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The "Bulldog Method" of Certification Preparation

After a long layoff from working with technology, an IT-professional-turned-truck-driver tackled CompTIA's Network+ exam, and passed on her first try. What was her silver bullet?

Cartoon bulldogAs the old saying goes: “People do the most amazing things.” When one of my colleagues forwarded me a link to the forums recently (Thanks, Kim!) I wondered what I’d be digging into.


After reading through a thread titled How I Passed N+ With No Recent Networking Experience, however, I found myself impressed and inspired. The intrepid poster, one ladyfire3374, describes what she went through just recently to pass the current Network+ exam, N10-006, after a long hiatus from IT spent driving trucks.


I’d urge anybody who’s interested in prepping for the exam to read her post completely. She describes a regimen and a set of resources that would seem to get anybody over that particular hump, given a similar application of effort and elbow grease.


Her method of preparation might be described as something like this:


1) Find a good prep book, read it through, and work through the practice questions in great detail. Her initial choice was Mike Meyers' current Network+ All-in-One (current Amazon price: $32.56).


2) Tackle all 950 questions in Mike Meyers' Network+ Total Tester ($75 from his website).


3) Get more exposure to and practice with scenario questions from’s Network+ Hands-on Lab Simulator ($39.99 from the PITC website, an outfit I know well and have worked with for the last 20 years).


4) Work through all 400 practice questions in Darrill Gibson’s Network+ N10-006 Practice Test Questions from the Get Certified and Get Ahead series ($29.99 from


5) Total non-exam expense: $177.54 not including shipping and handling charges or tax. Let’s guess $200 in round numbers. That’s a great reality check on my own rule-of-thumb budget for cert prep, which usually runs around $250.