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The CompTIA exams and certifications are some of the most basic building blocks for an IT career. Adding this to your resume shows that you have a solid understanding of the technical world and you’ve got the skills to prove it.
Don’t think that because these are “gateway” certifications that they are easy to knock out, it’s actually the opposite. However, if you’re someone who is interested in making a career shift to IT this is a great way to polish up your skills and make your resume stand out.
Passing a CompTIA exam can be daunting but I promise you can do it and you’ll be so glad you took the time to invest in yourself and your career.
Over the last three years I have taken and passed more than a few of these exams,
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Project+
- CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Linux+
From experience I can tell you, these exams are tough! Some of them took two tries to achieve. The experience gained has been worth the struggle, so stick it out and you can definitely add these to your experience roster as well. For additional study tips check out this post with my top five study tips for the CompTIA exams.
Gaining new experience can be a tricky thing to step into. You may want to add value to your resume but you may not know where to start. Especially in the IT space where things move quickly and it’s not always obvious what is going to be
Starting out you might think you need to spend a bunch of money on an expensive course, or a little money on a cheap and quick course. It’s your choice what resource you invest in, but remember the exam itself has a price tag… so maybe try to save some moolah on the studying piece of this venture.
Here are my top favorite resources for free study tools:
Pick up a CompTIA Exam Guide
I was lucky to have access to multiple exam guides when I was studying and it made a huge difference in my understanding of the material.
I found it was best to read the material from several sources to truly make sure you had a good grasp on it. Becoming too comfortable with one set of study questions or method of explanation could spell disaster on exam day.
Here’s a couple guides that I highly recommend and used myself:
- CompTIA Project+ Study Guide: Exam PK0-004
- CompTIA Linux+ /LPIC-1 Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Premium Second Edition with Online Practice Labs (Exams LX0-103 & LX0-104/101-400 & 102-400)
- CompTIA Linux+ Powered by Linux Professional Institute Study Guide: Exam LX0-103 and Exam LX0-104 (Comptia Linux + Study Guide)
- CompTIA Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh Edition (Exam N10-007)
- CompTIA Security+ Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-501 Study Guide
CompTIA’s own website
With an exam like this you need to understand the test itself as much as you understand the material. Go over everything on the CompTIA site to get an understanding of how things are laid out and start studying towards their structure.
Free practice questions
There are some awesome free exam questions out there and I highly recommend you do a google search and find as many places as you can. The idea is to test your knowledge against multiple versions of test questions. If you run the same practice exams over and over you will learn the test and not retain true knowledge on the subject matter, so variety is key! Here are a few links to get you started:
Have you heard of Quizlet?
Remember when you were younger and you burned through note cards every semester using them to drill exam facts into your brain? Well, now you have Quizlet! It’s an online database of note card facts that covers nearly every subject, including comptia exams (what what!). I’m telling you this resource is the bomb! They have multiple review settings, traditional flashcard, multiple choice answer, match the answers, or learn mode. I seriously love this resource and you will too, here’s the link straight to some A+ topics.
My favorite guy, Professor Messer
If you’re new to the certification game you may not have heard of this guy, so you’re welcome for the introduction. Professor Messer has a YouTube video series on nearly all of the CompTIA certification exams. The videos are broken down by objective which makes for super easy studying, add in that he has his own groups of free practice exam questions and the dude is literally my hero!! All is free unless you want his condensed notes, which are a crazy deal at only $10 for the download, and they’re worth every dollar! Here’s the link to his site
I hope these resources are as helpful to you as they were to me. Links can change and the exam topics are updated every year or two. So, drop me a comment if something doesn’t work and I will hunt down the new info.
Good luck on your exams, kick ass and take names!