Monthly Archives: January 2017

How to Pass the Cisco 200-125 Exam

Becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate is the first step towards a fulfilling lifelong journey in Information Technology. Exam day though can be a challenging experience for those who have never tested for certification before. That’s why we put together this helpful guide for passing the Cisco 200-125 Exam and becoming a Certified Network Associate!

Cisco Certified Network Associate

What is the 200-125?

The 200-125 is an entry level exam for the CCNA certification with Cisco. Basically a Certified Network Associate can handle the complex world of networking that is encountered in the IT world. From building server rooms to connecting computers across a campus, the CCNA certification is designed to test whether or not you possess the skills and qualifications to install networks in a professional setting. It’s a very good certification and leads to high paying jobs and incredible opportunity.

First, Buy Some Equipment

Setting up a lab is one of the most effective ways to study for the 200-125! Just like taking a written driving exam doesn’t translate to actually driving, most of the challenges involved with networking are only solved when coupled with real life practice. You’ll find it impossible to completely understand networking without some basic equipment. Only a few simple pieces are required to set up your own testing lab. With some ethernet cord, a router, and internet connection, and two PC’s/devices, you can make major strides in testing and understanding networking concepts. Taking a certification exam is far easier when you have practical hands on experience. A laptop or even a mobile device can substitute for some of the lab items too if necessary, preferably it’ll have an Ethernet port. When you have the components, take some time to study how a network is set-up and practice different network Diagrams as well as setting up and taking down a basic network. Learning these basic networking steps will start to inform you how to pass the Cisco 200-125 Exam. It’s a very basic start, but you’ll start encountering problems and troubleshooting issues that teach invaluable experience.

Hit the Books

Next, pick up a solid book on the 200-125. While reading through a book can be tedious, slowly working through the material everyday will start to prepare you for the exam. There is a LOT of information. One of the other factors involved is realizing that even though there is a lot of information, it’s not necessary to remember all of it. It is necessary to be familiar with it though as you’ll encounter it in most jobs that actually use your certification. So start by working your way through an entire book, then reread it, the second time highlighting subjects that are hard to understand. Most certifications require memorizing some random information such as all the various networking standards, adapter formats going back a decade, and more.

Set up a Server

CCNA’s work with servers on a regular basis. After setting up your own SOHO network, the next logical step is to create a mini-server. This can be done with a really bad PC by using free server software or you can get your feet wet with an industry professional software bundle like Windows Server 2012. If you pursue networking, servers will be a natural thing that you work with. Try creating one, connecting it, creating domain names, spinning up VM’s, or any other daily tasks that you’ll encounter on the job. This will prepare you for more than just certification, it’ll prepare you for the actual work you plan on doing.

Cisco Network server create domain

Practice the Hard Stuff with Your ISP

A router can do many things, from installing alternate firmware to informing you about the difference between IP4 and IP6. Once you understand the hardware side of networking, it’s time to study the really complex practical side that involves IP information. Make sure to practice setting up a vlan, changing the password on a router, using cmd prompt to change networking configurations. These complex and nuanced skills will help you on the exam as well as your future career path. Once these concepts become second nature, it’ll be way easier to pass the test.

Focus in on Your Studies by Using an Online Test Provider

The CCNA program has so much information that it is like drinking from a firehose. The test itself won’t have nearly all the things you study for on it. That means you need to get a feel for what is and isn’t actually on the test. One of the best ways to get experience of the exam is to take an online practice exam. Exam providers such as offer high-quality practice exams for those who are interested in pursuing a career in IT. The practice exam for the 200-125 can be found here. These exams are created by industry professionals and designed to mimic the real thing. That means you see questions similar to what is actually on the exam and get a realistic feel for what you’ll encounter on the actual CCNA.

