Ace that exam

Need a little help studying for tough IT certification exams? A practice test might be a valuable investment of your time and money. Master the questions on the practice exam, and you should have no problem passing the real certification exam.

I found several practice tests on the Web for Cisco, Microsoft and Novell certification, among others. Some of them are even free. Here are a few to check out:

Many of the site's free exams are undergoing a redesign, so now's your chance to chime in on exactly what you'd like to see in the exams or beta test new content. You'll find free exams for MCSE and CompTIA A+ and Network +, with more to be added in the future.

This site offers vendor-specific SkillDrill tests for Allaire, Citrix, Lotus and Microsoft certifications. There's also a slew of exams covering network-related topics such as security, routing, switching, thin clients and broadband technology. Registered users can take the tests at no charge.

Specializing in Cisco CCNA, CCNP and CCIE exams, this company offers free demos. You can purchase the right to take a certification exam up to five times for $39.95. If you plan on taking lots of tests, though, a better option might be to purchase a subscription. The $179 one-year subscription lets you take up to 48 practice exams during the period. The $99 six-month subscription lets you take up to 24 exams, while the $67 three-month subscription gives you access to 12 exams.

A subsidiary of Dice, certification preparation and assessment firm offers online, downloadable and CD practice tests for a variety of certification programs. Pricing varies depending on the specific test and length of time for which you'll be able to access it (30 days, 180 days, download or CD-ROM).

Network World's NetSmart training portal provides Boson's technical practice tests, considered to be among the best in the industry. Covering topics such as Cisco, Linux, Novell or Jupiter, each exam contains more than 200 questions. Check out a free demo or purchase the tests for $39.95 each.

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