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Good Riddance, 2003 A+ Exams

 
 
JohnO
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-02-2007
For anyone keeping score, the 2003 exams were crap. Good riddance to
the Core and OS.


More seriously, I just sent 68 of the top high school and college
computer maintenance students through the new 2006 A+ exams. (The
exams are part of the SkillsUSA Championships national computer repair
contest.)

I've been doing this for seven or eight years, and every year the
number of students that pass is right around 75%. This year, 95% of
them passed. The key is that these students spent the entire school
year preparing for the 2003 exams, and had no idea they would be
seeing the new exams. Yet, 95%. No way these students are suddenly
smarter than last year. BTW, the average score for all exams was 815!

Commercial Plug Warning!!!
I owe CompTIA and Pearson VUE a plug for helping make these exams
happen. Thanks, guys.

-John O

 
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Sean Cleary
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      07-04-2007
On Jul 2, 12:40 pm, JohnO <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> For anyone keeping score, the 2003 exams were crap. Good riddance to
> the Core and OS.
>
>
> More seriously, I just sent 68 of the top high school and college
> computer maintenance students through the new 2006 A+ exams. (The
> exams are part of the SkillsUSA Championships national computer repair
> contest.)
>
> I've been doing this for seven or eight years, and every year the
> number of students that pass is right around 75%. This year, 95% of
> them passed. The key is that these students spent the entire school
> year preparing for the 2003 exams, and had no idea they would be
> seeing the new exams. Yet, 95%. No way these students are suddenly
> smarter than last year. BTW, the average score for all exams was 815!
>
> Commercial Plug Warning!!!
> I owe CompTIA and Pearson VUE a plug for helping make these exams
> happen. Thanks, guys.
>
> -John O


wild! maybe I should try again. Do you have any study books or courses
you could recommend?

 
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JohnO
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-05-2007
On Jul 3, 11:31 pm, Sean Cleary <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Jul 2, 12:40 pm, JohnO <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>
> > For anyone keeping score, the 2003 exams were crap. Good riddance to
> > the Core and OS.
> >

>
> > More seriously, I just sent 68 of the top high school and college
> > computer maintenance students through the new 2006 A+ exams. (The
> > exams are part of the SkillsUSA Championships national computer repair
> > contest.)

>
> > I've been doing this for seven or eight years, and every year the
> > number of students that pass is right around 75%. This year, 95% of
> > them passed. The key is that these students spent the entire school
> > year preparing for the 2003 exams, and had no idea they would be
> > seeing the new exams. Yet, 95%. No way these students are suddenly
> > smarter than last year. BTW, the average score for all exams was 815!

>
> > Commercial Plug Warning!!!
> > I owe CompTIA and Pearson VUE a plug for helping make these exams
> > happen. Thanks, guys.

>
> > -John O

>
> wild! maybe I should try again. Do you have any study books or courses
> you could recommend?



But of course! Of the five I've reviewed, Mike Meyers' newest A+ book
is the best. I like the way he breaks the chapters apart for the
various exams, then has a section that goes beyond the cert. Nicely
done, and he covers all the subjects well.

As for test prep, well, I can only recommend some stuff that I helped
create...www.heathkit.com. You can't order online, but if you call the
800 number they will sell you just the CD. Not cheap, but darn good.

-John O

 
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Patty
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-05-2007
On Thu, 05 Jul 2007 05:34:09 -0700, JohnO wrote:

> On Jul 3, 11:31 pm, Sean Cleary <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> On Jul 2, 12:40 pm, JohnO <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> For anyone keeping score, the 2003 exams were crap. Good riddance to
>>> the Core and OS.
>>>

>>
>>> More seriously, I just sent 68 of the top high school and college
>>> computer maintenance students through the new 2006 A+ exams. (The
>>> exams are part of the SkillsUSA Championships national computer repair
>>> contest.)

>>
>>> I've been doing this for seven or eight years, and every year the
>>> number of students that pass is right around 75%. This year, 95% of
>>> them passed. The key is that these students spent the entire school
>>> year preparing for the 2003 exams, and had no idea they would be
>>> seeing the new exams. Yet, 95%. No way these students are suddenly
>>> smarter than last year. BTW, the average score for all exams was 815!

>>
>>> Commercial Plug Warning!!!
>>> I owe CompTIA and Pearson VUE a plug for helping make these exams
>>> happen. Thanks, guys.

>>
>>> -John O

>>
>> wild! maybe I should try again. Do you have any study books or courses
>> you could recommend?

