A+ confusion

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Linda, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Linda

    Linda Guest

    Hi guys,
    I'm currently studying for the A+ one night a week at college and with the
    All-in-one book. There seem to be quite a lot of discrepancies between
    handouts and class work our tutor gives and the book.
    For instance, CPU characteristics... there is an awful lot to remember and
    although I'm happy to knuckle down and memorise stuff, I wanna memorise the
    'right' stuff! In your experience, are Chip, Year, Data Bus Width, Address
    Bus Width, Speed, Socket/Pins and L2 Cache all needed and to that point,
    how far back in time should I learn ie. before Pentium or just from that
    point on?
    Is it best to go with the Mike Meyers *bible*?
    Any other advice welcomed!
    Linda, Nov 25, 2005
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  2. I have just passed my A+ H/ware (704 marks) and O/S (658 marks.) and done it
    self study as I have been in IT for 6 years. Why I did not take the exam
    sooner was due to my last employer not helping with training but my current
    one does.

    I studied from the Mike Myers book but found that the simulation test
    questions were very differnent to the actual exam questions. This to me is
    odd as the book is recomended by Comptia and I would have thought the
    questions would have been closer. Eg, my exam covered a lot on Win ME but
    the book to me says that apart from the obvious differences the O/S is
    baisicly Win 98, Also he says to be aware they will ask questions on K/Board
    shortcuts, not one in the exam!
    I am not saying that the simulation questions should be the same but
    because there is a lot A+ study material out there the reason I went for
    Mike Myers book was because it was recomended by Comptia thus giving me a
    good grounding.

    Has anyone else found that this is the same?

    I would still recomenned the Mike Myers book but be aware the questions are
    worded very differentlly and not as it puts across in the book and can trip
    you up!!
    Richard Walker, Nov 25, 2005
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  3. Linda

    Gerard Bok Guest

    The whole purpose of A+ is, to weed out the dummies from the
    reliable computer technicians.

    Simulation questions are intended to prepare you for the way the
    test runs and the methodes Comptia expects you to use in order to
    get to your answer.
    And to prepare you for questions that do not just test your field
    experience as well as test if you did some proper studiing :)
    (This was once called the 'walk in protecion'. To prevent that
    guys with some experience, but without background knowledge,
    could just walk in to a testsite and walk out 'A+ certified'.)

    In the field you will come across 'paper MCSE' people.
    'Highly qualified' folks who just bought enough preparation
    material to pass a number of tests. But cannot be relied upon to
    replace, say a faulty NIC.
    [Please note, the vast majority of MCSE probably are
    knowledgeable people.
    The value of their certifiquation just got eroded by questional
    practices of some enterpreneurs. Posing as 'schools'.]

    Comptia works hard to avoid 'paper A+' etc. technicians.
    So they point you to proper training, not to prefab 'questions
    with their answers'.
    Gerard Bok, Nov 26, 2005
  4. Linda

    Linda Guest

    Yes and that is the way it should be, I agree. There's not much point in
    having a paper qualification if you can't 'do the job'.
    In my own personal situation, I decided to do the course because I wanted
    to learn and become more confident in my abilities and to further the
    extent of my knowledge, but I won't necessarily be looking for a job in the
    field, although I do already have (limited) experience in maintaining my
    own family and friends computers (for free).
    Again, I have to agree here. My problem is that although I am doing the
    course at college, it is only one night a week and I don't have access to
    very much else in the way of field experience, so I'm having to do a lot
    more theory than practice. I'm quite willing to do this, as I said, because
    for me, the point is 'learning', not just the end result but what I don't
    want to do is learn the *wrong* stuff, if you see what I mean, which is
    where I'm having difficulty, with the discrepancy between college and the
    AIO book.
    I definitely want to be confident of doing both but at the moment, without
    on the job experience, I'm having to rely on 'paper training'.
    Oh heck, I'm hoping you mean the 'dubious' sites on the internet that I
    have seen recommended (and not something I myself would consider using!)
    and NOT a 'proper' College course, for which I've paid a lot of my
    hard-earned dosh?!!
    So, in your opinion (and anyone else's) do you think it is possible for me
    to pass the exam very limited field experience but definitely without using
    the *cheating* kind of stuff I think you're referring to above?
    As I said, I want to end up with knowledge, not just a piece of paper.
    Thanks for your input and apologies for more questions.

