Even More Ways to Study Effectively for a Certification Exam

On May 12, my old friend, colleague and occasional collaborator Aaron Axline posted here at GoCertify with some tips and pointers on the subject of effective study techniques for certification exams. It's a terrific piece in its own right, and makes some excellent points, but I couldn't help but chuckle when I read the first two sentences therein:


It would take more than a single article to go over every aspect of studying for a certification exam. This subject could fill a small book, and not a very exciting one at that.


That chuckle, of course, came with a certain amount of rue, because I HAVE written a book on that very topic, one that's been through four or five editions in print, and is now available as a free e-book in the form of a collection of articles at PearsonITCertification.com. That book was entitled IT Certification Success, and enjoyed two editions while Coriolis had the Exam Cram imprint, and another two or three when Exam Cram was (and still is) a Pearson Publishing property. Here's a snap of the 2003 cover for that title, in fact:



Ed Tittel IT Certification Success


If you poke around at PearsonITCertification.com, you'll come across a collection of articles there entitled "Ed Tittel's IT Certification Success." It's a series of 29 articles that recites most of what appeared in the original print editions, with a fair amount of newer original material added — and now also updated at least yearly — for online consumption. Here's a table of contents for this e-book, with links to the individual articles it includes:


General Certification Information: Programs, Benefits, Pros and Cons

Why Vendors Like Certification Programs

Why Organizations and Professional Societies Build Cert Programs

Why Employers Like Cert Programs

General Certification Program Characteristics

Benefits of IT Certification

What's Not To Like About IT Cert Programs

Ranking Certifications, Part 1: One Method for Rating Certifications

Ranking Certifications, Part 2: The Ratings

Ranking Certifications (2014 Edition)


IT Certification Planning, Preparation, and Training

Overall Certification Preparation Overview

Certification and Career Self-Assessment: Can and Should You Do It?

Crafting a Personal Certification Plan

Understanding IT Certification Ladders

Build Your Own Customized IT Certification Ladder

Pros and Cons of Classroom and Online Training for Certification Prep

Using Practice Exams for Study and Preparation

Establishing a Certification Support System


IT Certifications, Employment, and Career Planning and Development

Top Job Posting Web Sites

Using Job Posting Web Sites

Working with Professional Associations and Societies

Working with a Personal Network

Finding a Job That Fits

Working with Technical Recruiters


IT Job Roles and Related Certifications of Interest

When Ideal IT Job Candidates Meet Real Job Requirements

An Ideal PC Technician

An Ideal Network Administrator

An Ideal IT Internetworking Professional

The Ideal Security Professional

An Ideal Project Manager

An Ideal Programmer


I hope that you'll consider poking around herein, Aaron's observation about the possible nature of such a book's "excitement quotient" notwithstanding. There's actually some pretty good stuff in there, and a great deal of useful input and advice from myself and my most recent co-author on that material, Mary Kyle (my earlier co-conspirator, Kim Lindros, still works with me regularly but has passed that project over to Mary for the past three years or so).


One more item I might recommend along with the book is a downloadable white paper from training company PluralSight that I put together for them back in April 2013. It's somewhat ambitiously called The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for IT Certification Exams and you need to send an e-mail to marketing@pluralsight.com to request a copy. Major topic headings in this 12-page opus include how to pick materials and tools, tips for effective study, how to asses exam readiness, and what to expect during the exam itself. Enjoy!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at www.edtittel.com, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.