A+ Goal (within 2 mnths)

m1chaelm1chael Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hey all-

New to the forum and I know this question has been asked and examined a million times but just wanted you guys to give me a "subjective" response about taking and passing the A+ exams in reference to my past experience.......

Currently employed w/gov't agency not in the IT field for the last 8 mnths....even though not in IT role, still get called upon to help resolve network/printer/software/etc issues....

Prior, I was a pc tech/service desk agent (offically known as a pc system support specialist)...for about 3 yrs for a major financial institution until they closed their site here locally...job duties consisted of (basically desktop/network support) reimaging pc's due to being corrupt if unable to repair....loading software....replacing hardware......some active directory work.....troubleshoot network conectivity issues.....server tape backup.....install patches/updates on servers.....and a little bit more that escapes my mind right now.......(for what it's worth i have only built a few machines but have experience with replacing known hardware...i/o drives, ram, video/sound cards, ethernet, etc)

Anyway, before being in this tech position I was just a casual user, basically using well known software but not really displaying any troubleshooting methods...(using windows x, office suite, adobe, etc)

So, I am at this gov't job now and trying to break into their tech dept and I figured that along with the few yrs experience I do have, adding a cert like A+ may really help.....

Evaluations of my experience in ref to getting prepared for test would be???

Also, I do have some older books before the change-over (basically the OS-Hardware stuff) would that be sufficient or should I go online to get another manual as to update myself on the latest changes....I was thinking about the Meyers book or the Complete Study Guide by Quentin Docter (Sybex)....or possibly just ordering the exam cram tests and just doing those?

Suggestions, with the above information I have provided?

Thanks in advance for your assistance....(forgot to mention, I did go online and downloaded the objectives....)

Michael

Comments

  • the_erickeethe_erickee Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    First off, welcome to the site. Secondly, I was in the same boat as you as far as knowledge and wanting the A+. The book I used was Mike Meyers A+ 5th edition, but it was still in the OS-hardware format. I just brushed up on the book and took both tests the same day one right after the other. and it was pretty easy. The essentials was harder than the remote support test I took. My scores were 715/900 on essentials and 850/900 on remote support. Let us know if you have any other questions.
    Erick Marshall - @erickbm

    MCSE,MCITP x2,vExpert 2015,VCAP,VCP5 x2,MCSA x2,MCTS x3,MCP x2,UCP,Network+,A+
  • m1chaelm1chael Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Erickee-

    Thanks for the support...I will most likely go ahead and order the Meyers book and read it cover to cover.....(Not sure if I will take both tests back to back....sounds like a little much..LOL) Anyone know if you get your score right after you take the test so you know right then if you pass/fail? And what is the minimum score for each test? Thanks.....

    Thoughts from other members?

    Thanks,
    Michael
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    You can be more laid back here, relax. icon_lol.gif

    From the sounds of it, you have a little experience under your belt which is better than being a complete newbie to the field. I think getting the A+ in two months is reasonable, though you want to walk away with newfound knowledge and not just a piece of paper that you plan to slap in front of an interviewer. The A+ is useless unless you study hard. If you want to go into IT, be prepared to learn new stuff 24/7. Show willingness to learn new things or tackle difficulties.

    This website has practice questions which will help you. If you buy a book, they generally also come with practice questions. Use them to gauge how well you know the material and don't take the test until you can get 80%+ on them.
    I used the Sybex books starting out, myself. I managed to pass both exams on the same day, but just barely. icon_eek.gif

    Don't underestimate the exam. Put at least an hour or more into the books each day. I use to go to the mall on weekends and study from morning to night in a coffee shop.
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    It sounds like you've got plenty of experience, giving yourself a month for each exam is probably going to be more than enough. Based on your experience, reading through the book should prepare you to take the exams and pass them on your first time out.

    And, although I don't recommend it, I can tell you how I got my A+. I'd been working at a PC technician for about six months, I'd been messing with computers and doing some on-the-side work for a few years. One day, my boss announces to me that I'm taking the A+ tests the next day, and gives me a (terrible) study guide provided by the company. At that time the A+ consisted of a hardware and a software test, and I had the hardware test first. Took it, passed it, then spent about an hour at a coffee shop looking over some stuff for the software exam in the book, then went and took that too. At the end of the day, I'd spent about four hours with two back-to-back tests, and gotten my A+ certification.

