If you’re considering the CompTIA A+ certification, you might wonder how hard the exam is. We get it—you want to be well-prepared and make the most of any investment in a CompTIA course. 


What Is the A+ Exam?


The A+ exam is taken by those looking to earn a CompTIA A+ certification, an entry-level certification designed for individuals starting their professional journey in IT. It is a foundational certification, which means it’s perfect for people who are just beginning to explore the field or want to refresh their basic IT skills.


The A+ exam is divided into two tests: CompTIA A+ 220-1001 (Core 1) and CompTIA A+ 220-1002 (Core 2). To become A+ certified, you must pass both exams. 


In addition to learning where you can take the A+ certification test, you may want to know what areas each exam assesses. Here’s a quick overview of each:


CompTIA A+ 220-1101 (Core 1)


The Core 1 exam tests your knowledge of the following:


  • Hardware: Identify and install different hardware components.
  • Mobile devices: Install, configure, and troubleshoot other mobile devices.
  • Networking: Networking basics, including network types, devices, and configuration.
  • Cloud computing and virtualization: Fundamentals of virtualization and cloud computing.
  • Hardware and network troubleshooting: Troubleshoot and resolve common hardware and network issues.


CompTIA A+ 220-1102 (Core 2)


The Core 2 exam covers the following:


  • Operating systems: Basics of operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Software troubleshooting: Troubleshoot and resolve software issues with mobile devices and PCs.
  • Security: Understanding security threats, vulnerabilities, and best practices to protect systems and data.
  • Operational procedures: Best practices for IT professionals related to safety, communication, and environmental concerns.


How Many People Pass the Exam?


When evaluating the difficulty of the CompTIA A+ certification exam, there is no official data available on the exact number of people who pass the A+ exam. However, many candidates on various online forums, like Reddit and Quora, have shared their stories of failing the A+ exam at least two or three times before finally passing.


Despite this, it’s essential to remember that the CompTIA A+ is designed as an entry-level test, and various factors can make the A+ difficult for candidates. 


Factors That Make the A+ Exam Difficult


Here are some factors that can make the A+ exam challenging for first-time test takers: 


Memorization Requirements of the A+


One of the major factors that can make the A+ exam difficult is the sheer amount of information you need to memorize. To be successful, candidates must be able to recall specific technical details, such as port numbers, pin layouts, and command line tools, making the exam challenging for many.


Large Amount of Information to Cover


The A+ exam covers a broad range of topics, from networking and hardware to security and operating systems, making it challenging to thoroughly study and prepare for the test. As a result, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with a vast amount of subject matter. This extensive list of topics can feel overwhelming, especially for those who are new to the IT field.


Time Constraints and Pressure to Pass


The A+ exam consists of two tests that must be completed within ninety minutes. With an average of ninety questions per test, you’ll have approximately one minute to read, comprehend, and answer each question. This time constraint and the pressure to pass can make even the most confident test-takers anxious.


How to Pass the A+ Exam


Although the A+ exam is moderately challenging, many candidates clear it on their first attempt. In addition to consulting an experienced CompTIA training provider such as ONLC, here are a few tips to help you achieve the same:


  • Don’t panic: Test anxiety is the top reason people fail exams. You can always retake it. 
  • Take your time with the questions: The exam is designed for someone with less than one year of experience, so stick to the basics.
  • Watch out for beta questions: Don’t let them throw you off.
  • Don’t get stuck on performance questions: Rely on your multiple choice questions skill.
  • Stay confident: Remember, you don’t need a perfect score to pass.


If you’re wondering whether a CompTIA A+ certification is worth the time and effort, check out our post on what jobs you can get with a CompTIA A+ certification.

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