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    Default Is the A+ really hard? Or just plain easy?

    I'm currently a junior in High School. We have a class named Computer Maintenance. Now I have been in that class since 9th grade. I was always top of the class, fell in love with computers since I got one back with Win95. Now since 6th grade I opened my computer, fixed them and done pretty much about everything from building to fixing. I can even code PHP and simple C++ though the A+ Objectives seem very easy for me I somehow worry I won't pass. Now that this is my last year in the class I fear I won't pass the Essentials Test. My friend passed it with a 730, but on his first try failed. My teacher says I'm not ready, but I feel I am, even though he's not willing to get me a voucher I'm willing to pay for it.

    I have been over 2 Mike Meyers books, Passport A+, Comp. Maintenance, Total Tester and Transcender.
    What else would you guys recommend? From 1-10 how hard is it really?

    Thank you for being an awesome community, and so welcoming.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    It's hard or easy depending on your experience. I've been playing around with the insides of computers and have been troubleshooting things since I was 8. I could probably pass the test with a little bit of review while someone who's never cracked open a case would have quite a difficult time.

    If you understand and know the material in all those resources, I'd say you're ready. That actually seems like a little bit of overkill. Transcender is a pretty reliable gauge of test difficulty. How have you been doing with that? Keep in mind that it loses all predictive value if you've gone through it multiple times.
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  4. Virtual Member undomiel's Avatar
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    #3
    If you're comfortable putting together computers and troubleshooting hardware and simple software problems you shouldn't really have any issues with the A+ exams. I never really took a look at the books for the A+ so it is definitely possible to breeze through them on experience alone. The hardest part for me were the customer service questions and those weren't necessarily difficult either, as they were mostly common sense it seemed.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    All CompTIA exams are easy my friend.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_creamy_
    All CompTIA exams are easy my friend.
    I don't know if I would go that far..
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  7. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #6

    Default Re: Is the A+ really hard? Or just plain easy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jms_nov28
    I'm currently a junior in High School. We have a class named Computer Maintenance. Now I have been in that class since 9th grade. I was always top of the class, fell in love with computers since I got one back with Win95. Now since 6th grade I opened my computer, fixed them and done pretty much about everything from building to fixing. I can even code PHP and simple C++ though the A+ Objectives seem very easy for me I somehow worry I won't pass. Now that this is my last year in the class I fear I won't pass the Essentials Test. My friend passed it with a 730, but on his first try failed. My teacher says I'm not ready, but I feel I am, even though he's not willing to get me a voucher I'm willing to pay for it.

    I have been over 2 Mike Meyers books, Passport A+, Comp. Maintenance, Total Tester and Transcender.
    What else would you guys recommend? From 1-10 how hard is it really?

    Thank you for being an awesome community, and so welcoming.
    No matter how many PC's you have opened up, upgraded and repaired you will need to prepare specifically to meet the syllabus objectives to pass this test or any test. A lot of timeserved people get their ass handed to them in exams, not because they are not capable (which they are) but because they did not revise the finer details upon which they will be tested..DMA, IRQ, memory et al.

    Good luck!
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    It's seems to me that you might be ready, but a lot of the questions on the test are real world based questions in the sense that you don't just need to know how to replace a cd rom but when to replace a cd rom drive. It's knowing when to do what is what is most important and if you haven't worked in a service environment before it could be tricky because some of the questions are designed with previous experience in mind.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_creamy_
    All CompTIA exams are easy my friend.
    I strongly disagree with that.

    If you are new to the world and trying to build up a resume, they're trying. If you've been doing support for 10 years, not so much...but you still have to prep for them, as the scenarios arent really real world.

    I did the A+ and N+ about 6 months ago and, as hard and long as I studied for them...I scraped by on all 3 tests. I know all of the material cold, and expected to smoke the tests, but the new 2007 exams seem to have a large number of questions from left field...no amount of studying would have prepped me for.

    I hear a number of people that did it a long time ago say how simple they are...I found that not to be the case first hand, and through smart ppl I know failing as well.

    The cert world has become too much of a #'s game to be as meaningful as we all want it to be.
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  10. Senior Member Tyrant1919's Avatar
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    #9
    Not all comptia exams are easy my friend.
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  11. One Man Wolfpac NetAdmin2436's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_creamy_
    All CompTIA exams are easy my friend.
    I wouldn't say they are easy. Since some of us in here have jobs in the IT field, we definitely have an advantage. But i still wouldn't say they are easy. Especially for new people studying to get into the field there is A LOT to know in any CompTIA exam. You not only have to know Windows, but some Unix/Linux, Apple. Then, there are questions which all the choices are correct....and you have to choose the BEST one. They can easily trip up a person.


