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Reviews (Books & Software):

The following lists the RFID books that I have read (in order of reading them) and reviews for each, including software reviews (if applicable).  In a nutshell, you should pick any CompTIA RFID+ Quality Seal Approved Manual, and another similar manual, to get the most out of learning RFID.  In addition, you must get a hold of the 175 Question Quiz CD purchased independently, included with a manual, or online at MeasureUP.com.

If you are only interested in just passing the exam, pick any single CompTIA RFID+ Quality Seal Approved Manual and the 175 Question Quiz CD

RFID For Dummies:
Author: Patrick J. Sweeney II
Publisher: Wiley
CompTIA Quality Seal: No
My Book Rating: A
My Software Rating: N/A
Target Audience: Supply Chain Manager
Secondary Audience: Anyone Interested in RFID
Software: N/A
Picture of Book:
Link To Purchase:
Book Review:  
RFID for Dummies, or simply “Dummies” is a great introduction to RFID. The author, Patrick J. Sweeney II, presents the information in clear, concise and easily understood terms.  From start to finish, Patrick consistently reiterates and builds on key concepts.  You will learn the origins of RFID, the different types of tags (Active, Passive, & Semi-Passive), and the most commonly used frequencies (LF-Low Frequency, HF-High Frequency, UHF-Ultra High Frequency, & Microwave).  As well as the psychics behind the tag and reader communication at various frequencies.  You will learn how to evaluate, and convey ROI (which is currently the primary obstacle to adoption), and to test and pilot your RFID installation.  As its target audience is the Supply Chain Manager, it aptly covers hiring outside consultants and the types of expertise you should look for and require.

While I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a comprehensive introduction to RFID, it is not designed as a learning tool for passing the CompTIA RFID+ exam.  In addition, while the outsourcing section aptly covers the “do’s” and “don'ts” of hiring outside consultants, I felt the author kind of dogged the aspiring entrepreneur through the “chicken or egg” theory.  You know, don't hire anyone without experience.

Simply put, great book, well worth the read!

CompTIA RFID+ Certification:
Author: Combo, Numerous
Publisher: Thomson Course Technology
CompTIA Quality Seal: Yes
My Book Rating: B
My Software Rating: A-
Target Audience: CompTIA RFID+ Candidates
Secondary Audience: Anyone Interested in RFID
Software: CD, 175 Quiz Questions (These are critical to passing the CompTIA RFID+ exam.)
Picture of Book: Cover Page Image
Link To Purchase:

Book Review:  
Thomson’s CompTIA RFID+ book is a descent tool for learning RFID.  If you know this book, inside and out (including the CD), you will definitely pass the test.  However, this book assumes a lot of requisite knowledge, and is very poor at building on concepts. 

The strengths of this book are:
  The diagrams and tables, the ease of review (easily locate topics), the physical design (spiral bound, lays out nicely on a table), and the close connection to the actual test (some CD questions are very similar, or exactly the same questions as on the test). 

The weaknesses of this book are:
  As stated above, the requirements for requisite knowledge.  *Explanations to concepts are provided by embedding highly difficult equations into paragraphs, with little to no explanation of how a novice math person could actually calculate these equations.  Very poor building of concepts, each unit of the book is distinctive, with little to no reiteration.  Sample questions in the book are provided, but with no answer key included anywhere (I can’t even begin to understand this, unless the idea is to make you spend more money to buy an answer key).  The Standards & Regulations section is very weak.

Simply put, this is an effective tool for passing the test, but it is not nearly comprehensive enough or effective enough to teach an individual all they need to know about RFID.


* NOTE: The majority of the equations in this book, with the exception of EIRP and Dbm, in my opinion, will most likely never be asked on the current test.
Software Review:  
The included CD comes with 175 RFID Quiz related questions.  It appears that the same pool of questions are utilized by many authors and training organizations.  Some of these questions are very similar, if not exactly the same questions as are on the test.  The software is well designed and user friendly (for the most part).  You have the option of selecting the number of questions (1-175) and from three study types:

Study Mode (non-timed)
 
Certification Mode (Timed)
 
Custom (specific areas of concentration, other options). 

