To be successful in your A+ certification you need to know what kind of question formats you should expect on the A+ certification test. There are two main question types, multiple-choice and interactive questions. The multiple-choice in its turn are of two types multiple choice single answer and multiple choice with multiple answers. The interactive questions come in four different “flavors” (see below) but the, by far, most important is the performance-based questions (PBQ). These are the real hands-on questions where A+ tests your skills rather than just your knowledge.

Read on for a detailed explanation of each of the question types.

Multiple choice – single answer

This is the most familiar of the question types you’ll see. These are questions that require a single response you provide by clicking the radio button next to your choice.

This is a screenshot of a multiple choice question with a single correct answer for the A+ certification exam
Multiple choice question with a single correct answer

Multiple choice – multiple answers

These questions require more than one response. On any CompTIA exam, you can recognize this type by the square checkboxes next to each response. Your instructions may say (Choose two) or similar instruction to let you know how many choices are expected. If a question requires two correct answers it will present five choices.   If a question requires three correct answers it will present six choices.

For a guided tour and review of CertBlaster 5.0 click here

Performance Based Questions (PBQ)

These are the “crown jewels” of the CompTIA A+ exam! The PBQs have you perform tasks in a simulator. These questions will really test your proficiency. You will be presented with a simulation of a computer, router or other device and asked to resolve a problem. In the simulator, you will take the steps necessary to identify and/or resolve the issue. Here is a PBQ that requires OS interaction. We took the first step in the CertBlaster question. We opened the Administrative Start menu to give you a bit of a feel of what these simulations can look like.

This is a screenshot of a Performance Based Question PBQ for the CompTIA A+ certification exam
Performance Based Question – PBQ

Important Note Regarding Performance Based Questions

The simulations used in both the CompTIA A+ and the CertBlaster are just that, simulations. Don’t think that you can simply click around and hope to get lucky. For example, in the CertBlaster each simulation consists of several steps but most other menu entries will not work in these simulators.

Interactive questions

The other interactive question types are exhibit-based questions, drag and drop questions, and fill in the blank.

Exhibit based

This question category will ask the question and then you display the exhibit. There are three exhibit-based types. Based on what you see you will respond by providing the correct answer or dragging a checkbox to a location onscreen.

Another Exhibit based question type requires you to interpret the exhibit to determine the correct response. Familiarity with the Operating System used is crucial here.

This is a screenshot of a Exhibit Based Question type
Exhibit Based Question

Drag and Drop Questions

This question presents a list of labels that you will drag into the correct order or location specified. Take your time and place the labels in the appropriate location.


Hopefully, you’ve seen this type in your studies to this point. It is a straightforward question that requires you to know the correct term or phrase and enter it in the answer field. Depending on the question your response should be complete and use the correct command syntax or utility. In the example here you are asked to use the Linux command to change the owner of a file. Since there is no other information in the question like “Change the Owner of a file to user 502 – or – Mikeb” The only feasible response is chown. The majority of responses will be no more than three words.

Well, there it is! Now you know a little more about your “enemy” and have a better chance for success!

Need a complete but free A+ study guide? Try out our A+ ExamNotes

Click here for our completely free A+ ExamNotes for exams 220-1001 and 220-1002 – This is a full version (no “limited’ free stuff here!) and it covers every last A+ exam objective and sub-objective.

Here are a few more questions relating to the A+ exam that we answer on our blog:

How many questions are on the A+ exam?

How do you study for the A+ exam?

We are writing below posts right now and we post them as they get written so come back soon!

Is the A+ certification worth it?

How much money can you make with a A+ certification?


Good luck in your quest for A+ certification! We all wish you the best in your quest for A+ certification.


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