How Do I Get My CompTIA A+ Certification?
You can earn the CompTIA A+ certification by passing two separate exams. There’s no single way to ensure you pass, but there’s common sense advice that can increase your chances to pass your exams and achieve your CompTIA A+ certification.
In their very basic nature, the two exams that lead to CompTIA A+ certification are not that much different from any other written test. Both exams use various question types to verify your knowledge in specific areas of information technology, such as computer hardware and software as they relate to IT support. Being well prepared remains your best bet to score a positive exam outcome of passing the tests and being awarded the CompTIA A+ certification.
Preparing for Your CompTIA A+ Exams
While individual preferences for how to prepare for a certification exam may differ in detail, there’s a simple strategy that can get you started and that may make it easier to keep yourself organized during your exam preparation process.
Understand What’s Expected of You
Not knowing what’s on the exam, what questions you will have to answer and what types of questions you will see is like driving blind into a snow storm. A better approach is to spend some time reading about CompTIA A+ and what it takes to pass the exams. The more details you know about the questions you will have to answer, the better you will be able to judge what you already know and what you still need to learn.
To get a general understanding of what’s on the exam:
- Review the CompTIA A+ product page.
- Download the CompTIA A+ exam objectives.
- Download the table of contents of the Official Study Guide for CompTIA A+ to get a better idea of what knowledge is being taught to prepare students for the CompTIA A+ exams.
- Read about the experiences of CompTIA A+ certification holders. Social media sites such as LinkedIn and Reddit are a treasure trove of information and advice with experiences of others that can help you along the way toward your certification.
Understand the Gap Between What You Already Know and What’s Expected of You
CompTIA A+ exam takers come from all walks of life with vastly different experience levels in IT. The degree and quality of experience in computer hardware and software that you’ve already acquired has a substantial impact on the knowledge gap between what you know and what you’re expected to know.
While some exam takers may have very little additional knowledge they need to acquire, others may have to invest significant time and effort in their exam preparation. But what’s the same for everyone is the need to learn the exam topics that you don’t know or don’t know well enough.
Being honest with yourself will help you focus on what you need to learn and, ultimately, make your studies more effective.
Understand How You Can Close Your Knowledge Gap
There are various ways for you to acquire all or some of the knowledge outlined in the CompTIA A+ exam objectives. The best option for you depends on the way you prefer to learn and how quickly and effectively you will learn and retain the knowledge you need.
However, here are a few ideas:
- Self-Paced Learning: The most common way to prepare for your CompTIA A+ exam is self-paced study, such as through CompTIA CertMaster products or the CompTIA Official Study Guide for CompTIA A+. The books are available in print and electronic versions, and you can decide how quickly you want to progress.
- Classroom Training: If you’re more comfortable studying with others and a trainer in a classroom environment, CompTIA Authorized Partners offer classroom training for individuals. If you’re your whole department needs training, CompTIA also offers classroom training to organizations.
- Experience and Practice: If you have access to computer hardware and software that you can use for practice, either at home or in your job, you can accelerate your learning and deepen your knowledge with hands-on practice.
CompTIA CertMaster Practice: Boost Your Testing Confidence
CompTIA CertMaster is an online training companion for CompTIA A+ and other CompTIA certifications you may need in the future. With products designed for various stages of the certification journey, CompTIA CertMaster meets learners where they are:
- CompTIA CertMaster Learn: This comprehensive, self-paced eLearning platform uses videos, assessments and performance-based questions to learn the topics covered by CompTIA A+.
- CompTIA CertMaster Labs: Get the hands-on experience you need to answer performance-based questions with CompTIA CertMaster Labs, a virtual lab environment where you can test your skills on live servers hosted in a data center.
- CompTIA CertMaster Practice: Once you’ve gained the knowledge covered by CompTIA A+, use CompTIA CertMaster Practice to prepare for your exam so you can test with confidence.
- CompTIA CertMaster CE: Keep your certification up to date with CompTIA CertMaster CE, a self-paced eLearning and renewal tool that helps you build upon the skills you demonstrated by earning CompTIA A+ while integrating the newest topics from the latest exam.
How Long Will It Take Me to Get CompTIA A+?
In short, there’s no straight answer to this question because it all depends on how much you already know, how much you have to learn, how quickly you learn and when you’ll feel confident enough to take the exam and pass it.
Some classroom training covers all of the CompTIA A+ material in one week, and others stretch it out over several months.
If you choose to learn on your own, you may be able to acquire the necessary knowledge within a few days, weeks or months – depending on how much knowledge and IT experience you already have.
While we cannot tell you how long it will take you personally to get your CompTIA A+ certification, we do recommend that you invest enough time in your exam preparation to make sure that you know what you need to know instead of racing through the curriculum and running a greater risk of missing some exam objectives and requirements.
How Do I Take My CompTIA A+ Exams?
Head over to the Testing section of the website to find out how to sign up to take your CompTIA A+ exams. However, here’s what you should know about the testing process and what steps you need to take.
Buy Your Voucher or Voucher/Training Bundle
When you’re ready to take one or both exams, purchase your CompTIA A+ voucher from the CompTIA Store. A voucher is a code that will enable you to sign up for your exam. Remember that you will need two vouchers, since you’ll take two exams to earn your CompTIA A+ certification.
Not sure how much it costs? Read more on our How Much Does CompTIA A+ Cost? .
Keep in mind that you can also purchase a bundle to combine your vouchers, CompTIA CertMaster and the CompTIA Official Study Guide in one package and save a good chunk of money on the way to your A+ certification. It even includes a retake voucher to give you insurance that if you don’t pass on your first attempt, you’ll get a do-over.
Schedule Your Exam
Next, you’ll need to take your first set of CompTIA A+ exams from an approved location. CompTIA works with Pearson VUE testing centers, with hundreds of locations worldwide. Through Pearson, you can schedule appointments to take both exams. Members of the U.S. military may be eligible to take the CompTIA A+ exams from on-base testing centers.
Find a testing center near you.
How Long Do the CompTIA A+ Tests Take?
We frequently get questions from test takers about how long they should plan for their exam. The allotted time for each exam is 90 minutes; however, we’ve heard of test takers who breezed through the exam in as short as 20 minutes and others who have taken the entire 90 minutes.
Everyone is different, and passing the exam is not about speed. Go into your exam with confidence and answer the questions at a comfortable pace, while remembering that each exam consists of a maximum of 90 questions.
Ready to get started? Download the CompTIA A+ exam objectives to see what’s on the exams.