The CompTIA A+ is one of the most popular entry level IT certifications today. The A+ certification is an international, vendor neutral certification which means that it covers different technologies and operating systems including Microsoft, Apple and Linux and is recognized around the world.
By achieving it you demonstrate competency in tasks such as installation, troubleshooting, maintenance, networking and security. The A+ cert also helps to show your current or prospective employer that you are a competent computer support technician who is familiar with the current technologies and possesses the latest IT skills.
CompTIA A+ 2009
The updated version of the A+ certification was launched in August and consists of two exams:
- CompTIA A+ Essentials (exam 220-701)
- CompTIA A+ Practical Application (exam 220-702)
You must pass both of the exams to become A+ certified.
CompTIA A+ 2009 Essentials exam
The Essentials exam focuses on the fundamentals of computers, networking and security.
The exam also measures communication skills and professionalism, which is really a necessity for all IT professionals.
CompTIA also recommends that A+ candidates have at least 500 hours of hands-on experience with the different technologies, whether in a lab environment or the real world.
CompTIA A+ 2009 Practical Application exam
The Practical Application exam is the hands-on component of the certification, where you will use your troubleshooting skills and tools to resolve different sets of problems.
This part of the exam will help prove that you know how to use the technologies in addition to understanding how they work.
A useful thing to keep in mind is that CompTIA’s A+ and Network+ certifications can be used as an elective for Microsoft’s MCSA and MCSE certifications. So if you’re considering Microsoft’s Server 2003 certifications, the A+ and Network+ certs might be a good place to start.
To learn about what’s covered in each of the two A+ 2009 exams you can download the new exam objectives.
CompTIA A+ 2009 Bridge Exam
For currently certified A+ professionals who are interested in updating their certifications to the new 2009 version of the exam there is a bridge exam option, however it is only available for those who hold the 2006 A+ certification.
So if you’re A+ 2006 certified, you can upgrade to the 2009 version by taking a single bridge exam (exam BR0-003) instead of the two exams that everyone else will have to take.
The A+ 2009 bridge exam focuses on the new objectives. It is comprised of 85 questions and you get 90 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score is 500 on a scale of 100-900. Currently it is available only in English and the exam code is BR0-003.
If you hold an older A+ certification and would like to update to the current version, you will need to take the two A+ 2009 exams.
Say Goodbye to CompTIA A+ 2006
The CompTIA A+ 2006 certification exams are currently still available and will be until 2010. The English version of the exam in US, Canada and South Africa will retire on February 28, 2010. The A+ 2006 in all other languages and translations will retire on August 31, 2010.
CompTIA A+ Training
If you’re looking for comprehensive training for the new A+ exam, then take a look at our CompTIA A+ Training which offers full exam coverage for both of the required exams and plenty of hands-on demos for you to learn from. The training also includes 2 free Transcender practice exams as well as multiple file formats and instant online access for your convenience.
You can watch a demo of our new course and learn more about our CompTIA A+ Training.