Posted by: Kathy Yale
The Network+ Certification is awarded by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to signify competency in troubleshooting personal computer hardware and operating systems. Being one of the most widely recognized certifications, many people try and earn their Network+ Certification while entering the job market. And while there’s no official prerequisite, the cost of the exam fee compels all who take the exam to succeed sooner rather than later. But how can you best prepare for the Network+ exam?
Preparation for Network+
The Network+ exam consists of 1/5th media and topologies questions, 1/5th protocols and standards, and 1/4th network implementation, while the remainder consists of network support. This means that you will have to become proficient in topologies, protocol suites, network hardware, standards for cabling, remote connectivity, troubleshooting, the OSI Seven-Layer model, and even the networking requirements of modern operating systems.
While many people turn to community college courses to help learn this curriculum, doing it on your own is a simple matter of identifying what you know, what you need to learn, and how long it will take you to learn it. For most people, self-preparation will require about two or three months of time, assuming that you prepare at least three hours per day. This amount may vary depending on your background in computer networking, but it’s wise to be cautious and realistic about the time it will require to achieve proficiency.
Abstaining from taking Network+ courses to prepare you for the exam doesn’t mean you have to abstain from practice exams and other professionally prepared materials. The internet is full of free practice exams, and you should plan on taking one every few weeks before the exam. By grading your own practice exam, you’ll get a better understanding of what you still need to learn as well as what you have mastered.
A Little Help from Your Friends
Keeping motivated to stay on task over the months it will take to prepare will be the key to your success or the reason for your failure. That is why it’s important to find a friend to keep you accountable for your studying with a buddy-system. Your friend doesn’t have to be preparing for the exam, but having a real social connection to keep you on-task, especially while preparing for the exam online, might be the reason you fail or pass in the coming months.
Network+ vs. Other CompTIA Exams
CompTIA offers a variety of other certifications, including Security+, CASP, Server+, A+, Linux+, Project+, CTP+, PDI+, and Storage+. These exams are graded by virtue of multiple choice tests with a score of 75% or higher being required to achieve certification. The Network+ exam can include up to 100 questions, which is drastically higher than the maximum of 65 contained on the CTP+ exam. However, like all CompTIA certification exams, the length of the Network+ exam is 90 minutes. This means that the extra questions present on the Network+ exam represent the wider scope of computer networking, not necessary an increased degree of difficulty.
Finally, it’s important to note that the 2009 version of the Network+ exam was recently retired for the 2012 version of the exam. This means that you should avoid using old preparation materials that may not reflect the emphasis on modern technology present in the latest version of the exam.