How To Pass IT Certification Tests
Published on January 17, 2013 by Karen Newmeyer
From Dec. 3-15, 2012, Broadview University-Orem Information Technology Degree Program Chair, Jerry Ellis, underwent intensive certification training. In 13 days, he passed six certification exams:
- Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008
- Server Administrator on Windows Server 2008
- MCITP Windows Server 2008
- MCSA Windows Server 2008
- Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Windows 7, Configuration
- Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Windows Server 2008 Application Infrastructure, Configuration
While the training was intensive and oftentimes grueling, Jerry successfully completed his training and received his certifications. Here are his insights into “Boot Camp” Training.
Q: Are IT Certification Boot Camps a viable method to get industry certifications?
A: The answer really depends on your goal in attending the Certification Boot Camp Training. If your only goal is to get certified and you are ready and willing to spend most of your day and night studying the material and doing the practice tests until you recognize the answers and get passing scores well above the minimum needed to pass the certification exam, then the Boot Camp is a viable method to achieve this goal.
If you want to understand all of the material that comprises the certification exam, then perhaps a Boot Camp is not the best choice for you as you will not have time to achieve this goal. Ultimately employers want to know that you know how to do the job as well as know the technical aspects of the job.
If you have been working in the industry for some time with the subject of your certification effort, then a Boot Camp might be the best way to dedicate a period of time to prove your knowledge of the subject matter. This can help when it comes to advancement within the company, obtaining a new position or even maintaining your current job when the economy is slow.
Q: Are there any tools available to help students prepare for an IT certification test?
A: There are a numerous IT certification preparation sites available on the Internet. Some are free such as examcollections.com, You Tube videos and brain dumps of exam questions. I would caution you to read the reviews for these sites to ensure that you get material that is current for the exams you wish to take. Other links will offer training online, instructor-led instruction, DVD/CBT training or exam test preparation materials such as Transcender.com. Again I would recommend you read the reviews of those who have used the material you wish to use for the certification training.
Q: What are the days like in a Boot Camp Training class?
A: You can expect to spend the majority of each day reviewing the material related to the exam in the classroom, then taking a break for dinner, then hitting the books or the exam practice test, or meeting back with the instructor to review the day’s materials so that you have a better understanding of the material. You then will get a few hours of sleep then start again early the next day to study the material, do practice tests and make notes to help you remember the material covered. You will have very little time to socialize, keep up-to-date with your favorite TV program or any other extracurricular activities. For me I averaged four hours of sleep per night and I work daily with the technology for which I was pursuing certification. Your sole mission is to pass the certification exam.
Q: If I do not have any real-world experience/background in the certification area, can I pass the Certification Exams using a Boot Camp?
A: The short answer is yes, you can use a Boot Camp to pass the certification test. The reality is that you will have to work extra to ensure you grasp the material covered and do the practice exams since you haven’t really worked with the technology.
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