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  1. #1
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    A+ Certification Exam

    Hi everyone. As I had mentioned in my first thread in the Introduce Yourself forum, I am taking the 701 portion of my A+ exam on Friday. I really don't have a specific question for this thread - I was more just wondering if other people here had taken it. Did you pass on the first try? Did you find it difficult? Any last minute tips?

    I was fortunate enough to have found an affordable class that helped teach the domains of the exam and they supplied us with practice questions that they created. But I have exhausted all of those and am trying to find additional questions. I know there are illegal places (i.e. brain dumps) but I'm not looking for those. Are there any legitimate sites that supply practice questions just to test what you've studied?

    Thanks for your help! This is a really great forum!

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    How hard is it to be A+ certified? I was looking into it myself.

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    It's just 2 tests, but I don't know how hard they are yet haha!

    Here's some info:

    CompTIA A+ Certification

  4. #4
    THE Gimp Clown Fish! nemowolf's Avatar
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    The legit places will have samples with maybe 20 questions out of the hundreds or thousands they provide. Honestly, best resource has to be professor messers.

    Link to follow later tonight.

    He does free online, youtube, videos that cover every section of the A+. You may know enough right now to pass but there are curve balls on the test that cover outdated technology because it may still apply in the real world. Stuff like how ISA works, BNC networks, older Star topologies for networks, etc.

    Buy a book and watch the videos, cant fail unless you retain nothing learned from both.

    TechIMO Folding@home Team #111 - Crunching for the cure!

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    Thanks! I found him on Youtube! I'll definitely listen in!

    I got a book through a class I was able to take and read it cover to cover as well.

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Interrupt's Avatar
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    I'm studying for it now. Just know this: sometimes you know more than you think you know. I'm so bent out of shape about whether or not to take the exam, scoring 70-75% (instead of 80% passing) on a pretest that came with Mike Meyers All-in-One books and everything. But I think nothing beats taking the test after some good amount of study to try it.

    The more you just study blindly the more apt you are to just forget everything (which I'm starting to do now). I'm going to study a bit more and then just go take the exam. Luckily most testing centers schedule you whenever you feel like taking the exam. The only downside is cost (vouchers are necessary).

    Going self study route + testout if I don't do so well (TestOut - IT Certification Training with Online Labs). Since A+ is only really required for technician/retail/etc. jobs and preferred for other IT jobs (and I don't mean it says that anywhere in black and white but believe me it makes a difference), the A+ is something that looks better than it truly is. Just an added perk. Shows you know the essential fundamentals. It's good but not required if you have work experience in the field instead. So while study like hell don't let it drive you crazy. I did that and it wasn't necessary. Most corporate positions don't even care if you have the damn cert (Helpdesk type jobs it is helpful)... but again, added perk and in my opinion it may be worth it (we'll see).

    So yeah. 2 exams. Essentials and practical. 100 questions each. Lots of stupid questions like 'how many pins does x have?' which is what I need to go over before the exam, I keep forgetting irrelevant things like that. Pneumonics help.

    So yeah... you can totally self study too, man. But if you do have course experience? All the better. Depends on your pre-existing level of expertise. I use Mike Meyers All-in-One. Check out CBT's like CBT Nuggets & Testout.com and good luck. Just remember not to let all the material overwhelm you. Everyone does better on tests when they're calm. Plus 100 questions isn't a helluva lot per day (2 day exam typically). So it is doable.

    I keep telling myself as I'm telling you: take it in stride, be calm and confident. I own my own repair company and can tell you: some people with A+s probably know less than you do about PC fundamentals. I may not know you or your level of expertise but I'm dead sure on that. Some people are just good test takers (I'm not one of them).

    A lot of it is in the head and your preparedness. So I hope all that helps you.

    Edit: Cool name btw. I love portal.
    Last edited by Interrupt; December 9th, 2011 at 11:47 AM.
    “Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” ― Cryptonomicon

  7. #7
    THE Gimp Clown Fish! nemowolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marknjas033 View Post
    I'm studying for it now. Just know this: sometimes you know more than you think you know. I'm so bent out of shape about whether or not to take the exam, scoring 70-75% (instead of 80% passing) on a pretest that came with Mike Meyers All-in-One books and everything. But I think nothing beats taking the test after some good amount of study to try it.

    The more you just study blindly the more apt you are to just forget everything (which I'm starting to do now). I'm going to study a bit more and then just go take the exam. Luckily most testing centers schedule you whenever you feel like taking the exam. The only downside is cost (vouchers are necessary).

    Going self study route + testout if I don't do so well (TestOut - IT Certification Training with Online Labs). Since A+ is only really required for technician/retail/etc. jobs and preferred for other IT jobs (and I don't mean it says that anywhere in black and white but believe me it makes a difference), the A+ is something that looks better than it truly is. Just an added perk. Shows you know the essential fundamentals. It's good but not required if you have work experience in the field instead. So while study like hell don't let it drive you crazy. I did that and it wasn't necessary. Most corporate positions don't even care if you have the damn cert (Helpdesk type jobs it is helpful)... but again, added perk and in my opinion it may be worth it (we'll see).

