Tinwhistler's college journey as an old man

The test took me half an hour. I didn't really feel super prepared, but I suppose I did alright :D

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Now, I gotta write a paper.
 
Paper will be easy. Choosing Mary Wollstonecraft’s essay A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
Template says:
2 paragraphs on the time period (Enlightenment/Neo-Classical) and cultural and historical events.
2 paragraphs on the themes of the piece (super easy..it's about women's rights, and early feminism)
2 paragraphs on the cultural significance, which should be pretty easy to do for what's happening in the USA today--much easier than, say, figuring out modern significances of Michaelangelo's David. ;)

 
Took 90 minutes to write the paper. Usually takes 3 days to grade them, but it came back in pretty quick. Passed. On to the next course :D
 
I asked my program mentor to add a new class on Friday at noon. Still haven't gotten one. I could've passed another gen-ed class over the weekend. I've called the school to have her replaced with a more responsive mentor.
 
So, had my weekly mentor call today, and she asks "so are you ready to start a new course?"
Uhm, you don't read your emails?

Anyway, so I started Networking and Security Foundations class today. Took the pre-test, and there were questions like "Which nanometer wavelengths are commonly used for modern multimode fiber systems? Pick 2" and "how many voice channel can a t1 carry at a time?" and "hey, lets do some subnet masking math with binary".

I know some networking guys who don't know some of this stuff. Luckily, I know some--got a 46% on the pre-assessment. But it looks like I got some studying to do. Not sure what it has to do with software development, but whatevs :D
 

GasBandit

Staff member
So, had my weekly mentor call today, and she asks "so are you ready to start a new course?"
Uhm, you don't read your emails?

Anyway, so I started Networking and Security Foundations class today. Took the pre-test, and there were questions like "Which nanometer wavelengths are commonly used for modern multimode fiber systems? Pick 2" and "how many voice channel can a t1 carry at a time?" and "hey, lets do some subnet masking math with binary".

I know some networking guys who don't know some of this stuff. Luckily, I know some--got a 46% on the pre-assessment. But it looks like I got some studying to do. Not sure what it has to do with software development, but whatevs :D
T1... what is this, 1998?
 
Anyway, so I started Networking and Security Foundations class today. Took the pre-test, and there were questions like "Which nanometer wavelengths are commonly used for modern multimode fiber systems? Pick 2"
I'd guess 1380nm and 1550nm.
 
Hah, the "pre-assessment" I took wasn't WGU's Network and Security Foundations assessment. It was for the CompTIA Network+ prep class. The "foundations" class only uses a small subset of that information, which I was already very familiar with. Took the actual pre-assessment today, got exemplary, so I'm testing out of that class this afternoon.

The foundations class mostly concerns itself with the OSI model (the "7 layer burrito"..though they don't call it that in the class), cable types, network types (ring, star, mesh, etc) and different types of attacks (phishing, packet sniffing, etc). I coulda been done with this day before yesterday. Heh.

On a side note, I talked to my mentor's manager yesterday. Long and short of it: The manager now knows I don't want to wait several days between finishing a class and starting a new one--especially if I'm able to finish some classes in 1-3 days. The wait means I missed out on finishing an entire class while I waited. Result: I have a new program mentor that's supposed to be more responsive than the old one.
 
Was able to get rescheduled for 8pm EST. Took me about 18 minutes to take the test. Passed.

"Planned graduation" said "oct 2024" 6 weeks ago ;)

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Next class is IT Foundations. Figured it'd be simple.
It's a CompTIA A+ Core 1 test. Don't think it's gonna be simple.
 
So far, I'm doing pretty good on the practice tests, but I'm missing all of the "Which CPU fits in which socket" questions. I just haven't been keeping up with all of the hardware changes in the last few years.

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I'm missing all of the "Which CPU fits in which socket" questions. I just haven't been keeping up with all of the hardware changes in the last few years.
TBH I would miss a bunch of them too if I had to do them all from memory. Thanks a lot, Intel!

--Patrick
 
I did the CompTIA A+ thing 20 years ago. It was way different then. Weird thing is, is that it doesn't expire because I did it so long ago.

Back then it was mostly irq and DMA assignments.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I did the CompTIA A+ thing 20 years ago. It was way different then. Weird thing is, is that it doesn't expire because I did it so long ago.

Back then it was mostly irq and DMA assignments.
IRQ 5 DMA 1 Port 220... old skool.

(actually my first sound blaster defaulted to IRQ 7 but Creative Labs got wise to the problems with Parallel ports pretty quick)
 
one of my first networking jobs was fixing a Novell network with the NIC on IRQ11...when the documentation specifically said not to use IRQ11 for the NIC. Don't remember why.
 
one of my first networking jobs was fixing a Novell network with the NIC on IRQ11...when the documentation specifically said not to use IRQ11 for the NIC. Don't remember why.
Quick Google says it would conflict with ACPI.

--Patrick
 
Got about 50% of the way through the study exam, and was still scoring in the 90% ranges. So, I said "screw it" and scheduled my exam, knowing full well that I hadn't covered all the material and that there'd be things I just simply didn't know on the test. I was banking on my experience and general knowledge of this stuff to get me at least a passing grade.

