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My advice for passing Network+ Certification training (first try)

Network+ Certification training

I passed Network+ Certification training today on my first try (779) and wanted to share what I used to study and what to expect in terms of questions on the exam.

Study material used:

Mike Myers all-in-one book (+test questions)

Exam compass for refresher questions

Watched some of the Professor Messer videos, not all (took all of his pop quizzes though)

My advice for passing Network+ Certification training (first try) 1

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So, I read through the all-in-one book once and passed over it again to summarize chapters. I did it casually, took me about a month or so to complete (I work full time). Once I had completed reading I took test questions and found I was nowhere near ready (I was getting 65-75% on practice questions). I fortified my knowledge (two weeks before exam) by adding the online content I listed above.

What I saw on the test:

(Keep in mind that they likely randomize questions from a far larger bank; your test may be very different)

A whole ton of situational/troubleshooting scenarios (majority of the test). Most of these questions had more than one correct answer; you were asked to pick the BEST answer. I can’t help but think that the question bank is mostly comprised of questions like this.

Quite a few questions relating to the implementation of a wireless network and its compability with an existing network. How would you set up adding a WAP to an existing wired network, and how would you segment said network based on the specifities stated in the question? What is important to consider when extending a wireless network by adding WAP’s? Make sure to know the different .11 wireless standards, it comes in handy (channels, speed and legacy compabilities!) Quite a few questions were about adding devices to an existing network. Think implementation.

I think I got 2 port specific questions? Maybe 3, not very many. I saw a lot of port numbers as possible answers to troubleshooting questions, but very few direct port questions (some of the answers that included ports as possible answers were the correct answers — make sure to evaluate all possible answers to a question).

A couple of questions were about network security and its implementation — your understanding of different types security measures (SSL, IPsec, VPN’s, IPS, IDS, Firewalls etc) is paramount and goes a long way. Simply understanding their fundamental differences gives you enough to differentiate when a question in that domain is asked.

My test had a whopping 2 questions on subnetting, and they were pretty basic.

Two performance questions. Both insanely easy and took me no time to complete. Think of a basic wireless and wired network — what is the bare minimum to make devices reachable? Commands come in handy here.

The phrasing of some of the questions can be pretty confusing (deliberately). I’d suggest re-reading a few times. I was alone in the test room so I audibly read out the questions and that helped. Sometimes the most obvious answer is the right answer.

Generally, you can eliminate at least 2 answers from the multiple choice options as they’re not even remotely related to the question. I went through a process of elimination with every question to strengthen my choice; I told myself why the possible answers were likely incorrect.

I barely saw any OSI layer related questions. Maybe 4, and all were straight forward.

Two questions related to copper/cable terminology. One was an interactive drag and drop where I had to place corresponding wires to devices. 1 question related to fibre.

Common sense is your best friend. Seems silly, right? It isn’t. Honestly, a lot of questions are just that with added networking terminology. Don’t over think it! What is the most logical, staight forward answer to this question? Don’t let possible “correct” answers bog down your choice; think fast and simple. The correct answer is often the most direct and obvious.

Suggestions for studying:

Baseline knowledge on everything in the objectives is obviously important, but I think delving into the questions you answered incorrectly on practice exams is sufficient for preparation. I went through the practice exam questions a few times (several days apart so I didn’t memorize the questions) and made sure I knew the terms I had missed the first time around.

The Mike Meyers test questions that came with the book were very close to the type of questions on the exam. I most definitely suggest going through those a few times.

Run through the objectives a few times and see if you can explain the terms you run across. If you can’t, study that section/term.


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