I sat the CompTIA Network + (N10-007) exam on Wednesday and am happy to say I passed! To be honest I was a little underprepared (having booked and taken the exam in just under 2 weeks) but I wanted to experience what the CompTIA IT exams were like, especially now they include performance-based questions (PBQs).
I studied beforehand using a mixture of resources available at my work (labs and exam prep) and some flash cards.
I was NOT impressed with the PBQs in the exam; these actually hindered my ability of answer the question. The features didn’t work correctly and when I clicked on the items, it kept exiting out of the simulation. A simple diagram would have worked much better; I don’t actually feel that the interactivity assessed my performance, as it was extremely unrealistic to what you what experience working in industry. It’s actually made me sit and question what performance based testing should actually be about – it should assess a learners skills in an environment exactly, or similarly, to how it would be presented in real life, using the tools a learner would actually use.
I have attended CompTIA events in the past and a topic which always seems to crop up is how to encourage learners to take these exams (just for the record, it seems that CompTIA exams are more popular in the US than the UK). One thing CompTIA should consider is making the exam in the UK slightly cheaper – at £217 it’s quite an expensive purchase (especially since you could take Cisco ICND1 and 2 for a similar price) and I can pretty much guarantee that no college age students would pay for this unless they are being sponsored by their college or an employer.
If I were to give anyone advice on taking this exam, I would say read and reread the question! I suppose that is general exam advice really, but the wording in this particular exam can often give you a clue to the answer.
I will be looking to take the A + next and possibly the Security +. My goal this year was to complete my masters and pass the Network +; now 1 out of 2 are complete I feel I need to make another goal for the rest of the year!