The following are some tips and advice to follow for those taking the CompTIA Network+ exam. The Network+ code at the time of the exam was N10-006.
I took the exam in Berlin and passed in Berlin. Since I was taking the English exam and living in a non-English speaking country (Germany), CompTIA provided an additional 30 minutes extension giving me 165 minutes total appointment length.
My workplace offered to cover the cost of the exams and resource materials. And since I was already interfacing with a lot of networking teams, it was also a very relevant exam to take.
Resources that I used
CompTIA Deluxe package which included CertMaster
A+, Network+, Security+ Exams in a Nutshell by O’Reilly Media
Professor Messer ‘Network+’ YouTube videos
Other learning resources that I used
Flashcards containing the terms and definitions
Pen and paper for diagrams and notetaking
Notepad for notetaking
About CertMaster…and is it worth it?
I bought the CompTIA ‘deluxe’ package - which was two exam vouchers and single user license for CompTIA CertMaster for Network+ which was a newly offered online resource tool.
The CompTIA CertMaster provides a series of questions and multiple choice answers where you can choose if you are definitely sure, somewhat sure, or if you don’t know if the answer is correct or not. They allow you to answer a few questions before providing you with the answers. If you get an answer wrong, or if you selected that you were not sure of an answer, they provide a summary of the answer and why it is correct. And it also provides you with an in-depth answer which lists out information about the rest of the answer and why it was not wrong. After going through an entire section, you are provided with a summary of which sections are your weaknesses based on your answers and how ‘sure’ you were.
CertMaster was good in terms of getting an overview of which areas you need to focus on as there were certainly some areas that I was more sure of the answer.
One thing to note about CertMaster is that it does not reflect the exam questions at all. Another item is not to fall into the trap of memorizing the answers but to use the time to further understand the questions.
The big benefit of the deluxe package was that I had two exam vouchers, so I might as well choose the deluxe package which included CertMaster.
About the O’Reilly book
I also had the O’Reilly book A+, Network+, Security+ Exams in a Nutshell but since it was more than 10 years old, some of the concepts were out of date. But overall, it was a good overview since this was my first IT certificate examination.
About the Professor Messer Network+ series
There were some concepts that I felt were much better in terms of understanding via audio/video formats and Professor Messer’s videos definitely bridged the knowledge gap.
If you were unsuccessful the first Network+ try…
I was not successful on my first try of the Network+ exam. And these were the main reasons why:
I did not understand subnetting
I did not take any practice exams and the actual exam format threw me off guard
I did not do any exam overview two weeks before the exam, and spent only a few days before the exam to review.
When you pass or fail, the exam centre provides a printout of your areas of weaknesses. I decided to tackle only the areas that I was weak at.
Another thing that I did as soon as I got home was to sit down and type out the questions or the exam scenarios that I recall from memory. I managed to recall a total of 53 scenarios from the exam itself (which was interesting, since I only typed this out several hours after the exam!). From there, I worked through my answers for the scenarios. Even if the exact same questions were used, I at least have a resource in front of me which details the types of questions being asked.
Another piece of advice is to look for practice tests online. I only look out for the free ones and unfortunately, they weren’t that much of use to me compared to the actual exam. But, if you needed more questions to answer you can always look out for the practice tests.
And of course, it’s recommended that you do a thorough review before the exam!
Tips during the actual Network+ exam
Before starting, I wrote down the details that I would later reference. These would be the OSI model, the troubleshooting model, the table of values and formulas for the subnetting questions and anything else.
After that, I went through the questions that I could answer straight away.
Simulations were flagged for later - unless I knew the answer. After I went through the initial round of questons, I would come back for the simulations.
Any questions were I was not sure of the answer or were not easily answerable on the first try were flagged and later revisited.
Any question which seemed off or questions with ‘odd’ answers were also flagged, in case I had to re-read the question.