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Getting ready and taking the CompTIA Network+ Certification

Certifications in IT are one of the most important things you can do to set yourself apart from being ordinary. Certifications are tangible proof that you know what you are doing and that an employer has little to no risk when hiring you based on the skills you claim to represent. Since it is such an important part of IT I will be going over how to get ready and how to be successful in completing the CompTIA Network+ Certification.

After all my research I have found that the most important thing you can do when taking the test is, practice, practice, PRACTICE. There are a TON of practice exams everywhere on the internet that will help you be successful. After all , you don’t want to spend $294.00(without an MATC discount) to take a test you did not prepare for and fail it. Think of what that almost $300 could have gotten you. There is a website called Asana where you can go to to create tasks to stay on track! I found it extremely user friendly and helpful! Below is a screen shot of what to expect and an example of some tasks you could incorporate!

Here is a quick overview of the test. It is a max of 90 min, and it consists of 72 questions that covers the configuration, management, and troubleshooting of common wired and wireless network devices. Also included are emerging technologies such as unified communications, mobile, could, and virtualization technologies. The questions are multiple choice questions, drag and drops and performance-based. In order to pass the test you need at least a score of 649 out of 900 to pass. They do recommend you take the CompTIA A_ Certification first and have 9 months of networking experience. If English is not your first language you can take it in Japanese and German as well. The exam is broken down into four categories:

  • Media Topologies, which covers the types of network devices, network connectors and network topologies. You must know the types of cabling you’ll face and the functions of routers and network devices, such as switches and repeaters.
  • Network Implementaion , which covers some of the basics of network administration. Some questions will be about access control lists, disk management strategies, forms of encryption et.
  • Protocol and Standards, which covers the OSI model, connection speeds, network services, and protocols. You should know all the layers of the OSI model and the kinds of protocols used on the internet
  • Network Support, which covers how to troubleshoot problems on a network.

So, now you have an overview of the exam. The next thing you need to do is figure out he best way to study for the exam. Amazon has a plethora of study guys and training books dedicated specifically for this exam. The best seller currently on Amazon is the “CompTIA Network+ All-in-one exam Guide, Sixth Edition. (Exam N10-006). It is retailing as of the writing of this post for $32.41. That is a very small price to pay to pass a $300 test if you ask me! Also on Youtube there are many study videos you can watch to help prepare, which is free. MATC also offers classes you can take, that will give you the training and studying needed to complete the Certification. I still recommend studying on your own if you go that route.
The next step is to plan when you want to take the exam and SIGN UP TO TAKE THE EXAM. Based on my research that is the most important part to getting this completed. Planning months in advance, and setting up the time and date and signing up to take the exam. You now have a deadline and you now have a goal to work towards. Break up the amount of time by days, and how many hours in a day you need to study. The more the better. Here are some possible places in the Milwaukee area where you can take the Network+ Exam:

  1. MATC – 700 w. State street, Milwaukee WI, 53233
  2. VCPI – Milwaukee 1555 N Rivercenter DR. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212
  3. YMCA Southeast Wisconsin 334 W. Brown St. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212
  4. The Social Development Commission 1730 W. North Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53205
  5. UMOS, Inc 2701 S. Chase Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207

As you can see, there are many places where you can go to take this exam. You can also go to https://certification.comptia.org/testing/test-locations and click “Find a Test Center Now”. That will allow you to find the closet test center in your area.

CompTIA Network+ Practice question sample:

“A device designed to filter and transfer data packets between dissimilar types of computer networks is called:”
A. Hub

  1. Load Balancer
  2. Router
  3. Switch.
    Did you say C- Router? If so great job! If not, I should keep studying!

 

When it comes to studying I will be taking the recommend classes that MATC has to offer. I will be setting my exam at least six months in advance to give myself plenty of time to study. Taking advantage of every discount MATC has to offer is paramount in getting the biggest bang for your buck. I can now make a study plan. I will take the amount of days I have from the start of the exam to todays date. I would determine how many hours I have free each day and make a point of studying every section of the exam on a given day. To determine what you do not know from what you do know. It is a good idea to take a practice exam to see where you stand.  Since there are 4 major categories I would devote as much time needed to each category. But making sure to hit the areas I did poorly on the practice test harder than the subjects I already have a clear understanding on. To help me study I would use the countless channels at my disposal on Youtube, as well as CBTnuggets to get enough study time in on the subject matters that I struggle with. I figured if I devoted at least One hour per day and watched a few videos on the subject I would be well prepared to take the exam come exam day. I have already completed the Course MATC offered for Network+ So I feel I already have a pretty basic understanding on the subjects at hand.

 

Below you will find an example of potential tasks with start and end dates including efforts with cost. I made it as simple as possible for you to understand: