CompTIA’s Revised Server+ Exam Goes Live

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IT professionals received a Valentine’s Day gift from CompTIA: a revised version of Server+, one of its most popular certifications. The credentialing organization released the updated exam for Server+, which passed the 10,000-certified mark last year, on Feb. 14.


“There were over 40 exam objectives or sub-objectives that were either updated, changed or removed for the new exam,” said David Needles, CompTIA product manager. “We took a look at some sections that needed to be updated on new technologies.”


Changes include the addition of new technologies like Fibre Channel over IP, peripheral component interconnect (PCI) and hot swap; updated information around SCSI (small computer system interface); and enhanced multiprocessor systems content. “The Server+ exam, given its technology and focus, is a little more hardware-centric,” said Needles, who added that the first domain—which comprises 30 percent of the new test—covers general hardware knowledge.


Although the Server+ exam revisions, which took about one year to develop and apply, have already been implemented, the old exam will not be retired until March 31, 2005. “We haven’t made the exam any longer,” said Ayana Nickerson, CompTIA product manager. “It’s still the same 90 minutes. There are 80 questions on the exam, which is the same number on the previous exam. We didn’t intend to make the exam any harder. We wanted to make it more applicable to what people are experiencing on the job. We did go through an analysis to make sure the questions are psychometrically sound, and we did beta testing, so we know that the passing rate is about where it needs to be.”

“The exam objectives and the questions themselves are created by a committee and subject-matter experts,” Needles added. “They’re the people that tell us some of the new things that are happening in the industry. From our view, the new exam reflects what the committee has provided and what the subject-matter experts have determined for us. It’s as current as it can be, given that we’ve been in the revision stages for the past year.”


A unique aspect of the revision was that CompTIA released the Server+ Supplemental Exam Guide before the changes to the test took effect in order to familiarize certification candidates with the new material. “That was a new venture for us, and really it was born out of the fact that we felt a need to be able to develop some kind of a test prep that would bridge the gap between old and new,” Needles said. “It contains information about a particular exam objective, has resource links for additional information and sample exam questions. We felt it was important that we release that prior to the exam being released.”


The Study Guide, which costs $25 with a special discounted offer of $19.95 for CompTIA members, is available in PDF format. The new Server+ exam is available at Thomson Prometric and Pearson VUE testing centers.


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