Things I need to study before taking the A+

ratbuddyratbuddy Senior MemberMember Posts: 665
I've taken several practice exams, and I always score 80% or higher. The questions I usually get wrong relate to the following, and I will study using the link(s) after each item. I'm also using the Exam Cram book.

-Printers
Laser printing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (all the practice questions I seem to get wrong involve the laser printing process)

-Obsolete memory standards and data transfer rates of modern memory
Dynamic random-access memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia as well as the individual pages for DDR/DDR2/DDR3

-Default ports (I know 21, 23, 25, 80, need to memorize the rest, I guess)
List of TCP and UDP port numbers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

-Obsolete networking standards (token ring? is this really on the 800 series tests?)
Computer network - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I've only skimmed those pages, but it seems like thoroughly reading each of those will give me enough info to pass the test.

I'm probably overthinking the whole thing, but I can't afford to lose $350 by failing the exams. Any curveballs I should be aware of?

Comments

  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Though the A+ exams are typically 'begginer' tech level exams they are geared toward candidates with experience.

    So, have you downloaded the objectives?
    How much experience do you have working with the components covered in the objectives (can be real or lab based experience).
    What type of texts do you have besides the cram book? The Cram book is fine for something who only needs a light review, it would not be my recommendation to someone who is very green.

    Why the rush? The way you prepare for these two exams will set up the way you will likely prepare for future exams, and there are several ahead that may trip you up regardless. We want competent colleagues out there, not paper cert holders...take enough time to prepare and learn the material, not memorize questions and answers because the practice tests have been over done.
    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?
  • ratbuddyratbuddy Senior Member Member Posts: 665
    I'll give a little background, I didn't mean to come off as a paper tiger.

    I've been a computer junkie since I was first introduced to TRS-80s in 2nd grade. By 4th grade, the teacher would have to send someone to the library to rip me away from the Apple II after recess. In summer school after 5th grade, I went through over 300 BASIC program assignments in 4 weeks, and only stopped there because I didn't know any algebra to do the higher level stuff. I built my first machine at age 15, a 486DLC-40 rig. I'm the guy everyone I know calls when they need computer help. I have almost 9000 posts on OCForums.com, and some of them are actually helpful. I've written Android apps, I've used PHP and SQL to create a stat tracking site for World of Tanks, I've made somewhat complex models in 3DS Max, and various other things along those lines.

    I'm not a noob. I could probably pass the A+ without any study, but I want to make dang sure. Like I said, I can't afford to throw away $350 on a fail. I just don't want to fail because I don't know the answers to questions like "What resolution is WZAXGA," or "How many megabits per second can a null modem cable transfer between an Atari 800 and a pineapple."

    edit: Oh, and the rush is because I'd really like to start WGU next month. They won't take me as-is, so I need to get A+ done.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Pretty safe bet you won't need any information about Atari for your exams.

    As for the rest of your background, impressive, but not a lot of that material is covered in the objectives either. That is not to say you won't pick up the information quickly, but you really would be best served by using a copy of the objectives. The cram book is fine, but again is best suited to someone needing a lighter review. Mike Meyers ALL-in-one text is a worthy tool to have around to prepare. Borrow one, buy one (worth the investment) check out your library they may have a copy.

    My understanding is WGU enrolls students throughout the year (like monthly or such)' so if you miss one round, there will be another coming up. Take the time to understand the topics for the A+ or try a local community college for a degree? If the A+ is not something you will use, I would skip it. I have worked with man talented folks who did not start with A+ as their skills were beyond that and they were not going back.

    You will see a number of terms on the objectives, typical of CompTIA exams, but you may still need to ID items or understand how they function to answer questions.

    Sybex has a test that is pretty good too, However, Meyers is the go to for a+
    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?
  • SlithySlithy Member Member Posts: 50 ■■■□□□□□□□
    On the WGU bit - you will need to hurry if that is your goal. Unless you have that A+ cert sent to them by the 15th(16th most likely because the 15th is a sunday) you can't register for October.

