ZEN of the LPIC exam – It’s all about preparation!Because you opened this article, you are probably preparing for the LPICexam right now, or you are thinking about to do so.Here are eight tips for you regarding LPIC exam prep:Tip #1: Prepare well!First, check out exactly what LPI expects from you. Look at their “detailedobjectives” regarding LPI 101 and LPI 102 so that you are ready to planyou preparation appropriately.Tip #2: Find the right study material for you!There are lots of possible study materials to choose from, and also lots ofsources hoping that you will choose to use them.Find out (if you don’t already know) what kind of learning type you are,then choose the right study material. Pick a classroom training, buy abook or subscribe to an online training with videos. Most importantly,make sure you are dealing with up-to-date training material. I often hearthat students order books or subscribe to an online training only todiscover later that the materials they have purchased were not up-to-date.Tip #3: Take your time!The learning process is a time consuming one. If you are new to usingLinux, you probably will need extra time to adapt to the new environment.Learning lots of new commands and learning to use the command lineitself will challenge you to change your own habits regarding how youmove through a system. Studying 1-2 months for an exam is like this isabsolutely normal. Nobody who is relatively new to Linux completes LPI101 exam preparation in 1 week. If someone says they have, ask him orher a few in depth questions about the exam topics. ;-)
Tip #4: Study and don’t cheat!Certainly there is the possibility to get certified by just taking the practiceexams, memorizing a few hundred questions and then passing the test.Don’t do this if you are really planning to work in a professional Linuxproduction environment. I have seen these kind of “SystemAdministrators” crying in front of their Linux servers, or worse havingbeen sent back home by a client because they rebooted some serverwithout permission to do so, or because they deleted important filesaccidentally by using a single command, one they didn’t understand. Thegoal should be to “learn” something about Linux with the goal ofcertification. Don’t forget: What you have learned will stay with you for along time!Tip #5: Install a Linux system!To practice for the LPI exam you surely have to install at least one Linuxdistribution on your own system. Generally, according to the detailedobjectives of LPI, you need experience with one rpm based distributionlike CentOS as well as a Debian-package based Linux distribution likeUbuntu. If you have a spare machine, install both types of Linux systemon it. If you do not have any spare system, you could use an environmentlike to VirtualBox install a virtual machine on your computer. (There areLinux, Mac and Windows versions of VirtualBox available). You can theninstall all Linux Distributions inside this virtual machine. Check it out, it’spretty easy.Tip #6: Take practice exams!The best possible preparation for a situation is always a simulation of thereal experience. ;-) Find practice exams equal to the original LPI examsand practice a lot with them. In this way you will gain experienceanswering the style of questions that LPI asks on their certification exam.The same applies here as for the all training materials: make sure you findpractice exams which are up-to-date!Tip #7: Take notes during the exam!Although you may not take notes you make with your when your leavethe exam location, notes you make during the exam may be helpfulduring the exam itself. If you encounter a question you cannot answerdirectly, skip it and return to it later, making notes about the question youdon’t understand. The notes are important: often you will encounter hintsin parts of other questions that can help you answer the skipped questionat a later point.
Tip #8: It is not the end of the world if you fail the exam on yourfirst attempt!Think about that always: nobody will die if you fail an exam! This will helpyou to be calm when you enter the exam center and will help you to staycalm during the exam itself. When I have failed examinations in the past,it always made me stronger. I sat down and studied the topics whichwhere not clear to me again. Repetition helped the content sink in, so thatI could successfully perform better on the test next time. So, you failed?No problem, just make something positive out of that!