Net­work+ is now mine! Mwahahahahaha! 

*ahem*

The day after I com­pleted the A+ Hard­ware exam (Fri­day 1 April), I dove into the Net­work+ mater­i­al. I’m now glad that I did the A+ mod­ules out of order. Net­work+ builds upon the net­work­ing por­tions of both mod­ules, but derives more from the Hard­ware sec­tion. Mak­ing the trans­ition from A+ Hard­ware to Net­work+ was easy. 

By now I was quite accus­tomed to the CompTIA cer­ti­fic­a­tion style, so I planned to fin­ish rel­at­ively quickly. Com­puter Power alloc­ated four weeks to com­plete the cer­ti­fic­a­tion; I thought I should bump it off in two. I spent the first day dili­gently read­ing the first of two books they had giv­en us (con­tain­ing over 600 pages in all). On the second day (the fol­low­ing Monday; I don’t study much on week­ends), a couple of friends gave me some extra mater­i­al, includ­ing exam ques­tions and what amoun­ted to be an entire prin­tout of a book. There must have been close to a thou­sand pages in all (think of the trees!). I’m not sure how much of it they got through, but I cer­tainly wasn’t going to read it all. It’d drive me bonkers. I extrac­ted a small sliv­er (by com­par­is­on) from the stack, which amoun­ted to about 360 exam ques­tions and some exam­in­a­tion cram notes. I decided to cast aside my book (which I had barely den­ted) and focus on those. 

I spent that week going over that mater­i­al: doing prac­tice ques­tions and tak­ing notes on the stuff that I didn’t know. Then dis­aster struck — I got sick over the week­end (I think it was influ­enza). My plans of doing the exam by the middle of the fol­low­ing week had to be thrown out the win­dow. One of the great things about Com­puter Power is that there are no classes and all learn­ing is self-paced. I was able to take some days off to reco­oper­ate, while still access­ing all my files (notes, etc.) over the Inter­net. I ended up doing next-to-nil study, though. I can nev­er con­cen­trate at home. 

After tak­ing Monday, Tues­day and Wed­nes­day off, I spent all of Thursday at a Per­son­al Effect­ive­ness work­shop which had been sched­uled for me pri­or. Although still some­what ill, I learnt a lot. I’m glad I went. Fri­day was the only day that week in which I did any real study. 

By that point I had grown bored with the sub­ject mat­ter. I was going over the same ground over and over, and I felt no chal­lenge. Want­ing to get the sub­ject over and done with, I booked the exam for the next morn­ing. I’d gladly give up a Sat­urday if I could start the fol­low­ing week afresh. I was still ill, but by then I was over the worst of it and I didn’t care much any­more. Marks don’t mat­ter in CompTIA exams. They give a prin­tout at the end list­ing your score, but the actu­al cer­ti­fic­ate doesn’t say any­thing. All I was con­cerned about was the required 72% mark to pass, and the $400 fee I would incur if I failed. 

I sat down in the exam­in­a­tion chair the fol­low­ing morn­ing. I felt a little fatigued, bleary-eyed and stuffy (sinuses and nose). The drugs didn’t seem to be work­ing effect­ively. At times I lost con­cen­tra­tion and I may have even dozed off a little. The CompTIA exams I’ve done alloc­ate far too much time for the volume and type of ques­tions posed, and Net­work+ is no excep­tion. Des­pite my ail­ments, I had enough time to care­fully com­plete every ques­tion and go over them after­wards. I exited the exam with twenty minutes left. 

Less than a minute later I had my mark: 833 out of 900. Phwoar! That’s about 93%! I made some dumb errors which I prob­ably wouldn’t have made had I been fully alert, but I’m very happy with the res­ult non­ethe­less. Espe­cially con­sid­er­ing that I only put in sev­en days of prop­er study (recom­men­ded time is thirty) and that I was ill for almost the entire time (includ­ing dur­ing the exam itself). 

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