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Which book is best?


Question: Which book is best?

When setting out to study for your exams, one of the most important tools you will use is a book. There are several good study guides out there, and several good places to look for reviews and advice. Once you know how and where to look, you can make an informed decision.


Head for certification.about.com

The first place I will recommend you look for information on books is, of course, this site. I review as many books as my time and expertise permits . . . check out my reviews here. I also make lists of the top books for different certifications . . . check out top picks here.

Check online bookseller reviews

Most places that you purchase books online offer reader reviews. Amazon.com is a great place for this, as is Barnes and Noble. Certificationbooks.com displays reader reviews at the very bottom of the description page for each book. For newer books, you may not find as many reviews. If reviews of a specific books are scarce, search for books by the same author to see what level of reviews they have received in the past.

Check the contents of the book

Google offers the ability to take a quick look inside thousands of books at books.google.com. Amazon.com is also offering this ability with selected books.

Check certification sites (other than this one!)

There are several good certification sites out there who regularly review and rank certification books. Good examples are Informit.com, Certcities.com, and MCPMag.com.

Quick Tips

  • Check the date published and make sure you are getting a recent books with current information.
  • Do your research on the exams. If there is a newer version of the exam out or about to be released, make sure the book you select covers the topics on the newest release of the exam.
  • Look for authors who have published multiple books. Micheal Myers is a very good example. His name alone tells you that you are getting a decent study guide.
  • Pay attention to titles. If you are a beginner in the field, look for kits and all-in-one guides and words like "complete". If you are already very knowledgable, look for words like "advanced" and "expert".

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