The New CompTIA A+: Your Questions Answered

With the launch of the new CompTIA A+ came many questions, so we’ve set out to answer them here. Keep reading to learn more about the CompTIA A+ Core Series.

Heads Up - CompTIA A+ Means Proven Problem Solvers for Today's Digital World

CompTIA A+ first launched in 1993, and since 2001 has been refreshed every three years to ensure the topics covered keep pace with what’s happening in IT. Employers, subject-matter experts and IT pros working in the field guide us in what they look for in help desk technicians, technical support specialists and other jobs related to CompTIA A+ to make sure we’re covering the skills that are needed in today’s world. With the launch of the new CompTIA A+ came many questions, so we’ve set out to answer them here. Keep reading to learn more about the CompTIA A+ Core Series (220-1001 and 220-1002), and post any additional questions in the comments to keep the conversation going.

What’s on the new CompTIA A+ exams?

The CompTIA A+ Core Series (220-1001 and 220-1002) provides a foundation for a number of different IT jobs and helps entry-level IT pros prepare for the jobs of the future.

In addition to topics you might traditionally associate with tech support, the new CompTIA A+ has an increased emphasis on cybersecurity, including malware, as well as cloud technologies, virtualization, the internet of things (IoT), network protocols and troubleshooting.

It also covers the basics of scripting so that help desk technicians and technical support specialists understand what they're looking at when they encounter code.

CompTIA A+ continues to emphasize problem solving within a technology context. Employers want IT pros who can think critically and approach problems systematically to find a solution. Having CompTIA A+ shows employers that you have the hands-on skills and proof of your ability to solve technology problems.

Download the exam objectives to find out everything that’s covered.

How much does CompTIA A+ cost?

The retail price for CompTIA A+ (220-1001 and 220-1002) is $226 USD per exam, and you need to pass two exams to earn your CompTIA A+ certification. Keep reading to learn more about bundles, which can save you money. You can also click on the ad on this page to get 10 percent off a voucher or training product.

Read about additional ways to save money on your IT certification.

How can I train for CompTIA A+?

Start by downloading the exam objectives and practice tests to understand what topics are covered and get examples of questions that you might see.

CompTIA offers a full suite of training solutions for both self-study and instructor-led learning:

  • eLearning: CompTIA CertMaster Learn offers 40+ hours of engaging content with 10 lessons, including interactive performance-based questions. The platform includes narrative instruction, visual aids, videos, games, flashcards and more. A personalized dashboard and countdown calendar help you track your progress and keep you on pace for your scheduled exam.
  • Hands-On Skills Practice: CompTIA Labs are browser-based virtual labs based on scenarios found in the workplace, including configuring operating systems, troubleshooting networks and managing users, workstations and shared resources. The labs within each course are independent of each other and can be used in any order.
  • Exam Prep and Practice Tests: CompTIA CertMaster Practice is an adaptive knowledge assessment tool that determines what you have already mastered and what you still need to learn to improve your confidence before taking the exam. The system tailors feedback to help you build knowledge in your weaker areas, keeping you engaged and focused throughout your study session.
  • Books: The Official Study Guides for CompTIA A+, offered in both print and digital form, help you learn and master the material covered by CompTIA A+. It’s flexible so you can learn at your own pace and focus on exam success.
  • Courses: If you prefer to learn with guidance from an instructor, CompTIA, the CompTIA Tech Career Academy and IT-Ready offer a variety of online training and in-person courses.

CompTIA’s training solutions are all available for purchase from the CompTIA Store. Learn more about the programs offered by CompTIA Tech Career Academy and IT-Ready.  

How much time will I need to prepare for CompTIA A+?

The amount of time you’ll need to prepare for CompTIA A+ depends on your background and IT experience. Whether you attend a bootcamp, take a class or study on your own, if you have no experience, you’ll want to allot at least 120 hours of study time plus additional time for hands-on practice of the skills covered by the exams. You can do this on the job, on your own or with a tool like CompTIA CertMaster Labs.

If you already have IT experience, you may not need as much time to prepare as someone who is new to IT. Download the exam objectives to see what you already know and what you might need to work on, and read more about how to prepare for an IT certification exam.

Tell me about the CompTIA A+ bundles – what will be in them, how much will they cost and when will they be available?

CompTIA A+ bundle options include a combination of training materials, vouchers and retake vouchers, depending on which bundle you select. Prices start at $349 USD.

Can I still take the CompTIA A+ 900 series?

No, the CompTIA A+ 900 series retired on July 31, 2019.

I already passed CompTIA A+ (220-901), but I haven’t taken 220-902 yet. What should I do?

To earn your CompTIA A+ certification, you need to take both exams from the same series. So, even if you have passed one of the 900 series exams but not both, you will need to now take and pass both exams from the new Core Series to earn your CompTIA A+ certification.

I’ve been studying for the CompTIA A+ 900 series – should I switch gears and study for the Core Series instead?

The CompTIA A+ 900 series is no longer available, so you’ll want to download the exam objectives for the Core Series and pivot your studies.

I bought a voucher for the CompTIA A+ 900 series but have not used it yet – can I use it for the Core Series?

Yes, you can use your voucher for any CompTIA A+ exam. Just remember, if you already passed just one of the exams from the 900 series but not both, you will need to retake both exams from the Core Series in order to earn your CompTIA A+.

I earned CompTIA A+ by passing the 900 series exams – is it now out of date?

Have no fear – your certification is not already out of date! As long as you keep up with your continuing education (CE) requirements, your certification will remain active for three years from the date you passed your second CompTIA A+ exam.

One way to renew your CompTIA certification is with CompTIA CertMaster CE. CompTIA CertMaster CE will cover the topics that were added with the Core Series, so if you use CertMaster CE to renew your CompTIA A+, you'll efficiently keep your knowledge up to date.

Read more about the new CompTIA A+ Core Series or download the exam objectives to get started.

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