Self Paced or Instructor Led Training

There are two basic ways of studying for certification. You do it all yourself or you go to a class. Before I go any further I’ll point out that I write Self Paced Training Kits for Microsoft, so there is a bit of an incentive for me to push one method over the other. On the other hand, I’ve also run instructor led courses. Anyway, now that that is out there, on with the post… Each type of study suits a particular person. If you simply can never find the time to study out of hours, or you need someone to give you a bit of a push when it comes to motivation, going to a class can be your best option. Some people simply need the routine provided by the classroom environment to learn. Without structure their studies are rudderless and they never get around to taking an exam. Other types of people are fine with studying for themselves. They set aside enough hours each week to come to terms with the exam objectives, remember to schedule their exams a couple of weeks before they have fully come to terms with the topics (giving themselves a self imposed deadline) and know when they should be hitting the books/technical websites and when they are going to get the most value out of practice exams. So how do you know which one is for you? If you go to a week long class and find that on the first afternoon around 2pm you are bored off your head and wish the instructor went about 20 times faster, you are probably better suited for self study. If you’ve purchased a Training Kit or Study Guide, had it sitting on your desk for six months and you haven’t gotten to the end of Chapter 2, you should probably look at booking into a course. You shouldn’t feel bad if you aren’t great at self study. It is a skill you build up over time. It is something that you should aim for because it ends up being far cheaper than going to instructor lead courses, but if you personal study style doesn’t work that way, don’t sweat it.

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