How can I pass that next technology certification exam?
The question that often comes up is how to get prepared for a career in IT, which often leads to investigating the value of IT certifications. Certifications have been proven to increase confidence in your profession. Not only that, but in the process of obtaining a certification, students are exposed to a variety of topics and technologies that they will have to learn when they are hired. Certifications can lead to better pay, as well as more success during the interviewing process. To obtain a certification, you must pass your certification exam. So, what are some of the most helpful tips to get prepared for a technology certification exam?
1. Take advantage of exam outlines and objectives.
There are so many ways for you to start your exam preparation journey. Learning more about what is going to be covered on the exam should be your number one priority. For example, the outline for the CompTIA Security+ exam, one of the more popular foundational level exams for breaking into a cybersecurity career, is located here. Start by downloading this and creating a list of topics you need to review before exam day. If you plan on taking a training class, this outline will also help you to get prepared for the topics discussed in the course. Another example would be EC-Council CEH, a great intermediate certification that introduces you to the world of ethical hacking and penetration testing. That outline is located here. This outline even covers how many questions the exam candidate can expect to see in each area.
To successfully pass your certification exam, it’s essential to know what is covered on the exams. The exam blueprint or exam objectives are essential to getting an overview of what is on the exam to help you pass on the first try.
2. Create a study plan.
Now that you are ready to start studying, you should come up with a plan. Do you have the experience to know how much time you need to devote to the studying process? If not, creating a plan will help a lot. Create a daily and weekly study plan that is objective-based and goal-based. Have at least two study guides and try to include one that has practice exams. Devote at least a few hours in the beginning and then increase this time as your schedule permits. This study plan will allow for a mix of study guide prep, researching new topics and technologies, and applying an understanding with test prep and/or practical hands-on labs. This will maximize your abilities to prepare for the exam certification.
3. Utilize the exam resources.
Another important aspect of preparing for the certification exam is getting the right resources for the job. Getting the official exam guide or study guide is a must for success on the exam. Having the official study guide will ensure that you are not misled on the topics covered on the exam. Another resource you would potentially benefit from is official test prep for a certification exam like CompTIA CertMaster Practice. Taking multiple choice questions is a great way to test your learning success and how your knowledge level is increasing.
Study guides and practice exams provide a balanced number of questions and more exposure to the content covered on the exam. Another great place to look for resources is the official website for the exam certification you are looking at taking. Often it will include sample questions from the exam and additional resources that could be helpful to the exam candidate.
4. Take a certification training class.
Instructor-led training courses are the gold standard of learning. It provides an excellent way to interact directly with experts in the field who can prepare you for the exam. Custom learning that focuses on deep understanding of the exam material will allow for adaptability to your learning style. Not only that, but instructor-led training is a more engaging, interactive experience for the exam candidate. Authorized training maximizes the learning journey, making sure you have the latest resources needed to pass on the first try. Courses at Training Concepts provide the essential resources mentioned above, like study guides, labs, exam preparation material, and even exam tips and tricks to maximize your success on exam day.
5. Exam Day Preparation
Today is the day of your certification exam. You have gotten a good night’s sleep and eaten a good breakfast, and you’re ready to tackle this exam. Here are some of the most important tips to keep in mind.
- Read the question twice if possible. Often there are keywords that will help you answer the question successfully.
- If allowed, skip questions that you are unsure of and go back to answer those questions at the end of the exam when you have more time.
- Eliminate the obviously wrong answers first, which will often leave two answers that seem correct. Then stay calm and take a deep breath and go with your first answer. Never change your answers once you have selected one.
- Keep track of your time and, if you’re stuck on a question, save it for the end and make sure to get through the questions you can answer in a shorter amount of time.
- You might not know everything on the exam, but it is better to try and answer a question than leave it unanswered. Trust your instincts and relax, because in that situation, you can maximize your chances of getting that question right.
You are now well on your way to tackling that certification exam. If you utilize some of these strategies to get prepared, you will be successful in passing the exam for your certification.
If you are interested in training to prepare for your certification exam and the real world beyond that, Training Concepts can help you! We offer instructor-led training for certifications within all fields of technology including cybersecurity. Reach out to us if you’re interested in jump-starting a career in IT or advancing your skills.