How difficult is the Comptia A+ tests? - From those who have actually taken it.

Ulex

"I've been found out"
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I've heard people say it's very easy, and that if you know computer basics you'll pass without really having to study. But why would a regular computer user know about the CSMA/CD, SAS hard drives, the address bus, and subnet masks? Am I exceptional for not knowing about these things before-hand?
 
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HiddenFist

Things will change with time. Only in summertime.
kiwifarms.net
It's pretty easy, especially since they got rid of those dumb customer service/scenario after the 2006 version. If you know the ins and outs of hardware, software, and networking you will pass.
 

Ghostse

Waffle SS Untermenchenfurher
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If you're nervous, buy one of the exam guides on Amazon for $40 and read it.

I do that before re-upping Sec+. You can almost certainly get the same info from videos, but I always found reading more useful for taking the test, since you'll be reading the questions. I also find skipping ahead/around a little easier with the sections I know.

Your local library, or near by college library, may have the current study guides for loan as well. At least the ones around me did.

I have not taken A+ since I got my Lifetime right at the buzzer, but when I did, there was occasionally a difference between the right answer and the CompTIA answer, so I will say to do review to be safe. But realistically, as others itt said, if you can shop and assemble your own PC from components, you probably know enough to pass.
 

DNA_JACKED

kiwifarms.net
The hardest part of the A+ is not the knowledge, it is knowing how to answer the test. As my high school tech teacher said, you need to know the *real* answers to be in the tech field and do your job, and the *fairyland* answers to pass the A+. The test is an absolute joke in industry now, especially as it is written by pajeets with English dictionaries and contradicts basic facts.

Best advice: buy the book, install the practice tests. Once you can pass the practice tests with 100% accuracy, only then go take the actual test, as the actual test will change the questions to fool you. This practice led to our entire class getting the A+ in high school with a 100% success rate.
 
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Sammich

kiwifarms.net
I'd still recommend study as even practicing techs can fail one or both of the exams and end up blowing their money because they take it too lightly. That said, it's mostly pretty straight forward. If you know your way around the inside of your computer, can find the event viewer, and aren't a complete boomer with Windows, you're pretty much good.

That said, take a practice exam and see how you do. Also, if you find reading dry and are more of a visual learner or you just want to take advantage of good, free study options, look up Professor Messer (https://www.professormesser.com/). He has entire video series where he goes through literally everything you'll need to pass your A+, Network+, and Security+.
Thanks a ton for that link, been trying to find something along those lines for the Security+.
 

A Humble Ewok

I'm much more humble than you would understand.
kiwifarms.net
The difficulty of the A+ exam is its a little about a lot, meaning it covers the generalities of a lot of topics (Modern and older Windows, hardware, networking, configuring email, ect). Now I passed both exams on the first try while winging a lot of stuff, but I spread it out over the course of months. I took autistically detailed notes so I would have a self-made reference manual afterward. I don't think I've looked back at them now that I think about it. The only person I met other than me who passed both on their first try without much professional experience watched a video series, so I would recommenced that for most people. If you prefer books like me, Meyers's book was good enough for me to pass.

I've heard people say it's very easy, and that if you know computer basics you'll pass without really having to study. But why would a regular computer user know about the CSMA/CD, SAS hard drives, the address bus, and subnet masks? Am I exceptional for not knowing about these things before-hand?
Yeah you're gonna need more than what a typical PC Gamer knows to pass.
 
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Wingus Dongshire

kiwifarms.net
I've heard people say it's very easy, and that if you know computer basics you'll pass without really having to study. But why would a regular computer user know about the CSMA/CD, SAS hard drives, the address bus, and subnet masks? Am I exceptional for not knowing about these things before-hand?
Since when has that shit been on A+? CSMA/CD is on Network+, SAS hard drives aren't exactly a special knowledge, the most I could picture is "hey what do you use for 15K RPM", the address bus isn't anything an A+ level technician would ever need to worry about since DMA configuration and dip switches aren't exactly commonplace anymore, and I know for a fact subnet masks/CIDR are the major backbone of the Network+ questions
 

Ulex

"I've been found out"
kiwifarms.net
Since when has that shit been on A+? CSMA/CD is on Network+, SAS hard drives aren't exactly a special knowledge, the most I could picture is "hey what do you use for 15K RPM", the address bus isn't anything an A+ level technician would ever need to worry about since DMA configuration and dip switches aren't exactly commonplace anymore, and I know for a fact subnet masks/CIDR are the major backbone of the Network+ questions
Surface level stuff on the SAS, CSMA/CD, the address bus, subnet masks/CIDR ,and the file allocation table are taught in the CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Tenth Edition (2019) by Mike Meyers.
 

