UPDATE: The Network+ N10-005 is no longer available in testing centers, this leaves Network+ N10-006 as the only available option.
Is the BIGGER, BADDER Network+ N10-006 “badder” enough?
Comparing the Exam Objectives
The Network+ Nouveau has arrived! The new version of Network+ (N10-006) launched on February 28, 2015. However, would you be so inclined, you will still be able to sit for the “old” N10-005 until August 31 of 2015.
So how different is the new Network+ N10-006 compared to the old N10-005? The new material in CompTIA’s Certification Exam Objectives for Network+ N10-005 aim mostly at reflecting technologies used today that were not included in the objectives 3 years ago. There is also a greater emphasis put on practical knowledge. This is demonstrated in part by the use of terminology such as “installing, configuring, implementing, managing and troubleshooting” around many of the new objectives.
They say you can make statistics say whatever you want them to say and that holds, to a certain extent, true when it comes to analyzing the difference between these two exams. However no matter how you look at it the changes are very significant. You still have the exact same number of main domains, five, and these are:
|Domain||% of Examination|
|1.0 Network architecture||22%|
|2.0 Network operations||20%|
|3.0 Network security||18%|
|5.0 Industry standards, practices, and network theory||16%|
First here is how the terminology works:
|Example of CompTIA objectives listing||Naming|
|1.0 Network architecture||Main Domain 1|
|1.10 Identify the basics elements of unified communication technologies||Sub-domain 10|
|• Distance vector routing protocols||Topic level|
|o RIP v2||Sub-topic level|
We prefer “Main-objective” for the top level objective and “Sub-objective” instead of Sub-domain. However, in the interest of clarity, consistency and minimum confusion, we use “Domain” because that is what CompTIA uses in their “Certification Exam Objectives” document.
And now, back to our analysis, the new N10-006 Exam Objectives have following characteristics compared to the N10-005.
Specifications for N10-006
Main domains: 5
Topic & sub topic points: 882
How does that compare to N10-005?
Main domains: 5
Topic & sub topic points: 507
As you can see above, the new objectives cover a lot more topics than the “old” ones i.e. 882 vs 507.
In terms of sub-domains here are the brand new ones. By “brand new” we mean that none of the topics/sub-topics in these exist anywhere in N10-005 so the Sub-domains and all their content is all new.
- 1.7 Differentiate between network infrastructure implementations
- 2.5 Given a scenario, install and apply patches and updates
- 3.4 Compare and contrast physical security controls
- 3.7 Summarize basic forensic concepts
- 4.5 Given a scenario, troubleshoot and resolve common fiber cable issues
- 5.5 Given a scenario, implement the appropriate policies or procedures
- 5.6 Summarize safety practices
- 5.8 Explain the basics of change management procedures
Other sub-domains are “substantially” new. These are the sub-objectives that contain mostly but not all new topics. These are the “substantially” new sub-domains:
- 1.11 Compare and contrast technologies that support cloud and virtualization
- 2.1 Given a scenario, use appropriate monitoring tools
- 2.2 Given a scenario, analyze metrics and reports from monitoring and tracking
- 2.6 Given a scenario, configure a switch using proper features
- 3.2 Compare and contrast common network vulnerabilities and threats
- 3.6 Explain the purpose of various network access control models
- 4.6 Given a scenario, troubleshoot and resolve common network issues
- 4.7 Given a scenario, troubleshoot and resolve common security issues
- 4.8 Given a scenario, troubleshoot and resolve common WAN issues
- 5.2 Explain the basics of network theory and concepts
- 5.7 Given a scenario, install and configure equipment in the appropriate location using best practices
Another impressive metric is this:
CompTIA Exam Objectives document for Network+ N10-005: 24 pages
CompTIA Exam Objectives document for Network+ N10-006: 33 pages!
The bottom line
There is now way around it, the new N10-006 exam covers a heck of a lot more content! The page difference above shows a difference of about 50% and that is pretty consistent with how many topic points have been added. How much of the obsolete topics from N10-005 has been dropped? About 4%! As you can see a very little of the old stuff has been thrown out to make room for the new…
It seems to us that if you have Network+ planned in your near future i.e. before the end of the year, then choosing to sit for the current N10-005 exam seem the more prudent choice. If you know you will need to prepare past 08/31/2015 then obviously there is no choice and you will have to take the new exam.
Whichever you choose good luck to you!
For more on our practice tests for Network+, go to: https://www.bsmg.net/?to=certblaster-n10-006&go=product/network-n10-006-practice-tests/