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Should I take the CompTIA IT Fundamentals exam before the CompTIA A+ exam?

The IT courses world is complicated!

Firstly congratulations on working out that CompTIA is the place to start. You have done extremely well to find out about CompTIA courses and even more so to find that CompTIA recommends the CompTIA IT Fundamentals course to be taken before the CompTIA A+ course. Just for those that are new to IT and would like re-assurance CompTIA genuinely is the best place to start when it comes beginning a career in IT as the skills you will learn are “vendor-neutral” this means, unlike Cisco and Microsoft courses which are vendor-specific, CompTIA certifications will give you a much broader skillset. 

person using computer for online video meetingBut I was informed I should specialise in something?

Specialise later is the short answer here. The main thing when you are new to IT is to get your foot in the door and get you started. In order for this to happen, you want your skills to have as wide appeal as possible in the beginning. That way you can apply for more jobs in IT as you aren’t restricting yourself. For example, studying Cisco courses will only give you those essential troubleshooting skills for Cisco systems. If the employer doesn’t use Cisco systems then why would they want to employ somebody that only has experience in Cisco? This is why CompTIA wins.

Take the CompTIA IT Fundamentals course, not the exam.

When you are new to IT you should take the CompTIA IT Fundamentals course, but not the exam. The reason for this is simple, save time and money. You can still list the skills you have picked up from the course on your CV. But you can save the £110 exam cost for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals exam as employers simply don’t value this certification. They do value the CompTIA A+ exams however and these are the exams you should be looking to spend your money on to begin your £20,000 to £25,000 career with average salaries in London of £37,500 – check out the CWJobs average salary indicator here.

How much is the CompTIA A+ exam?

The CompTIA A+ exam is in two parts. The CompTIA A+ 220-1001 Core 1 exam costs £170 including duty. The CompTIA A+ 220-1001 Core 2 exam also costs £170 including duty. This makes a total of £340. The CompTIA A+ exams are your passport to get into IT and they also supersede the IT Fundamentals exams. 

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Can I take the CompTIA A+ exams online?

Yes. Since April 2020 CompTIA finally got up-to-date and allowed their CompTIA exams to be taken online, this includes the CompTIA A+. This means you no longer have to endure the hassle of travelling to test centres. It also means much quicker exam booking times as you can now even get same-day exam slots booked, whilst the old test centre route could take a few weeks so it really is a win-win here. All you need is a photo ID and a webcam on your laptop/desktop so that the “proctor” (examiner) can just ensure that you aren’t referring to notes and have your eyes solely focused on the exam.

What’s the CompTIA A+ exam like?

Each CompTIA A+ exam is 90 minutes long with up to 90 questions. The questions are multiple-choice and some questions may contain performance or simulation-based drag and drop questions. Drag and drop questions simply mean that you may have a diagram for example with five questions that you need to drag and drop to the appropriate answer for example.

person using laptop for online learning video callWhat is the passing score to pass the CompTIA A+ exams?

CompTIA like to do things differently and their exams are scored out of 900. To pass the CompTIA A+ exam you need to score a minimum of 675 out of 900. This means you need to get a pass percentage of 75% to pass the CompTIA A+ 220-1001 Core 1 exam. In order to pass the CompTIA A+ 220-1002 Core 2 exam you need to score 700 out of 900. This means you need to get a pass percentage of 78% to pass the CompTIA A+ 220-1002 Core 2 exam.

Are the CompTIA A+ exams easy?

The CompTIA A+ exams are entry-level and therefore nothing to worry about if you are new to IT. However, there is a lot of content to take in as the CompTIA A+ exams cover every element of IT. In fact, there is so much content to cover it’s the only exam that CompTIA do which is in two parts. As a result, it’s essential you have strong Mock Test support to prepare you for the exams before you take them. 

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Study different CompTIA courses but only pay for the CompTIA A+ exams up-front

Study the CompTIA IT Fundamentals course and the CompTIA A+ course but only pay up-front for the CompTIA A+ exams. You can also add other IT courses to study which will help build up your CV with skills. Find an IT course provider that provides discounts when you buy more IT courses that include the CompTIA A+ exam. A good option here is ITcertify that currently provide a mixture of CompTIA courses with both CompTIA A+ exams, Unlimited Mock Test Support, Practice Lab and a CV review for £649.  Check it out!

 

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