Additionally, how much does each test cost?
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I used these books:
and the following website:
Remember to try all the examples. You can't rote memorize this stuff, you have to understand it.
Remember the re-take policy:
I think the cost for taking LPIC exams varies by territory.
Experiences of LPIC seem to vary wildly, personally I found that the first couple of LPIC examinations weren't challenging; you need to be able to remember a lot of mostly useless factoids which you'll rarely deploy from your administration arsenal in a professional capacity.
Moving onto LPIC-2 and LPIC-3 presents more challenges.
Would I say you need two years experience to pass the first one? Probably not. Any talented amateur who has actually used Linux on a daily basis for a few months can probably hack it, with a small amount of study :) The LPIC-2 and LPIC-3 require some real CLI experience and "advanced" knowledge.
Picking up LDAP early will also serve you well, most folks find it a bit of a 'head fsck' and not entirely intuitive yet it forms the foundation for LPIC-3 and, indeed, administration of any large scale environment with more than 40-50 servers, clients and users.
Be prepared to learn a lot of little factoids by heart. Get yourself a book (I used that one when I did LPIC1 back in 2007), and be sure to check out the sample questions in there. They give a pretty good image of what awaits you.