Thoughts on Exam Cram as Primary Book

DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
I loved Mike Meyers Network+ book. However, I'm reading for the A+ now and the Mike Meyers A+ AIO book seems a little overkill. The book is overly wordy to me and I can't exactly tell what is important for the exam and what isn't. I can't even tell what is important to know in general for future jobs and what is simply "interesting tid bits."

What are people's thoughts on abandoning an actual study book and just picking up the exam cram and using that ALONE to study for the A+?
I don't have much IT experience other than building desktops and troubleshooting friends/family/colleagues' computers. I do have programming/web design experience, but that won't exactly help w/ the A+.

I kind of want to get the A+ done w/ as soon as possible since I feel like its absence from my credentials is what's keeping me from getting my 1st IT job. (I've applied to probably over a hundred positions and only got 1 response, which didn't even result in an Interview.)
I'm also itching to move past the CompTIA certs and move on to higher-level certs (MCSA/CCNA/SSCP).
Goals for 2018:
Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
To-do | In Progress | Completed

Comments

  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Okay, maybe I should have put a question mark in the title lol: most of the people who click this thread probably thought I was offering an opinion rather than asking for one.

    However, after hours and no responses I decided to go ahead and get the A+ Exam Cram and attempt to use it as my primary.
    It's a lot less verbose - although it's a little too early (2nd chapter) to tell whether it's beneficial or not. I can tell I'll be needing to take a lot more written notes while studying w/ this book instead. Whereas w/ the Mike Meyers AIO, I read thru a whole page or 2 w/o knowing if anything was important exam-wise, or even profession-wise, now reading thru the Exam Cram has me scared that a single sentence is important and neglecting to take note of it would cost me a question on the exam. The writing style, however, is also very conversational and easy to follow.

    Hopefully it'll be possible to refer to the Mike Meyers book when I need to flesh out a topic a bit more. (Only reason why that might not work is that the Mike Meyers AIO builds on previous chapters, so jumping around may or may not be easy to follow.) Even more hopefully, I won't need to refer back to the AIO and the Exam Cram would be sufficient on its own.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • DarrilDarril Posts: 1,588Member
    It's a good idea to use a combination of books for any certification so combining two books is almost always a good idea. The thick book is designed to fill in all the details from beginning to end and the Exam Cram is designed to just give you the facts. You might find that the Exam Cram is enough with your level of knowledge and you only need to refer to the other book occasionally.

    Good luck.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply Darril.

    I understand the purpose both books are supposed to serve. But it's been difficult for me to progress at any reasonable rate in the thick book. So I decided to try to switch things up and see if it works out. If not, I guess I'll just have to accept that achieving this cert might just take a lot longer than my previous 2.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • KenCKenC Posts: 131Member
    I found Meyers AIO Network+ book to be great, and I agree about the A+ AIO book being overkill by comparison to a point. However, it is the starting point for a lot of people with zero experience, and I can understand it. I think it is possibly because of the content (almost like knowing how to drive a car and now having to sit through driver theory classes), whereas the Network+ is more appealing to you because you probably know less about the subject matter.

    When I look back on the Meyers AIO A+ book from time to time, I find that it is a great reference, and not actually that bloated with unnecessary content (which was my initial opinion). You might find the same.

    My advice would be to study the leaner book (or an alternative learning resource such as Professor Messer), and then refer to the AIO A+ book for a more in-depth explanation of the topic. It will be down to you to decide if you want to do enough to get the cert, or to earn the cert.
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    The ExamCram was the sole book I used for the A+. I felt it was very well written.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    KenC wrote: »
    I found Meyers AIO Network+ book to be great, and I agree about the A+ AIO book being overkill by comparison to a point. However, it is the starting point for a lot of people with zero experience, and I can understand it. .