Success.

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(I took the exam online, so that's why there was no site number)
 
Omg you’re flying!
Thanks! :D

How long is this meant to take?
School in general? Was supposed to be nine 6-month terms. I've completed 3 terms worth of classes in 7 weeks, and Monday, I'm starting classes from the 4th term. I'm a special case, in that class of students they call "accelerators". About 1% of WGU college students complete their schooling in less than a year. ("Super-accelerators" do it in one term. I *might* be able to do that if I keep up the momentum. The math says 5.4 months to completion at my current rate of burning through these classes).

The average time to complete the schooling, according to the WGU website, is 3.5 years. And that's mostly because WGU doesn't usually take students in "cold"..you usually have to have at least some college credits transfer in. But they do make an exception for people who have years of experience (like me). They initially denied my application, and I had to appeal and write a huge paper on my experience and how it will help me get through the classes. But because I had no college classes to transfer in (and no un-expired certs that could have stood for college credits), I started with exactly 0 credits, and will have to take every single class.

If I had A+ certification, already, as an example, it would have given me the credits for the C393 and C394 classes (which are the A+ Core I and Core II prep classes).

A+ Certification? I have no idea. The class is typically 45 days long. I looked at some Professor Messer's stuff (who's supposed to be a whiz at teaching these things) and he said it takes some people months to prepare for A+. But I'm assuming that's someone going in 'cold' without a lot of preexisting experience. I've got a *lot* of experience with tech support and tech in general (though much of it is dated), so I didn't read any of the material at all.

Most WGU classes have a "pre-assessment" and an "objective assessment". The PA and OA are generally drawn from the same bank of questions, so often will give you a good indication on how ready you are for the final. Sometimes, you'll see the exact same question on both.

This class didn't have the benefit of a PA to judge how ready I was for the final because CompTIA keeps their test bank questions secret. But it did have a lot of 'pre-tests' made from the material that might be indicative of the actual cert test. But you aren't likely to see the exact same question on the actual test as you do in your 'pre-tests'. I took 5 of those and scored in the 88-91% on all of them. They also had a huge bank of like 560 questions that was a 'learning' test--it would tell you immediately if your answer was right or wrong. I spent about 4 hours in that, and got about half-way through. I was scoring in the 91% consistently on that. So, based on that learning test bank and 5 'pre-tests' (3 from Messer and 2 from WGU), I scheduled my proctored Core I test with PearsonVue (the folks who proctor this particular exam).

If I judge my actual scores properly, I scored around 88% on the actual cert. Getting the Core I passing score finishes the class. Passing the test proves you have the knowledge from the class, and so you get the credits and move on. I was in the class 2 and a half days.
 
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Last "3rd term" class completed. Starting on my "4th term" classes Monday. I asked my program mentor to put a couple of non-tech classes in front of the A+ Core II class. She did, but she dropped the hint that Core II is easier than Core I. I dunno how true that is, but if it's actually true, I might have my A+ by the coming weekend :D


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Looked over the Ethics in IT, and it looked like it covered laws and concepts and stuff that I was already well versed in. Scheduled the test while I was still on the high I get from taking/passing a test.

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decided to take advantage of the post-test high and take Applied Algebra and not look at the material. Because, well, it's algebra.
Probably would have done better if I'd refreshed what I learned in high school..but meh, I passed it ;)
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looking at the coaching report, I did 100% on the actual algebraic formula stuff, and missed a few on the "interpreting concavity" and "examining utility of models" stuff--things we didn't cover in high school, but that I made my best logical guesses at. Guess they weren't great ;) But--they were good enough
 
Finished Web Applications Development. Didn't miss any javascript or webforms questions, which stands to reason. Those have been my bread and butter. Missed a few html5 media, css3, and web dev questions, because I don't have as much experience with them. If I'd have gotten one more question right, I'd have gotten exemplary.

I'm trying to blaze through the stuff I know just as fast as humanly possible. I spent 30 minutes taking the pre-test, saw I passed with an acceptable cushion, and just went on to take the final without looking at the material.

This was a huge 6-credit course and would have been really difficult for someone without experience. Passing puts me at 53 credits, 43% complete for the degree. I have revised my hopes. I originally hoped to finish in 18 months. Then, I changed that 2 terms (12 months)..now, if I can complete 3 classes a week for 2 weeks, and 2 classes a week for the remaining weeks, I will be able to finish in one term and save myself some money. It's definitely a possibility.

If I can't finish in one term, then I'll have an entire 2nd 6 month term to finish whatever small number of classes remain.

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guess I don't need to guess now :) That came sooner than expected.
 
CompTIA Project+ Cert passed. Another class down. On to ITIL Foundations V4.

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Tomororw will be the official 2 month mark for my schooling: May 1-Jul 1.
In that time, I've earned 61 credits (out of 122 needed)--exactly 50% of the way there.

I'm feeling very hopeful that I can get this thing done in one term instead of 2. :D
 
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