Today (October 30,2017) I have finally completed the Comptia Trifecta and I want to talk about them for a moment and my future plans:
A+ - I skipped IT Fundamentals and went directly to studying for the A+ because at the time I was already Microsoft and Apple Certified. The A+ took about 10 days of hard studying for each part (you have to pass 2 parts before you get the A+ certification). Both parts I was pretty nervous while taking the test (I'm not a strong test taker in general), but I scored well and passed on my first attempt.
Network+ - Although I know my hardware pretty well, I had very little experience with Networking, I read that the current version of the test (the N10-006) was a lot harder than the previous versions.... but it was next on my list. I studied for months and studied hard, but unfortunately I failed the test. Not only once, but I failed twice. Since I'm paying for these out of pocket, it was pretty devastating to keep failing. I decided to study hard again and give it one last shot and after a long time, I took the test again and passed......barely.....but I passed. I have mixed feelings about it because I don't want to just pass, but I want to pass with a high score so I know 100% I understood the material, but it is what it is.
Security+ - I was excited to start studying for the Security+ since IT Security is what I want a career in. Most people say you can study hard and pass the Security+ in 30 days if you passed the Network+. This might be true, but I was really nervous about taking the test because I knew I could only afford to take it once. I decided to take it slow. I finally decided to set a date and schedule the test after almost 6 months. I studied hard every day leading up to the test and then today I took it. I could immediately see the test was easier than the Network+, but it was still pretty hard in my opinion. I thought I failed at the end, but not only did I pass, but I passed with a pretty high score.
How that I've completed the "main" CompTIA certifications, I'm hoping maybe I can move into a more Security focused position. Some of the higher certifications I'd like to get require YEARS of actual IT Security experience before you can even take attempt them. That's one of the things I love about CompTIA. There's NO hard requirement to take their exams. They of course have recommendations on how many years of experience you should have before taking their tests, but even then it's just a recommendation. You can even take the highest level CompTIA exam (the CASP) with no prior experience. You'd probably fail, but you could take it if you wanted to.
What I don't like about CompTIA is the way their tests are structured. You basically have a 90 minutes to do a maximum of 90 questions. Although it sounds like it's not that bad, most of their questions are like a paragraph long and you'll need to read them multiple times to make sure you understood all of it correctly. They also have simulations you have to complete that may eat up a lot of your time. Also some questions aren't even counted towards your score (of course you don't know which ones) and they don't tell you how much each question is worth. All you know is their scoring system is between 100-900 points. Oh yea.... and the tests are very expensive compared to other IT certifications.
In the end though I'm very happy I passed. I've learned a lot. This is certainly not the end of my journey by a long shot. As of today (10/30/17), I'm going to take today to relax. Starting tomorrow, I'll be studying for my next certification. I could take some more time off, but as they say.... never stop learning!