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4 Surefire Ways to Boost Your CompTIA A+ Mastery

by Team Nuggets
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Published on February 7, 2017

CompTIA A+ may be an entry-level certification, but if you are just starting out, the exams might seem daunting. Even if you have a grasp on some tech basics, who doesn't appreciate a little extra help or support while studying for the big test? All of you should be raising your hand or nodding your heads.

So, we thought we'd put together a list of resources aimed at helping you conquer the A+. Because earning that first certification is half the battle to becoming an IT pro. Why not start with A+?

1. Read, Learn, Conquer

At CBT Nuggets, we are in the business of helping you watch, learn, and conquer. After all, we do create video training. That said, we strongly recommend that you supplement your primary source of learning with other resources and tools. One of the most popular options is a tried and true one: Textbooks.

And good news, there's no shortage of good books out there dedicated to helping you pass the A+ exam, which isn't surprising considering its popularity.

Textbooks can go more in-depth than shorter training videos, which is a nice resource for more difficult concepts. You can highlight key terms and concepts, make notes in the margins, and dog-ear the pages you need to return to later in your training. Also, everyone learns differently, and you might find that textbooks (commonly known as study guides in IT circles) fit your learning style better.

2. Go Old School

Anthony Sequeira, the creator of our CompTIA A+ training, is a huge fan of flashcards. So much so that he routinely includes them with his courses, including our CompTIA A+ 901 and 902 training!

You are probably thinking, "Dang, I haven't used those since third grade when learning multiplication."

And yes, as Keith Barker, another CBT Nuggets trainer, says often, "Don't just learn it to learn it. Learn it to know it." But let's be honest, many exams are formatted (multiple choice) in a way that forces test takers to rely on memorization to be successful. That's where flashcards can help immensely, especially when it comes to key terms or acronyms.

3. Get Hands On with Your A+ Training

You can watch all the training, read multiple study guides, etc. But if you really want to reinforce your learning, you need to put it into action. Hands-on experience is a crucial component in building a successful learning experience.

However, we also realize that can be easier said than done, especially if you don't have a certification in hand, yet! So, try building a home lab to help you apply what you are learning in a practical manner.

Another idea: Volunteer. You'd be surprised how many organizations, especially nonprofits, could desperately use some help (especially the free kind) when it comes to tech-related matters. Doing so can result in a trifecta of awesomeness: you get hands-on experience, you have something to add to your resume, and you end up with some good karma on your side. It's win-win.

Or, because the A+ covers common and core hardware and software topics, including motherboards, storage, CPUs, networking, WiFi, mobile devices, buy some inexpensive, used equipment and have at it! Tinker with it, break it, take it apart, you name it. We don't want to sound biased, but it really is the best option here.

4. Become a Teacher Yourself

One of the most effective ways to master something is to try your hand at teaching what you've been learning. So why not explain to your grandma how WiFi works or show your mother how to install RAM.

Don't laugh. You might be surprised just how much you've learned and how passionate you are about the material. Remember that learning is much easier when you are passionate about it, whether it's A+ or the next cert you want to go for after you rock the A+ certification.

Speaking of which, are you ready to pursue your certification in A+? Better boost your study game!

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