CompTIA provides a wide range of IT certificates for the Information Technology industry. If you are looking for an entry-level credential that will enable you to start a career as a certified PC service technician, CompTIA A+ is an ideal certification to pursue.
A+ is recognized by ANSI (the American National Standards Institute) and this is something that increased the popularity and worth of this certification in the IT field. It is designed as the most leading and trusted industry standard used in finding out hardware and software knowledge of the computer technicians. In this article, we will cover more details of this credential. Let’s dive into it!
CompTIA A+ Certification Establishment
CompTIA A+ was first issued in 1993 and it is among the most widely recognized and oldest certifications in the IT sector. At least 1 million people have already obtained it. It is a vendor-neutral certificate designed mainly to endorse competence of the entry-level PC service specialists in installing, customizing, operating, and maintaining personal computers. This credential comes with two exams, which you must pass to become an accredited professional.
Unlike before, when A+ was valid for a lifetime, it is now valid for only three years and expires on the last year from the date of acquisition. This policy was put in place by CompTIA in 2011. The certification can actually be maintained through recertification before its expiry date. The certificate holders can do it by paying the required fee. Alternatively, they can retake the CompTIA A+ tests every three years to recertify.
The A+ certification is open to all people, although it is designed particularly for those who have at least nine months or more of job experience mainly as service technicians. It is currently the only major non-vendor-specific hardware credential available for the IBM-compatible computer systems.
CompTIA A+ Exam Overview
CompTIA A+ has two exams, which you must pass in order to get your certificate. CompTIA has updated them six times: in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, and most recently, in 2019. The latest tests were launched on January 15, 2019. The current version of the A+ certification exams is somehow similar to the previous ones (220-901 and 220-902). Now, they have the following codes: 220-1001 and 220-1002.
These tests include about 90 questions each and they should be answered within 90 minutes. Most questions in these two exams are of multiple-choice types, but there are also a few performance-based ones and options with drag and drop. The results are available immediately after the completion. The students are usually required to fill in a mandatory short survey before they receive their statistics. You can register for these certification tests on the Pearson VUE website.
The passing score for CompTIA 220-1001 and CompTIA 220-1002 is 675 and 700 on a scale of 100-900. The price of each test is $226. The candidates can take them in English, Spanish, German, Thai, Portuguese, or Japanese. The recommended prerequisites for these two exams include 9 to 12 months of hands-on experience in the field or lab.
CompTIA A+ Exam Topics
Typically, the objectives of each CompTIA A+ certification exam are reviewed and revised regularly in order to ensure that the content is relevant. After the latest review, the 220-1001 test includes 5 main topics: hardware and networking troubleshooting, networking, hardware, mobile devices, as well as virtualization and Cloud computing. The second exam, 220-1002, comes with 4 main subjects – security, operating systems, operational procedures, and software troubleshooting.
CompTIA A+ Certification Advantages
There are a lot of benefits that you can get after earning the A+ credential. Let’s look at some of them.
- It provides you with required skills.
The CompTIA A+ certificate is meant to prepare you for the entry-level jobs in technical administration and technical support. It shows that the holders have proven their foundational knowledge of computer hardware and operating systems, as well as networking and other domains. The credential is designed to equip you with specific skills, which are very important for your career growth. When you pursue this certification, you will gain expertise in software troubleshooting and working with operating systems, networking, hardware, mobile devices, and security. In addition, you will also get advanced skills in virtualization, Cloud computing, and operational procedures. With this knowledge base, you will be able to be more proficient at what you do in your job position.
- It gives you an opportunity to land a decent job.
CompTIA A+ is a great credential because it allows the candidates to work from any location. They will have the opportunity to access their career, which enable them to start work anywhere. Earning this badge qualifies you for a number of job roles that usually require that any individual be A+ certified. These positions include a service desk analyst, a system support specialist, a technical support specialist, an associate network engineer, a help desk tech, a field service technician, a user computing technician, and a desktop support administrator.
In conclusion, we can say that CompTIA A+ is possibly one of the most essential certifications for the beginners in the IT industry. This is because it covers every single element that is usually required for the entry-level jobs in the market. Basically, the difficulty of passing the prerequisite tests ultimately depends on the comprehensiveness of the study materials you use. So, ensure that you are covering all the topics using the best preparation tools, such as exam dumps, study guides, practice tests, video tutorials, and training courses, so that you can easily deal with exam questions.