Read an Excerpt
Welcome to the Network+ Exam Cram. This book is designed to prepare you to take—and pass—the CompTIA Network+ exam. The Network+ exam has become the leading introductory-level network certification available today. It is recognized by both employers and industry giants (such as Microsoft and Novell) as providing candidates with a solid foundation of networking concepts, terminology, and skills. The Network+ exam covers a broad range of networking concepts to prepare candidates for the technologies they are likely to work with in today’s network environments.
About Network+ Exam Cram
Exam Crams are designed to give you the information you need to know to prepare for the Network+ exam. They cut through the extra information, focusing on the areas you need to get through the exam. With this in mind, the elements within the Exam Cram titles are aimed at providing the exam information you need in the most succinct and accessible manner.
In this light, this book is organized to closely follow the actual CompTIA objectives. As such, it is easy to find the information required for each of the specified CompTIA Network+ objectives. The objective focus design used by this Exam Cram is an important feature because the information you need to know is easily identifiable and accessible. To see what we mean, compare the CompTIA objectives to the book’s layout, and you will see that the facts are right where you would expect them to be.
Within the chapters themselves, potential exam hot spots are clearly highlighted with Exam Alerts. They have been carefully placed to let you know that the surrounding discussion is an important area for the exam. To further help you prepare for the exam, a Cram Sheet is included that can be used in the final stages of test preparation. Be sure to pay close attention to the bulleted points on the Cram Sheet, because they pinpoint the technologies and facts you probably will encounter on the test.
Finally, great effort has gone into the end-of-chapter questions and practice tests to ensure that they accurately represent the look and feel of the ones you will see on the real Network+ exam. Be sure, before taking the exam, that you are comfortable with both the format and content of the questions provided in this book.
About the Network+ Exam
The Network+ (2009 Edition) exam is a revised version of the original exam. The new Network+ objectives are aimed toward those who have nine months of experience in network support and administration. CompTIA believes that new Network+ candidates will require more hands-on experience in network administration and troubleshooting, but this should not discourage those who do not. Quite simply, the nature of the questions on the new exam is not dissimilar to the old, and you can get by without actual hands-on experience. Still, a little hands-on experience never hurt anyone and will certainly add to your confidence going into the exam.
You will have a maximum of 90 minutes to answer the 72 questions on the exam. The allotted time is quite generous, so when you are finished, you probably will have time to double-check a few of the answers you were unsure of. By the time the dust settles, you will need a minimum score of 646 to pass the Network+ exam. This is on a scale of 100 to 900.
One of the best things about the Network+ certification is that after you pass the exam, you are certified for life. There is no need to ever recertify. This fact can make the cost of taking the Network+ exam a little easier to swallow. For more information on the specifics of the Network+ exam, refer to CompTIA’s main website at http://www.comptia.org/certification/.
Booking and Taking the Network+ Certification Exam
Unfortunately, testing is not free. You’re charged $239 for each test you take, whether you pass or fail. In the United States and Canada, tests are administered by Sylvan Prometric or VUE testing services. To book a test with Prometric or to locate a Prometric testing center near you, refer to the website at http://securereg3.prometric.com/ or call 1-888-895-6116. To access the VUE contact information and book an exam, refer to the website at http://www.vue.com or call 1-877-551-7587. When booking an exam, you need to provide the following information:
- Your name as you would like it to appear on your certificate.
- Your Social Security or Social Insurance number.
- Contact phone numbers (to be called in case of a problem).
- Mailing address, which identifies the address to which you want your certificate mailed.
- Exam number and title.
- Email address for contact purposes. This often is the fastest and most effective means of contacting you. Many clients require it for registration.
- Credit-card information so that you can pay online. Vouchers can be redeemed by calling the respective testing center.
If you haven’t taken a certification test, the process can be a little unnerving. Even if you’ve taken numerous tests, it is not much better. Mastering the inner mental game often can be as much of a battle as knowing the material. Knowing what to expect before heading in can make the process a little more comfortable.
Certification tests are administered on a computer system at a Prometric or VUE authorized testing center. The format of the exams is straightforward: Each question has several possible answers to choose from. In fact, the questions in this book provide a very good example of the types of questions you can expect on the exam. If you are comfortable with them, the test should hold few surprises. Many of the questions vary in length; some of them are longer scenario questions, whereas others are short and to the point. Read the questions carefully; the longer questions often have a key point that will lead you to the correct answer.
Most of the questions on the Network+ exam require you to choose a single correct answer, but a few require multiple answers. When there are multiple correct answers, a message at the bottom of the screen prompts you to “choose all that apply.” Be sure to read these messages.
A Few Exam Day Details
It is recommended that you arrive at the examination room at least 15 minutes early, although a few minutes earlier certainly would not hurt. This will give you time to prepare and will give the test administrator time to answer any questions you might have before the test begins. Many people suggest that you review the most critical information about the test you’re taking just before the test. (Exam Cram books provide a reference—the Cram Sheet, located inside the front of this book—that lists the essential information from the book in distilled form.) Arriving a few minutes early will give you some time to compose yourself and mentally review this critical information.
You will be asked to provide two forms of ID, one of which must be a photo ID. Both of the identifications you choose should have a signature. You also might need to sign in when you arrive and sign out when you leave.
Be warned: The rules are very clear about what you can and cannot take into the examination room. Books, laptops, note sheets, and so on are not allowed in the examination room. The test administrator will hold these items, to be returned after you complete the exam. You might receive either a wipe board or a pen and a single piece of paper for making notes during the exam. The test administrator will ensure that no paper is removed from the examination room.
After the Test
Whether you want it or not, as soon as you finish your test, your score is displayed on the computer screen. In addition to the results appearing on the computer screen, a hard copy of the report is printed for you. Like the onscreen report, the hard copy displays the results of your exam and provides a summary of how you did on each section and on each technology. If you were unsuccessful, this summary can help you determine the areas you need to brush up on.
When you pass the Network+ exam, you will have earned the Network+ certification, and your certificate will be mailed to you within a few weeks. Should you not receive your certificate and information packet within five weeks of passing your exam, contact CompTIA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-630-268-1818 and ask for the fulfillment department.
Last-Minute Exam Tips
Studying for a certification exam really is no different from studying for any other exam, but a few hints and tips can give you the edge on exam day:
- Read all the material: CompTIA has been known to include material not expressly specified in the objectives. This book has included additional information not reflected in the objectives in an effort to give you the best possible preparation for the examination.
- Watch for the Exam Tips and Notes: The Network+ objectives include a wide range of technologies. Exam Tips and Notes found throughout each chapter are designed to pull out exam-related hot spots. These can be your best friends when preparing for the exam.
- Use the questions to assess your knowledge: Don’t just read the chapter content; use the exam questions to find out what you know and what you don’t. If you are struggling, study some more, review, and then assess your knowledge again.
- Review the exam objectives: Develop your own questions and examples for each topic listed. If you can develop and answer several questions for each topic, you should not find it difficult to pass the exam.
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