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How To Study for a Certification

By weidan007 ·
Generally speaking, what are the best resources to use when studying for your certification exams? This quick guide to study will help you organize your thoughts and decide what resources to use when preparing.
Difficulty: N/A
Time Required: 1 week to several years
Here's How:
1. Take Advantage of Books
They are relatively cheap, often come with great practice questions, and are specifically geared towards the exams. Pick a study guide and use it as your number one study tool.
2. Visit Certification Forums
Forums are a great way to interact with a community of people who are interested in the same things as you. In this case, certification. You can find out what to expect and ask questions about your topic
3. Take a Training Class
Whether it's online or in a classroom, training offers a hands-on way to learn the material. Although more costly, if you want a guaranteed way to pass your exams, this is it.
4. Try Online Practice Tests
Some are free and others cost money, but all of them will get you in the test-taking mode. Most online practice exams run from $30 to $100 and provide a solid way to test your knowledge.
5. Check out Chats
Several sites offer chat rooms geared towards helping you with your certifications. Drop by at the appointed time and find out if you are prepared for your exams.
6. Visit Vendor Sites
Finally, visit the vendor's site. Go directly to,,, etc. Find a link that points to you education or certification to learn everything you want to know about the certification process as well as recommended training and study tools. They often offer exam guides and practice questions free for the taking.
more certifications,visit

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here's some detail for these

by Dr Dij In reply to How To Study for a Certif ...

1) books:
join the acm (
or the IEEE computer society
( - thousands of hardcore IT free e-books from skillsoft and oreilly (the books with animal pix on them)

3) both have hundreds / thousands of e-learning courses on topics.

I like to read a beginners book (such as dummies or has beginner in title) on a topic, then do the first course in a series (about 3-6 hours), then either more books or online courses, possibly download trial or demo software at that point to try it out if such exists for that topic.

if you're in California, you can take free state paid instructor led online courses via broadband in numerous topics. email me for more info, I'd probably be spamming if I mentioned it.

4) acm site includes some practice tests from brainbench or you can get yearly subscription directly to their site to avoid paying per-test prices for ones not on ACM.

5) there are also question sites that are not synchronous. such as or

goto these sites, find your topic (and sometimes sub-topic, there are 8 cognos sub topics on one, and 4 crystal on another)

read the questions, do you understand them? if not then you're really at the beginning. if you can understand them but not answer them you're a little better off; if you can answer some even better, and if most or all then you're a guru!

6) vendor sites are great. whenever looking for job I read reqts, find the vendor site and run thru their demos, or sign up for webinars, or download trial software.

or not busy at work, I also keep up with topix by signing up for webinars.

many MAJOR software products offer free CBT, or low priced e-learning, trial versions which include tutorials, canned webinars you can replay. try to find overview type ones first. they usually make you register and give phone#, you can tell the sales guy the truth, you are not buying but looking to learn the product.

soon as you pass a practice test you should have good confidence on trying the real test. I'd stick with one topic at a time, pass the test before starting another unrelated cert so as not to clog your mind too much.

Good luck!

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