Certification exams – how to study

Well, I’d signed up to take the CompTIA A+ exam at the end of November but things got very out of control business-wise (one got busier, and the other got sold) so I haven’t done a lot in terms of getting ready. I’ll have to postpone until early next year…

I bought a book with a CD containing a few tests, but the book is literally like 1200 pages. It’s a bit intimidating, although it’s well written and very thorough. I can probably use it as the be-all and end-all of PC troubleshooting guides.

However, I’ll probably buy a uCertify prepkit to facilitate my studying rather than try to slog through this tome. I used uCertify’s kits for taking the first two CIW exams and passed with much higher than needed scores. These were reasonably priced, compared to what I paid for the book, and I like the interactive structure a lot more than just reading.

Although there were a couple of spelling errors in the two kits I bought (and a few programmer’s notes that hadn’t gotten removed), that wasn’t that big of a deal. One thing I liked was the tracking page that kept track over how well you were doing – it would show you when you were getting closer to obtaining that passing grade.

The best thing about the kit was the number of tests. The two I bought came with 5 and 8 built-in tests, respectively, but the cool feature was the ‘create test’ function that lets you pull together any number of questions from the entire pool of questions for all topics on the test. So, you can create a customized test based only on the things you need to improve. And the review sections show wrong answers and explanations for every test you take.

Plus, they were 100% guaranteed. If I failed (which of course I didn’t) they’d refund my money. I couldn’t ask for more than that. So I suspect I’ll be buying another one of uCertify’s kits in the very near future.


  1. Debbie, if you can, get yourself a used computer that you can take apart and rebuild for A+ labs. The hands-on training experience will help you understand and pass the A+ exams.

    Good Luck!


  2. That’s a great idea, Glenn. But my work schedule got so busy I decided to put off pursuing this for the time being; I’m taking a few Javascript classes instead.

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