    Linda, Nov 26, 2005
  5. Linda

    Linda Guest

    Thankyou for replying.
    There is an awful lot of information in the MM book and I've already
    learned such a lot from it... far more than in five weeks of college!
    (albeit only three hours a week)
    I think the different wording is, in some ways, a good idea as it makes
    sure people really 'read' the questions properly and if they've done their
    homework properly, will still know the right answers.
    Congratulations on passing btw.
    Linda, Nov 26, 2005
  6. Linda

    Gerard Bok Guest

    No. I was referring to the situation a couple of years ago.
    When some institutions even paid folks to write tests.
    Not with the objective to get qualified, but just to collect the
    questions for their clients.
    (And that was greatly defeated by the tests going 'adaptive' :)
    You still see remnants of this: once qualified, you are not
    allowed to write the same test again for at least a year.
    Yes. It is certainly possible. With the proper materials, you
    learn what you will see inside a real PC.
    Proper training will allow you to pass the test; just walking in
    with just a whole lot of experience might not.
    NOT asking questions, THAT's stupid :)
    Actually, this subject once was part of the A+ curriculum.
    What do you do when you face a problem that you don't have a
    solution for? (And what do I tell the client in that case.)
    Gerard Bok, Nov 26, 2005
  7. It still never ceases to amaze me how people who can braindump large
    numbers of questions don't have loftier goals. I couldn't tell you
    what was on my tests 5 minutes after I did them.

    Tom MacIntyre, Nov 26, 2005
  8. I think people have misinterpreted what I was trying to
    explain, I am for people getting qualifications properley and not being able
    to take any exam and pass just because they have good memorys. I do agree
    with them that the questions should not be routine enabling anyone to pass
    willy nilly.
    In my years in IT i have met some very well paper qualified people who knew
    diddley squat about the job they were employed to do!!
    All I was questioning was some consistensy in the questioning
    and the lack of consistent study material (Mike M`s book is still the best!)
    I did find that they test you to the limit and I had to still study hard to
    pass the exams even after all this time in IT!!

    As I said in my post I have been in IT now for 6yrs as both a Field Engineer
    and Desktop Support. I always wanted to take the A+ but could not afford it
    on my own and my last employer as (I was a contractor) would not pay for me
    to do it. I was lucky to get offered the job in the first place but I had to
    work hard to learn my stuff. But now I am employed by a company who focus on
    training and qualifications I felt this was the ideal time to take it
    Richard Walker, Nov 26, 2005
  9. Linda

    Gerard Bok Guest

    That's because of the way you write your test.
    You see a question, know the answer, hit the correct button and
    forget about it. (I guess.)

    Some folks memorize sets. Questions + answer.
    And they are able to match them, even without knowledge on the
    question's actual content.
    Gerard Bok, Nov 26, 2005
  10. Linda

    Adam Leinss Guest

    Upgrading and Repairing PCs by Scott Mueller is my trusted authority.
    I also don't remember memorizing the things you mentioned and I passed
    just fine.

    Also, as an instructor, I have found my class book to be wrong. Make
    sure you notify the instructor if you notice differences between the
    two sources so he can discuss it with the class.

    Adam Leinss, Nov 27, 2005
  11. Linda

    J. Clarke Guest

    As far as memorizing numerical details like that go, the only things that
    you are likely to really need are the standard IRQ, DMA, and I/O port

    As for the rest, ask yourself how you would use it if you were going to fix
    a machine--if it's useful for that then you should learn it. If it's just
    trivia there's not much point to it.

    You should know the general chronology of the Intel/AMD processors--you
    don't need to know the dates, just the sequence, and have a general idea of
    the oddities and capabilities of each--there's no real point in knowing the
    cache sizes and speeds by model, but knowing that there were both slotted
    and socketed versions of the PIII, that prior to the PII AMD and Intel
    processors could use the same socket, and that early P4 machines are likely
    to have RAMBUS memory may be useful in the real world--I don't recall any
    specific questions about this on the exams though.