Once You Feel Confident, Take the Exam

Sign up and take the exam! We recommend studying regularly for a few months before jumping in as it can cost several hundred dollars. The exam itself consists of 60-70 questions and takes 90 minutes to complete. Just a simple afternoon. If you pass, you gain access to a whole world of new job opportunities and are officially recognized as a Certified Network Associate.

Thanks for joining us!

We hope this guide on how to pass the Cisco 200-125 Exam has helped you understand a little bit more about the CCNA certification process. Our goal is to keep producing incredible content that shows you more about the world of certification. If you’ve learned something, tell us in the comments below and share this article. Until next time, good luck learning and we hope getting certified changes your life!

Salesforce ADM-201: FAQ & Tips

Salesforce, you might have heard the name in passing before, but as unknown as they are to the everyday person, Salesforce powers the most powerful client management software on the market. This software runs under the hood of many local businesses helping them to win over clients day after day. One of the most beloved industry certifications right now is flying under the radar with massive demand for certified employees who get CRM technology. We’ve put together a little Salesforce ADM-201: FAQ & Tips guide so you can make an informed decision about becoming a Salesforce Admin!

What Exactly is ADM-201 and Salesforce?

First Salesforce is primarily known as a CRM or Customer Relationship Management Platform. The use of CRM platforms in business applications is for keeping good data with customers, staying connected, and increasing customer engagement. Salesforce is a particularly successful CRM that has garnered interest from many different professional employers. In fact Salesforce software skills are the 7th most requested in the industry. That might seem like a low number but when you consider the hundreds of software bundles and coding languages in existence, that’s pretty impressive! The ADM-201 is an entry level administrator certification which tells employers that you are a qualified user and leader in Salesforce technology. A skill like this is desired across many different industries that work directly with a large pool of customers.

Salesforce database management certification

Why Would I Want to Get Certified with ADM-201?

Salesforce skills aren’t just another notch on the belt, they are in high demand. Jobs that start with ADM-201 certification can easily pay $70,000-$100,000 just to start with. That means for a minimal investment, you can be earning close to six figures. An incredible windfall for those just starting out in technology. Even if you aren’t pursuing a career with Salesforce, the knowledge alone that you get can help take your business relationships to new territory. CRM mastery is an incredible skill to develop whether you work in IT or any other field that simply deals with customers. There are few pathways to high-paying entry level work that beat the Salesforce path. It also allows you to get your foot in the door with the certification and training process and if you are interested in an IT career, you will do this often.

What Does a Salesforce Admin Actually Do?

Since they have a really advanced CRM, a Systems Admin helps run and implement that CRM system. It can be technically demanding and there are a ton of facets to it, but basically, CRM’s help you manage information on clients and more. An Admin helps maintain, grow, and use the system while training people on the use of Salesforce as well. Working with internal stakeholders you help create more engagement with your audience. So in short, you run a CRM, but it’s a REALLY advanced and complicated CRM.

Well, How do I get ADM-201 certified?

The ADM-201 consists of simply one exam with 60 questions. 90 minutes are allotted. The passing grade is 65% and the test can be retaken if failed. The first time is 200 USD plus applicable taxes, with retakes costing 100 USD each. It might sound easy to get a 65% but don’t underestimate the ADM-201. Salesforce is a proprietary software program that requires training to operate. You can’t just “Guess” your way through the ADM-201. There are several courses that offer the basics though for new users so that you are able to tackle the ADM-201 course a bit better. For more information on the test itself, visit the official Salesforce website.

ADM-201 isn’t Just for Native English speakers

Salesforce offers exams in 5 languages with more to come. The exam can be taken in English, French, German, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. One of the great perks of this is that Salesforce is a global skill and you can use the technology effectively across the world.

