5 UNCANNY TIPS: How to Pass Network+
Failing the Network+ is going to cost you more time and more money. So why not get it right the first time? To be frank with you, I actually had to take it twice before I passed it. Hopefully you don’t. I’m writing this article so you can learn from my experience. I’ll also throw in other people’s experience in how to pass the Network+ certification.
The Network+ is industry recognized as an entry level networking certification. It is catered towards for limited to no technical or certification experience. Below is a list of eight helpful tips to help these Network+ candidates pass the certification:
- Small Office/Home Office Network Volunteering
- Gain Experience by Labbing
- Complete Your First Study Material, then Second
- Memorize Network+ Study Questions
- Pass Multiple Network+ Practice Exams
Use these tips, and you’ll be on your way to placing completing the Network+ on your resume or Linkedin profile.
If you don’t want to fail. Make sure you read through these points for insider tips to give you the best chance of success!
Okay now it’s time for tip numero uno.
Tip 1: SoHo Network Tech Volunteering
If you have a local community you belong to like a school, synagogue, church, etc, you can start asking around to see if they need help with any of their internet related work. Since you don’t have any experience, it would be a good idea to volunteer your time for free in helping them.
You can also check out ads on Craigslist (use common sense here) and ask people if you can be an intern for them for free. This is a great way of gaining experience. But more than that an understanding of the Network+ exam.
You’ll realize the more you couple your theoretical knowledge with something practical, even with the Small Office/Home Office (SoHo) environment, you will have a much fuller understanding of what you are studying.
STORY TIME: When I first started my tech career, I screened through local Craigslist ads. Here I found a small business owner who did service based jobs that focused on Cisco technologies. I ended up working for him for free, and was able to get the gears in motion with my understanding of my studies like the Network+.
Tip 2: Gain Experience by Labbing
You could also gain more specific knowledge by labbing. The study materials, you get (I’ll cover later down in this article), will more than likely have sections where you can lab up an network environment. DON’T SKIP this part of your studies. This is super important in learning what you’re studying. Nothing comes to close to know the material than actually getting hands on experience with it.
This would also be a good time to create a Cisco lab environment. It may go beyond what you’re studying in the Network+, but it’s one of the best practical ways to workout what you’re learning. Some materials I’ve used is GNS3 and I’ve played a little bit with VIRL.
Tip 3: Complete Your First Study Material, then Second
More than likely, you’re a video based learner. Some of the best materials you can use to study through the Network+ certification is with videos. Don’t get me wrong, there are primo books for Network+, and if you’re more of a reader definitely go for that. Ideally, you should go through both video and books.
Before I get too ahead of myself, I want to say, choose your preferred study method and stick with. And INTERACT with the material. This is the most important part of studying. It’s not enough to watch or read through network technology concepts, it’s important to actually interact with it.
Some ways to interact with your study materials is to take notes, and review those notes; and to go through ALL the provided assignments. The assignments may get a bit more complex than what you’re used to, but don’t get intimidated, there is a wealth of resources you can use to get over that hump – ie public forums.
Don’t stop in the middle of the material you’re working on, you’ll need to go through it fully. Even if you don’t completely understand it. The point is to dip your toes in the pool of network technology.
Then once you get through your first study material, go over your second study material. But this time go slowly, digest what you’re learning to the point of understanding.
Tip 4: Memorize Network+ Study Questions
You should do this during your first set of study materials. Quizlet is a good place to find good study question to begin with.
It will be tempting to go through study questions as your main source of study. But don’t do that. The concepts in the Network+ require understanding. And you won’t be able to intuitively piece it together if you’re only using Network+ study questions. Think of this primarily as an aide to your main sourced materials.
Tip 5: Pass Multiple Network+ Practice Exams
This is the fun part. My advice is to only begin with these practice exams, after your first time through the first main source study materials. That why you’ll have a general idea of the concepts you’re practicing for. For instance the practice exams can ask you questions about the OSI model, but would you be able to understand them without first studying for it?
Memorizing is not the same thing is understanding. The questions you learn from the practice exams should be memorized, but more than that, they should be understood.
On the day you take the Network+, the questions asked will require more intuition and grasping of concepts than the paraphrased questions you’ve memorized in the practice exams.
Network+ Study Material Recommendations
My favorite teacher when I studied for the Network+ was Professor Messer. The way he was able to explain the concept really clicked with me as a person with incredibly limited experience. Plus his video lessons are all free on YouTube.
CBT Nuggets for Network+ lessons were also great. The teachers are very enthusiastic about the material. If you want to catch a passion for the world of networks, CBT Nuggets is the go to without exception.
If you’re a book person, then check out “CompTIA Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide” by Mike Myers.
My Network+ Career Path
As I mentioned earlier, I was able to couple experience with my Network+ studies. This was incredibly helpful with my success in the exam. And then also used these small successions, for bigger success in my career.
My technology career has been a roller coaster of roles. But my path was always progress to a six figure salary. Which I ended up accomplishing in 5 years. But, this progress could have been shortened if I knew then what I know now.
If you’re curious about how certifications, like the Network+ and wit helped the career progression, feel free to check out my E-book. I’ve compiled years of my IT experience into this short form book, so others will begin to intuitively understand how to go succeed in IT.