Things Not Covered

chmars53chmars53 Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
Not sure how much the Forum Rules allow, but MY main complaint about A+ HW & SW tests, and CompTIA, are the questions on the test that were NOT covered in any books about them. icon_eek.gif

Books (Meyers) used some crude motherboard graphics, and the test used near-photo quality, which were hard to make some things out. Found a general PC Repair book later that did better pics.

ALSo - Meyers says that when a sound card takes a sample, it it looking for ALL the FREQUENCIES present at that time, so that is why higher-bit resolution is better. WRONG - all a sample does is look at the VOLTAGE present at sample time, and the resolution is significant digits of that reading. Sample RATE determines how high of a frequency that you can 'accurately' read/reproduce. (A+ All-in One, page 856)

Books did not cover error messages well for NT, & Netware addressing problems were not touched.icon_cry.gif

I sent emails to CompTIA about this & they ignored me completely. I recently sent another about just WHAT they are looking for regarding Network+ and Unix/Netware as listed in the objectives, and all I got back was 'we can't tell you what we test - go look at the objectives'.

If there are others that can point out things that "you should check out", it could help people pass. icon_wink.gif
Repairing Mainframes since 1978 - & still learning


  • ghaoufghaouf Inactive Imported Users Posts: 317
    well that is true one book could miss some important info for the test, and this form and technotes also would. that is why you would do practice tests from all over the web and at least buy 2 books and read them. then review the comptia objectives for the exam and check the ones you know about, then if you do not know an objective see if it is your books, if not then research on the web.
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    You can complain about CompTIA exams as much as you like in these forums... ;) they never respond to my messages either.

    The CompTIA objectives are rather clear once you start to cover them one by one and do a lot of research such as I do when I write the TechNotes. But I agree that for someone that wants to prepare for the exam, they might be a little vague. The important thing is this note:
    NOTE: This exam blueprint for the A+ Core Hardware exam includes the weighting, test objectives and example content. Example topics and concepts are included to clarify the test objectives and should not be construed as a comprehensive listing of all the content of this exam.
    chmars53 wrote:
    the questions on the test that were NOT covered in any books about them
    Can be, but they are still very closely related to the exam objectives.

    Although I know it is the most common way to prepare nowadays, when I started taking cert exams 5 or 6 years ago, it wasn't that common to prepare for an exam by 'only' using a book and 'some practice tests'. You had to take a class-based course or had to have a couple of years of experience before your certs would be taken seriously, no matter how many certs you have, nor the scores... Since IT certification became a big trend, many people decided (or are forced) to do it by self-study. When you do, it is best to build a home-lab and try 'everything' out. 'Everything' would be the related tasks, anything you can think of or can find in online docs, books etc. Instead of gaining all this knowledge by actually experiencing it, you can, if you are a good learner, as Ghaouf suggested buy a second book, increasing the % of covered objectives, hence increasing the chances you'll pass. I don't think a single book is even meant to give you 100% coverage of the exam. (My eventual Network+ book, which I will write some day, will cover everything and more. icon_wink.gif

    Our TechNotes will neither cover every single detail that you might encounter on the actual exam, nevertheless I do a lot of research to comprehend the exam objectives to be able to cover them extensively. I read a lot of "I passed!" posts and similar, to get an idea of which topics are not covered enough by the commercially available study material... a good example of that is our AppleTalk TechNote for the Network+ exam. Anyway, when we complete the TechNotes for 1 exam and release it as a PDF guide, it should provide sufficient information to be used instead of a second book.

    It isn't like a school exam, where you read a book and get tested on text you read in a book. IMHO, certification should be something you can use to proof you already have the skills... ready to put to work at least.

    This was probably not the best way to explain it, but I hope I made some sense. icon_wink.gif

    If you have any trouble finding resources for certain objectives let us know and we'll try to help.
    Never rely on one book, always do additional reading (if you want to be completely prepared)
  • chmars53chmars53 Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I NEVER rely on one book - the 'Meyers A+ all-in-one' I talked about was what I bought, but as mentioned, I checked out 2 others, AND had THREE computers set up in my 'office' at the house. I practiced everything from setting TCP/IP numbers to creating startup disks, to transfering files over a network, to memorizing processor types & number of pins!! (I was none the less glad that such 'nerd' questions were NOT on the test. Makes me have some hope for other certifications. Meyers' A+ Passport didn't go into such nerd detail, which is why I did not buy another 'all-in-one'.)

