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Rescheduling / Cancelling A+ Examination.

This is a discussion on Rescheduling / Cancelling A+ Examination. within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have my test coming up in September, but I'm concerned that I will not be prepared in time. I've


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Old 07-10-2013, 05:34 AM   #1
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I have my test coming up in September, but I'm concerned that I will not be prepared in time.

I've been studying with the Mike Meyer's guide & Professor Messer videos for the past three months, in between other studies and working (not in field).

I'm starting to think that September is a little too soon to attempt the A+ certification, as I feel I need much more hands on time with other systems (Phones, Printers, Scanners, Tablets, and so on).

The few practise tests I have done, I've received questions that I honestly have no idea about - EG, layers of TCP/IP; OSI Models, Printers/Mobile Devices, and a few other things that I have never really looked at in depth.

Would it be wise to cancel my exam until I reach such a point in which I feel capable - and confident - of passing the certification? If I cancel my exam for September, will a refund be issued?

I've been studying until ready to drop most days, but I think It's just arranged far too soon for the little experience I have.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
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As far as I know, you can't cancel - you can only reschedule. And if I remember correctly, you have one year from the date you purchased it.

The scenario you describe is exactly the reason why I never recommend people purchase and schedule an exam before you're ready to take the exam. Many people rationalize the decision to schedule before they're ready, saying that it gives them incentive to study. My response is that you shouldn't need an artificial deadline to pressure you into improving your career. Plus, I've seen far too many cases where "life happens" and someone forgets to reschedule before it is too late.

If you feel you need more time, take more time. This isn't a race. Study until you are confident. On the other hand, you don't want to overprepare, either. The practice exams you are taking should be a good indicator as to where your weaknesses are, so address those weaknesses.

Also keep in mind that practice exams lose their effectiveness each time you take them... meaning, once you've seen a batch of questions, you'll subconsciously start memorizing them. So taking a practice exam a second or third time can't really show you whether you're ready for the "real thing"... only a batch of fresh questions can do that for you.

Hope this helps. :)
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:52 AM   #3
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what he said ^

as far as reschedule if I remember right you have to do at least a week before.

FYI dont take the A+ as being very indepth like the book. You may get a couple of questions on scanners you may not. I just studied the book and understood what I was learning. I never messed with any scanners or printers or any phones.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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Thanks for your posts.

Upon logging into the Pearson VUE website and selecting my examinations, I'm given an option to: A) Reschedule and B) Cancel. Doing a bit of googling brought me to this FAQ page, which seems to verify that I can get a refund for it.

It was a silly mistake to book it so soon after beginning studies - a mere 3 months of juggling studies and non-IT work isn't the best way forward, and September is creeping up on me very quickly!

Is there many free (or cheap) practise tests? I have a couple, but struggle to find any that don't either use a similar question pool, or that don't cost a fortune. Needless to say, I'm always very wary of them in case of braindumps, so having trouble finding free (and yet appropriate) tests!

I seem to be answering the modern PC hardware questions easily enough - same with software, but with printers/scanners/mobiles/IRQ timings and the older hardware I'm getting a bit lost. I definitely need more hands on experience with some of the more older (and office based) systems. I have an inkjet printer, which I can maintain easily enough - but reading about how to maintain a thermal/laser/impact isn't quite as easy to get my head around as actually giving it a shot!

From the looks of it, a refund should be on the cards - I'm going to ring up tomorrow just to verify.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Odim View Post
Is there many free (or cheap) practise tests? I have a couple, but struggle to find any that don't either use a similar question pool, or that don't cost a fortune. Needless to say, I'm always very wary of them in case of braindumps, so having trouble finding free (and yet appropriate) tests!
With free or cheap, you generally get what you pay for... and poor training can actually be worse than no training at all (particularly if they teach you things that aren't quite right. Consider the cost of good training materials as a wise investment in your career. Plus, you certainly don't want to have to pay for the exam twice! A high-quality practice exam will help you avoid that situation by preparing you well.

And, for what its worth, the cheaper ones are often braindumps... after all, they don't have to pay someone to actually write the exams, so their costs are less.

Legit practice exam companies have to pay their authors... and good technical authors don't come cheap. Consider: would you want your practice exams written by some inexperienced dude making entry-level wages? Nah, me either. :)

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I seem to be answering the modern PC hardware questions easily enough - same with software, but with printers/scanners/mobiles/IRQ timings and the older hardware I'm getting a bit lost.
IRQ timings... I haven't seen IRQ questions in quite a while. Are you certain you're studying A+ stuff related to the new 220-801 and 220-802 exams?

I suspect that you're trying to do your A+ studies as affordably as possible... an admirable goal, but it seems that you're ending up with stuff that isn't quite getting the job done. And unfortunately, that could end up costing you in the long run... after all, failing the exam will be more expensive than buying high-quality training materials and passing it the first time.

