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Preparing for the A+/Net+ and MCSE

Oct 21, 20022 mins
IT SkillsNetworking

Ron Nutter helps a IT student with questions about A+/Net+ exams.

I am currently working on my bachelor’s degree in computer science after completing my associate’s in computer science focused in PC support. I figured the next logical step was to enroll into the A+/Net+ class and MCSE classes. Since you must pass your A+/Net+ exam before entering Microsoft, I entered the course and felt pulled back into a time warp, so to speak. I feel relatively advanced in my knowledge. Is it really necessary to spend money on an A+ class? Should I try to go ahead and try to take the test and if I fail just be better prepared?

– Via the Internet

If you are comfortable in your knowledge on PCs and overall on desktop operating systems, then spending money on the A+ class is something you probably don’t need to do. You might still be advised to get some self-study materials from CompTIA (the organization responsible for the A+/Net+ exams) approved vendors to make sure you don’t get surprised on some exam content that you haven’t dealt with in real life. Another way to ensure you have a good overall understanding of exam content is to get the A+ study guide from If you still want to make sure that you have the knowledge to pass the exam, you can look for testing aids from companies such as Big Red Self Test  and Transcender  to give you an idea of the phrasing and type of questions to expect. There are some questions that can seem to have more than one right answer when CompTIA is expecting just one answer. This is where going over more than one source of self-study material will be good.

As to the Net+, I would recommend the same as above. If you can come up with a couple of worsktations with the right hardware, set up some test configurations similar to what you see discussed in the self-study materials. The more you are familiar with actual hands on to what will be covered on the test, the better you will do. Depending on your personality and work skills, doing these classes via the self-study route may be the better option and allow you to use your money for extra study materials and courses on the higher level exams.