Understanding the CompTIA Network+ exam
When we design the CertBlaster Network+ practice test products we of course pay a lot of attention to the question formats. Although not our very first concern (that would be the exam objectives) it is a close second. That the exam objectives are priority #1 in our Network+ practice test is demonstrated by the below screenshot. The four Exam Simulations are on top (questions in those go across all exam objectives), on the bottom you see that the five Drills each correspond to one of the five CompTIA Main Domains (exam objectives) for the Network+ N10-007 exam. Drills are often in excess of 100 questions each and they also break down per sub-objective. That’s how you can be sure we cover every last CompTIA exam objective and sub-objective.
Below we are presenting the Network+ exam and the question types you are likely to see on exam day.
CompTIA Network+ Prerequisites
To become Network+ Certified you need to pass CompTIA Network+ Exam N10-007. As per CompTIA, this credential has the following recommended (as in not mandatory) prerequisites: Either CompTIA A+ certification or comparable knowledge/skills plus at least 9 months of work experience in IT networking or equivalent training. As none of this is a requirement you could arguably show up at the exam without any of this and no one will stop you.
The CompTIA Network+ Exam Objectives
Like all CompTIA exams, the Network+ Certification is defined by a published list of Exam Objectives that you can find here. For Network+ N10-007 these Exam Objectives consist of five “Main Domains” (the high-level topic definition) and under each of the Main Domains, “Sub-Objectives” that narrow down to the specifics of what you should know in preparation of the exam.
How many questions are there at the exam?
The exam consists of a maximum of 90 questions (it can be less but never more) and you have an hour and a half to answer them so on average one minute per question. This is in line with certification best practices for multiple choice-based tests. However, it will require you to get organized and focused in order to not run out of time. Thankfully there are tools and methods available to you to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by the number of questions at this exam.
What is the passing score?
The grading scale is not all that intuitive. You are graded on a scale from 100 to 900. The passing score on the CompTIA Network+ N10-007 exam is 720. In terms of percentages, this works out to a score of about 77%. This means that with a total of 90 questions on the exam you will need at least 70 correct answers to pass. Because the objectives are so wide-ranging even with professional experience, it will take a significant amount of work to prepare for this exam. If you doubt this just take a look at the Network+ objectives published by CompTIA. You are looking at 33 pages made up mainly of dense lists of items you could get a question on, so not trivial.
The question types and how to handle them
Although the Performance-Based Questions get the most attention by and large the most common question type remains the multiple-choice questions. The basic four alternatives – three detractors and one correct choice is by far the most numerous question type on the exam. Having said that you will notice that among the very first questions coming your way on exam day will be Performance-Based Questions. These are a bit time-consuming so if you don’t feel you can answer them authoritatively and fast just mark them for later and move on to the multiple-choice questions which are typically resolved faster. Answer all you can then go back to the marked questions and spend the time you have left on those (and others you couldn’t immediately answer). There are several advantages in doing it this way: 1) You will rapidly answer many questions and thus maximize your chance of getting a higher score, 2) when you revisit questions you had a problem with initially a subsequent question may have either given away the answer or hinted enough at it that you now have an easier time of it, and 3) it will be less stressful to spend the extra time now that you know that you have “bagged” several answers (this applies especially to the Performance-Based Questions).
When you are facing the regular four alternatives i.e. three detractors and one correct choice, you will see that the clickable area is a radio button. When you are facing a question that has checkboxes instead of radio buttons, that indicates a multiple answer question. With these questions, best practices say that two correct answers require five alternatives in all while three answers require six alternatives.
In addition to the multiple-choice questions and PBQ, you may be exposed to yet another question format, the scenario-based question.
If you want more details regarding the performance-based questions see our article about CompTIA Exam Question Types.
The Network+ practice tests include all the question types you are liable to face at the exam. Additionally, every exam objective and sub-objective is addressed and CertBlaster will offer you enough feedback that you will have detailed guidance as to the areas that you need to focus the most on.