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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Just took the CTS exam for the 2nd time....and failed using this book as a study guide...

I read this book cover to cover to help me prepare for the exam. Got a 80% on the first assesment, 88% on the 2nd try so I was feeling pretty good about going into the exam. Get into the exam and 90% of the material on the exam is not covered in the book, what a joke...

Reading about the elevation flags and section cut flags etc...NOTHING
Read about inverse square law...NOTHING

what a waste of 3 days reading this book and weeks prepping for this exam again...

Also, I spoke to Infocomm about this book and the response from Infocomm was, the people that wrote this book were not allowed to talk to the people at Infocomm, so basically they wrote a book bring blind...

The exam questions were refreshed since the last time I took it back in August as well...

Your better off probably taking the online virtual classroom training on infocomm's website
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I just took the CTS exam for the second time. Both times I used this book to study, and both times I failed the exam. I read the book cover to cover THREE TIMES, and after answering all 197 practice questions in the book, I got nine wrong. I figured I was good to go. WRONG. The vast majority of the questions on the final exam aren't even discussed in the book. The CD-ROM that comes with the book is equally worthless, despite it's boasting that it's "as close to the final exam as possible" .. it's not close at all. I called Infocomm to complain, and, like one of the reviewers above me, I was told that the people who write the book aren't allowed to know what's on the final exam. They're told about general subjects, but nothing specific. So, if they don't know what's on the exam, how are they supposed to come up with accurate practice questions and information? Oh wait, they don't.

The book is decent to have around in your home or office as a quick reference, but as far as using it to study for the CTS exam? STAY AWAY.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There are some typos that concern me (ie. on page 15 it identifies an XLR connector as a Mini-Din), but overall this book is excellent for what it's supposed to do...prepare the reader for the CTS Exam. Some essential knowledge of AV system design is also included. Lots of best practices, etc. This book should be required reading for every AV industry professional.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I started preparing for the CTS exam (which to be upfront I took this morning and scored moderately well, like a "B") after I read that the prep guide was not adequate, either as an exam guide or as a reference manual (for you logic nuts, an inclusive "or"). But reviews for this text are hard to come by, so it's difficult to say just how many people who have taken the CTS have used it as preparation material. I am glad to say, though, that the time I spent taking the practice exams, noting the areas in which I was lacking, and reviewing the relevant chapters was not wasted. I think where some folks missed the benefit of the guide was in passing over the dozen or so formulas (for aspect ratio, etc.), which honestly could have been given greater emphasis by the authors, but which also are of unmistakable help both in the field and on the exam. I'm sure the more highly priced prep classes give those formulas better showing. At bottom, if you're looking to take the CTS exam, give this guide a shot. It took me about two months to develop a knowledge base for the exam material, which I read slowly (about two chapters a week, with some note taking, in addition to studying the glossary), and that was with a plate full at work. Someone with enough free time could do it in three weeks or so.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I strongly recommend this book to everybody in the AV industry. It was readable, broad ranging (within the limits of the CTS topics), and, now that I've taken and passed the exam, very good preparation. AV folks who have already taken, or are not interested in the CTS exam will still find the book a valuable document about general AV topics.

Like the CTS exam itself, this book is not technical. It does hit a couple of technical bits, like speaker and projection math. Mostly, it is about project process from beginning to end. One thing that would have been a sweet addition would be a fold out poster illustrating every stage of a project, who is involved in each, and what documents go where. For example, a Change Order goes after budget approval, but before an installer actually makes any change. I would advise any CTS candidate to make such chart, as this kind of data is the core of the CTS exam.

There are some misprints as another reviewer pointed out. The formula for the resistance of a speaker circuit wired in parallel was printed wrong and that was in fact on my exam.

The practice exam included on the CD was a great tool as well. The questions were not the same as the exam, so memorizing them won't help, but the form and general content were spot on. Taking the practice exam is a good indicator for how much studying you need to do.

Good luck.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Not having finished the whole book yet I can still think it is a worthwhile reference if your studying for the CTS. Long overdue actually.
Obvious error in the first set of chapter review questions (in my opinion anyway)
Also the section on series/parallel speaker connections has errors also. This should be picked up fairly easily by someone studying for the CTS.
This is to be expected in a first edition and should be picked up in later issues.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I've studied for other certifications (MCSE in particular), and the books and study materials prepared me pretty well for the actual test. In this case, the practice exams and review questions in the chapters seemed like they were for a different generation than the test I took.

While I passed the certification exam, and this book did help, the topics covered in the book and practice exam only seemed to mesh about half the time. I went into the test feeling pretty sure of myself, but after about ten questions that seemed to come from deep left field, my success wasn't all that certain. It's better than taking the test cold by a long shot, but I wouldn't depend just on this source if you don't have several years of experience in AV already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I took this exam today 4/15/2013, I read this book cover to cover, the two practice tests that come on the CD (Which i never scored below 84% on, most scores averaged in the 90s), and I printed out a practice exam from the infocomm website which is 50 questions long that I took multiple times. Through all of the preparation using these materials I felt very confident going into the tests, I prepared for months to make sure I had everything covered. I ended up receiving a 333 out of 500 on the exam, needed at least 350 to pass. The test format on the CDs aren't accurate with the actual test. It isn't completely multiple choice there are questions that ask you to select correct items or locations on a diagram. I am highly disappointed with the $70 I originally paid for this book, and the $400 they charge to take the exam if you are a non-member of infocomm. I would suggest going a different route in preparing for this exam, online courses are definitely probably the best route to go, Appendix B in this book has some crucial material for the test, but you can learn that in the "Learning AV Essentials" online course. Highly disappointed, listen to the negative reviews on this item and find another way to prepare. I also included this info in the InfoComm survey I was asked participate in after the test.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Just received this book last week and I'm very excited. The content of the book reflects the content of the CTS exam and is the only single reference that I was able to find that covers everything you need to know. The review questions clarify how the exam questions will be presented to further prepare for the exam. The CTS exam covers a broad base of knowledge for the whole industry, not just for designers and installers. This book is a great tool for both technical and non-technical people to understand the process that we all go through as we design and build AV systems. The CTS exam is intended for managers, project managers, salespeople, and engineers and so is this book. If you're looking for a guide that will prepare you for all topics covered in the CTS exam then this book is exactly what you need.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This guide may be an excellent reference for an industry sorely lacking professional standards, but it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with preparing you for the CTS Exam. The questions are, at best, marginally related to the exam. Buy the book for a reference, but DO NOT purchase this book with the delusion that it will assist you in passing the CTS exam. The practice exams and the actual exam had only the CTS name in common.
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