DIY: CompTIA A+ Self Study
CompTIA A+ is a certification that proves that you are an adequate problem solver. To pass the exam you will need a lot of knowledge of the fundamentals of IT security concepts and principles. However, can you prepare for the CompTIA A+ by yourself?
You can prepare for the CompTIA A+ exam by yourself with the proper books and resources that will help brush up your skills. Having the proper self-study plan will take you to the desired results. With the proper discipline in studying and the right information, you can ace the exam by yourself.
In this guide, I will explain what is required for passing the CompTIA A+ exam and getting your certification. Below, I have provided some books and video training that will be beneficial for your preparation process. You should know that you are not the only person thinking about preparing for the exam by yourself, and that self-study works well if you have the appropriate plan.
A+ Self Study vs. Studying In The Classroom
When it comes to preparing for the A+ exam, there are options you can explore and make a decision on how you want to proceed. Some candidates choose to prepare for the exam with the preparatory courses given by CompTIA, while others decide to do it by themselves. It is essential to understand that you are not obligated to take any course if you are confident that you can do it by yourself.
A+ Self Study
Some candidates choose to prepare by themselves and study at their own pace. These people feel that they do not need a live instructor because they are self-motivated, and that can be enough. For these purposes, CompTIA has provided options and resources that will help the candidate monitor their process and prepare well.
- eLearning: CompTIA CertMaster Learn offers flashcards and videos that cover the key points and principles that the candidate needs to know before taking the test.
- Virtual labs: CompTIA Labs allow the candidate to experience practice in virtual environments with real equipment.
- Exam Prep: CompTIA CertMaster Practice offers practice exams that allow the candidate to check their knowledge and to assess their progress. These practice exams are great for spotting your strengths and weaknesses, and see where you need to work more.
- Books, ebooks, and online resources: There is an abundant set of materials that helps in the preparation for the A+ exam. CompTIA has provided the needed materials in its official study guide. However, there are alternatives that you can find all over the Internet that might work better for you.
Studying In The Classroom
Some candidates feel safer and more secure when they prepare with a live instructor and among other people who are on the same path. This can increase the motivation for the preparation, and sharing experiences with people might really help. Due to this fact, CompTIA provides options for these candidates as well.
- Guided Online Learning: CompTIA offers guidance with instructors online, so they can give you directions and help you with your weak points. Online classes are cheaper options, and for some people, they are more convenient considering that they can make their own schedule.
- Workforce Development Programs: These programs are organized through the workplace in companies where skilled people are needed. These companies and businesses can benefit from having certified professionals working for them.
- Training Centers: There are local centers that conduct training for preparing for the CompTIA A+ exam. During the training sessions, the candidates prepare with the instructions given from a guide and cover all the concepts and principles included in the exam.
- College courses: These courses cover everything from theory to practice. Some colleges teach everything that is covered in the CompTIA A+ exam throughout the whole course, and at the end get the certification. This might be the best option since you will take the exam while all of the learned information will be still fresh in your mind.
Anecdote From Reddit
As I mentioned before, if you are thinking about preparing for the exam alone, you are not the only one. Many people have prepared for the A+ exam by themselves, and they have reached the wanted results, i.e. they got certified.
For instance, a person has shared his experience on Reddit about how he passed the exam with only a self-study plan. Firstly, he mentioned that the exam questions are confusing but reasonable. They were based on real-life scenarios, and they included story problems and troubleshooting.
He passed with a 90% score, and he advised that 90% is also the score you need in your practice tests. This will be an indicator that you are ready for the exam.
This person recommended Professor Messer’s videos as material for studying. He claimed that these videos were very helpful, but he also used free practice tests and some phone apps he found online. According to him, self-study is pretty much doable, but you have to be really disciplined and serious along the way.
Step-By-Step Guide For Acing The A+
In this section, I have provided some steps that are proven to work in the course of preparation for the A+ exam.
- Get Informed About The Exam Format And The Objectives
You need to familiarize yourself with the format of the exam and the objectives that are covered in it. This way you will feel more confident and you will know what to expect.
- Get Materials
You should gather all of the materials you find useful and believe that will be enough to get you through the concepts and principles of the exam.
To be really prepared, you will need some hands-on experience, therefore you can try taking apart and rebuilding an old computer.
- Watch Videos Online
Videos can help you see what you are doing right or wrong and brush up on your skills.
- Take Practice Tests
These tests will really help you to spot your weaknesses and to monitor your overall process. They will tell you when you are really ready.
Preparing for any kind of exam is hard and it involves hard work, but that does not mean you cannot do it by yourself. Build a good self-study plan and provide yourself with good resources, and you will be able to ace the exam.