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-   -   Linux+ exam is really THIS impossible? (

susanf 03-10-2005 02:12 AM

Linux+ exam is really THIS impossible?
I am hoping that the Linux+ exam is not as impossible as the course I am currently taking is making it seem for me.

I've been a Linux/UNIX user (not administrator!) on and off for the past 10 years and decided to take courses towards the Linux+ certification for employment purposes.

I may have made a mistake when I decided to take them through a local community college. The first one was very very basic and was more or less an "Intro to Linux" course but you had to take that one to take the administrating course. So I took that and did not do as well as I'd expected to do in it. There was tons of memorization of all possible ramifications of commands and the focus seemed to be on getting a person capable of writing a very basic shell script. I did fine on my project (okay, I'll brag for a moment - I probably did exceptional on the project for that course as I jazzed it up in many ways not even listed in the book and such, added many options the book didn't teach, etc) /brag.

So I expected the second course to not be *awful* but I am finding it nearly impossible to even get a decent grade. The first exam for the class, the highest grade in the class was a 72 and this was a person who was repeating the class as he'd failed it before.

We have to memorize an amazing amount of material for every class. There are graded quizzes once or twice a week. The instructor does not teach. He gives us assignments from the book to do and tests and quizzes us. There is no focus given for the quizzes and exams thus in order to do remotely well on them one must essentially work to memorize the book as the most insignificant detail could be a test question.

I'd thought to take this course in order to maybe fill in any gaps in my knowledge and to better see what was required for the certification exams. But I keep reading things about people memorizing a few pages of a "braindump" and passing these exams. I am memorizing (or trying to!) entire chapters every other day.

(Couple of question examples from the book:
1. What is the default IRQ and I/O setting for LPT1?
a) IRQ 7 and I/O address 378-37F
b) IRQ 5 and I/O address 378-37F
c) IRQ 7 and I/O address 3F8-3FF
d) IRQ 5 and I/O address 3F8-3FF
e) IRQ 7 and I/O address 278-27F

2. The timeout value in the GRUB configuration file is measured in:
a) seconds
b) 1/10 of minutes
c) 1/10 of seconds
d) 1/100 of seconds

3. Which command displays the contents of a file in Base 8 or octal format?
a) octal
b) show base -8
c) ls -8
d) od )

I guess all I'd really like to ask here is this: Does anyone know if the Linux+ exam is truly *this* detailed and awful?

I am seriously thinking of dropping this class and taking the time to study up on what I feel I don't know well on my own. I am currently spending aproximately 25+ hours of out of class time and 6 hours of in-class time per week on this and still getting in the 70s on these class quizzes and tests. (I probably should add that in the past I've never made these kinds of grades - especially when putting in even HALF this amount of time on it!)

Not to mention that I'm spending all this time working on memorizing these little details to the expense of not actually getting time to practice areas that I feel weak or behind on in general.

Based on what I've said here, do you feel that this course is helping me progress towards passing the Linux+ exam or do you think it may well be as worthless as it sometimes feels?

All input very welcome! Thank you!

scuzzman 03-10-2005 04:43 AM

It really doesn't seem as though your instructor is particularly helpful. You may consider finding out if anyone else will be teaching the class in the next few quarters, and take it then - or go to the Dean - you are, after all, paying for it.

XavierP 03-10-2005 05:15 AM

I agree. If your instructor is simply making you work through a book, without discussing the topics and having exercises, he is wasting your time. You are being largely self-taught. I would complain to the head of department/dean or go back to the Linux+ people themselves and explain what is happening.

awing_pilot 03-10-2005 08:35 AM

No this is how bad the test is. I Just took the LPI cert exams and the linux + ones are baby stuff comparatively. The thing I've noticed with linux certs is that the community contributes, so if you pass your test you can submit questions.

One of the things that i deduced was that certain people try to come up with irrelevant, and un nesacaraily hard questions. Yes the IO addresses are on teh test. So memorize the boring stuff and spend the rest of your time learning and refining your skills.

One last thing I was hoping the Linux+ test would have been harder, as it lasts forever without a renewal requirement. Where as other industry standards last for 2-10 years

Just my $.02

Crito 03-11-2005 11:32 AM

The current test has been called A+ for Linux, and requires a fair amount of hardware knowledge but only very general *nix knowledge. The revised test, which I think is still in beta but should be available soon, shifts the focus to security and is considerably harder.

Between you and me, I think new certs are always easy, intentionally. Novell certs were ridiculously easy in the beginning, as was MCSE on NT 4.0 IMHO. Heck even CompTIA's own A+ used to be easy before they switched from the adaptive format, just try it now though! Anyway, point is seems that once they get a few hundred thousand certified professionals running around promoting their products and/or services, the tests suddenly start to get harder. ;)

thorn168 03-15-2005 04:36 PM


Sounds like your course is a waste of time since the teacher is teaching the book and not from real experience.

As for Linux+

Comptia tests require A LOT of memorization of obscure facts. I got my A+ and Net+ certifications in 2002 and the tests are very challenging and expensive.

You are better off getting a degree in a CS field then getting a Cert in my opinion. Employers nowadays what 5+ years in the field and knowledge of their specific hardware & software environment.

It is unrealistic but that is what they want.

Oh and they want to pay you minimum wage to do it


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