Resource Review: CompTIA Network+ N10-005 Authorized Cert Guide by Kevin Wallace

February 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Posted in CompTIA | Leave a comment
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Pearson Education has released a book, the CompTIA Network+ N10-005 Authorized Cert Guide, which has been written specifically for the new version of CompTIA’s Network+ exam, N10-005. Luckily, I was able to obtain a copy of this book while I was developing our N10-005 practice test. I found the book helpful in providing details in some topics, particularly topics that were new to the N10-005 exam. I wanted to share with you what I felt were the strongest points about this book, as well as areas where I thought it fell a little short. But don’t stop reading yet – there was a lot that was good and worthwhile about this resource!

If you’ve read any of my resource review posts in the past, you will know that I am a fan of charts, tables, and bulleted lists. Most CompTIA exams include a lot of knowledge-based material that you must memorize: things like media types, media speed, maximum distances, and so on. Pearson’s books always include plenty of those charts, tables, and lists that prove to be very helpful in preparing for the exam. This book includes just the right mix of charts, tables, and bulleted lists. In addition, the book includes lots of graphics to help illustrate the topics covered, including media connector graphics, cable composition graphics, and so on. You should take the time to study all the charts, tables, bulleted lists, and graphics.

The book includes a DVD that contains a practice test, supplementary memory tables, and training videos. I feel the practice test isn’t on the level of the Transcender practice test. I’m not just saying that because I work here, but because the item explanations aren’t written to the depth that ours are. Pearson’s practice test also includes item types that are not covered in the live exam. So I worry that users would be inadequately prepared for the live exam.

In going through the content, I was glad to see that Pearson’s book did cover most of the new topics that are now included in the Network+. However, this subject matter was not always easy to find. The topical Index located in the back of the book wasn’t as comprehensive as I had hoped for. A lot of times, when I am preparing for a new exam version, I spend time looking for study materials on the new topics. Usually, I just look for that topic in the Index of the latest reference book. In this book, however, it took some effort to find those new topics using the Index. To Pearson’s credit, they quickly got back in my good graces when I noticed that the book comes with free 45-day online access to the electronic form of the book. After creating my online account, I was able to search for some of those terms that I couldn’t find through the Index. So my advice is: Use that online version to search for those topics you are unsure of, but keep in mind the 45-day limit. (Hey, Pearson Education: What’s up with that? I may not take the exam in 45 days. If you aren’t going to give me unlimited access to it, can you at least include a PDF version of the book’s content on the DVD that comes with the printed copy?)

While the book does a fairly decent job of covering the topics from CompTIA’s Exam Guide for N10-005, I should warn you about the depth of that coverage. To Pearson’s defense, this book was written and released BEFORE the Network+ exam was actually released. As a CompTIA Partner, Pearson does NOT get early access to the test. I know this for a fact because Transcender is also a CompTIA Partner. Without seeing the live exam content, there are no guarantees that coverage is to the depth that is needed. So keep in mind that you may see topics on the live exam that are not covered adequately in this book.

In summary, I think this is a decent reference for studying for the Network+ exam. It would provide a great beginning to the study process. But in my opinion, some topics are not covered as well as others, so other references may need to be incorporated into your study plan. (Shameless plug: Did I already mention that Transcender’s Cert-N10-005 practice test has just been released?)

I would love to hear from our readers with any questions/comments you may have!

-Robin Abernathy

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