What You Need
You need to pass two exams, A+ 220-1001 & 220-1002 to be A+ certified. These are not easy tests to pass because they cover so much material. The complete definition of the exams is the official CompTIA A+ Exam Objectives and between the two exams, it lists over 1,200 possible topics that CompTIA can ask questions about. So, how do you study for the A+ exam? Answer: Just like you start eating an elephant: One bite at a time! You should have the three first items on this list, the last two are useful but are not minimum requirements:
1. CompTIA’s published objectives for your Exam.
2. Study guides, eBooks, and Authorized self-tests
3. A good working PC with internet access
4. This is more optional but quite useful: An older functional PC
5. Optional: Peripheral devices mentioned in the objectives.
IMPORTANT: What you need to stay away from
Avoid using any study material obtained from unauthorized parties. Stay AWAY from:
Brain Dumps, Cheat Sheets and anything of questionable legality and even more questionable quality!
Understand that your main worry may not even be as much the “questionable legality” as the unquestionably poor reliability and quality of those sources. Rest assured that sites that push illegal materials to save money on content development are not going to spend any money on editorial control… We have seen brain dumps labeled A+ materials for 1001 & 1002 while the content was based on content written for exams 801 & 802 (that is two versions back – obsolete over obsolete!). The user could be wasting untold hours of study before finding out. Worst yet, go up for the 1001 or 1002 exams with a guarantee to fail.
Now, back to the questionable legality angle of this. Here’s the kicker: Any candidate found out, by CompTIA, to have used a brain dump, will forfeit his/her A+ certification and will receive a lifetime ban on all CompTIA exams! Because all this stuff happens online it is not as hard as it may seem for CompTIA to find out.
How to succeed at the A+ exams
1. CompTIA’s published objectives for your Exam
This is the first step. The exam objectives for CompTIA A+ can be found here. A+ requires candidates to pass two exams, 220-1001 (Core 1) and 220-1002 (Core 2). Download the objectives for the test(s) you need. Read them completely before you begin, and you will get substantial insight to guide your effort.
When you review the Objectives, you’ll see that they are arranged by main domains that contain sub-domains and topics. They also show what percentage of the examination each domain represents. Here are the 220-1002 Core 2 Main Domains.
You can see four main domains. Within each domain are subdomains that contain the topic points. Use the topics to target your studies. The Core 2 objectives alone are 19 pages long It is a good idea to print these for quick reference since there are over 30 sub-objectives that are all loaded with topics. Here’s a small chunk of the Core 2 Objective 1.0 Operating Systems. You will see the sub-domains shown here are numbered as 1.1,1.2,1.3 etc… This is where you should concentrate. The objectives are written in a manner that provides some perspective as to what they’re looking for.
2. Study guides, eBooks, and legitimate self-tests
There is no shortage of material aimed at the A+ certification. There are Study guides, eBooks, and Authorized self-tests. Many are available from reputable authors and publishers. You want to stick with the major authors and publishers. Do your homework before you spend your money! Research each vendor, look at the customer comments for common complaints. Remember, no Crams, no Cheats, no Brain Dumps!
CertBlaster offers legitimate free A+ ExamNotes that address every Exam objective and topic for your certification along with a sample of the test content. All the free Learning content on CertBlaster is there primarily to help you certify. You can get thousands of questions in the CertBlaster test for your chosen exam.
Just one more thought: If you are thinking about Brain Dump materials. Aside from being illegal this type of material is widely known to be inaccurate. The legal issue stems from an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) you must accept before you even see a question at a testing center. The NDA prohibits you from disclosing anything about the test contents. CompTIA finds and prosecutes every instance of this behavior.
Now on to accuracy. Let’s say a certification has a grade range of 100 to 900 with a passing score of 700 and our brain dump author scores 750. They will sit down and crank out as much as they can remember questions and answers. The Problem? Our dump expert answered over 20% of their questions incorrectly. Compound this with the sad fact that those wrong questions will be the ones they remember because they felt harder than the others. And there’s your brain dump… Beware!
Here are some free resources CertBlaster offers you:
A+ ExamNotes, it is a complete and absolutely free A+ Study Guide for 1001 & 1002
3. A good working PC with internet access
You’ll need a PC with internet access. Much of your courseware and tests are available only as online resources. Make sure you have a machine that you can “trust”. This PC will carry the load of your studies Use this PC as your personal A+ related storage location. It is important that the PC we’re discussing here has the correct Processor support, sufficient memory, and free disk space. The system should be running a current Operating System.
4. Optionally: An older functional PC
Yes! This is the one you get to operate on! But Wait! The main objective is to do no harm. Confirm the old PC boots and runs. Now for any change, hardware or software you should confirm the system operation.
5. Optionally: Any peripheral devices mentioned in the objectives.
You may have a collection of devices that you kept after a change. That’s a good start! Now ask friends if they have anything to contribute. You’ll be surprised at the number of working devices you get. Take stock then compare to the CompTIA suggested system configuration.
Below are a few more questions relating to the A+ exam that we answer on our blog. We are writing these posts right now and post them as we go, so come back soon!
Is the A+ certification worth it?
How much money can you make with a A+ certification?
We all wish you the best in your quest for A+ certification.