Study Strategies for IT Certification Success

Are you a beginner in the world of IT certification or do you happen to be an experienced veteran? Whatever category you find yourself in the following tips will definitely give you some pointers on how best to study for and pass most IT certification exams.
To begin with, of utmost importance is the need for every individual to identify what their unique style of learning is. This will mostly be a mix of reading certification guides/blogs/RFCs copupled with note-taking, watching videos, listening to audio and implementing the technology in real-life to gain the necessary hands-on experience. Personally I like to learn a new tecnology by reading about it first, then watching videos to fill in the gaps and to see a live demonstration.I then dig into the hands-on configuration to implement it on my own. After following this process,every new technology I learn is etched in my memory and becomes second nature to me.

I developed this process through observation over a period of time as I studied for a number of certification exams. On a few occasions where I tried to brute-force my way to learn a new technology solely by watching videos and taking notes, the content was easily forgotten and not remembered a few days later. Other occasions when I tried going straight to implement the technology, I would end up knowing only commands or configuration steps but not understanding why I had done it the way I did. This method does become necessary in some circumstances due to pressure from a pending project and an urgent need to implement a solution quickly without the luxury of ample time to read and understand. However, for life-long learning a combination of the above methods should be sufficient.

Having a study schedule is also very helpful in your preparation for an exam. Break down the topics, assign specific days and dates as well as specific time periods to tackle specific topics…and stick to the schedule! You might encounter some hiccups or disturbances due to “life happening” but make up for those missed times and do not interrupt your schedule. You can share it with friend or two who can check up on your progress.

Now another important consideration is how to find or rather more accurately MAKE the time to study. Reality check. Did you ever consider that WE ALL have 24 hrs in a day?   The richest man on earth, the president of the United States of America, the rocket scientist at NASA, the college professor, the student….we all have 24 hours to make our dreams and aspirations come true. It all then boils down to a matter of time management. It is helpful to ‘steal’ small chunks of 15-30 mins at a time to learn something new no matter how tiny. After all it is said that little drops of water make a might ocean.Within this chunk of time you can read 2-3 pages of a PDF on your laptop at work, or on a tablet while commuting, or watch half a training video on your smartphone.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to block 2-3 hours of time out just for study because of all the distractions in our digitally social world today. There are many distractions which cry for our attention and steal precious time from our daily shcedules. Without a disciplined approach to a strict time management schedule, many  will remain at the same level of knowledge and not improve themselves in any way.

Simply put, if you have passion for any endeavour, you WILL make the time for it and work towards the goal.Happy certification!

This entry was posted in Certification, Cisco, Networking. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Study Strategies for IT Certification Success

  1. KofiVM says:

    Self DISCIPLINE!! Remember those days in SHS you had to go for prep? How i wish someone was chasing me now 7-9pm just for that, lol. Take the time to know yourself and which learning mode works for you!


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