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Self-study Guide for a CompTIA A+ Certification

Last summer, I got my CompTia A+ certification after passing both the 601 Essentials exam and 602 IT Technician exam. Instead of taking an expensive classroom prep course or buying an equally expensive video set, I decided to go the cheap route and get a big, fat test prep book and work my way through it.

After going through the whole studying and test-taking process, I’d like to offer some A+ preparation advice.

Here is my step-by-step study guide for acing the A+ exam:

1. Review the exam format and objectives: Check out CompTIA’s official website and the info that it has up about the A+ exam. It’s changed a bit since I took it. Be sure to download the objectives to get a feel for what you’re going to need to know before taking the exam.

2. Buy a prep book: I used this book by Sybex and I found it to be solid. It covers everything you’ll need to know to take the exam and it’s got decent practice materials, although I did find their questions to be a little easier than the actual exam questions that I was given. I’ve also heard a lot of good things about the Mike Meyers prep book. You should be OK buying either.

3. Take apart and rebuild an old computer: This is pretty important if you want the information you read in the prep book to stick. Make sure you can identify the main components on a motherboard and all the different types of ports.

4. Watch free prep videos online: You can find these with a simple Youtube or Google search. An excellent resource is this

5. Use free cram guides: I used this guide from to complement the material I was reading from my prep book. Be aware that most of these cram guides do not cover the material in enough detail to fully prepare you for the exam. Use them to review material that you’ve already learned.

6. Take timed practice exams: Simulate the test environment and time yourself. Completing timed practice exams will help you work on your pacing and identify weaknesses in your studying.

7. Buy a test voucher.

8. Ace the exam!

August 29th, 2009 Posted by | Technology | 1 Comment