The CompTIA A+ exam is one of the most basic building blocks for an IT career, it’s a gateway certification. 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. If you’re someone who is interested in making a career shift to IT this is a great way to do so.
While the exam is fairly difficult, it touches on topics that any Windows PC owner has access to on their home computer. I took this exam as part of my BS degree program with Western Governor’s University (who I definitely recommend if you are considering going back to school). This certification was just the beginning as I went into studying multiple tech-based topics. As a beginning user or even an experienced computer geek, don’t be intimidated by this exam there are a ton of free resources available to pass it on the first go.
The exam is rough, hey what certification exam isn’t?! Just remember, you totally got this and you can definitely pass this thing! If you want some solid advice on exactly how to nail this exam on the first try, here are my top five study tips:
- Set a timeline! CompTIA spells out the objectives for all their exams pretty neat and tidy (link to objectives here) so set yourself a schedule and map out study time according to those set objectives. Give yourself a clear finish date, even if you don’t have the exam scheduled, mark when you want to take it.
You’ll need to compare the objectives material against the time you have between now and taking the exam. Make sure you’ve given yourself adequate prep-time and a clear target. Nothing is more frustrating that trying to hit a goal that isn’t clearly defined, don’t do that to yourself.
- Set time aside during your day! studying for major exam can seem daunting, especially if you’re working full time on top of it. To find time in a busy schedule map out your day, search for a free hour or two in the morning or evening and then mentally make yourself available to study during those hours.I liked to print a weekly calendar from Google Docs and highlight the hours I would spend studying. I found it difficult to keep moving forward and making progress unless I knew exactly how much I needed to complete in each chunk of time.
- Set an alarm! Don’t let yourself forget you have study time coming up. Set an alarm on your phone, or create a google alert via your calendar. Make sure when it’s time to buckle down and study you have an alert to redirect your attention.
- Focus! Studies show that 25 minutes is a perfect window for focused concentration. So set a 25-minute timer and go to town, put all other distractions aside and really set your brain to work. When 25 minutes is over give yourself a quick brain break, get up move and move around for 10 minutes, then jump right back into another set!
- Take all the practice exams! There are so many free resources for practice exam questions and trust me, you want to use every single one! The best way to study for this exam is to take as many practice exam questions as possible, then go back and restudy the objectives for questions you missed.
These basic study tips will help you organize your time and maximize return on study sessions. For another post on free online resources for the CompTIA A+ exam check out this link here!