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Exam information

What you need to know about the CompTIA A+ Core Series Exam

CompTIA has been providing tests for basic IT certification (the CompTIA A+ certification) since 1993. Beginning in 2001, they have issued a new version of the exam every three years to make their evaluation consistent with current IT practices and the newest technology. The newest version, for which our test prep is designed, is called the CompTIA A+ Core Series and was first offered in April 2022. It contains two separate tests, and you must pass both to be certified. They are numbered 220-1101 and 220-1102. Be sure you are using the appropriate preparation materials for the test you are taking.

The previous versions of the tests were numbered 220-1001 and 220-1002. That exam is no longer administered and only the newest version will be available for testing. Please note that you cannot combine tests from the two versions (e.g., #1001 with #1102)—both tests must be from the same exam version for you to be certified.

Like its predecessors, the new tests contain up to 90 questions each, including these question types:

  • multiple-choice (some with more than one correct answer to choose)
  • drag-and-drop (in which you move an answer to a place on the screen to answer)
  • performance-based questions (in which you manipulate parts of a screen diagram to answer)

The basic differences between the two tests (1000 series vs. 1100 “Core Series”) are reflected in these main additions to the new version of the exam:

  • Basic security topics receive increased coverage on this exam, including the differences between physical and logical security as well as information about malware.
  • Operational procedure questions will now include basic strategies to prevent disasters and disaster recovery methods.
  • There continues to be an emphasis on scripting basics.
  • This exam expands on coverage of networking and connectivity dependency.

The CompTIA A+ exam content is driven by the industry, not vendors. If a specific identifying word of a device or system is not mentioned in study materials, it does not mean you won’t be tested on that system or device. It just means that questions won’t cover things unique to that device.

The most recent editions of the CompTIA A+ tests cover the same categories of competencies as the previous tests. The percentage of coverage for each category of skills is within several percentage points of those for the old exam.

1101:

Mobile Devices (15%)

Networking (20%)

Hardware (25%)

Virtualization and Cloud Computing (11%)

Hardware and Network Troubleshooting (29%)

1102:

Operating Systems (31%)

Security (25%)

Software Troubleshooting (22%)

Operational Procedures (22%)

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Exam facts

Answers to all your questions about the CompTIA A+ Core Series Exam

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What are the costs?

Before you can schedule a CompTIA A+ Core Series testing session, you must purchase a test voucher through the CompTIA Store for $246.00 (in the U.S) or the Pearson Vue Voucher Store. This price covers the cost of one test: either the 1101 or 1102. You must take and pass both of these to become certified.

Vouchers are valid for 12 months after purchase. Both your registration and the testing must be completed within that time frame. There is no way to extend the life of a voucher.

What should I bring?

All you really need at the testing location are two forms of identification, and one of them must be government-issued. To be sure you have the proper type, look at CompTIA’s ID Policy. It is suggested that you not bring any form of electronics as they will not be allowed into the exam area.

How is it scored?

Scoring is essentially the same for the CompTIA A+ Core Series exam as it was for the previous editions of the exam. There is a possibility of scoring between 100 and 900 on each test and, to pass, you must achieve a score of at least 675 on the 1101 test and at least 700 on the 1102 exam. You’ll be notified of your score on the screen upon test completion. There is the possibility of retaking either test if you do not pass the first time.

What kind of job can I get?

Training in Information Technology (IT) can make you a vital part of a business or organization. In today’s world, many daily activities require reliable computer systems for contacts and information. And when something goes wrong with a system, there must be an immediate “fix” to avoid revenue loss. This is where the IT professional, or tech support person, often comes in. As an IT professional, you must be up to date on all of the latest innovations in hardware and software, as well as be adept in problem-solving and customer relations. You may find yourself handling everything IT-related, from system security to mobile device management.

Am I eligible?

While taking the CompTIA A+ Core Series certification exam has no age requirement, there is a strong recommendation that candidates be at least 13 years old. It is also recommended that you have nine to 12 months of experience, either in the field or in a lab, before attempting your CompTIA A+ certification.

Before testing, you will be required to sign a Candidate Agreement. It would be a good idea to read over this agreement before you take the test so that you understand it and are ready to sign.

Why does it matter?

Obtaining CompTIA A+ Core Series certification is the first step in proving your competence to a prospective employer. There are more advanced and specialty certifications available from CompTIA, but this one covers basic level competencies. It shows that you are proficient in the IT basics and have the knowledge and skills necessary to be an asset to that employer.

What salary can I expect?

According to the CompTIA website, the median wage for employment in a tech occupation is 125% higher than the median national wage in the United States. There is also a projection that the growth rate for tech job opportunities will be twice that of the growth rate for jobs in general during the next 10 years.

When is it available?

To schedule a test, you need to contact Pearson VUE online. You’ll need to find which of the Pearson VUE testing centers is most convenient for you and schedule your test(s) through its website.

The CompTIA A+ exam is offered in English, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Thai, and Spanish.

How much time is allowed?

You will have 90 minutes to complete each of the CompTIA A+ Core Series tests—the 1101 and the 1102. Remember that each test contains 90 questions. To get a feel for the style and difficulty level of questions you’ll encounter on test day, it’s helpful to take a CompTIA A+ practice test.

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