Network+: exam details and process [2022 update]
The CompTIA Network+ certification (N10-008) covers the specific hands-on skills and precise knowledge needed to securely establish, maintain and troubleshoot networks. This vendor-neutral, globally recognized qualification is designed for today’s professionals supporting and optimizing IT infrastructure environments against cyberattacks threatening business operations.
The exam focuses on foundational networking tools and technologies used to create secure networks and guarantee the availability of critical business information. Candidates for certification will need to demonstrate knowledge of the configuration, management, and troubleshooting of wired and wireless network devices; critical security concepts, key cloud computing best practices and typical service models; as well as software tools and commands, in addition to advances in virtualization techniques.
In particular, passing the test will verify that the candidate has the knowledge and skills required to do the following:
- Establish network connectivity by deploying wired and wireless devices
- Understand and maintain network documentation
- Understand the purpose of network services
- Understand basic datacenter, cloud, and virtual networking concepts
- Monitor network activity, identifying performance and availability issues
- Implement network hardening techniques
- Manage, configure, and troubleshoot network infrastructure
The major areas of emphasis on CompTIA Network+ N10-008 include:
- IP addressing and connecting networks
- Wireless standards and technologies
- Network availability
- Securing and hardening networks
What are the domains that are covered by the Network+?
Exam N10-008 launched on Sept. 15, 2021, and tests on the following five domains:
- Networking Fundamentals (24%)
- OSI model layers and encapsulation concepts
- Network topologies types
- Cables and connectors
- Subnets and IP addressing schemes
- Ports and protocols
- Network services
- Corporate and datacenter network architecture
- Cloud concepts and connectivity options
- Network Implementations (19%)
- Networking and networked devices
- Routing technologies and bandwidth management
- Ethernet switching features
- Wireless standards and technologies
- Network Operations (16%)
- Statistics and sensors to ensure network availability
- Organizational documents and policies
- High availability and disaster recovery concepts
- Network Security (19%)
- Security concepts
- Types of attacks
- Network hardening techniques
- Remote access methods and security implications
- Physical security
- Network Troubleshooting (22%)
- Network troubleshooting methodologies
- Cable connectivity issues
- Network software tools and commands
- Wireless connectivity issues
- General networking issues
It is important you become aware of all the topics covered under each objective in order to identify areas that require your attention and to focus your studies more strategically.
As reported by CompTIA, some of the new specific additions to the Network+ (N10-008) exam are:
- Network architecture: including software-defined networking that makes sure candidates understand network integrations and the cutting-edge technologies being used in deployments.
- Emerging wireless standards and technologies: covering the technical aspects of Wireless technologies and communications to provide businesses flexibility and maximal security when deploying networks.
- Network security: focusing on the critical aspects of hardening networks against cyber-based attacks and the secure execution of network deployments to protect against unintended breaches and/or unauthorized access used to compromise the data.
Candidates will undergo a computer-based test that consists of multiple choice and performance-based questions. They will have 90 minutes to complete a maximum of 90 questions on the exam.
The test is offered in English, with Japanese already scheduled for release and future deployment dates of the exam in other languages are still to be determined.
Below are some of the information most candidates need to know prior to registering for the test.
Is Network+ accredited?
Yes, Network+ is accredited by ANSI to show compliance with the ISO 17024 standard. It is also approved by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to fulfill Directive 8570.01-M requirements for IAT Level I roles.
How frequently is the exam updated?
CompTIA regularly updates exams approximately every three years to ensure IT pros have the knowledge they need to face current issues and to align with a fast-moving technology industry. The Network+ exam has been revised with the input of subject matter experts who advised on content and helped develop exam questions, along with a psychometrician — an expert in the science of testing.
What is the passing score?
You need to have a scaled score of at least 720 to pass, on a scaled range from 100-900. The exam score will be shown on the candidates’ screen immediately after completion of the exam and the exam exit survey. If you’ve passed the exam, you will receive an email from CompTIA Certmetrics with instructions on how to access your record.
How often is the exam offered?
It is offered year-round.
Where do I take my exam?
CompTIA tests are available at Pearson VUE test centers in-person or through online testing, powered by Pearson OnVUE, with remote proctoring.
How do I schedule an exam?
When you’re ready to take your exam, sign in to your CompTIA account to schedule in your preferred format, date and time.
What is the cost of the exam?
The current cost is USD $348
How soon can I retake the test if I fail?
You can take your second attempt any time after your first exam. However, for your third and subsequent attempts, you must wait at least 14 calendar days from the last try. Candidates must pay for each exam price attempt; CompTIA does not offer any free re-tests or discounts on retakes.
What are the identification requirements for testing?
Candidates are required to present two forms of original (no photocopies), valid (unexpired) IDs. These can include government-issued ID cards, driver’s licenses or even a passport. The name on your ID must exactly match the name on your Pearson VUE account.
At the testing center, your photograph will also be taken, and you will need to provide your electronic signature.
How soon do I need to arrive to take the test?
You need to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your appointed test-taking time.
What if I arrive late to my exam?
You will not be admitted to take the exam if you are more than 15 minutes late. Consequently, you’ll also forfeit the $348 that you paid in exam fees.
How do I reschedule my exam?
You must contact the Pearson VUE location at which you are taking your exam via telephone, live chat or via an online form, which is available in your account.
This must be done at least 24 hours before your scheduled exam date/time. If not, you will have to pay another exam fee.
How do I cancel my exam?
You can cancel your exam appointment at least a minimum of 24 hours prior to your exam appointment by logging into your Pearson VUE account. Access your exam appointment details, and to the right, you will see a “Cancel” button.
When should I schedule my exam?
Obviously, this is up to you, but it is highly recommended you schedule for the exam after you have reviewed all of your study material and can pass the CompTIA practice exams.
The registration process
Follow these steps to register and take the Network+ certification exam.
Step 1: Buy your Voucher or Voucher/Training Bundle
When you’re ready to take the exam, purchase your Network+ voucher from the CompTIA Store that will enable you to sign up for the test.
To save money (up to 45% discount) on the way to your Network+ certification, consider purchasing one of CompTIA’s bundles that combine CertMaster Learn, CertMaster Practice and/or the CompTIA Official Study Guide eBook in one package. Some bundles also include a free exam retake.
Step 2: Schedule your Exam
CompTIA works with Pearson VUE testing centers that have locations all over the world where you can schedule an appointment to take the exam. Members of the U.S. military may be eligible to take the CompTIA Network+ exam at an on-base testing center. Online options are also available.
Exam training and preparation
The Network+ certification is always a favorite of IT professionals looking to build a foundation of networking skills. To take the first step on your learning path you can use CompTIA official training or opt to look for self-study options or find reputable providers that offer courses and boot camps that can have you learn how to design, configure, troubleshoot and manage network devices.
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