CompTIA A+

CompTIA’s A+ exam: 220-1101

May 26, 2022 by Daniel Brecht

CompTIA A+ is considered a launching pad for an IT support and help desk career. It is also a way for professionals to get themselves ready for a computer technician position and access a lucrative field, with average tech salaries breaking the six-figure mark

A+ is an industry-recognized vendor-neutral certification updated with the knowledge needed to support end-user devices and software, address connectivity problems, mitigate security risks, troubleshoot common issues and demonstrate basic knowledge of scripting, clouds and virtualization.

To be eligible for the CompTIA A+ certification, it is recommended to have 12 months of hands-on experience working in a help desk support, desktop support technician or field service technician job role.

To receive CompTIA A+ certification, a candidate must pass both the recently-released (April 2022) CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102) exams that, together, cover new content, emphasizing the technologies and skills IT pros need today to support a hybrid workforce.

The updated exam objectives will verify that the successful candidate has knowledge and skills in the following tasks:

  • Install, configure and maintain computer equipment, mobile devices and software for end users
  • Service components based on customer requirements to resolve problems
  • Understand networking basics and apply basic cybersecurity methods to mitigate security risks
  • Properly and safely diagnose, resolve and document common hardware and software issues
  • Apply troubleshooting skills and provide customer support using appropriate communication skills
  • Understand the basics of scripting, cloud technologies, virtualization and multi-OS deployments in corporate environments

An overview of exam 220-1101

Candidates taking Exam 220-1101 should be able to demonstrate these core skills, among others. In particular, the refreshed A+ Core Series has expanded coverage of mobile and cloud computing and virtualization services, addressed enhanced security and advanced software troubleshooting procedures across all operating systems, including Windows 10, Windows 11, Mac OS, Chrome, Android and Linux OS.

The New CompTIA A+ 1100 Series ensures the topics covered keep pace with what’s happening in IT for several different jobs. Are you ready to take the leap and attempt the CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1101) exam?

Below are the test details:

  • Number of questions: Maximum of 90
  • Types of questions: Multiple-choice and performance-based
  • Length of test: 90 minutes
  • Passing score: 675 (on a scale of 100–900)

Note: The latest A+ exam series 220-1101 (Core 1) replaced the old series 220-1001 that will be retired on October 20, 2022. If you have already passed the 220-1001 exam or are studying for it currently, you will want to also take and pass 220-1002 before October 20 because CompTIA doesn’t allow you to mix exams from two different series. 

To get CompTIA A+ certified, you must pass two exams from the same series — either 220-1001/220-1002 or 220-1101/220-1102. One voucher per exam is required (click here for 220-1001 or 220-1002, or for the CompTIA A+ exam 220-1101 or 220-1102 voucher, click here) to schedule your test on the Pearson VUE website.

Overview of the A+ exam domains

The weighting of domains for the A+ exam was refreshed. Here’s a breakdown of each exam’s version for comparison:

Core 1, 220-1001

  • Mobile Devices (14%)
  • Networking (20%)
  • Hardware (27%)
  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing (12%)
  • Hardware and Network Troubleshooting (27%)

Core 1, 220-1101

  • Mobile Devices (15%)
  • Networking (20%)
  • Hardware (25%)
  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing (11%)
  • Hardware and Network Troubleshooting (29%)

As you can see, the areas covered by the domains have not changed. What has changed is the percentage assigned to each topic and, of course, some of the technology covered to better reflect what is important in today’s workplaces. As with previous A+ Core 1 & Core 2 Exam Objectives, CompTIA’s certification considers how the IT profession is evolving. Since even entry-level technicians need to adapt to more complex environments, the exam covers their understanding of operational procedures in various scenarios.

The 220-1101 exam covers the knowledge and skills required to support various IT infrastructures, from implementing Client Virtualization and Cloud Computing to Supporting and Troubleshooting Mobile Devices and Network Connections. In essence, you will learn how to confidently diagnose and correct common hardware or connectivity problems in organizations with a dispersed workforce and various mobile devices, operating systems and applications.

Below are the areas covered by the test:

  1. Mobile Devices
    1. Given a scenario, install and configure laptop hardware and components.
    2. Compare and contrast the display components of mobile devices.
    3. Given a scenario, set up and configure accessories and ports of mobile devices.
    4. Given a scenario, configure basic mobile-device network connectivity and application support.
  2. Networking
    1. Compare and contrast Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) ports, protocols and purposes.
    2. Compare and contrast common networking hardware.
    3. Compare and contrast protocols for wireless networking.
    4. Summarize services provided by networked hosts.
    5. Install and configure basic wired/wireless small office/home office (SOHO) networks under a scenario.
    6. Compare and contrast common network configuration concepts.
    7. Compare and contrast Internet connection types, network types and their features.
    8. Given a scenario, use networking tools.
  3. Hardware
    1. Explain basic cable types and their connectors, features and purposes.
    2. Given a scenario, install the appropriate RAM.
    3. Given a scenario, select and install storage devices.
    4. Given a scenario, install and configure motherboards, central processing units (CPUs) and add-on cards.
    5. Given a scenario, install or replace the appropriate power supply.
    6. Given a scenario, deploy and configure multifunction devices/ printers and settings.
    7. Given a scenario, install and replace printer consumables.
  4. Virtualization and Cloud Computing
    1. Summarize cloud-computing concepts.
    2. Summarize aspects of client-side virtualization.
  5. Hardware and Network Troubleshooting
    1. Given a scenario, apply the best practice methodology to resolve problems.
    2. Given a scenario, troubleshoot motherboards, RAM, CPU and power problems.
    3. Given a scenario, troubleshoot and diagnose storage drives and RAID arrays problems.
    4. Given a scenario, troubleshoot video, projector and display issues.
    5. Given a scenario, troubleshoot common issues with mobile devices.
    6. Given a scenario, troubleshoot and resolve printer issues.
    7. Given a scenario, troubleshoot problems with wired and wireless networks.

For more specifics, see the Core 1 exam objectives. It will give you a clear, detailed understanding of what’s on the exam and help you focus your learning on the subject areas tested. Then use CompTIA’s practice tests to get examples of questions that you might see and identify gaps in your knowledge.

Prepare before the exam

The Official CompTIA A+ Core 1 and Core 2 Student Guide (Exams 220-1101 and 220-1102)  eBook includes videos and practice questions for all exam objectives. This resource also allows you access to CompTIA Learning Center.

CompTIA’s CertMaster Practice for A+ Core 1 (220-1101) can quickly assess what you already know and what you still need to learn with performance-based questions. An access code along with instructions will be sent after your purchase is complete.

Pearson IT Certification’s CompTIA A+ Exam Cram Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102) all-inclusive study guide is updated to help you master the topics in the new versions of the CompTIA A+ exams. There’s also a Premium Edition version, a digital-only certification preparation product combining an eBook with an enhanced practice test.

There are, of course, also several other training options for professionals who would rather participate in on-site classes, boot camps or online learning. CompTIA’s Delivery Partner Program offers quality training and certification learning resources from their Authorized Training Providers. The variety of available options caters to any learning style and schedule needs. It can help professionals start on their learning path towards a career in a help desk, field service technician or another support role.

For more on the CompTIA A+ certification, view our CompTIA A+ certification hub.

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Posted: May 26, 2022
Author
Daniel Brecht
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Daniel Brecht has been writing for the Web since 2007. His interests include computers, mobile devices and cyber security standards. He has enjoyed writing on a variety of topics ranging from cloud computing to application development, web development and e-commerce. Brecht has several years of experience as an Information Technician in the military and as an education counselor. He holds a graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and a Master of Science in Information Technology.

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