CompTIA’s new A+ exams 220-1001 & 220-1002 went live on January 15. It’s been almost four years since the 900 series took over the 800-series. This is about a year more than usual. There was a lot of anticipation for the new exam.
Here’s the scoop: There are new objectives and cybersecurity is a greater focus.
These new exams bring with them surprising changes in both the material and the expectations. Let’s look at some common reactions to these new exams and explain what they mean.
Reaction #1: The new exams will be harder.
There are new objectives for the new tests. The 1001 test now has a new set “Virtualization & Cloud Computing” objectives. They cover topics like cloud models (IaaS and SaaS), PaaS, and so on. ), cloud resource terminology (elasticity and pooling, etc. hypervisors, cloud file storage, virtual desktops, and cloud applications.
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This is a welcome change and adds sophistication the A+. The cert was historically more desktop support engineer-focused. It focused on reinstalling operating system and replacing hard drives.
CompTIA is encouraging to offer cloud knowledge as an entry-level skill. This makes us wonder if it could increase the value and credibility of A+ certification. As we all know, the cloud is encompassing a growing number of IT sectors. The new A+ exams will emphasize cloud knowledge, which should make the certification more attractive to IT professionals and employers.
Cybersecurity is another content shift. While it’s not a new goal, there is more emphasis on cybersecurity for the new tests. You need to be able to recognize and remove threats. We applaud the expansion of what is considered entry level. A whole section is dedicated to best practices in malware prevention and removal.
Reaction #2: These are deep and wide exams
One Redditor’s reaction on the CompTIA A+ 220-1001 beta exams was amazing. The second exam was deemed crazy by the Redditors because it felt like questions were pulled from a Microsoft exam or Linux exam.
Some exams go wide, like CISSP. Others, such as the MCSA, go deep. The new A+ exam objectives for 220-1002 seem to be in both directions when viewed in the context foundational knowledge.
The 220-1002 exam is a deep dive into Microsoft products.
Section 1.0, for example, starts with comparing Windows versions and then dives into command line scenarios, utilities and permissions. We compared the course objectives for A+ with the Microsoft Exam 70-698. Although the MCSA exam covers more details about Windows 10, it is still very familiar.
The Redditor likely meant Section 1.9 of 220-1002 when he spoke about Linux LPIC. It is no longer sufficient to know that Linux OS is open-source and a viable alternative for Windows. CompTIA expects that test takers will be able to understand Linux-specific commands and features.
This content will be repeated a lot on the Linux LPIC-1 exam. One quick example: Topic 103 of LPIC-1 exam objectives covers Unix Commands and GNU. You’ll need to be able to use cp and pwd commands. Guess what? You will need to do the exact same for CompTIA A+ 220-1002 exam. It is worth noting that the LPIC-1 Linux Administrator certification doesn’t even qualify as Linux’s entry-level certification.
There is more material than you can cover, there is no doubt about that. CompTIA A+ exams go deeper than surface-level — you must be prepared.
Reaction #3: There is no real difference between the new and old exams
This is a common reaction when a new exam drops — and there are many similarities. Passing scores for each exam series are the same — 675 and 700, respectively. We’d argue that this is quite a remark.