    I am not new to all this. I have been repairing Mini-Mainframe Realtime computer systems since 1979 to the chip [& resistor]!! I have modified company products, both for improvements and for problem resolution. I installed a Unix network (hardware-wise; I never did figure out [and the company didn't train us] icon_cry.gif all I should have known for troubleshooting using the maintenance console. But I was good enough to not only find a bad transciever on a 10Base5 on the first try, but when my company tried to blame errors on hardware, my analysis showed that it could ONLY be SW - which is why they sent specialists here from Germanyat that particular time.) Anyway, enough explaining myself. Suffice to say that I am a stickler for accuracy (proofed company literature), and pretty good at what I do.

    I currently have an XP system for everyday use, networked through an 8 port intelligent switch to a P2/266 loaded with old &/or evaluation copies of 98, 2K Pro, 2K server, and Linux, PLUS another borrowed CPU with Netware on it, and an old 486 with 98. I think I am covered as far as HW. Except an Apple, which worries me a little since I have seen several mentions about AppleTalk today in forum messages.

    I have a book from a Net+ 5-day course I took last year plus a set of MCSE (210,215, 2K NOS Basics, etc) and Meyers Net+ book, and borrow books from the library for Linux (on top of my own Unix for Dummies), and Netware (and the installation guides), plus web sites like this.

    BTW: 'PC Network Advisor' has a very good explaination of TCP/IP icon_arrow.gif ( ) and other subjects.
    Repairing Mainframes since 1978 - & still learning
  • ghaoufghaouf Inactive Imported Users Posts: 317
    well the good thing is that you passed
    good luck on the network+

  • bellboybellboy Member Posts: 1,017
    chmars53 wrote:
    Books (Meyers) used some crude motherboard graphics, and the test used near-photo quality, which were hard to make some things out.

    that's odd. in forums i have visited over the years, candidates normally said that the comptia graphics were poor. i guess they sorted it all out after the complaints (though i had to identify a bnc connector in my network+ exam and it looked like all the diagrams had been drawn by a three-year-old) ;)

    don't blame comptia for books that don't cover everything. all they produce is the objectives, and, for the comptia exams that i have taken so-far, i have had a copy of them close at hand and continually checked to see if i had covered them in my study.

    i would always suggest the use of more than one source of material. i had two exam-specific books for a+ and one for network+, but i also purchased other books that i felt may have covered topics in the course too - some in greater depth than what was required.

    then there is always the internet. if i came across something in practise exams that was new to me, and i seemed to be unable to find it in my books, i just used google.
    A+ Moderator
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Maybe InComptia has finally fallen to pressure and changed the graphics - I do know that it must have been very recent because not too long ago a candidate testing at our local centre had the test prog freeze and it was on that same old shitty MoBo that a 5 yr old drew with crayons ... lol.

    As far as books go, Mkie Meyers A+ All in One is one of the best out there - I think Dave Groth and Scott Mueller also are at that level, but dang there is a lot of crap available.

    I think chmars53 that perhaps you looked at Mikes A+ book from the perspective of someone a little more advanced. After sorting the errata, I found most things to be spot on.

    I won't get started on sound as being a sound engineer in a past life it is something I occasionally get carried away with. However from a basic point of view Mike is correct, in that sampling is the process of turning analogue sound waves into binary signals. The system samples the sound by taking snapshots of the frequency and amplitude at intervals. I guess algebra comes in handy as if the time the sound is sampled is called X and the sound may be measured at Y amplitude. The more frequent the sample rate, the more accurate the digital sound is compared to analogue - at the expense of disk storage space. I will stop here ... lol
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • bellboybellboy Member Posts: 1,017
    i didn't realise that the a+ tested sound in that depth. i remember reading about fm soundcards and stuff like that (i don't recall coming across soundfonts), but i cetainly don't think i was tested on it.
    A+ Moderator
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Nah - about as far in depth that Comptia goes is recognising sound cards and speakers - oh and drivers for the card. Most of what is in Mikes book is just additional info for techs - one of the reasons I like his book is that it covers a bit of historical and conceptual stuff. I remember someone going off that he didn't cover NT in the book - hell about all you need to know is that there was something called NT that was the base for W2K ... just like all you need to know about 3.1 is that it came beatween DOS and W95 icon_wink.gif
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • bellboybellboy Member Posts: 1,017
    nt is questioned a bit more in depth than "hell about all you need to know is that there was something called NT that was the base for W2K".
    A+ Moderator
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    NT covered? In the objectives the only reference is to upgrading to W2K and the boot files for NT/W2K. A quick poll around the institute of around 40 people who passed A+ recently revealed only 1 NT question - about upgrading W2K and what it could be upgraded from.

    I must admit though that in the new objectives there looks like there will be a bit about differentiating between NT, W2K and XP.
    FIM website of the year 2007
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