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Ask a hundred people if CompTIA certification exams are hard and 90 will tell you yes. But you shouldn’t be one of those who say yes, because you are about to get 5 amazing tips that most people never realize while preparing for CompTIA certifications.
Firstly, CompTIA certifications have been around since 1993 and are arguably the oldest IT certification vendors; but don’t let the word ‘old’ deceive you! CompTIA upgrades each of their tests periodically to fit the current demands of the IT world and meet the industry standard.
CompTIA certifications hold ISO/ANSI accreditation status, which means they meet or exceed the global benchmarks set forth by ISO – the worldwide organization that sets the standard for certifications, processes and products – and ANSI – the U.S. representative to ISO.
CompTIA certifcations validate IT skills that are highly in-demand, and offer you a world of possibilities to explore, and a chance to make employers trust you even before interacting with you.
But you cannot forget, that even if they trust you before interacting with you, they will eventually interact with you, and when they do, it won’t be about the certificate anymore, it will be about your skills, and I just gave you the first tip.
Tip 1: Don't Forget Your Goals
For most of us, (and you should be one of us) we prepare for CompTIA certifications for two reasons:
1. To gain the skills needed for a successful career in the field we are preparing to get certified in.
2. Develop the knowledge and skills needed to pass the two CompTIA exams to prove our capabilities to the companies.
Not forgetting your goals (if what is listed above is your aim) means you are not only concerned about getting a certification, you are also concerned about what happens after the certification: a job.
In the workplace, what would make you valuable and irreplaceable is not how much certification you have, it is how much problems they cannot solve without you; if you are just like every other person in the workplace when problems arise, but you have better certification than the rest, if there were to be a lay-off of some staff, then the company is more likely to send you packing, since they have people with less qualification (meaning they pay less salary) and just the same use.
To distinguish yourself after you get a certification, you must not prepare with the certification being all you have in mind; you must constantly remember you are going out there to solve practical problems and be irreplaceable.
This means your mode of preparation must focus on getting hands-on practice, as well as knowing the theory.
You must pay a lot of attention to putting what you are studying into practice, and practicing with as much systems as possible.
You should not only focus on tricks to get higher scores or read practice questions, but you must focus on real-time practice.
This does not in any way mean you focus less on getting a good result in the tests; you cannot do this because a high score in the test is how you prove to companies that you have what it takes for them to accept you, it only becomes a problem when you focus on this and forget about what it takes to retain you.
When you do not forget your goal, you’d find it more fun to study for the exam, since of course, you’d have chosen a path that interested you, you’d find a way to practically implement what you’re learning, and that would make the things you learn stick faster and be more fun.
TIP 2: Become familiar with the Exam Objectives
Of course, gaining practical knowledge is needed, but you must not forget about tricks to score high too. If you do not pass the certification exam, you won’t even get a chance to prove your practical skill.
One of the first things you can do to prepare long before test day is to download the CompTIA Exam Objectives. Read through the official exam objectives as outlined by CompTIA. They can be downloaded directly from the CompTIA website.
The objectives document is more than an explanation of the exam requirements; it can be considered a master guide as you go through the Computer Technician program. Use it as the ultimate checklist for your studies.
TIP 3: Evaluate Yourself
There are two main ways to prepare for CompTIA exams: either through self-study, or through instructor-led trainings. You need to evaluate yourself first and see if you are find it easy going through materials on your own or you need an instructor to take you through the thick and thin of it.
TIP4: Use The Official Site
Visiting CompTIA’s official site often is a necessary part of the preparation process. On the site you find the latest blogs and news, a glossary of terms, resources for in-depth information on various topics, and sample questions.
Sometimes, people miss out on little key information about the exam because they do not visit the official site; the site provides you with the latest and most trustworthy information and so it should be visited often.
TIP5: Gather Resources
After you have rummaged the official website to have enough information about the exam domains and objectives, you would find it easier to filter resources and see which ones align better with your need.
There’s a plethora of resources out there to help you study, and CompTIA publishes its own official study guides, but they come for a price, sometimes close to $100. There’s also a wide variety of free, freemium and paid online content, including YouTube videos, video courses and more.
TIP6: Practice Test
If you are self-studying, the importance of practice tests can not be overemphasized. You constantly need these tests to ensure that you are on the right track, and know what you need to work on.
Taking practice tests is a great way to identify where you are in your studies and provide you a sense of what you still need to study. Therefore, when you begin preparing for your online assessment tests, it is prudent to choose the most appropriate practice tests online. Try the sample practice test which will help you to assess your actual performance in the real exam conditions.
CompTIA certification holders have a strong community you can learn from, interact with, ask for support from and give back to.
You have a community of like-minded people; people who have gotten the certifications you are working towards and can guide you towards making the best use of it when you get it and also the best way to get it.
If used wisely, the community could in fact be a bigger blessing than the certification itself, as you create connections that may have a huge impact on your career.