    As for curve balls it is probably just a matter of going through practice tests and such. Professor Messer is a good free resource and there are various other things you can find (I found a software offer for the 801 Examforce crammaster for free - including 800 test questions and PDFs of the first half of the Sybex book built in - not sure about the posting policy for offers and such though)
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    They will take new registrations after that date, correct? Miss one window, there will be another.

    Why bother dropping $400 for a certificate if it doesn't mean anything? Is there no value in having degrees and certifications measure ones knowledge? When did it become 'ok' to go through the motions rather than attempting some study and practice?

    The OP has some knowledge, so it should not take too long to brush up, but what good is cramming just to say
    one is a holder of a certificate?

    We have members here willing to assist newer folks learning material. If you are coming for shortcuts, this probably is not the place you want. Paper cert holders icon_rolleyes.gif
    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?
  • SlithySlithy Member Member Posts: 50 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    They will take new registrations after that date, correct? Miss one window, there will be another.

    Yes, If he misses September 15th then he has till October 15th to register for November.
  • ratbuddyratbuddy Senior Member Member Posts: 665
    Believe me, I know as much as, or more than the average A+ holder. I just don't have the printer stuff down pat because I've never owned one. The other stuff mentioned in my original post is just semantics and rote. I know what types of memory work with which motherboards and chipsets. I know what the various network link types are capable of. I know what ports are, and how to use/configure them.

    I just need to get into the 'exam mindset' and remember that it's an objective test, and they don't know me.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Schedule the exams then.

    What seems to be your road block with print devices?
    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?
  • ratbuddyratbuddy Senior Member Member Posts: 665
    It's simply because I've never owned one to tinker with and disassemble. Just the steps of the laser process, really. I'll have that down pat in no time.

    Thanks to Slithy, I got the Examforce software for free, and I must say it is MUCH more difficult than any of the other material I've seen. I scored ~82% on the Exam Cram 801 questions with no study. Only about 52% on the Examforce.

    That makes me think you may be right, and I need to approach this with a different mindset. I'll read more before scheduling the test.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    ratbuddy wrote:
    Thanks to Slithy, I got the Examforce software for free, and I must say it is MUCH more difficult than any of the other material I've seen. I scored ~82% on the Exam Cram 801 questions with no study. Only about 52% on the Examforce.

    That makes me think you may be right, and I need to approach this with a different mindset. I'll read more before scheduling the test.

    from Exam Force
    http://www.examforce.com/support/faq
    Can I install this on multiple machines?
    Yes, the product you just purchased is for a single-user license agreement but may be installed on multiple machines.

    Slithy (unless he purchased the product specifically for you) likely has a single-user license. As with most prep software, the rights to use the software belong to the single person who purchased the software (or to whom it is registered to) and cannot be 'transfered', 'borrowed', 'loaned to a friend'.

    ****

    That aside, the exams are not going to be 50% print device based. Print devices will be a portion of your exam, but not the entire exam. Simply depends upon how confident you feel about the entire set of objectives, if you can miss a few and be fine, you probably will pass.

    I want to challenge you and others about the purpose of exams, if the point is to merely acquire the paper, the buy a print device and print out a certificate. If the point is to have the accreditation to highlight ones knowledge base, then put the effort into it and study and practice.

    A+ exams have the lowest passing score requirement, but as I mentioned, how you approach these 'easy' exams is setting yourself up for how you will be in the habit of approaching the higher level exams.

    A month delay should not be detrimental to ones goals. Personally, I would delay until I was prepared. At the same time, it is pretty easy to locate old equipment for free or very cheap to tear apart and practice (if that is a concern).
    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?
  • ratbuddyratbuddy Senior Member Member Posts: 665
    To be clear, Slithy turned me on to an offer directly from Examforce for a free license in my own name. I think they give away the 801 materials in the hopes that people will buy the 802 stuff. No shady stuff going on here.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    I see that now, thank you for the clarification. I stand corrected. bowing.gif

    I did not see that initially when I looked and therefore looked up their transfer options, as many do not permit giving these items away. Had it been indicated that you signed up with ExamForce due to something another member led you to, it would not have looked like a trade?

    Nevertheless, I appreciate the verified information and noting that their offer is only for 1/2 of the exam content is a nice hook on their part to give people a chance to try it before investing.
    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?
Sign In or Register to comment.