Part A: Introduction

What is the CompTIA A+?

CompTIA A+ is an entry level credential for IT Professionals to identify issues and solve problems with computer hardware and networks.

CompTIA allows you to do the following

  • Support basic IT infrastructure, including endpoint management, advanced device connectivity troubleshooting, and basic networking

  • Configure and support PC, mobile and IoT device hardware, including components, connectors, and peripherals

  • Implement basic data backup and recovery methods and apply data storage and management best practices

  • Demonstrate baseline security skills for IT support professionals, including detecting and removing malware, addressing privacy concerns, physical security and device hardening

  • Configure device operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS and administer client-based as well as cloud-based (SaaS) software

  • Troubleshoot and problem solve core service and support challenges while applying best practices for documentation, change management, and the use of scripting in IT support

CompTIA overlaps with

  • Networking certifications (Cisco CCNA for example)
  • Security certifications
  • Virtualization certifications (VMWare)
  • Storage certifications

CompTIA A+ has changed for 2022.  What is new?

  • People skills
  • Software as a Service
  • More focus on troubleshooting
  • Cloud, virtualization, and IoT
  • Physical versus logical security concepts and measures
  • Social engineering
  • Malware detection and removal
  • Device hardening for not just PCs but devices in general
  • Importance of documentation and using best practices
  • Change management
  • Basic disaster prevention and recovery
  • Privacy concerns, including GDPR and handing PII (Personally Identifying Information)
  • 3D Printers

What can you do with a CompTIA A+ Certification?

  • Service Desk Analyst
  • Help Desk Tech
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Field Service Technician
  • Associate Network Engineer
  • Data Support Technician
  • Desktop Support Administrator
  • End User Computing Technician
  • Help Desk Technician
  • System Support Specialist

CompTIA is “vendor neutral”

According to CompTIA: “All CompTIA certification exams are vendor-neutral. This means each exam covers multiple technologies, without confining the candidate to any one platform.

Vendor-neutrality is important because it ensures IT professionals can perform important job tasks in any technology environment. IT professionals with vendor-neutral certifications can consider multiple solutions in their approach to problem-solving, making them more flexible and adaptable than those with training in just one technology.”

CompTIA A+ consists of two sections, 220-1101 and 220-1102

The old CompTIA A+ (220-1001 and 220-1002) started in 2019 and consisted of two exams: 220-1101 and 220-1102.  It will be retired on October 20, 2022.

220-1101 and 220-1102 started in April 2022.  It is available in English at first, but German, Japanese, Portuguese, Thai, and Spanish languages are coming soon.

CompTIA A+ 220-1101 covers mobile devices, networking technology, hardware, virtualization and cloud computing and network troubleshooting.

CompTIA A+ 220-1102 covers installing and configuring operating systems, expanded security, software troubleshooting and operational procedures. 

How do I obtain the A+ Certification?

You must pass the two exams, 220-1101 and 220-1102.

About the Exam

  • You can register online to take the exam.  The online system will show you the dates and times that are available.
  • You may be able to write the exam on a Saturday or Sunday, depending on the Prometric Test Center.
  • You may reschedule the exam for free if you do so at least 30 calendar days before the exam.
  • You may reschedule the exam for USD$70 if you do so at least 2 calendar days before the exam.
  • You may not reschedule the exam if there are less than 2 calendar days before the exam.
  • If you do not show up to the exam or are more than 15 minutes late to the exam, you will not be allowed to write the exam, and will forfeit the entire fee.

  • At the exam center, you are required to show a piece of government-issued photo ID.
  • You will be required to empty your pockets and place the contents in a locker.
  • If you are wearing eyeglasses, they will be inspected.
  • You may be checked with a metal detector.
  • You can only bring your photo ID and locker key into the exam room.
  • The test center will provide you with scratch paper, a pencil, and a basic calculator.

  • While you write the exam, you will be monitored via audio and video surveillance.
  • Each exam is up to 90 multiple-choice questions, and you have 90 minutes to complete the exam.
  • You can take a break at any time, but the time on the exam will continue to elapse.
  • It goes without saying that cheating will not be tolerated!

  • You will receive a score between 100 and 900.
  • You need a score of 675 to pass the first exam, and 700 to pass the second exam
  • You must pass both exams to receive the certification

  • The questions are
    • Multiple-choice (single, and multiple responses)
    • Drag & Drop
    • Performance Based (you are provided with a scenario, which you must explore; you are required to correct the issue)