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TOPIC: How much should you memorize for a cert?

How much should you memorize for a cert? 14 years 5 months ago #5166

Ever since I started working on a certification, I've been wondering, how much of the information in certification books should you learn IN DETAIL or memorize WELL for future use/knownledge based on material's importance in the real world? I know that some certs require more studing than others, I'm just wondering if everything tought is important.

I don't mind memorizing important info, I just don't want to spend 10 minutes doing so on something that isn't needed in the real world. For example, in the A+ cert (which I'm working on) why do they teach you about the old computer parts if much of them aren't used anymore? Which leads me to ponder, what percentage of computers today still use AT system boards, use serial mice, have old RAM types, and require manual IRQ, DMA, I/O address config in order to run properly, etc?

For you guys who are certified or who are working on a cert, when studying, do you aim to learn and memorize the material well for future purposes, or do you learn just enough to pass the exam(s)? How about if the material tought is old, do you still memorize it?

Thank you to anyone who read this longgggg thing and responded :)

Memory 14 years 4 months ago #5180

Interesting question! I'd better come clean at this point and confess I've never got round to doing any certs though I've been in the job for *blah* years. However one thing I've found is that knowledge is never wasted. If it comes to an exam, learn all it takes to pass the thing. Then afterwards remember as much of it as you can, but don't get too stressed about retaining it all. The really important bits will be the ones you actually use in doing your job. You'll have no problem remembering those. The rest will come in useful from time to time, and remembering the principles while knowing where to go to refresh your memory on the details should be enough. All that 'forgotten' stuff filters down and forms a well of experience that you will be drawing on for years. Then when a really weird problem hits and everyone else is running around blindly, you will suddenly realise you've seen this before and everyone will think you're Superman.

Re: How much should you memorize for a cert? 14 years 4 months ago #5182

Thx for responding, I guess I was stressed about rememeber all the little stuff, but I guess I'll know what part of the stuff I learn is important after I get in the job force

Re: How much should you memorize for a cert? 14 years 4 months ago #5184

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Having successfully completed over 11 cert. exams without failing, I am sure I can provide some insight to the 'blurry', to some people, view of certifications.

As TheBishop most correctly noted, the knowledge is never waisted and he's a prime example of that, despite the fact he hasn't sat for an exam. The fact is that TheBishop would know how to implement and troubleshoot OSPF a lot faster and better than what I would, having me successfully completed the CCNA certification and another 7 other certs.

The certificate would certainly give you some credit for your level of knowledge, but you really do need to know your stuff to make the most out of it!

After you sit down and do a few exams, you will quickly come to understand that not all is as the book(s) say! Certification exams require a specific way of thinking as they can be very confusing at times, making you wonder what on earth are they asking or is there a correct answer for the question in front of you?

By sitting through simulation exams and sample tests, you will start to understand how the 'examiner' thinks and what they want from you. This 'knowledge' along side with the material you should have 'downloaded' into your brain is the key to success in these certs.

One more point which I would like to note is that when learning from experience, you surely do get a good understanding on what's happening and how the equipment work, but when reading through certification material, you will quickly discover a lot of small 'blank' points which you never understood, or even knew they existed - something I've come across many times in my career and when writing material for the site.

I hope that helps!
Chris Partsenidis.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Re: How much should you memorize for a cert? 14 years 4 months ago #5186

Yes, thank you, it did help. I do agree, sometimes trying to figure out what exactly they are asking is like a question within. I took two CCNA classes and I realized that they word their questions in difficult ways, but when you pass it, it must feel really nice. I guess I'll learn the amount of material required to pass whatever cert I aim for, even if it requires learning small details, after I get in the job force, I'll allow the small details that you don't always need to know to be "forgotten" until I need them later

Certs 14 years 4 months ago #5222

Go for it!!
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