Read an Excerpt
The CompTIA Network+ exam has become the leading introductory-level network certification available today. Network+ 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 be working with in today's network environments.
This book is your one-stop shop. Everything you need to know to pass the exam is in here. You do not have to take a class in addition to buying this book to pass the exam. However, depending on your personal study habits or learning style, you might benefit from buying this book and taking a class.
Exam Preps are meticulously crafted to give you the best possible learning experience for the particular characteristics of the technology covered and the actual certification exam. The instructional design implemented in the Exam Preps reflects the task- and experience-based nature of CompTIA certification exams. The Exam Preps provide the factual knowledge base you need for the exams but then take it to the next level, with exercises and exam questions that require you to engage in the analytic thinking needed to pass the Network+ exam.
CompTIA recommends that the typical candidate for this exam have a minimum of nine months experience in network support and administration. In addition, CompTIA recommends that candidates have preexisting hardware knowledge such as CompTIA A+ certification.
How This Book Helps You
This book takes you on a self-guided tour of all the areas covered by the Network+ exam and teaches you the specific skills you need to achieve your certification. The book also contains helpful hints, tips, real-world examples, and exercises, as well as references to additional study materials. Specifically, this book is set up to help you in the following ways:
- OrganizationThis book is organized by individual exam objectives. Every objective you need to know for the Network+ exam is covered in this book. We present the objectives in an order as close as possible to that listed by CompTIA. However, we do not hesitate to reorganize them where needed to make the material as easy as possible for you to learn. We also make the information accessible in the following ways:
- The full list of exam units and objectives is included in this introduction.
- Each chapter begins with a list of the objectives to be covered.
- Each chapter also begins with an outline that provides an overview of the material and the page numbers where particular topics can be found.
- The objectives are repeated where the material most directly relevant to it is covered.
- Instructional featuresThis book provides multiple ways to learn and reinforce the exam material. Following are some of the helpful methods:
- Study and Exam TipsRead this section early on to help you develop study strategies. This section also provides valuable exam-day tips and information on exam and question formats, such as adaptive tests and case study-based questions.
- Objective explanationsAs mentioned previously, each chapter begins with a list of the objectives covered in the chapter. In addition, immediately following each objective is an explanation of the objective, in a context that defines it meaningfully.
- Study strategiesThe beginning of each chapter also includes strategies for studying and retention of the material in the chapter, particularly as it is addressed on the exam, but also in ways that will benefit you on the job.
- Exam AlertsThese provide specific exam-related advice. Such tips might address what material is covered (or not covered) on the exam, how it is covered, mnemonic devices, or particular quirks of that exam.
- Review breaks and summariesCrucial information is summarized at various points in the book in lists or tables. Each chapter ends with a summary as well.
- Key termsA list of key terms appears at the end of each chapter.
- NotesNotes contain various kinds of useful or practical information such as tips on technology or administrative practices, historical background on terms and technologies, or side commentary on industry issues.
- WarningsWhen using sophisticated information technology, there is always the potential for mistakes or even catastrophes to occur because of improper application of the technology. Warnings alert you to such potential problems.
- In the Field sidebarsThese relatively extensive discussions cover material that might not be directly relevant to the exam but that is useful as reference material or in everyday practice. In the Field sidebars also provide useful background or contextual information necessary for understanding the larger topic under consideration.
- ExercisesFound at the end of the chapters in the "Apply Your Knowledge" section and in the "Challenge Exercises" found throughout chapters, exercises are performance-based opportunities for you to learn and assess your knowledge.
- Extensive practice test optionsThe book provides numerous opportunities for you to assess your knowledge and practice for the exam. The practice options include the following:
- Exam questionsThese questions appear in the "Apply Your Knowledge" section. You can use them to help determine what you know and what you need to review or study further. Answers and explanations for these questions are provided in a separate section, titled "Answers to Exam Questions."
- Practice examA practice exam is included in the "Final Review" section of the book. The "Final Review" section and the practice exam are discussed later in this Introduction.
- MeasureUpA CD from MeasureUp is included, and it offers even more practice questions for your study.
- Final ReviewThis part of the book provides two valuable tools for preparing for the exam:
- Fast FactsThis condensed version of the information contained in the book is useful for last-minute review.
