The Impact of CompTIA’s A+ Changes

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We’ve received a lot of questions via e-mail in recent weeks, all of which basically asking what the changes to the CompTIA A+ certification are all about. We at Certification Magazine are only too happy to help: Here’s a rundown of how the new A+ differs from the old and what the transition means for certification candidates.




Under the previous version of CompTIA’s A+, there were two exams that covered principles of hardware and software. With the newest iteration, the content of the hardware and software tests have been more or less combined in a single exam: CompTIA A+ Essentials. The other test, CompTIA A+ #220-602, deals with the on-the-job application of things such as soft skills, IT security, and safety and environmental issues, as well as the subjects covered in the Essentials exam.




The content of the two requisite exams is not changing drastically, so the training offerings around A+ aren’t expected to be modified much either. CompTIA officials, however, have suggested there will be a new self-study component of preparation around the second exam because of its practical nature.




At present, candidates who fearn any CompTIA credential are certified for life and are not required to fulfill any recertification obligations. Thus, candidates who earn either the old version or new version of the A+ will remain permanently certified.




Registration for the CompTIA A+ Essentials and CompTIA A+ #220-602 exams kicked off Sept. 12, with actual testing dates beginning Sept. 30. The English-language exams for the previous version of the certification, however, will not be retired until the end of this year.


Because of the similarity of content between the two credentials, the continuing validity of the subject matter of the older edition of A+ and CompTIA’s good-for-life certification policy, the organization is encouraging candidates who have prepared for the earlier version to continue to do so. Just be sure to take the exams before Dec. 31.


For more information, see

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