If you’re seeking Novell certification, this is your lucky day. TechRepublic members just filled my e-mailbox with tips and tricks they found useful for passing Novell certification exams.

They also pointed out a few tools you might want to avoid. Want the scoop? The best of the comments, which I’ve edited for brevity, appear below.

The book’s good, but skip the CD-ROM
Cfrush used David Clarke’s study guide when preparing for his NetWare 4.11 CNA. He found the book entertaining, but he added that the CD “wasn’t very useful.”

Take the class …
Instructor-led classes are given credit for a perfect three-for-three CNE exam track record by Cour095. He praised the books that Novell provides with such classes.

“The books that Novell furnishes with the course are top-notch as well. They come from Novell Education, and they are used only at authorized centers.”

Cour095 also uses practice tests supplied by SelfTest Software. “My instructor has an arrangement with the company that allows us to purchase each exam at a significantly reduced cost. The tests are set up very similar to the actual exam, including questions using other resources that Novell uses on the exam.”

Most importantly, Cour095 pointed to the value of real-world experience. “You can’t beat experience.”

TalleyID also credited training center classes and the materials received there for helping him pass Novell’s tests. “The time away from the office, while sometimes difficult to schedule, allowed me to focus on the material during the class.”

Get the CNEQUIZR/Exam Essentials
Khopkinsjr, like many TechRepublic members, recommended the CNEQUIZR practice exams. “The practice tests seemed to prepare me very well.”

CNEQUIZR was one of the most popular tools mentioned by TechRepublic members, including Michbloch, Danabenson and Nonesuchthing, who have earned or are earning Novell certification.

Incidentally, Cyber Pass’ popular exam prep tool recently underwent an upgrade. According to a Cyber Pass news release, improvements have been made to the CNEQUIZR to create an improved user interface and response time, add user-customizable multimedia options, and improve audio enhancements. The resource is now marketed as Exam Essentials. The company also touts the fact the test engine has been optimized for use on the Windows 2000 platform.

Get this guide!
Pkruger recommended another David Clarke text, the CNE Update to NetWare 5 Study Guide. Why?

“I studied for this exam by buying the book, published by Novell Press. I think this is an excellent resource, and [it] teaches you everything you need to know for the exam.”

He had other help, too. “I used the Cramsessions for this exam on the morning I took it.”

(Of course, Pkruger also always wears the same clothes and socks to exams. For good luck, doncha know.)

Several other TechRepublic members, including Broadnax and TechRepublic’s StevenPittsley, a brand new CNE himself, check out Cramsession as a preparation step.

Don’t disappoint yourself
Luis supplemented his studying with computer-based training. He chose Forefront, but he was disappointed with it.

“It helped me answer a lot of whys but didn’t help me much for the test.” Luis credits a year-and-a-half of experience for getting him through his exam successfully.

Use ‘em all
Some respondents said they use a combination of resources. For example, Shaine advocated using as many different study aids as possible. In his pursuit for both CNE and MCSE accreditation, Shaine’s methods include:

  • Taking a course
  • Buying supplemental guides and flashcards
  • Installing practice servers at home
  • Visiting many different Web sites for free exam practice questions and fee-related sites

He recommended proceeding with your certification a step at a time. “Going for multiple certifications at once is a very stressful experience, so it’s crucial to realize what you are up against, and to break it all down and only concentrate on one exam at a time.”

Check out TestFree.com for $19.95
Mperushek’s found a valuable resource online. “Anyone going for a CNA should check out the online test at TestFree.com. It’s 50 questions, and the site claims it’s like the actual CNA exam.”

TestFree isn’t actually free, but you can purchase a $19.95 package that lets you take every single test on its site. In addition to Novell practice exams, you’ll find sims addressing Microsoft and A+ certification.

Develop a routine
Just as TechRepublic members pointed to a variety of Novell exam prep resources, so too did they address several quirks. Some members felt following these superstitions is just as important as preparing well for the exam.

What were some of the wackiest? In addition to Pkruger’s wearing the same clothes, others always take their exams at the same testing center, at the same times of the day and week, and arrive early to get the test completed sooner and sometimes, believe it or not, to get the same parking space.

Erik Eckel MCP+I, MCSE is editor in chief of TechRepublic’s IT communities. He forced himself to score 90 percent or above on practice tests for five days straight before sitting down for an exam.

We regularly feature reader comments in our articles. Your real-world experience is invaluable to your peers—and your insights help make TechRepublic a responsive and dynamic resource for IT professionals. So don’t be shy:

  • If you’d like TechRepublic to cover a particular topic, send us an e-mail .
  • If you want to respond to a particular story, post a comment below.
  • If you want to start your own discussion about an IT issue, visit the forums and start typing.

Whatever method you choose, we want to hear from you.