CompTIA A+

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Shift Key

Staff member
Sep 30, 2018
Interested in obtaining the CompTIA A+ certification? Already completed it?
Feel free to use this thread to:
  • ask questions
  • share helpful resources
  • talk about your experiences
  • thoughts on whether it is helpful to your career
  • or anything else that will be helpful to the community
Last edited:


New Member
Oct 30, 2018
I completed the A+ exams a number of years ago when they were still 220-801 & 220-802.
I just checked out A+ (Plus) Certification | CompTIA IT Certifications and I see they are launching new exams in a couple weeks (on January 15, 2019).

The new CompTIA A+ Exam Codes will be 220-1001 & 220-1002

My advice for anyone looking / needing to complete the exams:
  • Check out CompTIA site and see what the current topic are on the exam.
  • Get a good study guide. Personally, I like e-books. Easy to take with you wherever you go and easy to make notes in.
    • I used ‘EXAM CRAM’ by David L. Prowse via Google Play (but available on Amazon too)
    • He does offer a video course as well. Never watched it, but looks a bit pricey (especially compared to other offerings – see next point).
  • If you learn better by video, you should check out Professor Messer. I didn’t use his videos for A+, but I did when I studied for Network+
    • One reason you really need to check him his videos is because his prices are very competitive (and by that I mean free).
    • I noticed he does offer some paid content like a PDF of pop quiz questions – but again the prices (though not free) are very reasonable.
  • Lastly, especially if your employer is paying for you obtain these certifications, I recommend you purchase the “Premier Bundle” exam vouchers. (Though perhaps more useful for Network+ or Security + - and also depends how well you do on exams typically). It is a fair bit of money, the price I’m currently seeing is basically $500. But it comes with the CertMaster Practice, which I found useful when doing the Network+. But more importantly it comes with a re-take voucher. You may never need to use the re-take voucher, but it does give you peace of mind when going in for the exam. Since you already have the re-take voucher as part of the bundle, you don’t have the stress and worry about having to tell your employer that you failed on your first go. If you fail – then you can easily study the areas where you were struggling and go back shortly after and take the exam again without asking your employer to buy you another voucher. Thus keeping your pride (at least publicly) intact.
Are the A+ exams useful for people working in DFIR?

I guess it depends on your perspective. A lot of the material covered is likely stuff you’ll never really encounter again – for example I recall a lot of questions having to with printers and printer set-up. But I think the value of A+ (perhaps more from an employer’s perspective) is that if you are not able to learn and understand the basic fundamentals around computers – then maybe continuing further into DFIR is not for you. But again, a lot of A+ is simply memorization and ability to select the correct answer on often poorly worded multiple-choice questions. So perhaps it really says nothing about whether you can succeed at DFIR, but it is simply a necessary evil to pass to continue on your journey.

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