The CompTIA A+ certification is designed to prove that an exam candidate has competency in computer installation, configuration, maintenance, troubleshooting and security, as well as basic networking. The exams are 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. 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 to complete their tasks with minimal supervision.
In order to become CompTIA A+ certified, you must pass two exams: the 220-801 and the 220-802). Details are accurate as of August 28, 2012, and are subject to change. Please verify these details at the CompTIA website.
- Number of questions: 100 for each exam
- Type of questions: Primarily multiple-choice
- Passing scores: 675 for 220-801, and 700 for 220-802
- Time limit: 90 minutes each
- How to register: Pearson Vue
The exams each consist of 100 questions and are known as "linear exams." This means that you can go backward or forward within the exam, mark items, and change answers if necessary. You can also review your answers when you are finished with all 100 questions, as long as there is time left on the exam clock.
The exams consist primarily of multiple-choice questions, but you might also see several performance based questions where the test requires you to click your way through a scenario. CompTIA reserves the right to change the bank of questions, while still adhering to the objectives. The tests are administered on a computer within a very easy-to-use program. The majority of the time, you will simply click the letter of the corresponding correct answer. The exams can be taken in many languages including English, Spanish, German, and Japanese.
The passing scores are 675 (for the 220-801 exam) and 700 (for the 220-802 exam) and are graded on a scale of 100-900. This equates roughly to a required passing score of 72% and 75% respectively, though it is difficult to compute the exact worth of each question. Many candidates will prepare with practice exams and attempt to score 85% or higher in order to be ready for the real exams.
You have a full hour and a half to take each exam. If you finish early, you can (and should) return to the questions and review your answers. Although it is possible, it is not recommended to take both exams on the same day.