    Let us know how you're doing in your studies, and good luck when you to sit for the tests. :D

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
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    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • the_erickeethe_erickee Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    m1chael wrote:
    Erickee-

    Thanks for the support...I will most likely go ahead and order the Meyers book and read it cover to cover.....(Not sure if I will take both tests back to back....sounds like a little much..LOL) Anyone know if you get your score right after you take the test so you know right then if you pass/fail? And what is the minimum score for each test? Thanks.....

    Thoughts from other members?

    Thanks,
    Michael
    You do get an instant pass/fail report. minimum on essentials is 675 i think and 700 on the other three choices im pretty sure.
    Erick Marshall - @erickbm

    MCSE,MCITP x2,vExpert 2015,VCAP,VCP5 x2,MCSA x2,MCTS x3,MCP x2,UCP,Network+,A+
  • M4verickM4verick Member Posts: 86 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Welcome to the forum!
    But yeah, with your experience, I'd think 2 months is more than enough time. Good luck!
    Isn't it funny how after you have the certifications, you don't care about sharing them as much?
  • m1chaelm1chael Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks to all for your answers and assistance......

    Just out of curiousity, anyone know the total amount of questions for each test? I believe I read somewhere it was a 100 questions for each?? (Also, what about the min score out of the 900 total).

    BTW, a friend of mine in the technology field was telling me about the Transcender material.....anyone have any experience using this as their study guide/practice tests? I checked out their website and looks pretty in depth and appears to have good source material but not sure.

    Thanks,
    Michael
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    I've never used it, but people say that it's more details and tougher than the actual exams.
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • the_erickeethe_erickee Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Grab the mike meyers book and do the practice tests that come with it. that should be decent enough.
    Erick Marshall - @erickbm

    MCSE,MCITP x2,vExpert 2015,VCAP,VCP5 x2,MCSA x2,MCTS x3,MCP x2,UCP,Network+,A+
  • m1chaelm1chael Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ok, thanks for the info guys...will be ordering today:)
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    How goes the learning adventure?
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • m1chaelm1chael Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    KGhaleon wrote:
    How goes the learning adventure?

    KG-

    First, thanks for checking up on me...first time I've ever had anyone do that....:)

    Anyway, I am on Chapter 12...moving steadily but carefully. I plan on coming back on here and asking any questions that I may have.....

    To be perfectly honest, I am really glad I purchased this book and started reading it....I thought I had a pretty good knowledge base (which I still think I do, more hands on) but this book has been beneficial...I am really enjoying reading it.

    Thanks again....I will be back in a few wks or so to post questions...hope that's ok?

    Michael
  • m1chaelm1chael Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It's been awhile since I last posted a status update but here it goes.

    I have been studying non-stop since the beginning of Oct when I bought my first study guide (Mike Meyers). I read the book from cover to cover and took the practice tests until I scored well. Not feeling all the way comfortable at this point, I went ahead and ordered another resource study guide (Exam Cram Study Questions). I was really impressed with the amount of detail the questions went into and feel like it has helped out a lot. I have taken all of the Essentials and IT Technicians tests 2 times each until I scored between 80 and 90 percent. Now, I am struggling to figure out whether or not I am really ready to take the first test...Essentials. So this brings me to a few questions that I have had while going through these study guides....I have looked at the objectives and also it goes into detail in the Meyers book what percentage of questions fall into what domain category.

    It is my understanding that I should know IRQ's and COM Ports like the back of my hand. But none of the questions thus far in either test really touched on that?

    Same with processor types....socket / pin etc, only one question if I remember correctly from the Exam Cram tests even asked this.....so not sure how much or how many types of processors I really should know?

    Also, should I go ahead and take the other exam cram tests (Remote Support and Depot Technician) to be extra sure I know my stuff before taking the tests? I have heard that most of the questions from any test overlap one another....?