- Practice ExamA practice test is included. Questions on this practice exam are written in styles similar to those used on the actual exam. Use the practice exam to assess your readiness for the real thing. Use the extensive answer explanations to improve your retention and understanding of the material.
The book includes several other features, such as a "Suggested Readings and Resources" section at the end of each chapter that directs you to additional information that can aid you in your exam preparation and your real-life work. Valuable appendixes are provided as well, including a glossary and a description of what is on the CD-ROM (Appendix A).
For more information about the exam or the certification process, refer to the CompTIA website, at http://www.comptia.org/certification.
Network Hardware and Software Requirements
As a self-paced study guide, Network+ Exam Prep 2 is meant to help you understand concepts that must be refined through hands-on experience. To make the most of your studying, you need to have as much background on and experience with both common operating systems and network environments as possible. The best way to do this is to combine studying with work on actual networks. These networks need not be complex; the concepts involved in configuring a network with only a few computers follow the same principles as those involved in configuring a network that has hundreds of connected systems. This section describes the recommended requirements you need to form a solid practice environment.
To fully practice some of the exam objectives, you need to create a network with two (or more) computers networked together. To do this, you need an operating system. CompTIA maintains that the exam is vendor neutral, and for the most part it appears to be. However, if there were a slight tilt in the exam questions, it would be toward Microsoft Windows. Therefore, you would do well to set up a small network using a Microsoft server platform such as Windows 2000/2003 server. In addition, you need clients with operating systems such as Windows 2000/XP, Linux, and Mac. When you really get into it, you might want to install a Linux server as well because you are most certainly going to be working with them in the real world. The following is a detailed list of the hardware and software requirements needed to set up your network:
- A network operating system such as Windows Server or Linux
- Client operating system software such as Windows XP, Mac OS X, or Linux
- Modern PC offering up-to-date functionality including wireless support
- A minimum 1.5GB of free disk space
- A CD-ROM or DVD drive
- A network interface card (NIC) for each computer system
- Network cabling such as Category 5 unshielded twisted-pair
- A two-port (or more) miniport hub to create a test network
- Wireless devices
It's easy to obtain access to the necessary computer hardware and software in a corporate business environment. It can be difficult, however, to allocate enough time within the busy workday to complete a self-study program. Most of your study time will occur after normal working hours, away from the everyday interruptions and pressures of your regular job.
Advice on Taking the Exam
More extensive tips are found in the "Study and Exam Prep Tips" section, but keep this advice in mind as you study:
- Read all the materialCompTIA has been known to include material that is not expressly specified in the objectives. This book includes additional information that is not reflected in the objectives, in an effort to give you the best possible preparation for the examinationand for your real-world experiences to come.
- Complete the exercises in each chapterThey will help you gain experience in using the specified methodology or approach. CompTIA exams may require task- and experienced-based knowledge and require you to have an understanding of how certain network procedures are accomplished.
- Use the exam questions to assess your knowledgeDon't just read the chapter content; use the exam questions to find out what you know and what you don't know. If you are struggling, study some more, review, and then assess your knowledge again.
- Review the objectivesDevelop your own questions and examples for each objective listed. If you can develop and answer several questions for each objective, you should not find it difficult to pass the exam.
Note - Exam-Taking Advice Although this book is designed to prepare you to take and pass the Network+ certification exam, there are no guarantees. Read this book, work through the questions and exercises, and when you feel confident, take the practice exam and additional exams provided in the MeasureUp test software. Your results should tell you whether you are ready for the real thing.
When taking the actual certification exam, make sure that you answer all the questions before your time limit expires. Do not spend too much time on any one question. If you are unsure about the answer to a question, answer it as best as you can; then mark it for review after you have finished the rest of the questions. Note that this advice does not apply if you are taking an adaptive exam. In that case, take your time on each question because there is no opportunity to go back to a question.
Remember that the primary objective is not to pass the exam but to understand the material. When you understand the material, passing the exam should be simple. Knowledge is a pyramid; to build upward, you need a solid foundation. This book and the Network+ certification are designed to ensure that you have that solid foundation.
© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.