Use Online Practice materials to helps ace the test

One of the most challenging aspects of certification exams is guessing what will be on the test. You can study everything possible or study a handful of subjects in the hope you won’t miss anything, but there is a far more effective way. Certification is such a common occurrence in the industry that many have gone before you learning the ropes. These forerunners have taken it upon themselves to create and offer online curriculum that prepares those getting ready for certification for the process. Online test providers such as offer online practice material that is verified by experts and as close to the real exam as you’ll be able to find. Best of all, they’re usually the lower cost option for studying. Some of the better training can cost thousands, far more than the exam itself. Getting familiar with online practice materials is a great way to prepare for being a salesforce admin.

Nothing Can Beat Real-Life Practice!

Salesforce offers free trials of its CRM on their website. Unlike other IT skills, you can spend hours practicing in a real environment and becoming familiar with the software before setting foot into an exam room. It’s still wise to couple this experience with some online training though as the software is rather complex and broad enough that you’ll need a little help knowing what to study! This isn’t just low-level software, it is enterprise technology that companies invest a lot of resources into every year. Just a cursory glance at salesforce shows you that it requires a bit of training and familiarity just for basic use. Getting a free trial is probably the best way to prepare yourself for actual work with salesforce software and seeing if it is for you.

Salesforce CRM dashboard trial

Take the Precursor Course or a Similar Prep Program

If you are nervous about passing the exam, Salesforce offers a course in Administration Essentials for New Admins. This means you can spend 5 days either physically in a classroom or attending online with a virtual classroom. Be forewarned that the physical class can be a little expensive so it’s best to arrange this with an employer or be ABSOLUTELY sure you want to progress in Salesforce. Despite the cost though, the HUGE salary bump makes salesforce training well worth it. Udemy also offers a few courses for a pretty reasonable price designed to help those seeking to pass the ADM-201.

Thank you for joining us for our ADM-201: FAQ and Tips

We hope you enjoyed learning about Salesforce and are pumped to jump in and start your journey. We trust this Salesforce ADM-201: FAQ & Tips will take you far in getting ready for certification. If this article has helped you become a little bit more prepared for the life of a Salesforce Admin, take some time to comment and tell us! We love hearing from our readers and as always, keep checking back regularly for more great articles on certification.

The Complete Guide for Passing the ISACA CISM Exam

ISACA is one of the world’s leading authorities in cyber security and they offer a complex suite of testing options that ensure you are qualified to maintain and create security systems. They also get you a pretty awesome paycheck as well. Many have never heard of the certification process through ISACA so we made a complete guide for passing the ISACA CISM Exam. In this guide you’ll hear tips and tricks to get the best out of pursuing certification and hopeful prepare for a life-changing cert!

Why would I take the ISACA CISM Exam?

Earlier this year there was a huge breach at Equifax. This was the largest breach of private user information in the history of the internet. Over half of the U.S. was exposed to possible theft of their Social Security number and more. Events like this could be prevented by already well established guidelines on cyber security. The shame is that companies that don’t prioritize Cyber-Security can lose billions of dollars on security breaches. All it takes is one mistake to wreck a corporation. Because of this, certifications focusing on security are at an all time high! If you want a cert that will get you a stellar job in the industry while remaining secure against the constant marching of technology, CISM is it! Information Security Managers create strategies for securing a business and help review and implement what’s already in place. Globally Certified Information Security Managers are paid an average of 44% more than counterparts within similar work fields. It is a good certification to have.

ISACA CISM security exam certification

So where do I start with passing the CISM?

The first step towards getting certified involves gathering the equipment that you’d likely need to secure on the job field. One of the best ways to learn Cyber Security is by attempting to break into your own personal hardware. Most of the breaches seen today can be prevented with simple changes to the system, for instance, changing the default password on your router. Gathering the equipment that you’ll be securing allows you to set up a personal testing environment whereby you can not only practice Cyber Security, but do it with mitigated risk. The recommended components are a personal computer, a server, and a router. Those three devices represent the most common items breached in a business setting.