    Here are 2 FREE resources:
    1) Technotes for A+ off this site. (although, they seam a bit outdated)
    2) Download cramsession study notes.
    http://www.cramsession.com/certifica...udy-guides.asp
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrant1919
    Not all comptia exams are easy my friend.
    If that's the way you feel then best of luck with those Cisco and MS exams!
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  13. Virtual Member undomiel's Avatar
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    #12
    Just to toss in my devalued 2 cents, I found the 70-270 to be an easier exam than the Security+ was. The Security+ left me feeling more like I had failed it than the 70-270 had me feeling. They're both worlds harder than the A+ though in my humble (or vaunted) opinion. But the difficulty level is more about your experience that you bring to the exam. Though you should have a good estimate of that difficulty level from your own prior studies.
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  14. ROFL-Copter pilot snadam's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_creamy_
    All CompTIA exams are easy my friend.
    thats a bold statement considering that you only hold two CompTIA credentials...

    Ill give you net+ though...
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by snadam
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_creamy_
    All CompTIA exams are easy my friend.
    thats a bold statement considering that you only hold two CompTIA credentials...

    Ill give you net+ though...
    After obtaining two of them I quickly realized the money is better used buying text books for more advanced topics. In the long run it serves you better...
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_creamy_
    All CompTIA exams are easy my friend.
    I have Security+ and PMP certs coming up so lets hope thats true.

    I took A+ 8 years ago so its been long time.


    In General I believe there is truth to that statement.

    Certainly passing Computer Science courses are harder then CompTIA exams.

    I took some computer science courses that make studying for the Security+ look like a baby shower.
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  17. Alligator wrestler Moderator Plantwiz's Avatar
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    #16

    Default Re: Is the A+ really hard? Or just plain easy?

    [quote="Turgon"]
    Quote Originally Posted by jms_nov28
    My teacher says I'm not ready, but I feel I am, even though he's not willing to get me a voucher I'm willing to pay for it.

    I have been over 2 Mike Meyers books, Passport A+, Comp. Maintenance, Total Tester and Transcender.
    What else would you guys recommend? From 1-10 how hard is it really?


    No matter how many PC's you have opened up, upgraded and repaired you will need to prepare specifically to meet the syllabus objectives to pass this test or any test. A lot of timeserved people get their ass handed to them in exams, not because they are not capable (which they are) but because they did not revise the finer details upon which they will be tested..DMA, IRQ, memory et al.

    Good luck!
    I agree with Turgon.


    And if your instructor doesn't feel you are ready, then listen to him/her. Why rush?

    The exam for A+ is pretty easy if you have experience. The CompTIA exam is geared toward a candidate WITH 500 hours experience. More doesn't mean you'll pass and Less doesn't mean you'll fail....it depends.

    Get some shadow work under your belt and take the exam at a later date. The exam is easy, but as Turgon pointed out....many a seasoned Tech failed due to ego (or general lack of prep and too confident).
    Plantwiz
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    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_creamy_
    After obtaining two of them I quickly realized the money is better used buying text books for more advanced topics. In the long run it serves you better...
    A colleague did Security+, he viewed the CBT Nuggets, went through the Transcender and passed the exam first time in only a week without reading a book. He had a lot of experience though.
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  19. Member
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    #18
    My teacher says I'm not ready, but I feel I am, even though he's not willing to get me a voucher I'm willing to pay for it.
    It was the exact opposite with me my techer said that I was ready, more or less when I walked into the class the first day. I would take your teachers advice wait untill he fills you are ready, I thought I wasn't, when I took the test I did quite well. Afterwards realized that I could have taken the test and been farther along in my studies, now I'm kicking myself for not taking his advice.

    This could be the case with you, you may take the test and find that you were not as ready as you thought you were or you may pass and prove him rong. All I'm trying to say is don't rush into things, remember you teacher may see something that needs to be improved upon, ask him what you can do to become ready to take the test. Taking self tests to help better prepare you as well would be a good idea.

    Just for the record I'm a junior in High School as well, so I know what it is like.

    From 1-10 how hard is it really?
    It all depends on the person for me the 602 was easyer than the 601.

    Good Luck
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  20. Junior Member
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    #19

    Default Re: Is the A+ really hard? Or just plain easy?

    [quote="Plantwiz"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon
    Quote Originally Posted by jms_nov28
    My teacher says I'm not ready, but I feel I am, even though he's not willing to get me a voucher I'm willing to pay for it.

    I have been over 2 Mike Meyers books, Passport A+, Comp. Maintenance, Total Tester and Transcender.
    What else would you guys recommend? From 1-10 how hard is it really?


    No matter how many PC's you have opened up, upgraded and repaired you will need to prepare specifically to meet the syllabus objectives to pass this test or any test. A lot of timeserved people get their ass handed to them in exams, not because they are not capable (which they are) but because they did not revise the finer details upon which they will be tested..DMA, IRQ, memory et al.

    Good luck!
    I agree with Turgon.


    And if your instructor doesn't feel you are ready, then listen to him/her. Why rush?

    The exam for A+ is pretty easy if you have experience. The CompTIA exam is geared toward a candidate WITH 500 hours experience. More doesn't mean you'll pass and Less doesn't mean you'll fail....it depends.

