Your study approach?

swish45swish45 Posts: 30Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello all,

I'd like to hear how you guys study for certification exams (Microsoft/CISCO).

I basically go through the entire book page by page, paraphrasing sections and then when i'm finished basically re-writing the whole book, i review what i have written and then apply for the exam.

A very monotonous approach indeed, which takes enormous will power.

how do you guys approach your exams? In your examples assume you have no experience with the technology(i,e MCSA).

Much appreciated.

Comments

  • Tommy_DTommy_D Posts: 47Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi there, I can't really comment on the no experience part, as I have extensive Windows server experience over the past 11 years...but I can tell you what I typically do is get a book that covers the exam in question, read that in dept and labbing anything I've not had hands on experience with. Once I complete that process I get some practice tests from either Self-Test or Transcender then work on those until I can achieve a passing score... at that point I go take the test!
  • TheProfTheProf Posts: 331Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■■■■□□□□□□
    I normally start with the CBT's and follow the labs. Then start working with the books, it usually helps to understand the material better after doing the labs, etc... The notes I make are only things that I find very important to understand, otherwise I don't make a lot of notes. Having experience in the subject also helps accelerate the preparation. I normally don't do certifications that I don't have experience in so it doesn't take me that long to prepare for an exam unless it's an advanced exam like VCAP or EMCCA.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Now for my CCENT/CCNA, i've been starting w/ the CBTs to get familiarity on the subject and all the different topics tested on the exam.
    Then I proceed to do the same method you mention. It is extremely long, often tedious, and as you mentioned tests my will power at times. I have no problem doing it for an hour at a time... but going any further than that is extremely difficult - and I usually aim to do at least one 2-3 hour session a day (hard to maintain).

    However, going thru the CBTs first makes the reading/note taking process easier. I don't have to write as much and just focus on going deeper into the topics instead of completely learning them outright.

    I don't have a dedicated spot in my study sequence for my labs, but I make sure I do them.
    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
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  • ITMonkeyITMonkey Posts: 200Member
    I found that Cisco Press publishes books that contain a significant portion of the information one needs to pass their book-specific certification exam. They step it up a notch in that you’ll need to demonstrate your IOS and troubleshooting skills. Therefore practice using a simulator or actual lab hardware is highly suggested.

    Microsoft Press, on the other hand, doesn’t do as well a job in any one single book. I find myself getting a couple reference books, and spending considerable time reading their TechNet library pages, wiki articles written by their user community, and blogs written by product team members. I spend at least half my time doing hands-on labs using software downloaded from their TechNet subscription service. (Yeah, I know it is being discontinued. Don’t know what I’ll do -- although I am leaning toward sharpening my Linux skills and promoting it in my work environment.)

    As of late, I’ve found that I am more efficient at learning and remembering something if I lab it first, and read about it afterwards. I seems contrary to a step-by-step approach. However, I can relate more to the technical feature or product if I have hands-on experience before delving into details. I recall things better, I think, because I can visualize the things I saw or did when I get around to reading more about them.
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