>
>
> But of course! Of the five I've reviewed, Mike Meyers' newest A+ book
> is the best. I like the way he breaks the chapters apart for the
> various exams, then has a section that goes beyond the cert. Nicely
> done, and he covers all the subjects well.
>
> As for test prep, well, I can only recommend some stuff that I helped
> create...www.heathkit.com. You can't order online, but if you call the
> 800 number they will sell you just the CD. Not cheap, but darn good.
>
> -John O


Do you have anything for Network+ which I'd like to take sometime in the
near future?

Patty
A+ 2006
 
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JohnO
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2007
> I teach a college course in both PC hardware (it's the hardware half of
> A+, without the software) and Networking (it is, literally, a Network+
> certification course). I'm A+ & Net+ certified (plus quite a few other
> certifications), a degreed EE and I've been in the computer industry for
> more than 30 years.
>
> For the hardware course, we were using the Mike Meyers "Managing and
> Troubleshooting PCs" book. This book was TERRIBLE; it is full of
> errors, it made me cringe.


We've heard the same thing about that one from instructors, too. At
first glance it has all the right classroom elements, but the bugs...
I speak with Mike regularly, and I'll have to ask him what's the deal
with that title.



> For the Network course, we are using the Sybex A+ book. I'm not crazy
> about it, but my issues are not so much that it has errors in it, but
> I'm just not crazy about it's approach, I think that there are probably
> better books out there. To me, it seems to fail to present overall
> context, it jumps in with some of the hardest material in the early
> chapters, it uses terms which won't be explained until later chapters,
> it just lacks a good "flow" of the material for a person with ZERO
> background in the material to begin with.


(You meant Sybex *Net+* book, right?)
I think many (most?) of the books aimed at the x+ certs do this. Sybex
is definitely hit or miss...their latest A+ book desperately needed a
revision before it was released.


>
> When I did my own Network+ exam (too many years ago) I used the Mike
> Meyers book which I thought was pretty good at the time. Actually,
> although it's now very old and it was never a Network+ book, one of the
> better books I've studied networking from was an old Microsoft book for
> what used to be a Microsoft exam called "Network Essentials". The exam
> and book no longer exist.
>


I read that one too, and I agree it was a great book. IIRC it opened
my eyes to what all that net tech stuff was all about. MS Press used
to buy content from someone else, but in this case I don't remember
who actually wrote it.

-John O

 
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JohnO
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2007
On Jul 5, 4:03 pm, Patty <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Thu, 05 Jul 2007 05:34:09 -0700, JohnO wrote:
> > On Jul 3, 11:31 pm, Sean Cleary <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >> On Jul 2, 12:40 pm, JohnO <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
> >>> For anyone keeping score, the 2003 exams were crap. Good riddance to
> >>> the Core and OS.
> >>>

>
> >>> More seriously, I just sent 68 of the top high school and college
> >>> computer maintenance students through the new 2006 A+ exams. (The
> >>> exams are part of the SkillsUSA Championships national computer repair
> >>> contest.)

>
> >>> I've been doing this for seven or eight years, and every year the
> >>> number of students that pass is right around 75%. This year, 95% of
> >>> them passed. The key is that these students spent the entire school
> >>> year preparing for the 2003 exams, and had no idea they would be
> >>> seeing the new exams. Yet, 95%. No way these students are suddenly
> >>> smarter than last year. BTW, the average score for all exams was 815!

>
> >>> Commercial Plug Warning!!!
> >>> I owe CompTIA and Pearson VUE a plug for helping make these exams
> >>> happen. Thanks, guys.

>
> >>> -John O

>
> >> wild! maybe I should try again. Do you have any study books or courses
> >> you could recommend?

>
> > But of course! Of the five I've reviewed, Mike Meyers' newest A+ book
> > is the best. I like the way he breaks the chapters apart for the
> > various exams, then has a section that goes beyond the cert. Nicely
> > done, and he covers all the subjects well.

>
> > As for test prep, well, I can only recommend some stuff that I helped
> > create...www.heathkit.com. You can't order online, but if you call the
> > 800 number they will sell you just the CD. Not cheap, but darn good.

>
> > -John O

>
> Do you have anything for Network+ which I'd like to take sometime in the
> near future?
>
> Patty
> A+ 2006


Sure we do. I'm not as well-versed on Net+ as I am on A+, but I do
know that our Network+ test prep is pretty strong stuff.

-John O

 
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