    That's all I can think of right now, but if I do come across any other questions I will be sure to post:)

    I do not want to fail dang it........LOL

    Thanks,
    Michael
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    I'm pretty sure you dont need to memorized the IRQ's. Thats one thing I remember as a postive point about that test is that the 2007 test and materials were updated from all that old garbage.

    You really need more than just the MM book imho. I would get a second reference, and make sure it has been updated or rewritten to cover the 2007 objectives.
  • m1chaelm1chael Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    brad- wrote:
    I'm pretty sure you dont need to memorized the IRQ's. Thats one thing I remember as a postive point about that test is that the 2007 test and materials were updated from all that old garbage.

    You really need more than just the MM book imho. I would get a second reference, and make sure it has been updated or rewritten to cover the 2007 objectives.

    Brad-

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my update. So you would suggest a second source for me to read / study even though I already have the Meyers and Exam Cram Questions + my previous experience that I orginally posted to start this thread?

    Anyone else want to share suggestions according to the update I posted yesterday?

    Thanks,
    Michael
  • m1chaelm1chael Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just wanted to give an update on my status. I passed both exams this past Saturday (601 & 602). I'd like to thank everyone for their assistance and support.

    Now it's on to Network + :D


    Michael
  • skrpuneskrpune Member Posts: 1,409
    Congrats! icon_thumright.gif

    A+ lays a nice foundation for Network+, good luck with your studies!
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • Nerd_SoonNerd_Soon Banned Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I don't know what test to take. I have no certifications. I have a bachelors of science degree in management computer information systems.

    I was gonna take the 70-270 for a technical support position. However, they need experience which I lack. So I am faced with taking the old XP 70-270 exam or just start out with the 70-620. I could take both but I ain't rich, since I can't find any IT jobs that don't require experience.

    Short story... How has anyone gotten their experience?

    Also, I am indesisive on what path to pursue:

    Networking (Windows Server 2008, SQL 200icon_cool.gif

    Programming (Visual Studio 2008, .NET)
    Database( I dont know)

    I want a job that will last me a life time. The IT job market fluctuates so I don't want to get the wrong certification. I need help and alot of advice. I was just thinking changin to a boring salesman position. I mean I will always have to study for certs. Renewing certs every 4 years. Thats like being a lawyer. Reading all the time.

    What technology should I go with? What software?

    Help a confused college graduate without experience. NO IT jobs for me, only 2-5 day contracts. Also No certs yet. I will spend my life studying technology only if it can make me 60 dollars an hour. so what route should i go?

    Also whats the deal with the A+ is it even worth it? I mean employers want it but i think its expensive to learn about mouse and keyboard. oh well

    I just bought the following three books:

    A+ (2006 objectives) book $40
    MS press XP pro 70-270 book $35
    and MS press vista book. $35

    I plan to get these three certs in two months. Any comments?
    Thanks nerds




    *****EDIT******
    1. Don't POST IN COLORS in my forums
    2. Start your own tread

    PW
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Nerd_Soon wrote: »

    Short story... How has anyone gotten their experience?

    Got a job.

    Also, I am indesisive on what path to pursue:


    Stop worrying about failing, pick a path and see what happens. No one 'really' knows what they want until they experience. Many times you find what you don't 'like' becomes of great interest. OR at least you can rule out how much of something you can tolerate.
    I want a job that will last me a life time. The IT job market fluctuates so I don't want to get the wrong certification. I need help and alot of advice. I was just thinking changin to a boring salesman position. I mean I will always have to study for certs. Renewing certs every 4 years. Thats like being a lawyer. Reading all the time.

    ??? Wake up, nap time is over.

    There isn't a job that last a lifetime....in any field. If you don't continue to educate yourself, you'll be left behind. Man up, or women up and get out there and work. You sound like a spoiled brat, haven't you worked for anything in life yet? "boring sales position"??, " Don't want the wrong certification"??? What is this???? You don't need advice and help, you need to kicked out of the nest and forced to fly or hit the ground really hard, baby bird. Mommy and Daddy paid your way and fixed all your mistakes in life for you?

