Taking the N10-006: 7 Things You Should Know

So you want to get certified in CompTIA Network+ but aren’t sure about everything it entails? There are a few things that aren’t always said upfront about the N10 so we are here to help you out! This article has seven things you should know if you plan on being one of the skilled workers with this amazing cert! Our guide on 7 things you should know before taking the N10-006 might make your journey a little bit easier.

If you wait too long, you might be taking a different test!

The current CompTIA Network+ exam was launched February 28th, 2015. Approximately every three years, they retire the current Network+ exam and then create a new one with a different title and expanded information. Sometimes the changes are minimal but if there has been a large change in the last 5-7 years in technology, the test may have huge modifications.

English isn’t the only way to get certified.

As one of the largest providers of certification, CompTIA is an internationally recognized certification provider. It’s often believed that those who are non-native English speakers just have to suck it up and learn English to get certified. IT professionals from around the world take CompTIA tests but many do so after arriving in an English speaking country. If English is not your first language, remember to check and see if there are easier language options. Some tests offer as many as seven language options while others unfortunately are only in English. One of the perks of CompTIA Network+ is that the N10-006 can be taken in Japanese and German as well as English.

If you get certified now, you don’t ever (Possibly) have to again.

Certifications used to last a lifetime or at minimum a decade before an IT professional needed to go back in and get a renewal. The certification is good for 3 years from the date it is passed. With continued education though, you can renew the certification with minimal hassle. So you won’t ever need to test again as long as you are taking the steps to satisfy them.

Networking jobs are hard, in high-demand, and get you into shape.

routing switching cables network

N10-006 will make you successful in one of the most challenging career fields out there. Stereotypically IT is a desk job but with routing and switching you may spend a large amount of time crawling through ceilings, installing cables, and troubleshooting networking. So much can go wrong with a network that it’s a daunting task to fix one. Not only are they hard to diagnose and fix, they often require a lot of physical labor to get up and running. It’s not uncommon to be hired into the IT department only to find the ENTIRE server rack was left unlabeled. This means you have to trace dozens of cords through server racks to ports. If you like a challenge and solving unique problems in IT, you will love this career path.

routing switching cables network

This isn’t a “Walk in and pass” test

CompTIA A+ and 9 months of networking experience is recommended before doing Network+. The exam builds on the foundation that A+ establishes. While there is little in terms of crossover when it comes to OS and Hardware configuration, A+ teaches numerous networking concepts at the start. By studying these concepts you not only gain an edge with the concepts found on the N10-006 exam, you also memorize some of the same information (Such as networking tier diagrams). While passing the exam doesn’t require the same information, most jobs that involve networking will still require a strong foundation in the same skills that A+ teaches. So before you take the N10, consider taking some time and working through the A+ curriculum. It’ll make you a better IT professional regardless due to its wide base of instruction. As for experience, Network+ teaches some really specific tasks involving WAN, DNS, and more. Just knowing how to do everything, practically use it as a skill, and memorize all the different ports and designations, requires a LOT of work. Prior experience helps immensely in making this a simple transition. If you don’t work in IT. Buy some networking equipment and set a lab up in your home or office for practice. Also load up some practice tests from a reputable site like certlibrary.com.

PBQs will catch you off guard if you don’t prep for them

Remember to train for Performance-Based Questions. PBQs are one of the best ways the tech industry is able to certify you understand and can apply technology concepts. Basically a simulated environment is created via special software or an emulator that runs technology in a similar way to what you encounter in real-life. For instance a windows PBQ may ask you to change very specific things in Windows using a specific pathway (Hot Keys or CMD prompt). Networking PBQs will push you to apply your knowledge during a test. They can suck up a lot of time as well if you are unsure or lack the knowledge to solve the problem. Remember to train for the reality of what you encounter in networking not just the philosophy.

Don’t learn well with books? Find a real live teacher!

Last on our list of 7 things you should know before taking the N10-006 exam is a little known teaching tool. CompTIA offers instructor led classroom training. Some students learn better with a physical instructor then by book format. If Network+ is challenging or impossible to study for, don’t despair! CompTIA offers classroom instruction through partner programs and affiliates all over. These localized classes are small in scope with just a few students and are worth the extra cost. After all, if you fail an exam, you still have to pay to retake it, and if you fail twice in a row, you have to wait before a 3rd time. In a classroom setting you have a chance to talk with someone who not only understands the curriculum, they can practice and show you how to excel in your chosen field. Consider looking for an instructor if you might need the extra help. Courses can be found on the CompTIA website.

Thanks for joining us!

We wish you luck as you pursue certification! Passing the N10-006 solidifies your entry into the networking world and helps you sharpen the career trajectory you our on. We hope you learned something new reading through these 7 things you should know when taking the N10-006 Exam. Certification is a lifelong process full of thrilling paths to financial success and fun amazing work. If this article helped you, please like and share it with people who might need to know a bit more about Network+ and keep checking back for more blogs about succeeding in the IT world!

