The primary trouble spot for many Network+ exam candidates is using critical thinking, in combination with their knowledge, to answer a scenario-based question or correctly complete a simulation. An example would be a troubleshooting scenario, where network clients are unable to reach a network resource, and the candidate needs to identify why this might be the case. A single question like this might require knowledge of networking, IP addressing, host configuration, and a troubleshooting methodology.
Another challenge is that instead of focusing on only a single technology (such as routing, switching, wireless networking, or security), the Network+ exam requires you to know, and apply that knowledge, regarding the fundamentals of many different technologies. Many of the questions integrate multiple technologies into a single question.
CompTIA has based the exam on five areas, referred to as domains. Following is a list of those domains and the percentage of exam questions in each domain:
1.0 Networking Concepts
3.0 Network Operations
4.0 Network Security
5.0 Network Troubleshooting and Tools
Two of the most significant differences between the current N10-007 version of the exam and the previous version are the increased focus on troubleshooting, and an overall reduction on the amount of security content the learner is tested on. The N10-007 exam devotes 22 percent of the exam to troubleshooting, and to troubleshoot well requires a solid understanding of networking concepts (23%).
Performing the binary math calculations required to subnet an IP network is another area where many test takers struggle. You should, for example, be able to take a given IP network and subnet it into a certain number of subnets, to support a certain number of hosts, and be able to identify the usable IP address range in each of the subnets, along with the new masks for each subnet.