Although it took a while, the CompTIA A+ certification has finally been released. CompTIA released the Core 1 (220-1001 and Core 2 (220-1002) exams earlier this month to great fanfare. CompTIA A+ is widely considered the best place to begin your IT training journey.
There is a lot of new material in the Core 1 & Core 2 exams, as with any certification exam refresh. There are topics from the 900-level A+ exams, which are more prominent on the new 1,000 level ones (Hello cloud and virtualization). All of these topics are covered in our training courses. These courses are designed for you to quickly and efficiently learn CompTIA material.
Here’s a look into the new CompTIA exam A+ — including what’s changed and what’s the same.
Exam Format: The Nuts and Bolts
Before we get into the new Core 1 and Core 2 exams let’s briefly cover what has remained the same. CompTIA A+ certification requires you to pass two exams. The exam will have a maximum of 90 questions and must be completed within 90 minutes, just like the 900-series exams.
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Start training. The 900-series exam cost and passing scores have remained the exact same as before. Each CompTIA A+ exam is $219. Both exams are still on a 900 point scale. Core 1 passes with 675 points, Core 2 with 700 points — the same score as the 900-series.
The recommended experience for these exams is still nine to twelve months of IT experience or lab work.
CompTIA A+ Core 1 (1001) and Core2 (1002) test takers can expect the following types questions:
Multiple choices, including answers with multiple selections and single responses
Drag and drop questions or answers
The core of the exams
CompTIA A+ Core 1 (1001) exam is primarily focused on network and hardware troubleshooting. The beta exam was rated the easiest of the two exams by learners who took it. The exam’s simple nature and focus on the basics reminded them of the 900-series exam.
Here are the percentage breakdowns for Core 1 exam.Mobile Devices 14%Networking 27%Virtualization & Cloud Computing 12%Hardware and Networking Troubleshooting 27%
Here’s how the Core 2 (1002) exam is broken down:Operating Systems 27%Security 24%Software Troubleshooting 26%Operational Procedures 23 %
Many people who have taken the A+ exams will have noticed something interesting about the Core 1 exam breakdown. CompTIA A+ has made virtualization and cloud computing their own domains for the first time.
What to Expect: A Deep Dive into Core Topics
Each A+ version brings new skills to the exam. CompTIA A+ certification covers a wide range of foundational topics. CompTIA’s latest version includes cloud, virtualization and operating system versions. It also covers cybersecurity and scripting.
It was bound to happen: More cloud and virtualizationHistorically, CompTIA referred to its exams as either “software” or “hardware.” The cloud has made technology more fluid, which means that there is a fluidity between the two previously hard-set topics. CompTIA focuses more of its A+ certification exam questions on virtualization and cloud applications.
You might be tested on your knowledge about software as a Service (SaaS) because end users may need assistance with SaaS applications. The A+ exams previously focused on mobile devices and laptops, but the new A+ exams include IoT devices.
The bottom line is that test takers for the CompTIA A+ certifications exams may expect to be asked more questions about cloud-based technologies. It’s a good thing. It will prepare IT professionals better and increase the value of A+ certification.
Operating systems galore!