Study Tips – Retain What You Read

April 1, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Study Tips

Most of us spend at least some of our study time for the next great IT Certification reading from books, whitepapers, or online documentation. But how effective this process is depends on how much we retain! Here are some tips for retaining more as you read!

  • Stop and reflect – just read some really important facts about a technology? Look away from the material and really think and reflect on it. This will help retention immensely. It is something we often forget to do because we are typically trying to study as quickly as possible.
  • Repeat, then repeat – consider drills, flash cards, or exercises, and consider doing them over a nice long period. Most recommend repetition over long-stage, spaced intervals to keep information fresh. Reinforcing new concepts every week or two helps it become known facts.
  • Create a catchy word or phase – the famous All People Seem To Need Data Processing or Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away is so famous because it works! One I learned from Keith Barker is the Port Security violation modes in Cisco networking. I always struggled to remember which one did not log and violations and was not recommended by Cisco. He taught me to just remember them in alphabetical order. P – R – S. Protect – Restrict – Shutdown. I never forgot that Protect is the lame one again as that order also reflects action severity!
  • Remove distractions – the ping of a cell phone, a desk photograph, music, e-mail – and of these might take you out of the zone you want to be in while reading!
  • Make connections – try and tie what you learn into other facts that you have memorized. The OSI Model is a great example of this as you can place new technologies in their appropriate layer and make connections with surrounding technologies.
  • Prioritize what counts – as you are reading, constantly reflect on what the most important information is so you can really focus on that!

Power Google Search Usage – Part 4

September 8, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Screenshot 2015-09-07 14.44.19Here is my final installment in power Google search tips – have fun!

19 – Page Titles – want to be really specific with your search? You can restrict it to just page titles with intitle:eigrp for example.

20 – Use Google on your Site – check out www.google.com/cse to use the Google search technology for your own Web site.

21 – Advanced Search – having trouble remembering all the syntax for the various advanced search options? Just use www.google.com/advanced_search. It is the GUI method! 🙂

22 – Choose your Source – use the source: command to filter content – for example Cisco Systems source:techradar. Don’t forget to click on NEWS after this search for it to work.

23 – Catch a Movie – need a study break? Search on showtimes – you can even follow that with a location.

24 – Conversions – try things like 20 GBP in USD or 12 cm in inches.

25 – Plain Language – try using plain language in your searching like “What is the stratum in NTP?”

I sure hope you enjoyed these 25 tips for power Google use.

Power Google Search Usage – Part 3

September 7, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Screenshot 2015-09-07 14.44.19

Here are more great tips on power Google searching! Check out the IT Cert category of this blog for the previous parts of this series.

14 – Stay Anonymous – want to eliminate Google from tracking what you are up to as you search? Be sure to log out of your Google account. Just click your image in the top right and choose Sign Out.

15 – Get More Search Results – if you want to see more than 10 results on a page for your Google search – click the cog in the top right of a Google search. Choose Search Settings. Disable instant search predictions and then you can set how many results you want returned for each search. Keep in mind that asking for too many per page can really slow down a system.

16 – SafeSeach – in order to eliminate most violent and inappropriate content that could show up in a search – you can use the SafeSearch feature by clicking the cog in the top right of a search. You can even lock this setting in the Search Settings option.

17 – WebCam Views! – Search for inurl:view/view.shtml in order to peep in on WebCam views from around the world. OK, OK – now get back to studying!

18 – Trends? – want to blog about something people around the world are searching for? Check out www.google.com/trends

Come back tomorrow for more cool tips!

Failure Happens!

July 28, 2015 at 2:07 am

FailureWant to accomplish something great? Of course you do. Get ready to fail.

I am never surprised to read the posts in our Google Communities at CBT Nuggets regarding someone that has just failed an associate level or professional level exam and they are lit up! They would type a bunch of F-words if they could…

Listen…want to achieve the highest levels of your certification and your career? Get ready to learn from many failures. It happens.

One of the things that is tough for cert students is that many of them have NEVER failed an exam in their life. NEVER.

Relax, breath, you are going to survive this setback, learn from it, and continue to soar.

Don’t believe me? Check out these observations from some of the greats…

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.” – B. Franklin

Power Google Search Usage – Part 2

January 2, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Ready for more power Google tips? Here they are:

6. Local Searching – looking for something nearby? Try – “NY Style Pizza” 01505 – or, if for some reason you do not know where you are – hit Search Tools after your search and use the area options – including the ability to auto-detect your area.

7. Better Images – use the Search Tools options at images.google.com and do all kinds of cool things like select the type of image you need and even find royalty-free stuff.

8. Better Images – Part 2 – search for something general like cliff, and the images results will give you more specific suggestions at the top of the screen.

9. Web History – want to improve the accuracy of Google auto-recommendations for you, and also get a nice detailed history of your searching – check out history.google.com – are you freaked out about Internet privacy – don’t go near this feature. 🙂

10. Time Sensitive? – Use the Search Tools option in order to refine the time range of what you are looking for. I love this feature combined with news.google.com – especially when I am checking for NFL injury information.

11. Site Down? – web site down you desperately need to get to? Try cache:cisco.com in your search in order to pull up a cached copy.

12. File Types – want a specific type of file about a subject? No problem – for example – filetype:pdf “EIGRP Named Mode”

13. Let Google Help – Google will suggest related searches at the bottom of the page that just might help you narrow things down for what you need.

binoculars

More great tips on the way in the next post…

Power Google Search Usage – Part 1

January 2, 2015 at 6:24 am

My oh my do I owe Google so much for all of the great research over the years. To start this new year off right – here are some power tips (part 1) for using this free tool.

1. Boolean Operators – use +, -, * – or my favorite – “” when searching for something exact – for example:  “EIGRP Named Mode”

2. Site Specific – for example – site:cisco.com “EIGRP Named Mode”

3. Definitions – for example – define:truffle

4. Calculator – just type your desired calculation in the search box – for example, .2*56.49 for a proper tip calculation

5. Quick Answers – Remember Ask Jeeves? The idea was you type out your question…well, Google is all over that – for example, try When did the Cubs last win the World Series?

I hope you enjoyed these tips – lots more on the way for you!

google-logo

Anthony’s IT Certification Tips – 10 of 10 – Enjoy the Journey!

June 9, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Want to really excel when it comes to earning professional IT certifications? You need to learn to really love the process.

How is this possible? Well, if you follow many of the previous tips in this series, I think you will discover that the cert process really can be an enjoyable process.

Journey Clip Art 1-25-10

For example, I really discover that when I use a tracker, find the study materials that are right for me, and lab things up as I go along, I absolutely LOVE studying for a new certification. I mean, I really LOVE it. It’s one of my favorite things to do in life. Heck, I even enjoy taking exams.

When you finally earn that new certification, do not forget to celebrate the achievement! I have a ritual here. I call Keith Barker and chat about the process, then I go out with my family and celebrate. Since I love chatting with Keith, and celebrating with my family, I try and obtain as many certifications as humanly possible. (Are you looking for ideas in how to celebrate? Check out this recent CBT Nuggets blog post.)

If you aren’t thoroughly enjoying the cert process, then something is wrong. Find out what it is and fix it as soon as possible. For many students, it might be a bit of loneliness. If this is the case for you, seeking out a users group or forum somewhere could help. Or chat with your fellow students in the comments section of courses right here at CBT Nuggets! There usually us a fix for whatever is wrong during your cert journey.

Thank you for reading my “Tips for Cert Success” series. I sincerely hope at least one of my tips made or will make a measurable difference in your IT certification pursuits. Until next time, remember, study with passion!