Training and Certification
How to Pass the CTT+ Exam
February 23, 2015
The CompTIA Technical Trainer exam is not the hardest certification exam in the world, but if you’re not prepared for the content then it can definitely throw you off track. From someone who has taken (and passed) the CTT+ certification exam, here is my take on the test.
Classroom vs. Virtual Classroom Trainer
As I sat in class for 3 days preparing for the CTT+, I never once worried about the exam itself. My stress was focused on the video portion. To pass this portion of the exam, your video needs to be 17-22 minutes on a course taught to at least 5 students, meet all 5 exam domains and score above a 1 in each of the objectives.
As someone who is not a natural public speaker and the fact that this video recording now lives forever on the internet; this portion of the exam was a stressor, to say the least. Looking back though it was not nearly as bad as I had built up in my mind and here’s why:
- Your instructor starts the class by looking at each of the objectives and what constitutes a pass or fail. No mystery there.
- You pick your topic at the beginning of day 1 if you’re smart because you will take a dozen recordings during the three-day class. Each time you perfect your presentation more so by the time the big finale comes along, you’ve already said it so many times that it’s second nature.
- Your topic can be as simple as you want so long as you can meet the objectives. The course is for a “technical” trainer but don’t think you have to teach an extremely complicated topic. In all honesty, to move seamlessly through all the points you need to meet, you want it simple and easy enough to grasp so your students don’t keep you stuck on point #1 of 3 and then time runs out. I did my presentation on jeans, some do cooking or card tricks. Do what you feel comfortable talking about.
- Your trainer has already passed the CTT+ and understands the grading process. Never for a moment think that he/she is just telling you that it’s good. They are on your side and want you to pass. They will tell you if your presentation isn’t to par.
Whether you take the virtual or classroom route the basic concepts of your presentation requirements are the same. So just practice and believe that your instructor will lead you through it and you will be fine.
To get an idea of what a passing CTT+ video looks like, view mine below:
The CTT+ Essentials Exam
If you noted above, I said I wasn’t worried about the exam prior to taking it. All my stress was on the video. This is the reason why I started this post saying it’s not the most difficult. The content is simple enough in that a lot goes over basic communication skills. Don’t take the seemingly “common-sense” air of the content lightly, as I did. It’s a test and people still fail. Luckily I passed.
My biggest mistake was I thought since I was submitting the Classroom Trainer video that I didn’t need to spend much time on the Virtual Trainer questions. I was so wrong. There were a combination of both and I could literally feel my heart beat pick up after seeing question 2 on virtual classroom instruction. Do yourself a favor and study both exam question types because you truly can’t predict which ones you will get.