The primary trouble spot for many Network+ exam candidates is the breadth of information contained in the exam. Rather than focusing on a single technology (such as routing, switching, wireless networking, or security), the Network+ exam requires you to know the fundamentals of many different technologies.
To give you a better sense of major topic areas on the exam, CompTIA identifies five question domains (that is, major topic areas). Following is a listing of those domains and the percentage of exam questions in each domain:
- Network Technologies21 percent
- Network Installation and Configuration23 percent
- Network Media and Topologies17 percent
- Network Management20 percent
- Network Security19 percent
One of the biggest differences in the N10-005 version of the exam, versus the previous version of the exam (that is, N10-004), is the increased focus on security. The N10-004 exam had 11 percent of its questions addressing security, while the N10-005 exam devotes 19 percent of the exam to security. So, if security is a weak area in your body of knowledge, you would benefit (now more than ever) from spending some extra time in your security studies.
Another problematic area on the Network+ exam stems from the required memorization of “speeds and feeds.” For example, there are a wide variety of Ethernet standards using a variety of media types (for example, coax, Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat6, multimode fiber, and single mode fiber) supporting a variety of speeds (for example, 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, and 10 Gbps), and having a variety of distance limitations (for example, 100 m, 2 km, or 40 km). An exam question might require that you know such information about a given Ethernet standard (for example, 10BASE-TX or 10GBASE-LR). Therefore, a significant amount of memorization is required to be successful on such questions.
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.