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IT Certification

I'm trying to get into a new field. Before I start classes, though, I'd like to get myself familiar with some base knowledge that everyone in this field needs to know, as well as getting 2 IT certifications: A+ and Network+. 

What kind of info will you be going through? (books, articles, video, audio)

I'll be going through 2 books on passing the current versons of the CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ exams. They're extremely long, over 1000 pages of information. I've been to the author's website, it seems that the people who really take the time to understand the information presented in the book have passed the exams, and been certified, with the book knowledge alone. I intend to be one of that group.

How will you collect those golden nuggets of information?

The books contain a lot of historical/conceptual information that, while I'm sure is important to read over, will not be part of the exam questions. I will read through the information, but will not be adding it to my notes. I have the kindle version of the books, so I can add highlights to the book which will be visible on the PC version, web version, and iOS version of the Kindle app. I have also set up a Google Doc spreadsheet so I can do the physical act of note-taking. I'd like to take one day a week to devote to going back over whatever highlights I've made and turn those into notes, probably Sunday.

How will you organize this information for spaced repetition?

Using my Google spreadsheet, I can go over and simplify what notes I have taken. I can also divide the information into 3 columns: Which Test, Question, Answer. Additionally, I will split up the spreadsheet into various pages per chapter. Eventually, I can simplify this further based on how well I retain the knowledge.

How will you schedule your learning?

I work full-time right now, but when I'm not at work, I can devote however much time I feel like to reading/note-taking. I will try to devote 2 - 3 hours every other day to reading/highlighting, and spending time on Sunday night turning those highlights into notes. Once I have those, then I can change up the routine, taking 2 hours to read, and a third hour to preparing notes; this way I can turn Sunday into a day of review.

I think this is a good plan to start out with, and of course, I can modify it based on feedback and based on the results.

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