Welcome to the CompTIA A+ Complete Study Guide. This is the third edition of our best-selling study guide for the A+ certification sponsored by CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association). This book is written at an intermediate technical level; we assume that you already know how to use a personal computer and its basic peripherals, such as USB devices and printers, but we also recognize that you may be learning how to service some of that computer equipment for the first time. The exams cover basic computer service topics as well as some more advanced issues, and they cover some topics that anyone already working as a technician, whether with computers or not, should be familiar with. The exams are designed to test you on these topics in order to certify that you have enough knowledge to fix and upgrade some of the most widely used types of personal computers. We’ve included review questions at the end of each chapter to give you a taste of what it’s like to take the exams. If you’re already working as a technical service or support technician, we recommend that you check out these questions first to gauge your level of knowledge. (You can also take the assessment test at the end of this introduction, which is designed to see how much you already know.) Don’t just study the questions and answers—the questions on the actual exams will be different from the practice ones included with this book. The exams are designed to test your knowledge of a concept or objective, so use this book to learn the objective behind the question. You can mainly use the book to fill in the gaps in your current computer service knowledge. You may find, as many PC technicians have, that being well versed in all the technical aspects of the equipment is not enough to provide a satisfactory level of support— you must also have customer-relations skills. We include helpful hints to get the customers to help you help them.
What Is A+ Certification?
The A+ certification program was developed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to provide an industrywide means of certifying the competency of computer service technicians. The A+ certification is granted to those who have attained the level of knowledge and troubleshooting skills that are needed to provide capable support in the field of personal computers. It is similar to other certifications in the computer industry, such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) program and the Microsoft certification programs. The theory behind these certifications is that if you need to have service performed on any of their products, you would sooner call a technician who has been certified in one of the appropriate certification programs than just call the first “expert” in the phone book. The A+ certification program was created to offer a wide-ranging certification, in the sense that it is intended to certify competence with personal computers and mobile devices from many different makers/vendors. You must pass two tests to become A+ certified: The A+ 220-901 exam, which covers basic computer concepts, PC hardware, basic networking, soft skills (such as customer service), and safety The A+ 220-902 exam, which covers operating systems, security, mobile devices, and troubleshooting You don’t have to take the 220-901 and the 220-902 exams at the same time. However, the A+ certification is not awarded until you’ve passed both tests.
Why Become A+ Certified?
There are several good reasons to get your A+ certification. The CompTIA Candidate’s Information packet lists five major benefits: It demonstrates proof of professional achievement. It increases your marketability. It provides greater opportunity for advancement in your field.
It is increasingly a requirement for some types of advanced training. It raises customer confidence in you and your company’s services.