The CompTIA A+ certification is not just any exam. It’s an entry-level accreditation for a successful information technology (IT) career. CompTIA provides professionals with the skills and knowledge of the latest trends and technologies in the industry. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to solidify your foundational IT knowledge, CompTIA A+ is valuable in your professional journey.

In this blog, we answer frequently asked questions about CompTIA A+, what it is, who it benefits, and what the exam is like.

What Skills Does CompTIA A+ Promote?

The CompTIA A+ is an industry standard covering many IT fundamentals. It ensures that professionals are prepared to handle various IT challenges, from hardware to cloud computing.

Hardware Skills 

One of the core elements of CompTIA A+ is hardware knowledge, including:

  • Component Identification – Recognizing various hardware components and understanding their functions.
  • Installation and Configuration – Skills in assembling and configuring hardware components.
  • Troubleshooting and Repair – Learn how to diagnose, problem-solve, and fix hardware issues.

Operating Systems 

When it comes to understanding how various computer systems work, CompTIA offers proficiency in multiple operating systems, including:

  • Installation and Configuration – Installing and setting up various operating systems like Windows OS, Mac OS, and Linux.
  • Maintenance and Troubleshooting – Regular maintenance tasks and troubleshooting common problems in different operating systems.

Networking Fundamentals 

Networking fundamentals form an essential part of the CompTIA A+ curriculum, including:

  • Understanding Network Types – Knowledge of different networks, including local area networks (LANs) and small office/home office (SOHO) networks.
  • Configuration and Troubleshooting – Basic skills in configuring network settings and troubleshooting common network problems.

Security Essentials 

Today, device security is paramount. CompTIA A+ touches on key security concepts, such as:

  • Security Protocols and Best Practices – Understanding essential security protocols and best practices to protect systems and data.
  • Threat Identification – Ability to identify potential security threats and weaknesses.

Mobile Devices and Cloud Computing

The CompTIA A+ syllabus also includes mobile devices and cloud computing topics such as:

  • Mobile Device Management – Skills in configuring, managing, and troubleshooting mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.
  • Cloud Computing Basics – Understanding the fundamentals of cloud computing, including various models like IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

Is a CompTIA A+ Still Worth it?

In an industry that’s constantly evolving with new technologies, CompTIA A+ provides a solid base of technical knowledge. Here’s why it’s essential:

  • IT Careers Basics – CompTIA A+ lays the groundwork in IT, ensuring that professionals have the necessary skills to handle tasks.
  • Employer Recognition – Many different types of employers and industries recognize and value the CompTIA A+ certification. 
  • Adaptability – CompTIA A+ certification can adapt to numerous roles within the IT industry, from technical support to cybersecurity.
  • Current and Relevant – The certification is regularly updated to reflect the latest technology and IT practices, ensuring certified professionals stay relevant.

What Careers Are Possible with CompTIA A+?

Embarking on a career in IT can be both exciting and daunting. The CompTIA A+ certification opens numerous doors for professionals, offering diverse career paths in the ever-evolving tech industry. Key IT jobs that can benefit from accreditation include:

  • Help Desk Technician – Often the first step in an IT career. This role involves helping users with their technical queries and problems.
  • Field Service Technician – This position involved on-site service and support, requiring both technical expertise and customer service skills.
  • IT Support Specialist – Specialists handle more complex IT issues and may also assist in system administration and network support.
  • Data Support Technician – These technicians manage data, ensure its integrity, and assist with data-related problems.
  • Technical Support Specialist – This role involves providing technical guidance and support for software or hardware issues.

What is the CompTIA A+ certification exam?

Breakdown of CompTIA A+ Exams- Core 1 and Core 2

A CompTIA A+ certification requires you to pass two exams, known as Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102).

  • Core 1 (220-1101) focuses on essential IT skills, including hardware, networking, and troubleshooting. It also covers mobile devices, virtualization, cloud computing, and network troubleshooting.
  • Core 2 (220-1102) delves into operating systems, security, software troubleshooting, and operational procedures. It emphasizes installation, management, and troubleshooting of operating systems, with a strong focus on security and software issues.

Exam Format and Types of Questions

Each CompTIA A+ exam has 90 performance-based questions to be completed within 90 minutes. The exams feature a mix of question types:

  • Multiple-choice questions.  Both single and multiple responses.
  • Drag and drops. Interactive questions requiring you to match or sequence items.
  • Performance-based. These questions test your ability to solve problems in a simulated environment.

Scoring and Passing Criteria

The scoring for the CompTIA A+ exams is on a scale of 100-900. To pass-

  • 220-1101 (Core 1) requires a score of 675.
  • 220-1102 (Core 2) requires a score of 700.

These scores reflect a thorough understanding of the material, not just a percentage of correct answers.

Is CompTIA A+ a hard exam?

Practical, hands-on experience is crucial for success in the CompTIA A+ exams. It’s recommended that candidates have 9 to 12 months of hands-on or field experience before attempting the exams. This experience helps in understanding real-world scenarios and applying theoretical knowledge effectively.

Preparation time can vary depending on individual experience and grasp of the topics. Regular study and practical application of skills are key. Utilizing study guides, practice exams, and training resources can significantly aid in preparation.

How much does the A+ exam cost?

As of 2024, the cost for each of the two required exams for the CompTIA A+ certification is $229 USD. This means that the total cost to take both exams is $458 USD. These costs cover the exams only and do not include any additional study materials or training you might need.

Get CompTIA Certified with PassionIT Group

Ready to enter the exciting world of IT. PassionIT Group can help you boost your career with IT certifications online or in person. With CompTIA A+, Security+, Network+, and  Project+, we have the CompTIA course for you. Check out our course catalog for our complete list of current offerings. Whether you are looking for a customized course for a corporate setting or online training for an individual, we will bring out your passion for learning when we bring our passion for IT.