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If you are looking to get into a networking field you will want to receive the CompTia Network+ certification to get a basic understanding of networking.  This will teach you many of the industry’s standard practices and guidelines for networking as a whole.  It is important that you understand what you are supposed to learn before taking this exam.  It can be a time-consuming process even if you have a basic understanding of networking already.  It is important to try and find official documentation and practice tests for review to make sure you know the terminology they utilize.  It can be difficult to go in with knowledge you possess, as you may misunderstand questions if you do not study their way.  The following steps can help you prepare to study for the exam the correct way and become certified in no time.

Before you go into the exam it is important to be well prepared, and to be well prepared you need a plan.  It is important to set goals to accomplish and to have a reasonable timeline to complete them in, do not try to rush the process.  First you should create a timeline, second you should make sure you are confident that you are meeting those timeline goals effectively.  It is okay to adjust your timeline if you see issues arise or are getting frustrated, just remember not to stray too far off.   Next execute your strategy properly, make sure that you are reviewing material that you know is on the test.  Take a practice exam if you understand basic networking already, see if any of it makes sense to you.  Once you know where you stand then go ahead and grab some review materials.  Study these materials cautiously and make sure you understand the material.  Continue with practice exams until you can pass multiple practice exams.  Finally, you are ready to go ahead with the actual exam!  Let’s take a closer look at a breakdown of these steps.

Creating your timeline is the most essential piece of the puzzle, it seems simple but there is much more you need to consider.  First set yourself a reasonable date to be ready to take the test, really think about how much time you can commit to preparation.  Its important to know how much time you will need as you have to sometimes schedule the test quite some time in advance.  You don’t want to set it so far out as you want to make sure you have enough time to study, too soon might make you rush into it.  Evaluate your learning level and current knowledge and set the goal, if you set it now you will be more motivated to be prepared.  If it is going to be 2 months out you may want to do some light study and review so you do not burn yourself out over it.  If you are someone who can study something and just jump right inn and test on it on a further day you maybe okay to still do your normal studies immediately.  Remember a lot of the answers are what they want directly, if you have networking knowledge you still must answer the question the way THEY decide it should be answered.  Stuck to your plan and don’t deviate unless something forces this on you.

It is now time to plan how you are going to study and find out what the exam itself is all about.  First go ahead and find practice tests, make sure they are official questions that cover the current version of the exam.  There will be cheaper tests all over with older versions that may not be relevant anymore.  Once you have secured a test go ahead and just try it out if you have some experience.  Make sure you get either different tests or tests that have many questions from the question pool.  One test may not be enough if it asks you the same questions every time.  Once you have completed your practice exam really focus and review on what was obvious, and what you need to learn.  Try to generalize your weaknesses and strengths into categories.  Just because you were strong in one category might not be enough to say you know it well, make sure to review all the categories you encountered.  Make a list of them so as you study you can add to each category.   You can use this to organize your notes but also be able to research general concepts.  When searching for a general concept you may come across real life examples which add value to your studying besides the fact that its preparing you for your test.

Now you will want to go ahead and take practice exams as if they were the real thing, I am a heavy believer in “practice as you play”.  Find out what kind of setting you are going to be in and make sure you practice in a similar way.  The exams are timed so be mindful of how long it takes you to complete these exams, time yourself and make sure you are being timely.  If you have drastically different times in each practice you may have to study weaker areas more.  Also try to find out what the actual testing environment is like and try to mimic it as closely as you can.  If you study with music and there is a lot going on around you visually, you may freeze up a bit more in a quiet dull environment.  If I personally take a test in a quiet area, I will practice being in quieter environments as I am just not used to that scenario.

Finally, let’s get to exam time!  Your scheduled day has come up and you haven’t studied in 2 weeks.  Let’s go ahead and do a practice exam and see if we pass without any resources.  Give yourself some time in advance in case you need to do this a couple nights or brush up on material.  This is very important because obviously, you want to make sure you know the material.  We are also taking the practice exams for a confidence boost as well, these exams aren’t free and we don’t want to waste our money or time.  Now that we are prepared lets get plenty of rest, nutrition, and finish the exam confidently and efficiently.