Network+ 2011 Exam N10-005 Updates
On December 1, 2011, CompTIA released the latest Network+ exam, N10-005, that will replace the old N10-004 exam on August 1, 2012. The Network+ exam focuses on skills and knowledge of a general network technician, covering a broad spectrum of general networking knowledge ranging from networking devices to cables to protocols to networked software. It includes a reasonable balance of theory, configuration, implementation, architecture, and troubleshooting. After a domain comparison between the new N10-005 exam and the previous N10-004 exam (objectives as published by CompTIA) here are some tips to help you prepare to take the Network+ Exam N10-005.
The new Network+ N10-005 exam is a 100-question exam with a time period of 90 minutes. The questions are multiple-choice, most with single correct answer, although there are some that require two, three, or an unknown number of selections to be considered correct. You must score 720 points out of a possible 100-900 points. Network+ is an additive test where you gain points for correct answers, but there is no penalty for wrong answers. (The only way to "skip" questions is to run out of time before providing an answer to the questions you had not yet seen.) All of these aspects of Network+ are the same for N10-005 as they were for N10-004.
As before, there are no actual pre-requisite requirements to be qualified to take the exam. However, CompTIA recommends having A+ certification and 9 months of computer network related experience.
So, what has changed? Nothing significant, but that's not to say that there are no changes. However, there do not seem to be any truly significant changes in focus or content. In a domain comparison between the new N10-005 exam and the previous N10-004 exam official certification exam objectives as published by CompTIA, I discovered a handful of changes to highlight in this paper.
Many of the new items are either obvious or direct elements of a topic, or are so closely related to networking that they had been common inclusions in well-rounding training and preparation materials. These newly listed exam items should come as little to no surprise to those already familiar with network concepts in general or who have already prepared using N10-004 materials. However, if these items are new to you, a quick Internet search, an N10-005 study guide, or a training class are ready and waiting to get you up to speed on all things Network+.
The N10-004 exam divided the exam into six targeted topical areas called domains. The new N10-005 exam has five domains, although only three domain names are the same. The content of the "missing" domains has simply been reorganized.
|New Network+(N10-005) Domains||% Exam||% Exam Prior Network+(N10-004) Domains||% Exam|
|Domain 1: Network Concepts||21%||Domain 1: Network Technologies||20%|
|Domain 2: Network Installation and Configuration||23%||Domain 2: Network Media and Topologies||20%|
|Domain 3: Network Media and Topologies||17%||Domain 3: Network Devices||17%|
|Domain 4: Network Management||20%||Domain 4: Network Management||20%|
|Domain 5: Network Security||19%||Domain 5: Network Tools||12%|
|Domain 6: Network Security||11%|
As you can see, the percentage of the exam related to the various topics has not really shifted much, However, most of the shifting is not a true change of focus or weight, but an indication of the "missing" domain being distributed into the remaining 5. However, some will see the increase in Network Security from 11% to 19% as an indication that the focus on security has significantly increased on Network+. I don't think this the case. In fact, security has been an integral part of networking for decades, and this was reflected in all previous versions of Network+. The latest revision of this exam has simply reorganized all the disparate security material under the security domain.
Don't stress over this chart, the number of domains, or even the percentage of the exam covered by each domain. (A special tip: the new exam contains 100 questions, and the percentage per domain equates to the number of questions!) In reality, the exam presents questions to you in a random order. While the test is a flattest (as opposed to adaptive), you receive questions randomly pulled from the test pool in accordance with the domain percentage spread. Then those questions are randomly ordered #1 - #100. You must approach each question on its own merits, with no knowledge of which domain it belongs to. You should always consider each question in light of the entire collection of Network+ material, not just single domain. Now, let's review the updated content for the latest Network+ exam.
Domain 1: Network Concepts
1. Domain Name System (DNS) records(A, MX, AAAA, CNAME, PTR) (Sub-objective of 1.7)
Five common DNS resource records (RR) are now specifically mentioned in the exam objectives where just generic DNS, DNS ports, DNS server, and wrong DNS were mentioned previously.