All modes provide easy navigation buttons through the test (Go to, Previous, Next) as well as the ability to print out all or individual questions.  During Study Mode, an accompanying Explanation button provides the answer to the question as well as text explaining the answers.  At the conclusion of the test (any mode) clicking the Score Test button provides your Overall Score, a Passing Score (which is 80% or above) and a concise breakdown of the areas where you were successful or failed, consistent with the objectives of the CompTIA RFID+ exam.  By clicking the Review button, you can select to review all questions or select individual questions for review.

All in all, this is an excellent tool and should unequivocally be used and mastered before taking the CompTIA RFID+ exam.  I cannot stress this enough!  You should consider scoring 100% at least twice before taking the exam. 


The improvements I would suggest or the difficulties I experienced are as follows: 

I lost power while taking a test, and it created a lock, and I was not able to log in again as that same user.

In the Question Review section, you must individually select each missed answer.  It would be nice if you could just quickly select all missed answers.  Additionally, even after only individually selecting the missed answers for review, sometimes you still get the right answers included in the review as well.

While Test History will allow you to review your overall scores by section indefinitely, you cannot see the individual questions you missed except only directly after the test.

There are questions on this CD, that are nowhere in the above book.

*Note: As of this writing, these 175 quiz questions are the exact same questions as are available through MeasureUP.com (a technical review testing site).

 

CompTIA RFID+ Study Guide:
Author: Patrick J. Sweeney II
Publisher: Sybex
CompTIA Quality Seal: Yes
My Book Rating: B
My Software Rating: B
Target Audience: CompTIA RFID+ Candidates
Secondary Audience: Anyone Interested in RFID
Software: CD / Assessment Test (27 questions), Chapter Tests (approximately 20 questions each), 2 Exams (62 questions each).
Picture of Book:
Link To Purchase:
Book Review:  
Sybex’s CompTIA RFID+ study guide, by the same author of RFID For Dummies, Patrick J. Sweeney II, is a good book to gain a solid understanding of RFID technologies.  The author provides concepts in easy to understand language and consistently reiterates and builds on previously established concepts.  In addition, he provides encouragement for readers along the way, and provides questions (with answers) so readers can gauge their progress as they move along. 

The strengths of this book are:
No requisite knowledge required, readers will learn just about everything they need to know by just reading the book.  Each chapter is followed by 20 questions, accompanied by good explanations for each question on the subsequent pages (same questions/explanations on the CD).  The Standards & Regulations section is very comprehensive and an excellent resource. Good use of "real world" scenarios. 

The weaknesses of this book are:
  The physical design (perfect bound, doesn’t easily lay out on table), difficulty quickly flipping to specific sections for review, not nearly enough pictures and diagrams, and absolute overkill on promotion of the authors company and companies products.

Simply put, this is a good tool for a novice student to gain a good understanding of RFID technology.  
Software Review:  
The included CD comes with an Assessment Test (27 questions), Chapter Tests (approximately 20 questions each), and 2 Exams (62 questions each).  In addition, the entire book is included in a PDF format, as well as Flash Cards are available for the PC, Pocket PC and Palm (150 questions).

The Sybex test engine operates very similarly to other testing engines, although it is not nearly as feature rich as the one by Thomson. There is no History, Customization or selection of Study Mode, and no breakdown of questions and answers by RFID test Domain. 

The combination of Chapter Tests, Exams and Flash Cards offers a very good and comprehensive review of the material.  Personally, I felt that the flash cards were a very effective "confidence builder" on my knowledge of the material, as well as a good tool to measure how well I could "think of an answer" rather then "pick an answer". 

While any testing and any questions are beneficial for study, the actual exams were good, but not great.  The wording of the questions are not consistent with the way the CompTIA RFID+ exam questions are worded.  In addition, I felt at a minimum, sample exams should be at least 81 questions (same as the actual test), so that you can gauge how quickly you are responding in the ninety-minute requirement.

This CD is a great compliment for studying, but it CANNOT be used in lieu of the 175 Question Quiz CD.  Given the obvious synergy (for lack of any other word) between RFID4U (and possibly others) with the CompTIA RFID+ exam, this is not the most effective tool for strictly passing the exam.

 

 

 

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