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New CompTIA A+ Exam Objectives (220-1001 & 220-1002) Will Be Released This Winter

As it is generally known, CompTIA is constantly updating its certifications to reflect the evolutions in the industry. It is that time again when such an update takes place. In January 2019, there is going to be a significant change to the popular CompTIA A+ credential. The two certification exams: 220-901 and 220-902 will be updated in line with the new regulations and modern technology that have evolved in the industry from the last time the tests were updated. The A+ exams will have new codes: 220-1001 and 220-1002

Overview of new CompTIA A+ exams

CompTIA 220-1001 is the first of two exams that covers networking, PC hardware and peripherals, troubleshooting, and etc. The new update focuses on the system memory in addition to storage devices such as SSDs. There is also a prominence on computer gaming systems. This test will also evaluate your knowledge across the scope of 3D printing. It is important to mention that the candidates should not expect a huge change in the overall concepts and design of the exam questions as it is more of an improved test than a rewritten one. In other words, the questions are tweaked here and there to accommodate the new update.

The CompTIA 220-1002 exam entails updates to the operating system aspects covering Windows 7, 8, and 10. The update also includes update limitations and end of life for older systems. The new test also features changes in various security topics, which gives the candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills of modern cyber threat landscape. In a new version of this certification exam, there are two totally new topics that one will be evaluated on. One of the topics measures the knowledge and skills of regulatory compliance and operational procedures, which cover areas such as incident response and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The second topic focuses on script basics Batch, Java, Virtual Basic, and Python. The students are required to study loops, integers, and strings. This exam is highly recommended for the professionals planning to move into the roles of a developer.

Let us look at the exam objectives for these new certification tests in detail:

CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1001)

The Core 1 exam evaluates the required skills for the entry-level IT professionals. The candidates who pass the test will be equipped with the knowledge needed to configure, maintain, and install PCs, mobile devices, as well as software for users. They will know how to gather components based on the requirements of customers; understand the fundamentals of networking and security forensics; offer appropriate support for customers; apply troubleshooting skills; safely and accurately diagnose, resolve, and document general software and hardware issues; understand the fundamentals of scripting, desktop imaging, virtualization, and deployment. The 220-1001 certification exam is made up of about 90 performance-based and multiple-choice questions. The time allotted for the completion of the test is 90 minutes. The applicants are required to have a minimum work experience of 9 months working as an IT support specialist.

There are specific skills that the exam is designed to measure. They include mobile devices (14%); networking (20%); hardware (27%); virtualization and cloud computing (12%); hardware and networking troubleshooting (27%). The percentage reflects the weight of questions that can be expected from each of the topic area.

CompTIA A+ Core 2 (220-1002)

The Core 2 exam is also designed to measure the required skills for an entry-level IT specialist. Those individuals who pass this certification test will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to assemble various components based on the requirements of customers; configure, maintain, and install PCs, software, and mobile devices for end users; apply troubleshooting skills; and understand the fundamentals of basics of scripting, desktop imaging, deployment, and virtualization, among others. Technically, the skills to be learnt in this exam are about the same as the Core 1 test cover but on a higher scale. The 220-1002 exam is made up of 90 questions. The candidates have a period of 90 minutes for the completion of the test. Before you attempt this A+ exam, CompTIA recommends that you have a minimum of 12-month experience working as an IT support specialist.

There are some specific skills that will be measured in this exam, and you are expected to understand these areas and focus on the topics during the preparation. The topic areas include operating systems (27%); security (24%); software troubleshooting (26%); operational procedures (23%). It is important to mention that each skill area also has sub topics that concretize what candidates are required to cover for each of them.

What will this mean for your current certification status?

Those individuals who currently have CompTIA A+ will still maintain their certifications as long as they are still valid. However, after the three-year validity period of your certificate, you will be required to recertify it. At this point, you will have to take the exam. If you have already scheduled your test for this year, there is no point cancelling it or waiting for the new one. You should just go ahead and write the test. Writing the old exam this year doesn’t mean your certification will be invalid. The new exam objectives will take effect from around January 2019, but the old test (220-901 and 220-902) will be available for a six-month grace period. This means you can still write the old ones till about May of 2019. However, you can also choose to write the new exam as soon as its objectives are released. Actually, the decision to write the new or the old test will largely depend on your knowledge and training at the time you sit for it. If at the time of preparing for the exam, you have trained for the CompTIA 220-901 and CompTIA 220-902 tests, then there is no doubt about the version of exam to write; you will definitely opt for the old versions. However, if you start preparing for the test in 2019 with the new exam objectives for 220-1001 and 220-1002, you will take the new test. If you are planning to write the CompTIA A+ certification exam in 2019, it is recommended that you go with the new syllabus in order to avoid the stress of the hard deadline during the 2019 summer when the 220-901 and 220-902 tests will be retired. This is especially critical if you fail the exam at the first attempt close to the retirement deadline for the old test. If this happens, that means you will have to start your study afresh with the new syllabus. One thing you need to bear in mind though is that your CompTIA A+ certification is valid for a period of three years, irrespective of whether you write the old exams or the new ones.

Summary

The current CompTIA A+ exams (220-901 and 220-902) are going to be replaced with the new tests (220-1001 and 220-1002) in January 2019. If you have registered for the old one, you can go ahead to prepare and write it. The difference in exams will not affect your certification. Even if you earn you’re A+ credential in 2019 with the old tests, your certificate will still be valid for a period of three years. The old exam will still be available for six months, which means you can still write it within the next six months. However, it is recommended that if you have not registered or started preparing for your test, you should consider registering with the new exam in order to avoid getting stressed by a hard headline.

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