    So yeah. 2 exams. Essentials and practical. 100 questions each. Lots of stupid questions like 'how many pins does x have?' which is what I need to go over before the exam, I keep forgetting irrelevant things like that. Pneumonics help.

    So yeah... you can totally self study too, man. But if you do have course experience? All the better. Depends on your pre-existing level of expertise. I use Mike Meyers All-in-One. Check out CBT's like CBT Nuggets & Testout.com and good luck. Just remember not to let all the material overwhelm you. Everyone does better on tests when they're calm. Plus 100 questions isn't a helluva lot per day (2 day exam typically). So it is doable.

    I keep telling myself as I'm telling you: take it in stride, be calm and confident. I own my own repair company and can tell you: some people with A+s probably know less than you do about PC fundamentals. I may not know you or your level of expertise but I'm dead sure on that. Some people are just good test takers (I'm not one of them).

    A lot of it is in the head and your preparedness. So I hope all that helps you.

    Edit: Cool name btw. I love portal.

    Its those "irrelevant" things that seperate a skilled and knowledgable technicians from anyone else that fixes their own equipment ... just saying ...

    I took both tests back to back with maybe 1 hour between them.

    expanding on this ...

    While this is a standardzied test and as such there is a degree of memorization required but after taking the test and being in the field for some years now i realized that this is one of the things that ultimately doesnt matter at all except for the initial impression on a resume. Anyone can put a dozen different certifications but if they cant remember anything they learned from the books, classes, etc then the certification is worthless.

    You should never judge the level of skill anyone has based on a peice of paper. I went 3+ years without a single certification at my last employer and my current didnt even care that i had an A+ except for making me a higher candidate for interviews. Don't let this be the judge of your skill, ability or worth as an IT Professional.

    (Some background ... I don't have any formal education in computers except for one quarter of Java programming which i dropped. I instead got an AA in Creative Writing and was originally planning on going to college for English. It is because i have a well rounded background in verbal and written language that allows me to excel in the corporate environment as i can write a proper email with adequate grammar and such. I am a quick learner, i retain information, and I am damn good at what i do.)


    Vouchers ... The test only costs about 150 bucks a pop. You may be able to get a discounted voucher but if you are working, check with your boss to see if you can get it reimbursed or paid for by them.

    Owning your own company ... Personally, I would expect that you have years of experience and either way too many old certs or none at all. You only have your customers to impress with your certifications so getting them is really on their need to feel comfortable with you doing work on their hardware/software.

    TechIMO Folding@home Team #111 - Crunching for the cure!

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    Thanks for the advice and opinions everyone! I passed the 701 portion this afternoon! I've got the 702 portion next Friday!

    I know having A+ certification doesn't guarantee a job, but as someone new trying to get into the field with little IT work experience, I thought it could definitely help. I double majored in business management and marketing in college, but towards the end (and after getting my first job at a sports marketing company) I realized this really wasn't the line of work I wanted. I have always had a love and interest in computers, so I am trying to see where I could go in this industry. I am hoping I can retain as much of this information as possible; once I can land that first job and get comfortable with it, I feel I could really begin to make some progress in the IT field!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by marknjas033 View Post
    I'm studying for it now. Just know this: sometimes you know more than you think you know. I'm so bent out of shape about whether or not to take the exam, scoring 70-75% (instead of 80% passing) on a pretest that came with Mike Meyers All-in-One books and everything. But I think nothing beats taking the test after some good amount of study to try it.

    The more you just study blindly the more apt you are to just forget everything (which I'm starting to do now). I'm going to study a bit more and then just go take the exam. Luckily most testing centers schedule you whenever you feel like taking the exam. The only downside is cost (vouchers are necessary).

    Going self study route + testout if I don't do so well (TestOut - IT Certification Training with Online Labs). Since A+ is only really required for technician/retail/etc. jobs and preferred for other IT jobs (and I don't mean it says that anywhere in black and white but believe me it makes a difference), the A+ is something that looks better than it truly is. Just an added perk. Shows you know the essential fundamentals. It's good but not required if you have work experience in the field instead. So while study like hell don't let it drive you crazy. I did that and it wasn't necessary. Most corporate positions don't even care if you have the damn cert (Helpdesk type jobs it is helpful)... but again, added perk and in my opinion it may be worth it (we'll see).

    So yeah. 2 exams. Essentials and practical. 100 questions each. Lots of stupid questions like 'how many pins does x have?' which is what I need to go over before the exam, I keep forgetting irrelevant things like that. Pneumonics help.

    So yeah... you can totally self study too, man. But if you do have course experience? All the better. Depends on your pre-existing level of expertise. I use Mike Meyers All-in-One. Check out CBT's like CBT Nuggets & Testout.com and good luck. Just remember not to let all the material overwhelm you. Everyone does better on tests when they're calm. Plus 100 questions isn't a helluva lot per day (2 day exam typically). So it is doable.