Tips for Passing Cisco CCNA Certification Exams

So you bit the bullet and want to get the coveted CCNA certification. Congrats on the decision! CCNA certified professionals are in demand worldwide and can work in a variety of high-paying career fields! So what’s next? We compiled a list of tips for passing Cisco CCNA certification exams because we know how hard they are! Just discerning the difference between the three exams can be a challenging question in and of itself. Read on to learn more about the CCNA testing process and how you can get certified!

CCNA Routing and Switching consists of three possible tests.

CCNA Routing Switching Cisco Networking Devices

For a CCNA professional there is one large exam consisting of material from two smaller exams, the 200-125 Exam also known as CCNAX or Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated. Then there is the 100-105 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1, and 200-105 the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2. It can be a bit confusing. Basically you need to take one large test or two smaller tests to get certified. The tests contain roughly similar information.

The 200-125 is a composite test that contains the bulk of 100-105 and 200-105. It saves $5 from taking the ICND1 and ICND2 respectively. Really they are targeted towards two different audiences.

Accelerated is best for people who have intense networking experience, are confident in the knowledge they have, and wouldn’t mind an all day intensive testing session.

ICND1 and ICND2 are targeted toward individuals who want to split the test up into smaller more manageable chunks. Both will allow you to get your CCNA. It’s a matter of preference and what works best for you! Got it? Great.

Pick your test path and listen up, tips are coming.

woman working on network in lab server configuration

You need a lab. It’s near impossible otherwise.

CCNA certification is about practical hands on experience and important foundational head knowledge. Just grabbing a book or thinking you can walk in and pass is a sure way to lose a couple hundred dollars. It is not easy. You need to be able to practice networking fundamentals. The amount of technology covered by the exam is pretty vast but a router/switch, ISP, PC, RJ-45 cords, and a hub can easily be enough for starting to practice. You can work through WPS, WAN, DNS. You can build different network configurations. You can troubleshoot and learn everything required for basic networking. One useful exercise it to just build a network topography, set it up, tear it down, and rebuild it. Do this a couple times and you will start to understand the foundations of networking. Building a lab may be the most important part of passing a CCNA exam.

homemade lab voip testing phones network(A homemade lab set-up for testing VOIP phones)

Study until it is second nature or pay for the test a second time

If you can’t repeat back official networking terms with great accuracy, chances are you will struggle and likely fail your exam. Especially if you take the accelerated test. The CCNA tests are comprehensive and full of useful tidbits that many take for granted. Knowing terms is important but it is a lot of work. You need to memorize port numbers, internet speed designations, understand bitrate, and more. Study each day and commit every possible term to memory. You should know the name of every item you will encounter in a network. If it’s not on the test you will still encounter it at work someday! These certifications are valuable because they really do say something about your quality as an IT Specialist. This also helps you drop bad habits like calling a router a switch or mixing up odd hardware designations.

Use modern online tools such as Udemy and Practice Tests

The growth of certification training programs has been an incredible boon to those looking to get certified. Several courses on training sites like Coursera and Udemy cost less than $20 and offer incredible training that is relevant to CCNA. One of the advantages to using online tools is the fact that update them regularly as well. Try taking practice tests as well. They offer accurate real-life examples of what can be found on the test as well as help you condition yourself to know the answers by heart. Many courses and online test even offer sample simulation questions that are a bit more complex and test in-depth knowledge. We have 100-105 and 200-105 practice tests at CertLibrary.com. They are excellent for helping you get the basics of the difference between ICDN1 and ICDN2 as well as gain some practical knowledge. It’s a good baseline as well for seeing if you want to go ahead and risk taking the 200-125.

Go Old School Cool: Flashcards and Practice Drills

Some of those old studying methods from High School work great for CCNA. Take the questions you struggle with during studying and write the answer down on a flashcard. A few weeks of this and you might have a healthy stack of advanced questions that you need to know for testing. Then review those flash cards two times per day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. It might be boring and feel like overkill but eventually the answers will become second nature to you. If the answer involves a physical process (Such as, how do you change the DNS settings on a router) then take a few moments every two days and practice those processes on a computer until you can do them comfortably with no outside help. Not only does this drill concepts into your head, it prepare you for an actual career where management might ask a hard tech question and you need the answer immediately. down the answer on a flashcard.

Don’t rush to take the test, especially the composite test

Take more than a month to study for CCNA level exams. The tests themselves include networking problems that may seem or feel second nature but bad tech habits or just a lack of terms can easily cost you major points on an exam. It’s even more important to spread out the exams (By taking ICND1 and ICND2) if you are nervous. That way you can have some time between the exams to brush up on the information and gauge whether or not you really know whats involved. It’s ok to choose the less intensive route. It will save you a lot of money as well if you don’t fail the 200-125. These tests are designed to be tough and unanswerable if you haven’t actually studied.

Thanks for reading our guide!

We hope these simple tips for passing the CCNA certification exams have helped you a little bit. Networking is one of the best career paths in IT today and with certification you can have a winning career in routing and switching. If this guide has helped you, please take a moment like, comment, or share it with someone who might need it. And as always, check back regularly for more blogs on the incredible options you have for getting certified!