CompTIA A+ domain 9: Operational procedures — What you need to know for the exam
The CompTIA A+ credential is intended for entry-level IT professionals. it is the second certification on CompTIA’s core certification path; the IT fundamentals certification is the first. After earning a CompTIA A+certification, you can consider developing and demonstrating additional skills by pursuing the Network+ and Security+ exams within CompTIA’s core certification path.
Much of the A+ certification is focused on “hard” technical skills, but this domain primarily focuses on “soft” skills. While knowledge of performing a particular task or fixing a problem is important, an IT professional must also follow company policy and work effectively as part of a team. These skills are the focus of domain 9 of the CompTIA A+ certification.
The A+ certification is different from most CompTIA certifications because it is broken up into two exams. Candidates for the A+ certification must complete and pass the Core 1 and Core 2 exams before being awarded the credential.
The CompTIA A+ Core 1 exam covers the following domains:
1. Mobile devices
4. Virtualization and cloud computing
5. Hardware and network troubleshooting
Operational procedures is part of the CompTIA Core 2 exam, which includes these domains:
6. Operating systems
8. Software troubleshooting
9. Operational procedures
Within the Core 2 exam, operational procedures is one of the two smallest domains. Like software troubleshooting, it accounts for 22% of the questions.
What’s new in CompTIA A+ domain 9
In the transition from the previous A+ version of the Core 2 exam (220-1002) to the new version (220-1102), the Operational Procedures domain was slightly deprioritized compared to operating systems and security. While Domain 9 accounted for 23% of the questions in the older exam version, it makes up only 22% of the new exam.
The change to the new exam did not change the number of subdomains under the operational procedures category; both have nine. However, some changes were made to the contents and focus of several subdomains, including:
- A transition to scenario-based questions for documentation and information management
- Changing from scenario-based to explanation-focused questions for change management
- Disaster prevention and recovery content, previously in subdomain 3, is now split between subdomains 3 and 5.
Operational Procedures exam outline
The operational procedures portion of the Core 2 exam contains nine sub-domains covering a wide range of topics. The complete CompTIA A+ Core 2 exam outline includes a full description of the operational procedures domain. Some of the main areas of focus within the subdomains of the operational procedures domain are:
4.1. Given a scenario, implement best practices associated with documentation and support systems information management. This subdomain tests knowledge of ticketing systems, asset management, various types of documents and a corporate knowledge base or articles.
4.2. Explain basic change-management best practices. This subdomain discusses documented business processes and the core concepts and tools used for change management.
4.3. Given a scenario, implement workstation backup and recovery methods. This subdomain covers the various types of backups (full, incremental, differential, and synthetic), backup testing and backup rotation schemes.
4.4. Given a scenario, use common safety procedures. This subdomain tests knowledge of safety procedures and best practices when dealing with electrostatic discharge (ESD), lifting heavy objects, fire safety and other safety risks.
4.5 Summarize environmental impacts and local environmental controls. This subdomain tests knowledge of material safety data sheets (MSDS), environmental monitoring and management and power management (handling surges, failures, etc.).
4.6. Explain the importance of prohibited content/activity and privacy, licensing and policy concepts. This subdomain tests understanding of incident response procedures, license management, and handling of regulated data such as PII and payment card information.
4.7. Given a scenario, use proper communication techniques and professionalism. This subdomain focuses on best practices for communication and interacting with customers and team members.
4.8. Identify the basics of scripting. This subdomain covers the basics of scripting, including types of scripts, their uses and other important considerations when writing and running scripts.
4.9. Given a scenario, use remote access technologies. This subdomain tests knowledge of the various types of remote access systems and best practices for securing them.
Preparing for CompTIA domain 9
Earning a CompTIA A+ certificate demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills necessary for an entry-level IT professional. Domain 9, operational procedures, is essential because it ensures that you know how to do the job properly without creating legal, reputational, or other issues. Domain 9 is one of several domains on the CompTIA A+ Core 2 certification. An understanding of all of them is essential for a passing score. To learn more about the exam and what to study to pass, check out Infosec’s CompTIA A+ certification hub.