Questions from Readers: How can I prepare for and take certification exams if I have dyslexia?

I’ve been in Networking and Cloud Infrastructure Security for a long time. I was a Cisco Trainer from January 2001 up to around 2018. I understand the challenges that individuals with dyslexia may face when working on certifications because I have taught them, I’ve talked with them, I’ve seen them struggle and I’ve seen them overcome and succeed.

I can’t say I have done it myself. I only know what I’ve seen others do and what they have told me. I know what I have witnessed. I also know that Dyslexia does not reflect an individual’s intelligence or potential.

I am posting this because a connection on LinkedIn told me that studying for and taking certification exams are challenging, because they have to keep re-reading to comprehend technical topics. They asked my point of view. Here are the questions I asked.


  1. Is there assistive technology like text-to-speech software or applications that can help by reading study materials to you that could help?.
  2. Do you break down study materials instead of trying to tackle an entire chapter or section at once? If so, does that help with retention?
  3. I know Dyslexia can affect visual processing, so would creating visual aids like mind maps or diagrams help you better understand and remember more technical concepts?
  4. Some certification providers offer accommodations for individuals with learning disabilities, such as extended time or the ability to use assistive technology during the exam. AWS does this. So does Cisco and Microsoft. Are you asking for these?

Wrap Up

I can’t begin to say I know what it’s like, but it is inspiring to see someone that is faced with a challenge like Dyslexia be successful in their career and certification aspirations. If you have other thoughts or want to share your experience, I really want to hear it. Please post them in the comments.

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