How I Passed the CompTIA Network+ Exam

I passed the N10-007 exam on my first attempt. I was more nervous about this exam than the A+ because I scheduled my Network+ exam just over 2 weeks later.

I thought 2 weeks would be enough to study and although I passed, I wish I spent at least a full month to prepare.

Suggestions

CompTIA suggests, according to their website, that candidates should have at least 9-12 months of practical Networking experience prior to taking the exams. After passing the test, I agree entirely with that suggestion. I would imagine that anyone with 9-12 months of practical Networking experience would have a fairly easy time with the test.

Background

At the time of taking the Network+, I had over 4 years experience in web development and some basic knowledge of high-level programming languages. I have worked with switches, routers, servers, and cabling on a few SOHO networks, but this experience was minimal.

I did not have access to small business networks during the time I spent studying which was a slight detriment. If I could have spent some time configuring router protocols, switching hosts, and setting up VLANs on a private network, that would have helped immensely.

As I was unable to, I had to recall from past experience which seemed to work well enough.

What to Expect on the Network+ Exam

I can’t say what is on the exam, but I can recommend reading the CompTIA course objectives. For whatever reason, I did not use the course objectives list when studying for the A+ and I wish I did.

I did use the objectives list for Network+ and it was extremely thorough in explaining exactly which concepts and technologies I would need to be familiar with for the test.

Resources I Used for Network+

Below I will list the resources I used in order of most to least valuable.

If you read my other post about How I Passed the A+ Exam, this list is basically reversed. What I found most useful for the A+ was the least useful for the Network+ and vice versa.

  1. Professor Messer’s Network+ Course Notes ($20)
  2. Professor Messer’s Network+ Free Training Videos
  3. ExamCompass.com free CompTIA Network+ practice tests
Professor Messer’s Course Notes

I read through Professor Messer’s course notes for the Network+ at least 3-4 times. I even glanced through it one final time a few hours before I left to the testing centre. This was my most used resource and easily the smartest $20 investment I made in my training.

Professor Messer’s YouTube Videos

The great thing about Professor Messer’s videos is that they are all free on YouTube. He organizes the topics according to the CompTIA Network+ objectives. His videos are succinct providing the perfect amount of detail you need to know for the tests.

He even went into great detail on certain important topics that I previously struggled with understanding. His video series on IP subnetting was brilliant and I watched those at least 2-3 times.

ExamCompass Practice Tests

For the A+ I spent at least 50 hours total on the ExamCompass.com practice tests. However, for Network+ I only went through all 22 tests a single time. The reason I did it only once is that there was a lot of subject matter overlap between A+ and Network+. I was confident in most of the testing material after the first round of practicing so I merely wrote down the topics which I struggled with and did my own research to learn them.

Final Thoughts

Although I’m a confident test taker, I was genuinely nervous about the Network+ exam because I did not have much experience with very specific topics like router configuration and protocols.

However, the rest of my knowledge and experience carried me through the exam and I passed with a comfortable margin all things considering.

I spent only 60 minutes for both my A+ 901 and 902 tests. I spent about 75 minutes on the Network+.

I am planning on earning the CompTIA certification Trifecta (A+, Network+, Security+) at some point in the future. As I now study for the Security+, I will continue to update GhostKB with all the knowledge I gain from pursuing those certifications.