The CompTIA Network+ is one of the most popular IT certifications, especially for entry-level IT professionals looking to enter the computer networking field. If you’re in the market for a new job or would like to move up in your current company, the Network+ exam might be just what you need!
However, with such high demand comes even higher competition. If you want to make sure you come prepared when taking this test, knowing how best to study will be vital.
It’s essential to know what materials are available and how they can help prepare you for the exam questions and topics presented on the day of testing.
Let’s explore how to study for the CompTIA Network+ certification so that you can take the exam with confidence.
How Hard is CompTIA Network+?
The CompTIA Network+ can be challenging to pass on the first try, especially if you don’t know what it covers. The Network+ exam topics include wired and wireless networks, network infrastructure, design, implementation, network troubleshooting, and network security.
The Network+ exam objectives require you to identify the various types of network topologies in use today, name at least three common TCP/IP application layer protocols and their corresponding port numbers, explain how a bridging firewall works to filter packets on a bridge between two networks, and many more networking concepts.
This cert is somewhere between an entry-level certification and a mid-level one. The passing score for the Network+ is 720 on a scale of 100 – 900. The three question types you will encounter are multiple-choice questions, performance-based questions, and drag and drop questions.
CompTIA recommends that IT professionals pass the A+ exam before the Network+, and preferably even have nine to twelve months of networking experience in the networking field. However, this is not mandatory to pass the test. Plenty of certificate holders have achieved this without the recommended certs or hands-on experience.
Can You Self-study For the CompTIA Network+?
The two most common ways to study for a CompTIA Network+ exam are to study on your own or attending a formal training class. Both have their pros and cons, depending on what type of exam study environments suit you the best.
Self-studying can be helpful if you have the time to study and are focused on what needs to happen for your certification exam. Benefits of self-study include the ability to take breaks and work on different subjects at your own pace without worrying about other people’s thoughts or distractions.
On the other hand, the problem of self-study lies in the lack of accountability. You may find yourself procrastinating and skipping some material without even realizing it because you are not graded on anything except for your CompTIA Network+ exam score at the end.
One way to avoid this problem is by creating study guides, flashcards, schedules, or goals that help you stay motivated and hold you accountable for studying day-to-day. If you’ve had success in independent learning, then self-study is a good option – especially if you’ve already developed techniques that help you stay motivated without studying in a group.
- Instructor-Led Training
Instructor-led training programs provide the advantage of learning in detail about each part of the exam while receiving support and guidance from an instructor who can answer questions as they arise. This type of learning also helps you avoid missing any topics because it covers everything the exam covers. The instructor typically provides the necessary study material for completing the exam. They might also prepare practice questions, additional content, and other supplemental material for grasping the subject matter.
Another benefit of instructor-led training is that you meet other people who are taking the exam and studying with them. Having others to talk about what they know or don’t know, ask questions, and share information is a great way to learn more than you would on your own.
The obvious disadvantages to this type of learning are the cost and travel. Instructor-led certification training can be expensive and out of reach for some, but it is a great option if you have access to this type of learning.
Aside from the above-mentioned methods of passing the Network+, you can also choose a hybrid of sorts – online learning.
The power of online learning is that it provides access for people in remote areas without a training center nearby. Online learning also offers flexible scheduling and can provide assistance for those with a more limited budget.
Many different programs offer online training for the CompTIA Network+ so that you can choose one based on your learning style or preferences. Online courses often include video training, audio lessons, and course materials to help you build a strong foundation. And if you want some extra support and study time in a group setting, you can always connect with other students online via forums, blogs, and more. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, it isn’t too difficult to find a study group online that you can work with.
There are also some downsides to online learning, namely that it is difficult to interact with other students or instructors without having face-to-face contact. Some people prefer the personal touch you get from instructor-led training or are more efficient when working entirely on their own.
Out of the three study methods we’ve outlined in this article, which one you will choose depends on your learning style or preferences. The amount of prior software and hardware knowledge and experience levels is also a significant factor. If you only have a basic understanding of computers, it’s best to seek assistance from a reliable instructor.
If you are up for a challenge, self-study is the way to go. If you prefer some personal interaction and socialization with other students studying for networking certification exams, then instructor-led training would be preferable.
Finally, if you’re looking for an alternative training method that will be affordable, offer you the comfort of learning from home, and have characteristics of both self-study and instructor-led training, you could go for online learning.
Either way, keep in mind that the CompTIA Network+ requires three to six months of study and preparation on average, so try not to procrastinate.
We know how daunting it can be, facing all those exam objectives you’re not too sure about. If you need any help passing your Network+ exam or would like more information on how to prepare for it successfully, don’t hesitate to contact MyComputerCareer. We will be more than happy to help you with your CompTIA certifications.