    Why would you NOT want to renew your knowledge? You think someone will drop down and hand you a big fat payroll check, but you won't need to improve yourself...ever? And you don't like to read?? Please, don't get into IT then. You'll waste your time, your customers time and your employers time (if you find one who thinks your skillset is desirable).
    What technology should I go with? What software?
    What do you like working with? That's what you go with.


    Help a confused college graduate without experience. NO IT jobs for me, only 2-5 day contracts. Also No certs yet. I will spend my life studying technology only if it can make me 60 dollars an hour. so what route should i go?
    I think you're in for a HUGE disappointment when you learn many jobs still start in the $8-$12 range. Frankly, with what you've complained about thus far, I cannot think of an employer who'd even consider $60 per hour for what you have offered.

    Also whats the deal with the A+ is it even worth it? I mean employers want it but i think its expensive to learn about mouse and keyboard. oh well

    Yep. Skip it. It wouldn't be worth your time :rolleyes:


    I just bought the following three books:

    A+ (2006 objectives) book $40
    MS press XP pro 70-270 book $35
    and MS press vista book. $35

    I plan to get these three certs in two months. Any comments?
    Thanks nerds
    So you are going for the A+ despite your comment in the last sentence? Many successful people have never bothered with extry-level certs. Depends on what you can actually do If you will not be using, training users, repairing hardware, why would you want the A+? And it's a fairly safe bet, if you are eyeing a $60 per hour job.....you will need much, much more then an A+.



    And.....Questions as you posted belong in your own thread, not snuck in on another person's topic. Start your own thread in the correct forum.
    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?
  • Nerd_SoonNerd_Soon Banned Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sorry about that Plantwiz.

    I just joined, so I did not know where to post. You made good comments about just going for the field and continue educating myself. Maybe I have wined too much, and expecting too much money too soon, but I tought 80k spent on my bachelor's degree would pay me $15/hr minimum. It will, but I need experience and without certs no one can hire me yet.

    Well, the reason for the A+ is that employers want that or the MCP minimum.

    I mean some employers require degrees some don't. I'm glad to know I'll have both under my belt.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Nerd_Soon wrote: »
    Sorry about that Plantwiz.

    I just joined, so I did not know where to post. You made good comments about just going for the field and continue educating myself. Maybe I have wined too much, and expecting too much money too soon, but I tought 80k spent on my bachelor's degree would pay me $15/hr minimum. It will, but I need experience and without certs no one can hire me yet.

    Well, the reason for the A+ is that employers want that or the MCP minimum.

    I mean some employers require degrees some don't. I'm glad to know I'll have both under my belt.

    Generally, a Degree is more desirable then no degree and certs are better then no degree, but none of it is absolute.

    Not sure which part of the country you live in, but 80K to start? Pretty rare to walk into a position like that. $35-$40 fairly normal with some experience. Then depending on the company and the work you do, it can be more like $50-60K, but usually not your first day.

    Just get a job. Any job. And work. Network with people, go to events, continue to educate yourself, but go DO SOMETHING. And employers use 'required' certs as a means to screen people out, so sell yourself with the talent you have. It is possible to get hired without certs.

    And yes, your initial posts were a bit whinny, if you got the education, go back to your school and meet with your counselors or advisors and have them point you in a direction that matches your education with your personality and goals.

    As far as Goals....they are just targets (HINT: They can be changed later on if needed), but set something like:

    Immediate goal - Land job in 'city' earning enough to pay my current expenses and possible advance internally in the company.

    Mid-goal - be promoted in first company OR upgrade to new company where I can do 'x' and 'y' and earn 10% more then I do at first job.

    Long-term - Own my own business. or whatever.

    You'll get there, but get OUT there and go after it!


    Good luck!
    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?
  • mrgetdown88mrgetdown88 Member Posts: 43 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hey Plantwiz,

    When can I book to give some motivational speeches? I got a few friends who need a quick wake up call also lol
    XBox Live: xGetDownNoobx
    Working towards 70-291 and CCNA
    Future Goals (In this order):CCNA, MCSA, CCNP, MCITP:EA, CEH

    "Consider yourselves lucky I'm not after your gully holes..."
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    Congrats on the pass. :D
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
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