The A+ certification is a bit of a strange situation for me. First, as a “network guy” I’ve always looked at the A+ certification as something that would be desirable for desktop support personnel. Personally, I never really had any desire to get the A+ certification for the reason I just mentioned as well as me viewing it as a very entry-level certification. However, I ended up in a situation where I needed to take the Cisco Academy IT Hardware Essentials course as part of my Associates Degree program. That course maps to the A+ objectives and discount exam vouchers are provided after completion. Basically, I will be able to take each exam for about $72 for a total of $144 for the A+ certification. The normal pricing would have been $169 per exam for a total of $338. At the latter price, I probably would have forgone the exams and focused on other certifications. However, the discounted price on top of the fact that I have been going over all the material in class for the last several months makes it too attractive to pass up.
I’ve built and maintained PCs since 1987 so I have a LOT of real world experience in this area. However, I switched to Mac in 2005 and thus Windows XP was the last version of Windows I used so I know very little about Vista and Windows 7. Therefore, I need to do some studying in those areas to prepare for the exam. I’ve decided to read two books that I have already purchased. (links to books here) The first is Exam Cram by David L. Prowse and the second is 31 Days Before your CompTIA A+ Exam by Ben Conry. The latter book is designed to be read by students who just finished the IT Hardware Essentials course and are planning for the exam. The former is more of a general A+ certification guide. I like the Exam Cram book because it is fairly concise without a lot of beginner fluff that I do not need.
I plan to get started this week on both books and want to really compress the time I spend on studying so that I can take the exams fairly quickly after receiving my voucher discounts. Unlike my previous studying for Network+ and Security+, I do not plan to do chapter review questions or take any practice tests. I feel as if I just need to review the material since I have years of experience in this area. Hopefully, I’ll do fine using this process.