Pearson IT Certification

Exam Profile: CompTIA A+ 220-901 & 220-902

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Date: Jun 15, 2016

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This article profiles the CompTIA A+ exams (220-901 & 220-902), which test competency in comprehensive vendor-neutral PC hardware and peripherals, mobile device hardware, networking and troubleshooting hardware and network connectivity issues, installing and configuring operating systems including Windows, iOS, Android, Apple OS X and Linux, security, cloud computing fundamentals, operational procedures and communication skills. Pearson IT Certification provides a variety of exam preparation tools to help our customers in their quest for certification. As part of our service to you, we have developed this Exam Profile series. Each profile is developed based on the testing experience of one of our trainers or authors. You won’t get exact questions or answers, but you will get a real feel for the exam. Each profile describes question forms, trouble spots, hints for exam preparation, and recommendations for additional study resources. Find out what you can expect to see on the exam and how you can better prepare for it from industry leading professionals who want you to succeed!

The CompTIA A+ certification is globally recognized, industry-supported, and trusted by governments, businesses, and many potential employers. It is designed to prove that an exam candidate has competency with PC hardware and peripherals, mobile device hardware, networking and troubleshooting hardware and network connectivity issues, installing and configuring operating systems including Windows, iOS, Android, Apple OS X and Linux, security, cloud computing fundamentals, operational procedures, and communication skills. The exams are comprehensive and vendor-neutral, which means that the certification does not focus on just one company's products. Instead, the certification objectives range across many technologies, services, hardware and software ranging from traditional devices and operating systems to the plethora of mobile devices and technology in use today. It has great value in the marketplace as an indicator of a prospective employee's skill level, proving to employers that a job seeker has the necessary computer knowledge and communication skills to complete their tasks with minimal supervision.

Exam Details

In order to become CompTIA A+ certified, you must pass two exams: the 220-901 and the 220-902. (Note: The CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220-802 exams (English versions) retire on June 30, 2016). Details listed here are accurate as of December 15, 2015, and are subject to change. Please verify these details at the CompTIA website.

Trouble Spots

Many examinees find the following topics to be more difficult portions of the exams:

Preparation Hints

A person who wishes to take the A+ exams should have at least the equivalent knowledge of 12 months hands-on experience in the lab or in the field. CompTIA and the exam questions expect candidates to be able to:

Every examinee should first look at the CompTIA objectives for the A+ exams, which are listed later in this article. (They can also be downloaded from CompTIA's website). In a nutshell, the A+ objectives are divided into two exams. Each exam is then broken up into sections known as domains. They include:

220-901

DomainPercentage of Examination
1.0 Hardware34%
2.0 Networking21%
3.0 Mobile Devices17%
4.0 Hardware & Network Troubleshooting28%
Total100%

220-902

DomainPercentage of Examination
1.0 Windows Operating Systems29%
2.0 Other Operating Systems & Technologies12%
3.0 Security22%
4.0 Software Troubleshooting24%
5.0 Operational Procedures13%
Total100%

When preparing for the A+ exam, it is wise to use more than one study resource. Using just one study guide might provide you with a narrow view of the concepts. By using various forms of study materials, including books, videos, and practice questions, you will become a much more well-rounded examinee, and increase your chances of passing the exam greatly.

Recommended Study Resources

Where to Go from Here

Generally, the CompTIA A+ certified technician will move on to the CompTIA Network+ exam. These are part of what many technicians call "the CompTIA triad" which includes the A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. For valuable resources and tools regarding these certifications, please feel free to visit the author's website at davidlprowse.com.

With the A+ certification under your belt, it is possible to start engaging in a job search. Many A+ certified techs become Technical Support Specialists, Field Service Technicians, IT Support Technicians, and IT Support Administrators with companies such as Microsoft, Dell, HP, Intel, Canon, the U.S. Department of Defense, and many others.

Good luck on your exams!

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