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Prepare for CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102) test day

📄 Contents

  1. Getting Ready and the Exam Preparation Checklist
  2. Tips for Taking the Real Exam
  3. Beyond the CompTIA A+ Certification

This sample chapter from CompTIA A+ Practice Questions Exam Cram Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102) shares tools and information to help you be successful when preparing for test day.

This chapter is from the book

This chapter provides the following tools and information to help you be successful when preparing for and taking the CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102) exams:

  • arrow.jpg Getting Ready and the Exam Preparation Checklist

  • arrow.jpg Tips for Taking the Real Exam

  • arrow.jpg Beyond the CompTIA A+ Certification

Getting Ready and the Exam Preparation Checklist

Anyone can take the CompTIA A+ certification exams; there are no prerequisites, but CompTIA recommends 12 months of experience in a help desk, desktop, or field service job role. If you don’t have that experience, be sure to practice as many hands-on labs as you can on real computers or virtual systems.

For more information on the A+ certification, visit the A+ section of CompTIA’s website, at https://www.comptia.org/certifications/a.

To acquire your A+ certification, you need to pass two exams: 220-1101 and 220-1102. These exams are administered by Pearson VUE (https://home.pearsonvue.com). You need to register with Pearson VUE to take the exams.

Each exam consists of two types of questions:

  • arrow.jpg Multiple choice: These pose a question to you and ask you to select the correct answer (or answers) from a group of four or more choices. They are quite similar to the questions you’ve seen throughout this book.

  • arrow.jpg Performance based: These ask you to answer a question, complete a configuration, or solve a problem in a hands-on fashion. The questions might ask you to drag and drop information to the correct location or complete a simulation in a virtual system.

To master both types of questions, you need to have a deep understanding of the theory, and you also need to know the hands-on steps. So, practice on your actual computers as much as possible. This is, of course, imperative for the exams, but it is even more important for the real world. The more you install, configure, and troubleshoot real systems, the more you will be prepared for job interviews as well as whatever comes your way after you have acquired a position within an organization.

You must be fully prepared for the exams, so I created a checklist (see Table 11.1) that you can use to make sure you have covered all the bases. Go through the checklist twice—once for each exam. For each exam, place a check in the status column as you complete each item. Do this first with the 220-1101 exam and then again with the 220-1102 exam. I highly recommend completing each step in order and taking the 220-1101 exam first. Historically, my readers and students have benefited greatly from this type of checklist.

Table 11.1 Exam Preparation Checklist




220-1101 Status

220-1102 Status


Attend an A+ course.

(Optional) A hands-on A+ course can do a lot for you when it comes to installing, configuring, and especially troubleshooting. Especially if you don’t have the CompTIA recommended experience (12 months), consider taking an A+ class.


Review your study guide.

Whatever main study guide or guides you used, be sure to review them carefully.


Complete the practice exams in this book.

Take the 220-1101 practice exams and review them carefully. On the second run-through of this checklist, take the 220-1102 practice exams and review them.

If you score under 90% on any one practice exam, go back and study more.

If you have any trouble at this stage, consider getting my book CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102) Exam Cram or another study guide of your choice and read it very carefully.


Create your own cheat sheet.

See Table 11.2 for an example. Writing down important details helps you commit them to memory. Keep in mind that you will not be allowed to take a cheat sheet into the actual testing room.


Register for the exam.

Do not register until you have completed the previous steps; you shouldn’t register until you are fully prepared. When you are ready, schedule the exam to commence within a couple of days so that you don’t forget what you have learned. Registration can be done online. Exams can be taken at a Pearson VUE test center or at home. Register at Pearson VUE (https://home.pearsonvue.com).

The site accepts payment by major credit card for the exam fee. (Keep in mind that you need to create an account to be able to sign up for exams.)


Review practice questions.

Keep reviewing practice questions until the day of the exam. Review your cheat sheet also if you created one.


Take the exam.

Check off each exam to the right as you pass it. Good luck!

Table 11.2 provides a partial example of a cheat sheet that you can create to aid in your studies. Fill in the appropriate information in the right column. For example, the first step of the six-step troubleshooting methodology is “Identify the problem.”

Table 11.2 Example Cheat Sheet


Fill in the Appropriate Information Here

The six-step A+ troubleshooting methodology







Cloud-based services

The laser imaging process

The malware removal process

Windows log files

Commands and descriptions

(For example: ping – tests to see if other systems on the network are live.)

* Etc.

* Continue Table 11.2 in this fashion on paper. The key is to write down various technologies, processes, step-by-step procedures, and so on and commit them to memory. Make separate cheat sheets for the 220-1101 and 220-1102 exams.

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