Failed A+ Exam? Do This ASAP
I walked out of a chilled computer room to hear the sound of printing paper. The exam host was waiting beside it, ready to sneak my test results. This was the moment. I had just finished my A+ exam. It was handed to me upside down so the results would remain private to me. Did I fail or did i pass the A+ exam?
Failing the A+ exam can be attributed to being a bad test taker, or not being prepared enough. It is generally the first technical certification to enter into the world of Information Technology, so the experience in knowing how to prepare for a technical certification is also a learning experience. The solution is to not panic, and prepare with more intensity, because the A+ exam can be scheduled again.
It’s not a good feeling to walk out of an exam room to find out that you failed the A+. You’re not alone. Plenty of people fail the A+ exam the first time taking it. The frustration from this can be redirected into making sure you pass it the next time.
Failed the A+? Make Sure You Do This
First of all don’t panic. At the end of the day, it’s only a certification. And it can be passed given enough studying and preparation.
After not panicking, the most practical next step is to remember and write down the concepts you struggled with in the tests. The idea is not to remember the questions word for word, but rather the specific ideas the exam had asked.
If you write these concepts down in a notebook, make sure you bring that notebook with you wherever you go. Because sometimes we don’t remember everything right away, instead our mind, over time, can bring it to the forefront of our thought. This is more likely to happen, so when your brain is like “Hey you, remember when you took the A+? Here’s another question I remembered.” Write it down immediately.
Okay, now here’s what to do with this notebook:
- Write down what you know about each idea.
- Write down what you don’t know about each concept.
You now have part one of your study plan.
Reasons Why People Fail A+
So sometimes, you might actually now the ideas in the A+ and actually not be a good test taker. It could be anxiety, or a bad night’s sleep. This is another time your notebook is handy. Write down the reasons why you might have failed even though you know the A+, then prevent that from happening next time.
For example, if you didn’t get a good night’s sleep the night before, then make sure you clear your schedule the day before the next exam to focus on rest. For me, I usually find myself sleeping better if I read a book before I sleep, then put on ear plugs and eye covers on. Just make sure you have an alarm set up before your exam.
The more common reason people fail the exam, is a lack of preparation. This also might be because taking technical certifications is new. There’s a lot of things you might not expect or know how to prepare for. At the end of the day, it is still in your control, and thankfully there is a next time.
It’s okay to have failed the A+ exam. Give yourself time to prepare when you reschedule it again, and put in the work to make sure you pass it.
Study Plan Part Two
In your part one study plan, you have the list of concepts from the tests that you’ve reviewed. Hopefully you’ll review what you don’t know to a greater degree than what you have a comfortable knowledge in.
Once you turn what you don’t know from your study plan into something you do know, then it’s time for the study plan part two. Review another content material while taking notes.
A personal preference is to watch Professor Messer’s A+ videos all the way through again. But this time take copious notes for the point of remembering and understanding.
Here are some note taking tips:
- After you take notes, wait one day to review it. When you review it, highlight the parts you want to remember.
- Wait another 5 days, then review your highlights. You can then write a summary of these concepts.
The point of my note taking tips is so you’ll retain the A+ knowledge, not just for your test but for the long term.
You may also want to take a few practice exams as well. Once you pass them comfortably, that’s a good sign that you are ready for your next scheduled A+ exam. This is probably most helpful for those who already have a good understanding of the A+. You might be able to skip reviewing the Professor Messer videos another time, if you have a good understanding of the A+ and just need to acclimate to being a ‘good test taker.’
Failing Certs Was Part of My Successful Tech Career
Can you guess if I failed my A+ certification the first time through? You better believe it. I have a pretty good idea of the feeling you get after failing the A+ certification. It’s no bueno. I viewed it mostly as a place where I would, as the saying goes, cut my teeth.
I learned what you needed to do in order to successfully prepare for technical certifications: work. And lots of work. I would spend time reviewing practice exams and study materials. I’ve found that during your study process, it’s easy to get tired of studying and just go ahead and take it. That’s generally not the best way to think about it.
There are quantifiable metrics you can meet to ensure your success. If you ask yourself, do I understand the topics that my study material is covering? That might be a good sign. A better way would be to take new practice exams. Are you passing these exams at a high score and regularly? Then you’re probably ready for the A+.
Either way, the journey to a successfully IT career is made up of all these well rounded steps. It eventually led me to a successful IT career where I was making six figures. If you’re interested in these tips from the years of insights I’ve had, for the price of a cup of coffee, please consider my e-book: “6-Figure Guide to Info Tech.”