Measure twice, cut once. ;)
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
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Only free site I know of with practice tests that is legit is ProProfs: Knowledge Management Software & Resources. It has ways on trying to remember IRQs but to be honest IRQs have been a thing of the past since windows 98 but its stilla good idea to know what they are.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BosonMichael View Post
With free or cheap, you generally get what you pay for... and poor training can actually be worse than no training at all (particularly if they teach you things that aren't quite right. Consider the cost of good training materials as a wise investment in your career. Plus, you certainly don't want to have to pay for the exam twice! A high-quality practice exam will help you avoid that situation by preparing you well.

And, for what its worth, the cheaper ones are often braindumps... after all, they don't have to pay someone to actually write the exams, so their costs are less.

Legit practice exam companies have to pay their authors... and good technical authors don't come cheap. Consider: would you want your practice exams written by some inexperienced dude making entry-level wages? Nah, me either. :)



IRQ timings... I haven't seen IRQ questions in quite a while. Are you certain you're studying A+ stuff related to the new 220-801 and 220-802 exams?

I suspect that you're trying to do your A+ studies as affordably as possible... an admirable goal, but it seems that you're ending up with stuff that isn't quite getting the job done. And unfortunately, that could end up costing you in the long run... after all, failing the exam will be more expensive than buying high-quality training materials and passing it the first time.

Measure twice, cut once. ;)
That was my goal yes. Dishing out £400 for a certification already stretches my finances quite far. Life as a student is brilliant, eh?

Surely the cheaper test exams aren't always braindumps - I thought the definition of a braindump was just a copy of the exam?
All I want is some questions with which I can gauge my studying requirements, I was not planning to use them for 'training'. If I take an exam - no matter what the questions are, as long as they factually accurate and enough of them for a reliable enough pool, I'd be able to establish my problem areas?

The few tests I can be able to find - other than the one that come with my Meyer's exam guide - seem to be costing £60 a pop, which is way out of my price range at the moment, and an awful lot considering their "one use" value!

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Originally Posted by greenbrucelee View Post
Only free site I know of with practice tests that is legit is ProProfs: Knowledge Management Software & Resources. It has ways on trying to remember IRQs but to be honest IRQs have been a thing of the past since windows 98 but its stilla good idea to know what they are.
Thanks. I will check it out. The whole 'obsolete' aspect is what I'm struggling with while studying towards this. Especially in the Meyers books, it tells me a lot of things and then in a later chapter goes "hey! remember what I told ya? Well, ignore that, 'cos it's not done like that anymore!". I'm struggling to decide how much I need to drill in my head which is relevant to the exam itself. I'm only about 600 pages in, and I've already got 50+ A4 pages of notes. >_<
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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I think your looking at it wrong. Your not studying some bits pieces to pass an exam, your studying to become a better tech.

When I studied the A+ I had an A4 pad full of notes, in the end for revision purposes I need about 10 pages the rest of knowledge that I used to pass was gained for memory and practice.

Yeah you don't need to know who came up with 8086 and that Bill gates ripped off IBM with PC DOS then bought it back and used in conjunction with Windows which was also ripped off from some other well known company but it's nice to know the history because knowing the history helps with the future.

It's still relevant to know what AGP is even though it's extinct but there are people who do use AGP cards. My mail room at work has standalone windows 95 and a DOS 6.1 machine.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenbrucelee View Post
I think your looking at it wrong. Your not studying some bits pieces to pass an exam, your studying to become a better tech.

When I studied the A+ I had an A4 pad full of notes, in the end for revision purposes I need about 10 pages the rest of knowledge that I used to pass was gained for memory and practice.

Yeah you don't need to know who came up with 8086 and that Bill gates ripped off IBM with PC DOS then bought it back and used in conjunction with Windows which was also ripped off from some other well known company but it's nice to know the history because knowing the history helps with the future.

It's still relevant to know what AGP is even though it's extinct but there are people who do use AGP cards. My mail room at work has standalone windows 95 and a DOS 6.1 machine.
I agree about AGP - I come across it quite a lot still, both of my brothers are still using computers with AGP 8x graphics cards, and I wholeheartedly agree that knowing everything in the book would help me become a better tech - I suppose I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with the exam looming so close! Would it be wise to wait until I am able to achieve above a pass grade on several tests, and study at a slower pace? I think what's happened is I was trying to rush through it all so fast for the deadline, and burned out! (coupled with an already looming results day for college, and sorting out university places. It's a bit much! I've never been in formal education before, as I was home-educated throughout my childhood, so as you can imagine, it's quite a lot of stress!)
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Odim View Post
Surely the cheaper test exams aren't always braindumps - I thought the definition of a braindump was just a copy of the exam?
The cheaper ones usually are braindumps, yes. That's one of the ways to spot them.

