Net­work+ is now mine! Mwa­ha­ha­ha­ha­ha!

*ahem*

The day after I com­plet­ed the A+ Hard­ware exam (Fri­day 1 April), I dove into the Net­work+ mate­r­i­al. I’m now glad that I did the A+ mod­ules out of order. Net­work+ builds upon the net­work­ing por­tions of both mod­ules, but derives more from the Hard­ware sec­tion. Mak­ing the tran­si­tion from A+ Hard­ware to Net­work+ was easy.

By now I was quite accus­tomed to the Comp­TIA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion style, so I planned to fin­ish rel­a­tive­ly quick­ly. Com­put­er Pow­er allo­cat­ed four weeks to com­plete the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion; I thought I should bump it off in two. I spent the first day dili­gent­ly read­ing the first of two books they had giv­en us (con­tain­ing over 600 pages in all). On the sec­ond day (the fol­low­ing Mon­day; I don’t study much on week­ends), a cou­ple of friends gave me some extra mate­r­i­al, includ­ing exam ques­tions and what amount­ed to be an entire print­out of a book. There must have been close to a thou­sand pages in all (think of the trees!). I’m not sure how much of it they got through, but I cer­tain­ly was­n’t going to read it all. It’d dri­ve me bonkers. I extract­ed a small sliv­er (by com­par­i­son) from the stack, which amount­ed to about 360 exam ques­tions and some exam­i­na­tion cram notes. I decid­ed to cast aside my book (which I had bare­ly dent­ed) and focus on those.

I spent that week going over that mate­r­i­al: doing prac­tice ques­tions and tak­ing notes on the stuff that I did­n’t know. Then dis­as­ter struck — I got sick over the week­end (I think it was influen­za). My plans of doing the exam by the mid­dle of the fol­low­ing week had to be thrown out the win­dow. One of the great things about Com­put­er Pow­er is that there are no class­es and all learn­ing is self-paced. I was able to take some days off to reco­op­er­ate, while still access­ing all my files (notes, etc.) over the Inter­net. I end­ed up doing next-to-nil study, though. I can nev­er con­cen­trate at home.

After tak­ing Mon­day, Tues­day and Wednes­day off, I spent all of Thurs­day at a Per­son­al Effec­tive­ness work­shop which had been sched­uled for me pri­or. Although still some­what ill, I learnt a lot. I’m glad I went. Fri­day was the only day that week in which I did any real study.

By that point I had grown bored with the sub­ject mat­ter. I was going over the same ground over and over, and I felt no chal­lenge. Want­i­ng to get the sub­ject over and done with, I booked the exam for the next morn­ing. I’d glad­ly give up a Sat­ur­day if I could start the fol­low­ing week afresh. I was still ill, but by then I was over the worst of it and I did­n’t care much any­more. Marks don’t mat­ter in Comp­TIA exams. They give a print­out at the end list­ing your score, but the actu­al cer­tifi­cate does­n’t say any­thing. All I was con­cerned about was the required 72% mark to pass, and the $400 fee I would incur if I failed.

I sat down in the exam­i­na­tion chair the fol­low­ing morn­ing. I felt a lit­tle fatigued, bleary-eyed and stuffy (sinus­es and nose). The drugs did­n’t seem to be work­ing effec­tive­ly. At times I lost con­cen­tra­tion and I may have even dozed off a lit­tle. The Comp­TIA exams I’ve done allo­cate far too much time for the vol­ume and type of ques­tions posed, and Net­work+ is no excep­tion. Despite my ail­ments, I had enough time to care­ful­ly com­plete every ques­tion and go over them after­wards. I exit­ed the exam with twen­ty min­utes left.

Less than a minute lat­er I had my mark: 833 out of 900. Phwoar! That’s about 93%! I made some dumb errors which I prob­a­bly would­n’t have made had I been ful­ly alert, but I’m very hap­py with the result nonethe­less. Espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing that I only put in sev­en days of prop­er study (rec­om­mend­ed time is thir­ty) and that I was ill for almost the entire time (includ­ing dur­ing the exam itself).

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