Calling all CNAs and CNEs: Sound off on your favorite cert tools

If you're a CNA or CNE, Erik Eckel wants to hear your recommendations and warnings for others seeking exam prep resources.

Seeking Novell certification assistance? Certainly, a plethora of official and supplemental exam preparation resources exists. But which ones pull their weight, and which should you avoid?

Ultimately, the success you experience when sitting for an IT exam is directly related to your preparation. But how do you know which Novell certification materials are best for you?

Are you old-fashioned?
One tried-and-true method is quite old-fashioned. You purchase a book, a CD-ROM, a simulation exam, or some other tool, and then you try it out. If it works well, you’re likely to try another of the company’s products the next time you prepare for a test. The same goes with vendor and third-party training classes.

Do you look to reviews?
Maybe you rely upon reviews you read. Such articles can be valuable. I know, as I’ve been there, searching online for another resource that will reinforce the knowledge that I feel I lack before trying my hand at an exam.

Word of mouth is where it’s at
Probably the most popular factor is the recommendations (or warnings) you receive from colleagues and coworkers. It’s here that I’d like to request that the CNAs and CNEs who’ve found excellent study materials for Novell exams recommend their favorite resources. And don’t be afraid to warn others about training and certification tools you’ve purchased that you’ve found weren’t worth the investment you made.

Share your opinions
If you’ve been particularly fond of a specific study resource, whether it’s a practice test, flash cards, training class, prep book, online training package, or other tool, let us know. Send us your tips, recommendations, and warnings. Be sure to describe how the resource helped you on the exam and which Novell cert you were pursuing. Feel free to mention any private study practices that have proved successful for you, too. This is true even if your ritual involves a trip to the local diner for a farmer’s omelet.

For example, I’ve found the simulation exams published by CiCPrep played an invaluable role in my successfully passing seven Microsoft exams the first time out. In addition, I found formal classroom instruction helpful only if supplemented by hours of hands-on time spent administering the software I was studying.

I’ll gather all the comments you provide and share the best in a future column. Then, other TechRepublic members working toward their Novell certifications can benefit. And who knows, you might just pick up a tip from another member that helps you earn your next cert!

A note from the legal eagles
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Erik Eckel MCP+I, MCSE is editor in chief of TechRepublic’s IT communities. He’s never met a CNA or CNE he didn’t like.

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