Prepare to Be Busy for A While

This is not an easy exam. I must emphasize that. We recommend at least three months of daily study but realistically a year of experience is best for some people. Some exams are just a bit of technical information but ISACA has really strove to offer a challenging test that proves you know what you are doing. As such, be prepared to spend long nights reading through tough subjects and testing out these ideas on your PC at home.

Set up Your Test Environment and Get Familiar with what’s Under the Hood

Learning about Cyber Security involves being somewhat familiar with computers in general. Both OSX and Windows have complex user asset management systems. Practicing Active Domain with a server or setting up Virtual Machines can give you the experience necessary to practice Cyber Security. This test takes months to study for so start out by mastering the basics of hardware and software. You’ll need that foundation if you want to practice Cyber Security.

Practice Securing the Most Common Problems

Even at a high-level business with good WPA protection, it’s not uncommon to see very limited settings on the router. This means any random person walking in could potentially lock you out of your own internet at your own business. Some of the greatest scandals in the IT world have occurred because of simple password mismanagement. In the Information Security world, you’ll be advising and helping people solve the security problems of today and tomorrow. This means that one of the best ways to gain practical experience early on is by auditing the security of your own devices and systematically securing them. Consider learning how to change the settings on your router, learning the different between WPA and WPA 2 or other security formats that help to keep devices on lock down. Look over the list of top ten password mistakes and memorize red flags. This foundational exercise gets you familiar with some of the ideas and thinking you’ll encounter when studying for the CISM. When you are a bit more versed in basic security, it’s time to dive in and start studying!

online cyber security data protection

Find an Online Practice Exam

There is so much involved with Certification that it can be a bit overwhelming. One of our favorite methods for cutting out the clutter so you can learn best what you need to know the most is by using an online practice exam provider. A solid practice exam for the CISM can be found right here. These exams walk you through real-world examples of actual problems you’ll encounter on Exam day. That means you don’t have to focus on memorizing every piece of trivia on Cyber Security and can focus on actual test related items. These online tests have been created by industry professionals who review the questions and have been certified themselves. Basically, this is a key way to know what CISM entails and get busy getting ready with it. Practice Exams have a huge amount of information (This one has nearly 650 questions!) but this is all designed to help you focus on what matters, not some of the more trivial information that can be disregarded.

Consider Taking an Intensive Course

Whether it’s a five day session in a classroom or an online course through Cyber Vista, taking an intensive course is a great way to cover the necessary information and move forward with your studies. CISM is more intense than some of the basic certifications you’ll see and as such you can really benefit from some classes on the subject. Take some time and consider if you need that. If you aren’t acing the practice exam online, keep studying or get a bit deeper with the core material.

Register for the Exam as Soon as Possible

ISACA exams aren’t offered every week. This means registering early is important, when you feel confident enough that you’ll be able to pass with a few weeks of study, start looking into registering. There are three test periods per year so make sure not to miss them, otherwise you could be waiting months! Also remember that the price is a bit higher than most exams ($525) meaning that you do not want to fail this one.

Read through the Rules and Regulations Carefully

Unlike many other entry level certifications, ISACA doesn’t void job experience requirements, in fact, after passing the exam they still require you to work in your field and continue education so that you can remain certified. This is one more thing to keep in mind before exam day. Just because you pass the exam doesn’t mean you are done with the process.

It’s Time to Take the Exam

It goes without saying but when you take the Exam, be wise! Don’t stay up late or put off studying, this is a huge investment and potentially lifechanging career step. Take it seriously on Exam day. We know you’ll pass with flying colors if you followed our complete guide for passing the ISACA CISM Exam.

Thanks for Joining Us!

Certification is a lifelong journey and some of the higher level ones take a real level of dedication to get through. We hope this clarified some of that for ISACA and wish you luck as you considered pursuing one of the most lucrative and rewarding certifications available. If this guide has helped you, perhaps take a second and share it with others who may be considering certification and leave a comment on what you liked! As always, check back often for more exciting content as we delve deeper into the world of Certification!