The A+ 220-1001 and A+ 220-1002 exams
We at CertBlaster are cornerstone funding partners of the A+ certification program, having been involved since the inception of the first exam. Members of the CertBlaster team has been on CompTIA advisory boards, executive committees, and design committees, and has provided Subject Matter Experts to the various committees. We have also been consulted on exam affairs throughout the evolution of this career gateway. When we look at a new version we can, out of our long experience, discern the salient factors from the noise and that is exactly what we are trying to do for you here.
The competencies measured by the CompTIA A+ exam
The A+ competencies are targeted at the current and projected needs of the IT industry. The exam objectives are gathered in a very structured process referred to as the Job Task Analysis. This is an in-depth survey of the IT industry collecting data from IT managers, interviews with hiring managers, and data collected from help desk tickets. Once this study is completed the conclusions are presented to the subject matter experts (SMEs) who then write the questions reflecting the needs and technologies.
Each version of the A+ has a three-year exam life cycle. The current exams are the A+ 220-1001 and A+ 220-1002 (aka Core 1 & Core 2 respectively). These exams reflect the latest in technology and the current ways legacy technologies are being utilized. With regards to the scope of the two exams, in simple terms, the A+ 220-1001 will ask how a device or process connects while the A+ 220-1002 will ask what the device or process will do once it is connected. For both exams, be prepared for more performance-based questions than in prior versions.
While all the core objectives are important, the exams place a greater emphasis on security, cloud technologies, and virtualization. This transpires clearly in the list of Main Domains, published by CompTIA:
Exam Objectives for A+ 220-1001 Core 1
1.0 Mobile Devices 14%
2.0 Networking 20%
3.0 Hardware 27%
4.0 Virtualization and Cloud Computing 12%
5.0 Hardware and Network Troubleshooting 27%
Click below for the complete and detailed A+ 220-1001 Core 1 Exam Objectives:
Exam Objectives for A+ 220-1002 Core 2
1.0 Operating Systems 27%
2.0 Security 24%
3.0 Software Troubleshooting 26%
4.0 Operational Procedures 23%
Click below for the complete and detailed A+ 220-1002 Core 2 Exam Objectives:
Important Focus of the A+ 220-1001 & A+ 220-1002 Exams
Consider these points to be important. You can be assured these areas will appear on the exams. They are necessary knowledge but not sufficient so even though you want to focus on these make sure to not neglect the other areas during your prep.
This section has increased its scope to not only identifying and detecting malware but also the best practices to remove it. A greater focus has been placed on physical and logical security. These two sections have been separated and now, physical security and logical security each have their own objective and weighting. This effectively doubles security as a tested concept. The subject of device hardening is introduced. The section on biometric authentication is expanded.
Infrastructure and Hardware
As seen in the Core objectives, Cloud technology and virtualization are their own separate domains, increasing the overall weight of these topics. IoT devices and protocols are now even more emphasized. In simple terms, the 220-1001 will ask how a device or process connects while the 220-1002 will ask what the device or process will do once it is connected.
You will need working knowledge of six operating systems for this version of the A+: Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Mac OS, and now Chrome OS. Please keep in mind that Windows refers to Windows 7 through 10 inclusively. Expect an increased emphasis on SaaS with cloud-based storage and email providers such as Google, Exchange Online, and iCloud.
In conclusion, please start any A+ test preparation by downloading the complete the list of A+ Exam Objectives (see above) and then use every tool available to you to make sure yo master them all. CompTIA would not waste time and energy in publishing each of these objectives unless there was a chance you could get a question on any of them.
Above is a short video going over part of the items covered in this blog.