    I keep telling myself as I'm telling you: take it in stride, be calm and confident. I own my own repair company and can tell you: some people with A+s probably know less than you do about PC fundamentals. I may not know you or your level of expertise but I'm dead sure on that. Some people are just good test takers (I'm not one of them).

    A lot of it is in the head and your preparedness. So I hope all that helps you.

    Edit: Cool name btw. I love portal.
    That's a good view to have with this test! I read your reply right before I went in for the test and it changed my mindset a bit (and definitely for the better)! Thanks a lot!

    I'm glad you got the portal reference! I wasn't sure if anybody would!!

  10. #10
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    Aha i just passed my 702 test yesterday , it's very easy ! as i take some training courses .

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Interrupt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GLaDOS View Post
    That's a good view to have with this test! I read your reply right before I went in for the test and it changed my mindset a bit (and definitely for the better)! Thanks a lot!

    I'm glad you got the portal reference! I wasn't sure if anybody would!!
    I'm much better at giving advice than following it unfortunately. I'm in your shoes exactly! Didn't major in computers, didn't do much in it, know a lot about computers and love it and always wanted to do more but figured a CS degree was supposed to be "difficult" so just ran away from it. Now I decided to jump back into it, help others with computers and now get my certifications to prove to companies I know stuff.

    Nerve wracking. Now I just need to follow my own advice, take it easy and go take the darn exam.

    Question for you GladOS. Did you schedule both a week apart like that intentionally or is that the only time the testing center could do it? The center here says "whenever you want to take it," but do they mean that literally? If it were up to me I'd get them done right away, both. Or one day after the next. So curious.

    I'm happy for all those that have passed or are passing.

    A positive note? I looked at the material on Linux+ and Security+? Geez. I could do it with my eyes closed. Go check out those too. Sec+ is very very simple looking, not sure why.

    Studying for A+ now. Again just worried on those stupid pin questions. Hard to remember numbers. So many! lol
    “Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” ― Cryptonomicon

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member Interrupt's Avatar
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    Oh another quick Q, where did you all get your vouchers? I'm finding Pearson VUE vouchers online for like $150 but unsure if I can trust the sites.
    “Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” ― Cryptonomicon

  13. #13
    Goverment property now GroundZero3's Avatar
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    I just paid for the exam at the testing center

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Interrupt's Avatar
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    Oh people tell me that's expensive! Not sure. Damn it.
    “Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” ― Cryptonomicon

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    Quote Originally Posted by marknjas033 View Post
    I'm much better at giving advice than following it unfortunately. I'm in your shoes exactly! Didn't major in computers, didn't do much in it, know a lot about computers and love it and always wanted to do more but figured a CS degree was supposed to be "difficult" so just ran away from it. Now I decided to jump back into it, help others with computers and now get my certifications to prove to companies I know stuff.

    Nerve wracking. Now I just need to follow my own advice, take it easy and go take the darn exam.

    Question for you GladOS. Did you schedule both a week apart like that intentionally or is that the only time the testing center could do it? The center here says "whenever you want to take it," but do they mean that literally? If it were up to me I'd get them done right away, both. Or one day after the next. So curious.

    I'm happy for all those that have passed or are passing.

    A positive note? I looked at the material on Linux+ and Security+? Geez. I could do it with my eyes closed. Go check out those too. Sec+ is very very simple looking, not sure why.

    Studying for A+ now. Again just worried on those stupid pin questions. Hard to remember numbers. So many! lol
    I scheduled the tests a week apart because of my work schedule. As we get closer to January I'm not going to be able to take any days off as I'll be working 9-10 hours everyday through mid-January. So if I don't take these tests now I'll have to wait until after I'm finished with these guys and back out on the job market to take this test. I have heard of people taking the test on the same day, but for me I like some time to focus on each one.

    I'll have to take a look at Linux+ and Security+ if they are as easy as you say! I was hoping to do Network+ at some point in the near future and maybe CCNE, as well. But for now, I'm just focusing on the 702 portion of A+.

    I wouldn't stress too much over the pins. The test is 100 questions and there are a lot of domains to cover - I just focused on the pins for RAM and I got by fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marknjas033 View Post
    Oh another quick Q, where did you all get your vouchers? I'm finding Pearson VUE vouchers online for like $150 but unsure if I can trust the sites.
    The class I was taking offered a voucher for taking the test at their testing site (which was in the same building). I'm not sure where other people get vouchers from, I'm sorry

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    So generally how hard is the studying? I mean the info. you have to know must be mind boggling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taxmancometh View Post
    So generally how hard is the studying? I mean the info. you have to know must be mind boggling.
    It depends. If you already work in the IT industry or do computer repairs on a regular basis, I would imagine that it would have to be easier to prepare and learn. If you're like me (the family "tech guy" who fixes computers on an 'as-needed' basis) it's a little more learning-intensive. I knew a lot of the software/operating system topics that were covered on the test, but the hardware was a pretty big learning curve for me since I had only really opened and examine the inside of a computer 3-4 times in my life.

    That's only my experience with the first half of the test (220-701), since I am taking 220-702 next weekend.

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    Just took 220-702 today and passed! A+ certified!

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    Congrats!

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