I don't know shit about the subject and I'm not the other anon, but:
1. Certifications have a ton of bullshit. Just like college degrees. But employers want to see you have that paper.
2. It is foolish not to "hack" standardized tests, meaning that at some point, you should study for the certification test specifically, not necessarily the skills. If you are confident you can pass and your final grade is not important, then maybe ignore this point. Remember it for the future though.
3. Torrents have lots of certification material. There might even be previous years tests.
4. When you switch careers, you'll be low balled. Don't get discouraged, use an entry job to gain experience. You want to switch jobs whenever you stop learning; go for a higher paid job. 1.5 years no more than 3 years, find a better job.
Be patient and persistent.