CompTIA’s A+ certification is a very popular and renowned entry-level certification and it is the industry standard for launching IT careers in today's world. This certification is respected because it shows employers that candidates are experienced and knowledgeable in baseline IT knowledge and can support basic IT infrastructure and networking. The A+ certification is best for those who are looking to start in IT or have a current position in the IT industry and wish to move up the corporate ladder. In recent years, the A+ certification has evolved to include IT security concepts, cloud computing, and creating and monitoring scripts. Overall, the A+ certification has opened the opportunity for just about anyone to get started and certified in IT.
1. Know the Exams
There are currently two exams needed to earn the A+ certification, a core 1 exam, and a core 2 exam. The first exam covers mobile devices, networking technology, hardware, virtualization, and cloud computing. The second exam covers installing hardware and software, basic cybersecurity techniques, and software troubleshooting. Both of the exams will include multiple-choice, simulation, and activity-based questions and will have a maximum of 90 questions per exam. Both exams also have a 90-minute total run time, so it is very important to use your time wisely while taking the exam.
2. Study the Domains
The core 1 exam content (220-1001) is spread across 5 different domains and each domain is weighted differently.
- Mobile Devices 14%
- Networking 20%
- Hardware 27%
- Virtualization and Cloud Computing 12%
- Hardware and Network Troubleshooting 27%
The core 2 exam content (220-1002) is spread across only 4 different domains and each domain is also weighted differently.
- Operating Systems 27%
- Security 24%
- Software Troubleshooting 26%
- Operational Procedures 23%
3. Conduct Self Assessments Regularly
While preparing for the exam it is important to track your process and understanding which exam domains you are confident in and which domains you need to work on. CompTIA has practice questions available for free on their website along with the specific exam objectives which will be essential to helping you prepare for the exam. While conducting self-assessments try to mimic the real exam as much as possible by being aware of the time limits. It is best to create a strategy for how you will conquer both exams. Be sure to spread out the content evenly in a digestible format and then focus on the domains in which are weighted the heaviest.
4. Rest Well and Stay Focused!
Be sure to use all the test-taking strategies you know on exam day. Eating a good breakfast, getting a full night’s rest, and don’t try to cram all the information in before the exam day. Studies have also shown that stretching, taking deep breaths, and drinking water during the exam help with focus and generate better results on exam day.
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