Friday, August 26, 2011


As an engineer, I require certifications to prove my capabilities. Yes, even the stuff I've been doing since third grade. I still need that little paper which shows I know how to do what I do. But studying for the exam can be hard some times. Mostly, I've forgotten my study skills since I graduated. But sometimes the companies behind these exams make it hard to share information about them.

CompTIA provides certifications for IT professionals, such as A+ and Security+. (ISC)2 offers the CISSP for senior managers in security positions like a CISO. Of course, all the vendors like Microsoft and Cisco also offer certifications for their products. And they all offer all manner of tools to help your earn their certificates. But have you priced out some of these offerings? And that's not for the test to get the certificate, that's for the training to get ready to take the test.

And of course these test providers work hard to make sure their tests don't leak out to the internet. Some test providers are more aggressive than others but they'd all rather you didn't reveal their exams because otherwise what would people pay for. Which I why I won't talk about specific questions. But I will talk about some basic test-taking strategy and some differences I've noticed between vendors.