Yes, braindumps are copies of the exam. That's why companies that sell braindumps can do so for cheaply - there's no development cost.

If there are cheaper ones that aren't braindumps - and I don't know of any - then they're probably not written by people who have any experience in the field. And if that's the case, are they giving you training you can trust is accurate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Odim View Post
All I want is some questions with which I can gauge my studying requirements, I was not planning to use them for 'training'. If I take an exam - no matter what the questions are, as long as they factually accurate and enough of them for a reliable enough pool, I'd be able to establish my problem areas?
Studying IS training.

And that's my point - when you "buy cheap", do you have any confidence that the questions are factually accurate? I've seen questions out there that make me cringe because they're so bad. Shoot, I've seen questions on the live exam that make me cringe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Odim View Post
The few tests I can be able to find - other than the one that come with my Meyer's exam guide - seem to be costing £60 a pop, which is way out of my price range at the moment, and an awful lot considering their "one use" value!
And the cost of having to retake an A+ exam is twice that cost. Not trying to be argumentative... just want you to gain some perspective, since I assume this is your first IT certification exam.
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:40 PM   #11
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I'll take what you said on board. Now I don't need to study towards a deadline, I have all the time in the world to work towards it, so plenty of time to save up to afford some more appropriate material, I guess.

Refund was issued - said it'll take a couple of days to process. Thanks for all your help, and thank you for the advice Boson. I'll be sure to steer away from the cheaper/free tests. I never really gave much thought to them being inaccurate as well. What tests would you recommend? Or should I just stick with the one on my CD?

Thanks!
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Odim View Post
I'll take what you said on board. Now I don't need to study towards a deadline, I have all the time in the world to work towards it, so plenty of time to save up to afford some more appropriate material, I guess.

Refund was issued - said it'll take a couple of days to process. Thanks for all your help, and thank you for the advice Boson. I'll be sure to steer away from the cheaper/free tests. I never really gave much thought to them being inaccurate as well. What tests would you recommend? Or should I just stick with the one on my CD?

Thanks!
The one on your CD should be good to use. But, like I said, you'll start memorizing them after a while.

I'd love to point you towards some good practice exams, but my opinion is heavily biased, as I work for one practice exam company and used to work for another. I would recommend you download demos from all of the trusted practice exam providers and choose the one you think is best. The best-known legit practice exam providers include the following (listed in alphabetical order):

Boson
MeasureUp
PrepLogic
Self Test
Total Seminars' Total Tester (Mike Meyers)
Transcender

Good products will contain detailed explanations of why the right answer is right AND why the wrong answers are wrong (not just saying that they're wrong, but explaining why they're wrong). In addition, they'll give references that you can use to get more information on a topic (and to be certain that what they say is indeed accurate).
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:47 AM   #13
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That is a trouble I had run into with some of the cheaper ones. When clicking explanation it simply restated the answer, as opposed to explaining why.

I recall one question about the best 802.11 standard to use in a office environment. Upon selecting an answer, and reading the explanation it simply said "N is the best to use as it's modern". Probably the least helpful thing I've ever read!

Thanks, I'll have a look at the tests you mentioned.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Odim View Post
That is a trouble I had run into with some of the cheaper ones. When clicking explanation it simply restated the answer, as opposed to explaining why.

I recall one question about the best 802.11 standard to use in a office environment. Upon selecting an answer, and reading the explanation it simply said "N is the best to use as it's modern". Probably the least helpful thing I've ever read!

Thanks, I'll have a look at the tests you mentioned.
I am certain that you will see the difference between "bad training" and "good training" when you see what good practice exams offer. :)

Here's how to use practice exams effectively: don't take them until after you've FINISHED reading through whatever study guide(s) you're using. After all, you can't see if you're ready for the real thing if you're not even done studying yet.

Most good practice exams will contain enough questions to create three exam banks of unique test questions (often named Exam A, Exam B, and Exam C). Take Exam A. When you're done, read ALL the explanations... even for the ones you answered correctly, because the information you need to know for the exam is often within those explanations. Find out the areas where you are weak and study up on them. Then take Exam B, following the same procedure. Don't take Exam C (or whatever the final exam is called) until you think you're ready for the "real thing" and want one last "measurement" to see if you're ready.

Afterwards, you can take random exams to your heart's content... but keep in mind that the scores you receive on these exams won't be a good indicator to let you know whether you're ready or not. After all, you will have already seen these exact test questions before. The live exam will contain questions you haven't seen before, but you should have enough knowledge to answer them correctly.

Hope this helps! :)
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