The CompTIA Server+ is a certification exam for IT professionals specializing in server installation, configuration, and troubleshooting. The exam tests candidates’ knowledge of server technology, including installing, configuring, and securing server hardware and server software; monitoring server performance; understanding server virtualization concepts; deploying common services on major server platforms (such as web hosting); understanding cloud computing fundamentals and disaster recovery procedures.
How would you like to earn the CompTIA Server+ Certification?
There are two main paths available: instructor-led training courses offered by an authorized training organization and self-study from online materials.
This blog post will discuss each of these paths and their advantages and disadvantages.
About the Exam
The Server+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification that consists of 90 questions (the SK0-005 version) and lasts for 90 minutes. The two types of certification test questions you will see are performance-based questions and multiple-choice questions.
Multiple-choice questions require that you select the correct answer(s) from a list of options. Performance-based questions involve applying your knowledge to scenarios and troubleshooting problems.
How long it should take to prepare for the Server+ depends on how much study time you have and the level of your computer knowledge and experience. If you are a relative beginner, it will take you longer to prepare. If, on the other hand, you have some basic knowledge and experience in IT, this could be done within a shorter time frame.
Some people take a few months to solidify their knowledge, while for others, it may be up to a year. If you have only one hour a day to devote to studying, that’s still better than nothing!
Studying by yourself comes with multiple benefits:
- Learning on your own time.
- Cost-effectiveness (less money spent on training or expensive materials).
- No need to stop working or travel around town to find an authorized training provider.
- Some people feel very comfortable learning by themselves.
The benefits of the self-study option are primarily dependent on your individual preferences and how well you can learn by yourself (or with minimal assistance). It could be an excellent option for you if you are self-disciplined and have the time to study outside of work and other obligations.
However, a potential downside is that it can sometimes be challenging to gauge how well-prepared you are for the exam because there’s no way of knowing if what you’re studying would meet expectations in an actual testing situation.
Once you decide to study on your own, you might have some difficulties finding the right materials. In this case, you can try one of the following:
- Purchase a study guide – there are many available in bookstores or online.
- Watch some tutorials on YouTube (although they may not always be up to date with recent developments).
- Use an authorized certification training provider’s practice test for the exam (such as from CompTIA itself).
- Ask other IT professionals or your employer what materials they recommend.
Some people feel overwhelmed by all the material available and might not know where to start when studying independently, in which case it might be best to go with a more structured approach.
If you’re not one for self-study, there is the option of instructor-led training. This involves a live class where you can ask questions and get them answered by someone who knows what they’re talking about.
The advantages of this type of training are numerous. It could be a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your field; you’ll get the chance to apply what you’ve learned in class as soon as possible, and there will be a sense of structure when learning from live instructors.
The disadvantages are that it may be expensive, depending on where exactly your training is taking place (e.g., if you’re traveling far). You might also need to stop working or take time off to attend class.
The instructor-led training option can be an excellent choice for those who are self-disciplined and have the budget available for this type of learning experience.
A major benefit of instructor-led training is that you don’t have to go looking for learning resources – they will be provided to you.
You’ll need a textbook, for which there are many choices available in the market today. How much time you spend reading these resources and how well-versed you become with them is up to your study habits.
Another bonus is that you will interact with live instructors who are there to answer questions and guide you on the right path. Other students in your group will also be able to help you tackle complex exam objectives.
No matter which path you choose, it is imperative that you don’t apply for the certification exam before you’re absolutely ready. There is no point in taking the exam if you are not confident that you know enough for successful completion.
Here are some valuable tips for the day of the Server+ certification examination:
- Get enough sleep the night before so you feel fresh and ready to tackle difficult questions.
- Arrive early at the exam center to avoid any potential delays.
- Make sure you bring your ID card or passport, a pencil and a pen, and an eraser.
- Bring water since you may be there for a while.
- Relax and stay calm during the actual test, as this will help keep your mind clear.
- Answer all questions truthfully but quickly to avoid being penalized or running out of time.
The CompTIA Server+ is a mid-level certification. Some experience in networking and server technologies is necessary to be successful in this exam.
The two main paths you can choose for exam preparation are instructor-led training and self-study. Both have their pros and cons, and which one you will go for depends on your personal preferences.
The instructor-led training option may be more expensive and take up a lot of your time, but you will have someone there to answer all your questions and guide you on the right path. On the other hand, self-study has no cost associated with it (assuming that it is done at home), so if money or time is an issue, this may be a good alternative. For more information, contact MyComputerCareer.