The short answer is “a maximum of 90” but it’s a little more complicated than that. CompTIA does not give out exact numbers for any of their exams, only a maximum number. For the A+ certification exams (the current versions are exams 220-1001 and 220-1002) that maximum is set to 90 questions for an exam duration of 90 minutes so at most an average of one question per minute.
Experience tells us that it seems the actual number of questions on these exams is in the low 80s. Expect about 82 – 83 questions. In part, this is due to the fact that CompTIA has batteries of questions in a question bank that the exam is pulled from. The objective is to make sure every candidate’s exam is at least to some degree different from the next candidates. This is one of the ways CompTIA protects the integrity of its exams. No matter what the actual number of questions end up being on your exam, you will still have 90 minutes. There is zero variability on the time you get to sit for the exam.
The impact on your exam time management of PBQs
In addition to “How many questions are on the A+ exam?” an important time factor to take into consideration is the Performance-based questions (PBQ). These questions are typically a handful at each exam and each of those takes a lot longer to answer than any of the multiple-choice questions. The reason for that is that the PBQs are interactive tasks aimed at testing your skill as opposed to just knowledge. Because of that, the PBQs are made up of procedures involving several steps. For more on the PBQ see our “What kind of questions are on the A+ certification test?” blog post.
The reason we bring up the PBQ here is that they need to be addressed within the framework of your time management strategy for the A+ certification exams. There is a misconception that CompTIA will not certify you unless you succeed at these questions. Not only is that not true, but CompTIA doesn’t even give you extra points for these questions. Why should that be important to you? Because it means that unless you are supremely confident you can tackle all the questions easily and fast during your exam session, you will want to mark the PBQs “for later” (a feature made available to you in the exam-taking software) and answer all the multiple-choice questions first as you can answer more of those a lot faster (provided you know the answers) than the PBQs. Once you have been through all the MCQs you can then calmly allocate the remaining time to the PBQ. This will be a lot less stressful and so increases your chances of getting them right. Again, you don’t have to get all of them right. To obtain a passing score you will need to get about 85% of the questions right.
ExamNotes – Our free A+ Study Guide
Are you studying for the A+ Exams? Check out our completely free A+ Study guide for exams 220-1001 and 220-1002 – This is a full version (no “limited’ free stuff here) and it covers every last A+ exam objective and sub-objective.
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