CompTIA, a provider of many IT (Information Technology) certifications, offers an A+ certificate for computer support technicians who want to show their expertise in computer installation, maintenance, security, networking and troubleshooting, in addition to strong communication and customer service skills. The CompTIA A+ certification is included in the certification tracks of IT companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Novell and Hewlett-Packard. Additionally, many support companies such as CompuCom require the A+ certification for their service technicians. If you wish to earn a credential to highlight your skills and knowledge as a computer support technician, this credential may be for you.
Download the exam objectives for the two required examinations. The first required exam, CompTIA A+ Essentials (Exam Number 220-701) covers hardware (27 percent); troubleshooting, repair and maintenance (20 percent); operating systems and software (20 percent); networking (15 percent), security (8 percent); and operational procedure (10 percent). The second exam, CompTIA A+ Practical Application (Exam Number 220-702) covers hardware (38 percent), operating systems (34 percent), networking (15 percent) and security (14 percent). The detailed objectives for each examination are available from the CompTIA website and should be used to guide your exam preparations.
Review practice questions for each examination. The sample test questions are available at the CompTIA A+ Essentials website and will provide an idea of what to expect on the examinations.
Select your training materials or classes from CompTIA’s recommended listings. CompTIA has a listing of recommended A+ certification study materials available on its website. The listing includes books for self-study or instructor-led training, computer-based training, assessment software and multimedia options. If you are interested in instructor-led classes, CompTIA also has a search option for classes available in your area.
Purchase your exam vouchers, and take your exams. Exams are offered at Pearson VUE and Prometric testing centers. Once you find the location that is the most convenient for you, purchase a voucher for that location from the CompTIA website. Each exam will contain 100 questions, and you will be allowed 90 minutes per exam.
Request your CompTIA A+ Certification. After you have passed both required examinations, you will need to wait 5 business days before you can request your certificate. Log in to the CompTIA website to access your certification record, ensure that the information is correct, and request your certificate. You can expect to receive your free CompTIA practice IT questions by mail in about four to six weeks.