Few days ago I was asked if I can review on of uCertify prepkits. I wrote a review some time ago for a different prepkit – full review here XK0-002: Linux + PrepKit – and at the time I was impressed with the quality of the kit. So I agreed to do it again. This time, I picked the prepkit for the Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH certification. For those of you who don’t know it, this is the Chuck Norris of security certifications.
I downloaded the Windows executable version of the prepkit, in hope that I will be able to make it work on my Macbook. No such luck. I tried Wine and CrossOver, but it kept on crashing. After several hours of frustration I emailed back the guys at uCertify with the issue. They suggested using the web version of the prepkit – at the the time I didn’t know there was a web version – which worked like a charm on all platform. So, first lesson learned – if you have a Linux / Mac system – go straight to the web version.
Usability, look and feel
I found the prepkit to be particularly easy to use. The interface is really straight forward, very clean, with good typography that doesn’t tire your eyes. Typography is particularly in this case, as geeks – myself included – wear glasses and don’t like hard to read “artistic” fonts.
The information is structured in a logical manner, everything is where you expect it to be. Just have a quick look to the screenshot on the right!
Maximum score to usability & ease of use.
The information is divided into 3 main areas: Learn & Practice, Study Material and Performance Assessment and Analytics and each section is divided into multiple sub-sections.
The Learn & Practice section is comprised of various tests, which can be used to mimic a real life exam (Test mode), study (Learning mode) or to review your knowledge (Review mode). Screenshot to the right!
Study Material is comprised of:
- Subject/Exam Standards & Objectives
- Study notes
- Flash Cards
- Key Terms
- Online Reference Library
- Study Tips
…and Performance Assessment and Analytics of:
- Study Planner
- Progress reports
- My Activity
- Daily Snapshot
- My Focus
- Performance on Practice Tests
- Readiness Report
Some of the features are really cool, I especially liked the Study Planner, which helps you plan and keep track of your progress, a very important tool as we all know that IT guys are generally lazy and don’t like reading manuals.
Although getting messages like:
Your preparation is about 0.5% complete. You took 1 days to complete 0.5%. At this pace you will need another 6 Months, 2 Weeks, 5 Days, to be fully prepared for the exam.
might be a bit demotivational.
To make things clear from the start, this is not an online course for beginners. The prepkit targets experienced professionals, not learners or script kiddies. But that’s not necessarily bad, as the last two categories are not even eligible for certification according to EC-Council’s eligibility form.
As I have yet to take the CEH exam, I can’t say how accurate or useful the questions are in a real life scenario, but given uCertify’s vast experience in the area of preparation kits for top IT certifications, I’m sure it’s useful.
I found the prepkit easy to use, filled with high quality information and well structured. I think it’s a good deal for $119.99 (aprox. €91 / £75), especially since uCertify offers a full refund if you fail the exam. Give it a try. Or if my review didn’t convince you, try it for your self. There’s a demo version available here.