Wednesday, January 30, 2008

C220-601: A+ Essentials

As i promised from my previous post, this time i will write a small review about one of uCertify PrepKits, which is 220-601 - CompTIA A+ Essentials practice test. CompTIA's 220-601 test is designed to measure your ability to support computers having different hardware and software configurations. Exam 220-601 is a mandatory requirement for the A+ Certification. This test is appropriate for you if you want to be an entry-level IT professional and have job responsibilities including: IT Technician, Enterprise Technician, PC Technician, Desktop Support Technician, Field Technician, PC Support Technician, Remote Support Technician, Help Desk Technician, Call Center Technician, Depot Technician and Bench Technician.

The demo version can be downloaded from this link, but you will only have demo version. It's limited in some features, like less questions, no final test, no articles, less study notes, and less practice test. Nevertheless, it can be used for tryouts. If you like the product, you can buy the full version for USD 69.98. I got a chance to review the product using the full license number that was given to by one of the Senior Marketing Manager of uCertify.

Here's the screenshot of the main page of the application (yes, it's Windows-based)



















On the right side, you will see some items that can be used to improve your understanding about certain things related to the test, such as articles, study notes, study tips, interactive quiz, and also exam objectives. On the bottom of the application, you can track your progress and also readiness report. This will give you basic report of how ready are you to take the real exams. In the left side, you will see the main items, the test questions. In this prepkits, you will see one diagnostic test consists of 15 questions, 7 practice test, each of them consists of 55 questions, a final test with 40 questions, and also a custom test. If you notice, the button for practice and final test are grayed out, since i haven't entered my license number yet. When i clicked them, it will show a nice screen with message saying that the feature only available on full version:



















When you clicked on the Register button, a new windows will come up and it will ask for your email and order number. It will download the license number from the Internet to unlock your prepKits.


















Let's start with diagnostic tests. You have a maximum of 15 questions on this test and it can be used to identify your weakness and the focusing your preparations to fix the problem. It has two modes: Test Mode and Learn Mode. The difference is that in test mode, you can review the test in the end of the test, suitable for a simulation of the real test. In learn mode, you will have a chance to see the feedback after each answer. When the test starts, you will see this kind of window:



















In the bottom of the page, you can see several buttons that can be used for several actions, for example you can pause the test if you have something else to do (but you can still see the questions though. It would be nice if they put a white background, so the questions won't be revealed), tag the questions with a label, put a note on each questions, and navigate through the test questions. You can also give your ratings to the questions by choosing the stars in the upper section of the screen.

When you have finished the exams, you can see your results by clicking on the results button like in the screenshot below (well, i didn't take the exams and straight to the results, resulting a 0 points big grin). You can also see the review of each questions by clicking on the questions (check the second screenshot)






































When you have conducted several tests, you see your history and look for the progress on each test like shown below:



When you think you are ready, you can take the final test and readiness test before going to the real tests. I wish for your success...

From my point of view, this application is very helpful. It doesn't only giving questions, but also explanations on how it should be answered. The results and review features are very nice and you can track all of your tests (there are about 600 questions and it will be randomized) to make sure that you have been fully prepared. I think it's worthed to spend some cash to buy this product if you are really interested in passing the exams.

This application can also be used to download other prepkits. So you don't have to download them all. Just download one prepkits and from that application, you can download the rest of the prepkits (the demo of course). With single click installation, everything become so easy and flexible.

The only thing that i expected to be fixed is the pause feature. It should not show the questions in the background. I think it can be used to cheat big grin Other things to be considered is the articles and study notes. It's fixed for now, but it will be great if users can add their own study notes and article that they find useful.

I personally expect a Linux version of this application as there are people who doesn't run Windows on their computer. It would be a great if they can close this gap.

That's my humble reviews. Thanks for reading....