Resource review: CompTIA Network+ (N10-004) Cert Guide

October 27, 2010 at 9:23 am | Posted in CompTIA, Study hints | Leave a comment

I recently had the opportunity to review Mike Harwood’s CompTIA Network+ Cert Guide. The full review and book can be found on Amazon, but I thought I’d also share it here in case anyone is looking for a great companion to their Network+ practice test!

Any time a certification candidate decides that it’s time to purchase a study guide, the candidate is usually overwhelmed by the number of titles available for that exam. Choosing the right book can make the difference between passing and failing.

With that said, I have had a lot of experience in studying for certification exams, including exams from CompTIA, Microsoft, and Cisco. I have used many books over the past decade or so, and I can honestly say that I think Pearson got it right with the CompTIA Network+ (N10-004) Cert Guide.

This book does a good job of covering the content you need to understand to pass the exam. I know…because I have taken and passed that exam. I know how the questions are worded, and I understand the logic that CompTIA uses for their exam. It helps that I am also a practice test developer for Transcender.

I love the fact that Mike Harwood does not go into depth when it is not needed for the exam. I remember several years ago when I used a book to study for the old version of the Network+ exam, and I spent time learning about how the Internet was founded (and, no, the book did not mention Al Gore). When I finally took the exam, I realized that all that information was not needed to pass the exam. I was so frustrated!

But Harwood’s book gets to the nuts and bolts of the Network+ exam. I particularly love a few things about this book:

1. When discussing similar technologies, the author provides comparison type material, such as advantages/disadvantages. Often understanding the subtle differences is the key to answering the questions on the live exam.

2. There are LOTS of pictures, screen shots, and diagrams. This will really help when you see similar pictures and diagrams on the live exam. (And make sure you can identify the different kind of cables, connectors, and so on. This is vital for the Network+ exam.)

3. I love the use of tables and bullet points for review purposes. These are easy to find and can be reviewed right before you walk into the test center.

4. The wireless networking chapter is particularly helpful. While this technology is not new, it is relatively new to the CompTIA certification world. The wireless obstruction table on page 265 was particularly helpful!

5. The Troubleshooting Procedures and Best Practices chapter was arranged in a manner that is easily understood. I have been involved in the development of study guides. Often, the troubleshooting section is the hardest to write because problems can be caused by so many factors.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone preparing for the Network+ exam. It is also a great general reference for those who are just starting in the computer networking industry. Of course, I also recommend the N10-004 CompCert: Network+ 2009 Edition practice test from Transcender – after all, I developed it!

Robin Abernathy
A+, Network+, Server+, Security+, Project+

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