A+ Certification/Basic Exam Info

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The A+ certification demonstrates competency as a computer technician. It requires two tests to be passed: the 220-901 exam and the 220-902 exam. CompTIA is vendor neutral but leans towards Microsoft operating systems. You will often find Apple and Android questions on newer exams.

Knowledge and supplies needed to prepare for the A+ Certification test[edit]

A+ Certification is created by a non-profit organization called CompTIA. Visit comptia.org to determine CompTIA specific information. CompTIA's certifications are vendor neutral and are used in the computing industry. Though not a prerequisite, A+ Certification is a natural lead-in to other CompTIA certifications, such as Network+, Server+, Linux+, Security+, i Net+ and others. It is the only industry certification based on PC Maintenance.

To obtain A+ Certification, one must have knowledge in many areas of Microsoft Windows, and the IBM style of personal computer. In this course the student will learn about the life of a tech, PC hardware and operating systems, basic networking, mobile devices, printers, security, and troubleshooting methods.

A student attempting the A+ Certification should have approximately twelve months of work experience with operating systems, computer hardware, system files, maintenance, networking, configuration of hardware and software, and troubleshooting computer problems.

Courses and other study materials can be found on the Internet.

To study for the exam, the following materials are needed:

  • A PC with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8
  • Grounding pad
  • Anti Static Wrist Strap (ESD Bracelet or Ground Bracelet)
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Calculator
  • Multimeter

Exam details[edit]

The A+ certification exam was updated in late 2012, with prior updates in 2009 and 2006. As such, the structure of the exam is different from what it had been for the three years preceding the update.

A+ certification currently entails two tests: CompTIA A+ 220-801 and CompTIA A+ 220-802 OR CompTIA A+ 220-901 and CompTIA A+ 220-902 (released December 2015). Both of these tests must be passed in order to receive A+ certification. The exam focuses on Windows XP and Windows 7, although Windows XP has reached end of support.

As of 2015, the total cost is $388 USD ($194 USD for each test). If you are a student check with your school's Career Tech program, as many degree granting schools are CompTIA Academy partners. If your school is an Academy partner, you can get the A+ voucher for a substantial discount off the retail price. Many companies that offer training are CompTIA affiliates, and can also sell you the voucher at discounted prices.

The CompTIA A+ 801 and 802 exams both consist of 90 questions each. A passing score on the CompTIA A+ 801 exam is 675, and a passing score on the CompTIA 802 exam is 700.

The CompTIA A+ 220-801 certification exam is based on these five objectives.

Domain Percentage of Examination
PC Hardware 40%
Networking 27%
Laptops 11%
Printers 11%
Operational Procedures 11%
Total 100%

The CompTIA A+ 220-802 certification exam is based on these four objectives.

Domain Percentage of Examination
Operating Systems 33%
Security 22%
Mobile Devices 9%
Troubleshooting 36%
Total 100%

In the 220-801 Certification Exam (2012 Objectives) the PC Hardware and Networking domains now make up the bulk of the exam with 40% and 27% respectively. Laptops, Printers, and Operational Procedures makes up 11% for each domain respectively.

The CompTIA A+ 901 and 902 exams both consist of 90 questions each. A passing score on the CompTIA A+ 901 exam is 675, and a passing score on the CompTIA 902 exam is 700.

The CompTIA A+ 220-901 certification exam is based on these four objectives.

Domain Percentage of Examination
Hardware 34%
Networking 21%
Mobile Devices 17%
Hardware & Network Troubleshooting 28%
Total 100%

The CompTIA A+ 220-902 certification exam is based on these five objectives.

Domain Percentage of Examination
Windows Operating Systems 29%
Other Operating Systems & Technologies 12%
Security 22%
Software Troubleshooting 24%
Operational Procedures 13%
Total 100%

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