Wingus Dongshire

kiwifarms.net
Surface level stuff on the SAS, CSMA/CD, the address bus, subnet masks/CIDR ,and the file allocation table are taught in the CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Tenth Edition (2019) by Mike Meyers.
That is insane, that is far outside the scope of what the A+ is designed for.
 

Pissmaster General

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I have not taken A+ since I got my Lifetime right at the buzzer, but when I did, there was occasionally a difference between the right answer and the CompTIA answer, so I will say to do review to be safe. But realistically, as others itt said, if you can shop and assemble your own PC from components, you probably know enough to pass.
FUCK the CompTIA answer. I had to retake some certifications a few times because of their shitty gotcha bullshit faggot shit.

Yeah, the A+ is easy, but they'll throw in a couple of weird obsolete pieces of tech that'll throw you off. I wouldn't recommend going in guns-a-blazin' because you know what a GPU is because of this. Read a study guide for the newest version and keep an eye on anything that makes you say "that's rétarded", because CompTIA is full of things that'll make you say "that's rétarded".

Network+ is a total nigger for all the little, extremely specific gotcha questions they throw at you. I found Security+ a hell of a lot easier because at least it was interesting, despite it supposedly being "harder". There's still a lot you have to route memorize, but at least you won't burn hundreds of dollars on retakes because you didn't know extremely specific bullshit about different kinds of ethernet cables.
 

Wingus Dongshire

kiwifarms.net
FUCK the CompTIA answer. I had to retake some certifications a few times because of their shitty gotcha bullshit faggot shit.

Yeah, the A+ is easy, but they'll throw in a couple of weird obsolete pieces of tech that'll throw you off. I wouldn't recommend going in guns-a-blazin' because you know what a GPU is because of this. Read a study guide for the newest version and keep an eye on anything that makes you say "that's rétarded", because CompTIA is full of things that'll make you say "that's rétarded".

Network+ is a total nigger for all the little, extremely specific gotcha questions they throw at you. I found Security+ a hell of a lot easier because at least it was interesting, despite it supposedly being "harder". There's still a lot you have to route memorize, but at least you won't burn hundreds of dollars on retakes because you didn't know extremely specific bullshit about different kinds of ethernet cables.
Knowing UTP categories and coax/fiber cable and terminal types isn't bullshit, neither is understanding plenum/riser ratings and the like. It's bullshit for ultra small business but once you get into bigboy land it's pretty important.
 
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Pissmaster General

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Knowing UTP categories and coax/fiber cable and terminal types isn't bullshit, neither is understanding plenum/riser ratings and the like. It's bullshit for ultra small business but once you get into bigboy land it's pretty important.
It's a hell of a lot of route memorization to throw at you all at once for a certification that's meant to get your foot in the door, especially considering it's one step above A+, a certification intended to prove that you know the sheer basics that anyone whose built a gaming PC could pass.

Besides, I got Security+ and couldn't find any work with it that I couldn't have just gotten without. I asked around, and was told that I should either start shooting for a CISSP or a CCNA. Kinda makes my efforts feel fruitless, y'know.
 

Wingus Dongshire

kiwifarms.net
It's a hell of a lot of route memorization to throw at you all at once for a certification that's meant to get your foot in the door, especially considering it's one step above A+, a certification intended to prove that you know the sheer basics that anyone whose built a gaming PC could pass.

Besides, I got Security+ and couldn't find any work with it that I couldn't have just gotten without. I asked around, and was told that I should either start shooting for a CISSP or a CCNA. Kinda makes my efforts feel fruitless, y'know.
If you have all three, put "CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist" on your resume instead, it actually won me a contract bid.


If I was rich, I'd go for the OCSP before cisco certifications, since Juniper is stealing Cisco clientbase by the handful.
 

qu_rahn

kiwifarms.net
A+ isnt bad, but it's definitely worth getting a book & looking at some material beforehand just so you don't waste your time & money.

I failed the security+ exam a couple of months ago. I didn't study a huge amount but there were a lot of acronyms on there that I hadn't memorized, and the exam doesn't explain what they are so you can't really BS your way through it. A+ is quite a bit more forgiving in that regard. I absolutely loathed the sec+ material though, just didn't care for any of it
 
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