A+ Windows 7 Video Series – Part II

February 24, 2011 at 9:40 am | Posted in CompTIA, Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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The second part of our video series with Mike Meyers can be accessed by clicking here. This is where we get into the real meat of the A+ changes. You don’t want to miss it!

We touch on the historical trends for CompTIA certification updates and spell out the steps to access the new exam objectives and how to identify the new content. For our friends who have expressed frustration regarding tested topics not currently in your practice test products or study guides, Mike offers his experience about unscored items.

Also, in case you’re just joining us and you missed the first part of our video series, catch up here!


The proof is in the research: Taking a test is the best way to learn

February 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Study hints, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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If you’re familiar with our blog and our product, then it should come as no surprise that when you ask us we always encourage you to take a practice test before taking your certification exam. Well now you don’t have to take our word for it! It seems the good folks at Purdue University have the research to prove it. In a study involving 200 college students, a group of Purdue University researchers found that taking a practice test before a subsequent exam trumped several other popular methods of learning—including repetition and concept mapping.

One of several experiments went something like this: Students were asked to read several paragraphs about a scientific topic. They were then divided into four groups.

  • The first group simply read the text for five minutes.
  • The second group read the text in four consecutive five-minute sessions.
  • The third group performed “concept mapping,” a process in which students drew detailed diagrams about information from the excerpt they were reading.
  • The fourth group read the passage once and took a “retrieval practice test,” which required them to write down what they recalled from the text.

A week later, all four groups took a quiz that asked them to recall facts from the passage they had read and draw conclusions based on those facts. Here’s where it gets really exciting…while the students in the fourth group anticipated lower scores on the quiz, they were actually able to recall 50% more compared to those who participated in the first three groups. This means, those who read and then took a practice test had higher exam scores a week later!

Surprised? Yeah, so was most of the education community. Although experts are not completely sure why retrieval testing is so effective, there are some theories. It could be that by recalling information, we are organizing it and creating meaningful connections that our brains later recognize. Another theory is that the effort involved in remembering information helps to solidify it in our minds. Meaning as we’re working through a practice test and identifying areas of weakness, we’re actually using the struggle to remember information as a retention source for later recall. This makes us feel a whole lot better about the forum chatter that says our Transcender practice tests are so much harder than the “real thing”.

If you want to check out the details of the Purdue study as well as more feedback on theories from “experts” the article can be found here, To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test. Whatever the reason behind their results, the Purdue study makes a very compelling case for using practice tests to prepare for your upcoming IT certification exam.

A+ Windows 7 Video Series with Mike Meyers

February 15, 2011 at 8:36 am | Posted in CompTIA, Kaplan IT Training news | 1 Comment
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My video sessions with Mike Meyers are finally ready for release! There are four video sessions, and we will be releasing one video each week for next four weeks. I hope that these videos give you some insight into just what the Windows 7 refresh of the A+ exams means to you. 

To watch the first video in the series, please click here. This one is just a quick intro, but if you don’t have the time to watch it now, visit our Transcender home page anytime this week to check it out.

I am eagerly awaiting your comments on this. (No making fun of the accent!)

And would someone please contact Mother Nature for me to request an end to the snow? She and I are no longer on speaking terms. This Alabama girl is getting tired of the wintry weather. 

Roll Tide! Yes, we do say that all the time here…

P.S. If you haven’t seen the Roll Tide commercials on ESPN, you won’t get my joke! So you may want to watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvyknw4VClE.

Limited time offer: Save 15% on our top 10 practice exams

February 9, 2011 at 11:23 am | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | 3 Comments

From now until 2/14/2011, you can score 15% off the regular retail price on our ten most popular practice exams. The sale includes all exam formats. Here’s an example of your savings over typical prices:

  • CD-ROM $139 list Sale Price $118.15
  • Download version $139 list Sale Price $118.15
  • Online Access $109 list Sale Price $92.65

To activate your discount, click any of the exams below. The discount will appear after you place the item in your shopping cart. Voucher exam bundles, e-Learning, and additional item packs are excluded from the sale.


What We’re Working On – February Edition

February 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | 10 Comments
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We had so much news to share in January that it’s hard to believe it’s time to recap what we’re working on in FEBRUARY.

From looking at our 2011 Development Calendar, I think it’s safe to say we have a jam-packed year ahead. But as always, things change so quickly in this business that I’ll limit the news in this post to the line-up we currently have in development. I’ll start with the most requested products: Windows Server 2008 R2 updates and Visual Studio 2010.

George called in some favors and has Troy helping him with the last few R2 updates for the Cert-70-646 and Cert-70-647 exams. Both of these updates are scheduled to release at the end of February. As George discussed in his previous post, if you already purchased these products, you can log into your Club Account at the end of the month to look for updates. If you’re waiting for the updates to roll out before buying a practice test, you can find out when the new version is released by checking the product description on our Web site. We’ve kept the Marketing team busy, and they’ve updated all product descriptions to include R2 as the new versions become available for sale.

Josh will finish up the VS 2010 practice tests. The 70-513 C# and 70-513 VB are available now, and the 70-516 will be released next month. The order of attack for the remaining practice test products in this track will be as follows:

  1. 70-518
  2. 70-521
  3. 70-519
  4. 70-523

I’m hoping Josh doesn’t check out this blog post because he’s focusing on one project schedule at a time, and I’m afraid seeing this list in writing may cause some anxiety.

You’ve probably read Robin’s posts about the A+ refresh, so it should come as no surprise that her first priority this year is to ensure that our practice tests adequately cover any new content being tested on the exams. As is usual practice here, we will wait to confirm that changes in the CompTIA exam are available nationwide and/or globally before releasing any new content in our practice tests, but since Robin’s made a lot of progress already, those A+ revisions to our products should release within days of the new exam content hitting test centers! Keep checking back with us, or ask Robin directly, and we’ll let you know as soon as we know regarding a release date.

Finally, our Oracle 11g practice tests products are getting a facelift. Most of this product line has been on the shelf for a while and it didn’t take us long to get Bob his very own project blueprint and schedule. He’ll be identifying the Release 2 version changes in the Oracle exams against our practice test content and closing any content gaps in our products. We should release the first revision, Cert-1Z0-051, by mid-March.

That covers the most recent projects & customer requests I’ve received, but if there’s a specific exam you’re studying for or a track you’re looking to explore this year, feel free to email us through the Transcender site or drop a comment at the end of this post. Either way, your emails always make their way to someone on this team and we’ll give you the most updated information we have regarding practice test products.

Thanks for reading & stay warm!
~ Aima

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