my writing.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    2000 and 2003 - yes, yes of course - I just got done taking a course that was all about Server 2003; by all means I completely agree that is more than useful material, but these questions / study material is age old motherboards, questions that were around the decade when optical mice didn't even exist (Win 95 and prior, really). If you still run Windows 98 or below, in addition to no longer being supported by Microsoft, you would be destined for failure (business wise, and security wise).


    Not necessarily...but experience will show you this.
    It's not always about what you 'know' is the better network environment, it is what the client is willing to use. It's your job as the IT professional to guide and educate them into better equipment and software solutions...however, most business could run today with a ledger book and a sharp #2....so take care in what you 'tell' successful business people what they 'need'.

    Never did I indicate I was such a genius I can start at the top of the latter. Are you that asinine to suggest such things that were never said? Again, I didn't put in the title "Why am I taking a stupid worthless certification and not just going directly to cisco / Microsoft?" I asked "Is A+ really this outdated", but go ahead and change up my writing.

    Easy there kiddo....Your first post to this forum was flashing a wee-bit of self-righteousness and if you don't like the response from your elders here (and in some cases, just more senior members)...thanks for coming and I'm sure you'll be able to find a more suitable forum for your views at another site.

    Paul and the others called it like they saw it, and frankly, your thread title (despite your claim to inocence in your word choice) is not something treated lightly nor accepted as a means to open a flame war.

    We have too many professionals here and they work hard and volunteer there time to help newer members and newer IT folks.

    Frankly, your post doesn't belong in the A+ forum as it is merely attacking the exam and isn't adding value to those who use this site as a learning tool. Off-topic would be more appropriate for this sort of thing...and you would find a similar response there as well.


    Here's how it works, not all IT Professionals take the A+ exams.
    Some choose to focus on higher level certs, if that is you, then don't rag on the exam for the sake of making a post....skip it and schedule something that is more meaningful for your career.

    Some take the exam to build confidence. Others 'think' they need it. And some 'truly' need the exam for their occupation.

    Consider the words you choose when you post. No one knows you here yet. We don't know your personality. Nothing about you (and that is fine) but we have nothing to measure your tone of posts by except your first post here is a tread started by you to blast the exam objectives.

    I trust if you had any experience in the field, you'd realize there is a significant amount of the material covered that IS used. I've seen techs who felt confident because for 3 years they haven't seen anything 'odd' and then the day a MOBO shows up with an ISA SCSI card they had no clue what it was or what to do and just about lost the customer because they told them their system is too old.

    You are welcome to stick around and get to know the folks here, possibly learn a thing or two ;) However, if you are going to choose to attack those folks who have put the time in without getting to know them....the door is open...

    ...up to you
    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?
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Plantwiz wrote: »

    Some take the exam to build confidence.
    This is why I recommend A+ to anyone that will listen. This was my first test that I took, and my first realization that I can compete in this field. Passing this test is the reason I looked into net+ and started the MCSA.
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    I've seen techs who felt confident because for 3 years they haven't seen anything 'odd' and then the day a MOBO shows up with an ISA SCSI card they had no clue what it was or what to do and just about lost the customer because they told them their system is too old.
    This is very true. One of my college professors would give us 4 finals. 1 final was a closed book test. It was a little easier and was intended so that you were paying attention. The second was a open book, which was intended to make sure that you could research. IT is a research enviornment, and you often have to look things up. The 3rd was a performance exam, this was obviously meant to test that you knew how to do things and not just memorize theories. The 4th test, is why I bring this professor up at all. It was the hallway questions test. Often you can tell a customer/boss that you will look up the exact number. But there is a minimal amount of knowledge that you just need to know. This test tested you on the general stuff that you just need to know. If your boss brought an older motherboard up to you and you and asked a general question about it, you kind of need to give him an answer. Let me look it up for you won't always get you off the hook. At some point he might just decide to fire you, and go look it up himself.

    And if nothing else, when you are working with a bunch of younger IT guys and they are looking at this weird thing on a motherboard, you can get a smug look on your face and say, "Well thats an ISA slot."
    Decide what to be and go be it.
Sign In or Register to comment.