Preparing for Exam 101
It's fair to say that if you are an experienced Linux or Unix administrator, exam 101 won't be a challenge for you. The LPIC Level I certification is intended for junior administrators. On the other hand, the body of knowledge that's being tested is large. At present, the LPI's list of objectives and POMS system are about all you have to go on as preparation materials. While these contain references to how-tos and other documents, any serious digging may begin to feel more like research than exam preparation. In the near future this situation should begin to change. At least one book is already announced for Exam 101, I'm currently working on one, and others are likely to be in the works as well.
As the market for Linux has increased a number of instructor-led training options for Linux have appeared. If you're new to Linux and willing to pay for such a class, you may find the experience useful. This is particularly true if you're coming to Linux from the Microsoft or Novell world. Check out Linuxcare University and LinSight for some training options, or you may also be able to get information by snooping around GoCertify.
If you are affiliated with a training organization offering Linux certification prep courses, let me know so I can include your link in future articles or other resources.
As with any certification program, there's no substitute for experience. I recommend that you go through the objectives with a working Linux system available to answer questions, review documentation, and work with commands.
Another resource that you will certainly want to look at is a set of Sample Questions recently posted by Scott Murray, LPI Director of Exam Development (these questions are to be moved to the LPI site soon, so check there if necessary). Use the sample questions to gauge the flavor and depth of the test and to evaluate your readiness.
After the Exam
You'll be able to get your results on VUE's LPI Exam Options page. Note that as of late March, 2000, the LPI is still compiling statistics on exam 101. Only after a statistically significant number of examinees have taken the test can a reasonable pass/fail point be set. During this "beta period", VUE will be reporting a "fail" status for everyone. When the beta period is complete the VUE status will be fixed. Because of this hitch I'm still awaiting my results for exam 101.
In next month's article, we'll take a look at the Sair Linux and GNU Certification program.
Jeff Dean is an engineering and IT professional currently writing a Linux certification handbook for O'Reilly and Associates.
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