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Tips for Cert Success: Track Your Progress

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of posts about preparing for certification exams written by CBT Nuggets trainer Anthony Sequeira. Check the blog each week for his latest installment.

anthony-certtips_BLOGTracking progress is so important to me that I really can’t imagine my life without it. Whether I am trying to run a 15k race, earn a certification, or win at online poker, tracking my progress is a necessity. So I would strongly suggest that you consider this strategy as well.

Specifically, for your pursuit of a certification, I recommend that you start with the study blueprint. In fact, you can even copy and paste the blueprint contents into a program like MS Project or Excel. Now, develop a tracking system that works for you while seeking to master each item on your list. I like to assign a number to each item that rates my knowledge. I use the following system:

  1. I have never even heard of the technology. I have no idea what it does.
  2. I have heard of the technology before and I can provide a brief overview of it.
  3. I can describe the technology in great detail and I understand its configuration and verification, but to perform these, I need the assistance of documentation.
  4. I can perform an implementation of the technology with ease and without documentation guidance.
  5. I can troubleshoot the technology effectively.

Notice that for some certification topics, rating No. 3 might be all you need. These blueprint items tend to begin with the word “describe:” and then a particular technology. For the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) exams, this is often the level of competence we need to have to be successful on the written exam.

No matter what tracking system you use (some people go as far as using project management software to track their study hours), doing so can greatly increase your effectiveness, as well as reduce stress.

Until my next tip, study with passion!

 

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