    Get some shadow work under your belt and take the exam at a later date. The exam is easy, but as Turgon pointed out....many a seasoned Tech failed due to ego (or general lack of prep and too confident).
    Okay, even though I have no "Real IT Job" I do however fix computers for money, and believe me I'm commited. Computers is my life, I would say, studying to get into the IT Fields and make my living. Not only that but for my spare time I read about detailed computer things as well.

    I do agree on what you say, he is my Instructor, but never the less my friend that failed in his first try was because my Instructor told him he's really ready, and he failed. Failed 3 students. =/

    I also use Sabayon as my Linux OS, so I think I'm pretty good on the UNIX group.

    I'm in no rush, it's just that I feel I can pass it. The ONLY thing I'm horrible in is the Proffessionalism, and have been working on it these past days. I guess it kind of gets me in a trance feeling to take the test, because it's passion for what I have but though I'm still worried.

    I'm currently using the Cert Blaster Programs to study, I got enough of Total Tester been using it for almost a year. I'm planning to study the Essentials test and tale the 602 thereafter.

    Can any exp. person here at least question me in the 601? As in to get an idea on how much I know? Perhaps a chat? Or send me a questions on pm?

    Thank you for all your support. I really needed it.
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  21. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #20
    Are the A+ exams easy? That really depends. For me, differential equations and quantum mechanics are easy, but I found that I could barely draw stick figures for an art class I once took. It all depends on what your experience is, what kind of preparation you have, and if you enjoy the subject you're studying. From what you told us, you're probably ready to take on the test. If you're scoring between 80% - 90% on the Transcender, (without having taken the same test over and over, memorizing the answers,) you should definitely be ready to go.

    You also have to remember, there's not a single poster on this board that wasn't nervous before his/her very first IT certification exam. It feels different than an academic exam for high school or college, and it always rattles your nerves a little bit. Anyone who says "I never get the least bit nervous before exams" forged every acronym next to their name. It's kind of like a firefighter saying he doesn't mind getting burned, just doesn't really fly.

    My advice: spend about another week or so studying, take a Transcender exam to see where you're at. If you get above 80%, go sign up for the real thing. If you get below, spend another couple of weeks studying the topics you got the lowest scores on, then go do the real exam. Since you're motivated and willing to learn, I'm sure you'll rubbing that cert-card in your teacher's face before you know it.

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    #21
    You also have to remember, there's not a single poster on this board that wasn't nervous before his/her very first IT certification exam. It feels different than an academic exam for high school or college, and it always rattles your nerves a little bit. Anyone who says "I never get the least bit nervous before exams" forged every acronym next to their name. It's kind of like a firefighter saying he doesn't mind getting burned, just doesn't really fly.
    So, so true.

    I was a reck when I went to take my test!
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  23. Alligator wrestler Moderator Plantwiz's Avatar
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    #22
    Well, if you think your ready...then no one here is able to know that better then you. Generally it is wise to hed the advice of those more experienced....yet some instructors are morons. Personally, (knowing what I know today) I'd probably listen to the advice of the instructor. Your choice though.


    One thing I'm a little tired of hearing is that people who claim to have 'no experience' then when someone makes a comment regarding the exam being geared toward experienced persons.....the next reply from the poster is defending their level of experience. You either have experience or you don't. Grant it, tinkering with friends PCs isn't the same as working in a repair shop....but if your doing it somewhat professinoally...it does count as SOME experience. What you lack is that intense, angry, client who needs to be interviewed properly and carefully to minimize them blowing up at some point during your diagnosis. Regardless, it shouldn't change how you approach the problem. Gather your facts, Recreate the problem, etc...
    /rant



    Best thing, download the objectives and 'teach' the information to a friend. If you can make them learn it by the way you explain it....your ready.
    Plantwiz
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    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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  24. Senior Member
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    #23
    Plantwiz those are some pretty good points, I especially like the "teaching the objectives," that would definitely be useful. The good thing is you are a junior in high school and you are starting to take certifications. This is only going to help you in the long run.
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  25. Senior Member
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by sir_creamy_
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrant1919
    Not all comptia exams are easy my friend.
    If that's the way you feel then best of luck with those Cisco and MS exams!
    The CompTIA exams are definitely much easier than the higher level certifications. They are, however, a great stepping stone to the Microsoft, Cisco, and Redhat exams. They are intro certs, so they should be easier than the more focused certifications. I would recommend you still study just as hard as you would to pass a higher level exam. In the end it shouldn't be about passing, but rather learning and becoming a better IT professional.
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    #25
    My own experience was that the A+ exams were not difficult - beyond learning details of IRQ numbers, OS install requirements etc.

    Also pass marks were not pitched too high.

    I took & passed the 2 exams in one day. Next stop was Network+. Again - not too taxing and a reasonable pass mark to meet.

    For both certs, it also helped that I was using Mike Meyers' All-In-One books: I think he has a talent for making quite dry material entertaining.

    However, as others have pointed out, when it comes to exams like Security+, I don't think it is fair to say that all CompTIA exams are easy. The material is straight forward, but when I was in the exam, I was not at all confident of passing it.
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