    I feel like I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if a) I had gotten my A+ 1st b) I didn't already have plans to jump into higher level certs (already have all my cisco study materials bought and now beginning to collect dust) 3) Didn't feel like getting my 1st IT job depended on the A+ (making me rush so I can start applying). However, it wasn't the 1st cert I got and leafing through the endless chapters just bothers me too much.
    Besides, I'm a slow reader.
    KenC wrote: »
    My advice would be to study the leaner book (or an alternative learning resource such as Professor Messer), and then refer to the AIO A+ book for a more in-depth explanation of the topic. .

    I think that's the plan I'm going to implement.
    KenC wrote: »
    It will be down to you to decide if you want to do enough to get the cert, or to earn the cert.

    I'm starting to adopt the 20/80 rule to my life. If I know the material, I know the material. Learning it by reading a more concise, succinct text rather than punishing myself w/ a book I don't enjoy doesn't make the cert any less earned than the alternative. I'm not cheating. I'm not even aiming for a score just above passing. I'm just attempting to find the best study plan for me for this specific cert at this particular time in my life.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    The ExamCram was the sole book I used for the A+. I felt it was very well written.

    It was the only book you used. Did you use any other study materials other than books? How well did you fare when you took the exam?
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    It was the only book you used. Did you use any other study materials other than books? How well did you fare when you took the exam?

    I passed both of the exams on the first shot and in one week. That being said, I was already working in IT and I also had taken a college class that was aligned to the A+ exam.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    So, I've been having problems studying using the exam cram as well. It seems the underlying problem has less to do w/ the book/method I use for study and more to do with the fact that I don't have interest in the material.

    But that's something I'm either going to have to deal w/ or try to fix internally.
    My biggest problem is probably the fact that I want to get the cert over and done w/ as soon as possible so I can begin my IT career. But the anxiousness seems to just be holding me back and make the studying process take longer. (Irony? Catch-22?)
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Posts: 1,460Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Try Professor Messer for the topics that are boring in the book.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • coreyb80coreyb80 Posts: 640Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    The ExamCram was the sole book I used for the A+. I felt it was very well written.

    This is what I'm currently reading as well in addition to watching Professor Messer videos and it has helped me out alot. I'll be taking my tests next month. I want to do both in one seating.
    WGU BS - Network Operations and Security
    Estimated completion: November 2021
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Curious, how far are you into the videos/exam cram Coreyb80?
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • coreyb80coreyb80 Posts: 640Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    Curious, how far are you into the videos/exam cram Coreyb80?

    I'm about 3/4 done with videos and 1/2 done with the book. I test myself daily by using the Random A+ quiz link on Professor Messer website plus he does a question of the day everyday on FB.
    WGU BS - Network Operations and Security
    Estimated completion: November 2021
  • Bigbill810Bigbill810 Posts: 19Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    I loved Mike Meyers Network+ book. However, I'm reading for the A+ now and the Mike Meyers A+ AIO book seems a little overkill. The book is overly wordy to me and I can't exactly tell what is important for the exam and what isn't. I can't even tell what is important to know in general for future jobs and what is simply "interesting tid bits."

    What are people's thoughts on abandoning an actual study book and just picking up the exam cram and using that ALONE to study for the A+?
    I don't have much IT experience other than building desktops and troubleshooting friends/family/colleagues' computers. I do have programming/web design experience, but that won't exactly help w/ the A+.

    I kind of want to get the A+ done w/ as soon as possible since I feel like its absence from my credentials is what's keeping me from getting my 1st IT job. (I've applied to probably over a hundred positions and only got 1 response, which didn't even result in an Interview.)
    I'm also itching to move past the CompTIA certs and move on to higher-level certs (MCSA/CCNA/SSCP).

    I'm using that same book as well. I've been doing freelance work on desktops for 10 years, and found that I was able to skip about 50% of the cram book. However, the anxiety set in about wasting money on the exams! So I'm doing a good week of cramming before I schedule the exam. I liked the book, right to the point. I learn better that way.
    A+ >70-685 Windows 7 EDST > Security+ > ITILv3 > VCA-DCV > VCA-CLOUD > CCNA > CCNPCOMPLETE / IN PROGRESS / FUTURE GOAL
  • markdoe830markdoe830 Posts: 6Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Mike Meyers was a pain for me
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