    It's _best_ to go by real-world experience. If you can tear down a PC and
    rebuild it from scratch, specify parts for a machine, order them, put them
    together, and have it work, and if you can install and run 98, 2K, and XP
    fairly well you should be in good shape without a book.
    J. Clarke, Nov 27, 2005
  12. You may have somthing there...I did the A+ betas, over 200 questions,
    in 13-15 minutes (I was in a hurry to get back to work). Not really
    time to memorize. I don't think I could, though, even if I tried...the
    onset of old age. :)

    Tom MacIntyre, Nov 27, 2005
  13. Linda

    Linda Guest

    Oh! Thanks for explaining, I wasn't aware that had happened! I see what you
    mean now.

    Thankyou for your encouragement... I intend to do as much studying as
    possible. It's a big learning curve but so far, I'm enjoying it.
    Linda, Nov 28, 2005
  14. Linda

    Linda Guest

    Oh I think he's already got me marked down as the class pest! Still, it's a
    step up from "what is that middle-aged woman in the corner doing here, with
    all of us men?" attitude that I found on my first night (I joined the
    course four weeks late and wasn't exactly welcomed, I'm sad to say)
    It's getting better... slowly :)
    Linda, Nov 28, 2005
  15. Linda

    Linda Guest

    Phew, I've learnt those already! My family think I'm mad as I keep
    wandering round muttering things like "Com 2 2F8 -2FF" hehe.
    Hmm, maybe it's easier to sort the trivia from the necessary once you're
    qualified and in the field... that's my problem.
    Oh heck, you see... that was one thing I was told it was VERY likely to be
    several questions on.
    98 and XP I have experience of, hopefully 2K we'll cover at college. I also
    hope we're going to get quite a lot more hands on stuff in the coming
    weeks! I've got an ancient 486 that I've managed to resurrect and have
    stripped down, rebuilt and formatted/partitioned several times.. and yes,
    it still works!
    Thankyou for your info, gratefully acknowledged.
    Linda, Nov 28, 2005
  16. Linda

    Gerard Bok Guest

    I think you're wrong here. If you disturb classes, sing songs,
    answer your mobile phone, play game's when your supposed to find
    an answer on the internet, then you are a class pest.

    Generally, it is a good thing when someone asks a question (see
    my earlier comment :). Quite often, more than one student has
    the same doubt. But only one of them has the nerve to ask!

    Also, your question may indicate to the teacher what part of his
    story needs clarification. And that's also valuable to him.
    Some institutes even have mandatory sit-inns by peer teachers,
    amongst others to spot those 'weak places in the story'.
    (And those sit-inns are not a favourable pass time :)
    Gerard Bok, Nov 28, 2005
  17. Linda

    Adam Leinss Guest

    (Gerard Bok) wrote in

    Gerard is so dead on! I rather have a class "pest" then someone not
    interested to be there or ask questions.

    Adam Leinss, Nov 29, 2005
  18. Linda

    Linda Guest

    True... when you put it that way. And I'd not do that... in a way, I'd only
    be wasting my own money (but also the tutors time and that of fellow
    students) Actually we were all distinctly UN-impressed when the oldest
    student in the class (a man in his early 60's I'd guess) came in late,
    didn't even apologise, then five minutes later his mobile rang and he had a
    chat for two or three minutes in a loud voice on something totally
    unimportant! How rude is that!!!

    I've got several questions to ask my tutor tomorrow :)
    Linda, Nov 29, 2005
  19. Linda

    Linda Guest

    Oh that was only on the first night and to give them their due, I suppose
    they did wonder why I arrived a few minutes after they'd started (that was
    down to the tutor sending me to fill some forms, not my own lateness) four
    weeks after they'd all begun the course. I now get treated pretty well by
    them all... I can (and do) 'fit in with the boys' too but they still hold
    the door open and mind their language, which is rather nice ;-)
    Linda, Nov 29, 2005
  20. Linda

    John O Guest

    One of them
    Those things weigh about 6 pounds each, and we still use some of the next
    gen ZDS keyboards here and there.

    -John O
    -who worked at the ZDS plant when those XT machines were new.
    John O, Nov 30, 2005
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