IT Career JumpStart

Oct 15 2008   7:39PM GMT

Prepping for Cert Exams

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

You know that old saying: “You can never be too rich, or too thin?” Well, I think a variation on that theme applies to preparing for certification exams: “You can never be too prepared, or too ready!” To that end, I’ve compiled a bunch of advice on preparing for exams that readers may find interesting. Here’s an annotated list of some stuff to help you review the process, and make yourself as ready as possible for a certification exam when one is coming your way:

  • Emmett Dulaney, another incredliby experienced and knowledgeable certification guy, has put together a nice compilation of tips at CertCities. Scroll down in this article until you get to the heading that reads “Pre-Pre-Exam Study.” There, he talks about improving basic test-taking skills, and discusses some common-sense and logic you can use to separate obvious bad/wrong answers from those worth further consideration when digging into multiple-choice (aka “multiple-guess”) questions.
  • Thanks to my good buddy Will Harper at, you can get a peek at my immortal classic, “25 Tips to Pass Your Certification Exam,” whcih I first put together for in 2002, I think. This advice has withstood the test of time better than I expected it to when I first wrote it, and remains surprisingly relevant today. If you visit the HyperLearn page, you’ll find an addition 5-tip bonus I wrote for them to add some value to this offering.
  • Back in the Coriolis era of Exam Cram, I wrote a book called IT Certification Success that went through three editions there. Que later picked it up and it went through numerous reprints there, too, though the edition never changed. You can pick this book up used for a song and although its exam details are way out of date, its basic study and test taking strategy info remains on target.
  • Visit Certification Magazine and search on “tittel exam prep” there. You’ll find oodles and scads of information that includes pointers and tips on Microsoft, Sun, Linux, CompTIA, Cisco, Citrix, CheckPoint, PMI/PMP, and HP exams, among others.

The real problem with exam prep is making sure to give yourself enough time to do it right. Don’t forget to look over these various resources as you start down the preparation trail, but be sure and make yourself entirely familiar with exam content and questions before your scheduled rendezvous pops up at your friendly neighborhood testing center!


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