How many questions are on the A+ exams?
There are between 20 and 30 questions on each of the A+ exams. Because the tests are adaptive, your score may be determined at any point.

How much time is allowed to complete the A+ exams?
You are allowed a maximum of 30 minutes to complete each A+ exams. Because the tests are adaptive, your score may be determined before the maximum time expires and the exam may end at any time.

What is the minimum score required to pass the A+ exam?
The A+ exam is graded on a scale of 0 - 1300. The minimum score required to pass the A+ Core Hardware exam is 596 and the minimum score to pass the A+ OS Technologies exam is 600.

How can I get the A+ certification logo and what are my rights and responsibilities regarding its use?
You can download the logo yourself at or e-mail CompTIA at User responsibility guidelines are available on this site.

Can I receive college credit for becoming A+ certified?
Yes. Excelsior College awards college credit for both the A+® and Network+™ certifications towards a bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS). Contact Excelsior College for more information.

How do I register to take my exam?
You can register online with Prometric testing centers or VUE testing centers, or call VUE at 877.551.7587 or Prometric at 800.909.3926.

Where can I get study materials to prepare for my exam?
The CompTIA Authorized Quality Curriculum program will provide you a list of training material that has been carefully reviewed to meet exacting standards of quality.

Will I ever need to renew my certification?
No, CompTIA certifications are lifetime certifications.

When will I receive my certificate and ID card?
You will receive your certificate and ID card within 4 - 6 weeks of passing your exam. Contact CompTIA if you have not received your materials after 8 weeks. Include your name, address, phone number and ID number.

2 tests are required.
- hardware core test.
- OS core test.
each test cost $139.00 and you must pay each time you take it
if you do not pass you must pay again.
CompTIA A+ Service Technician
Toll Free: 800-77-MICRO
Local Number: 952-820-5735

----------------- curriculum covered
DOMAIN 1.0: Installation, Configuration and Upgrading
This domain requires the knowledge and skills to identify, install, configure, and upgrade desktop computer modules and peripherals, following established basic procedures for system assembly and disassembly of field replaceable modules. Elements included are listed below with each test objective.

Content Limits

1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Examples of concepts and modules are:

System board

Power supply

Processor /CPU


Storage devices






LCD (portable systems)


PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)

1.2 Identify basic procedures for adding and removing field replaceable modules for both desktop and portable systems.

Examples of modules:
System board

Storage device

Power supply



Input devices

Hard drive


Video board


Network Interface Card (NIC)

Portable system components
AC adapter

Digital camera

DC controller

LCD panel

PC card

Pointing devices

1.3 Identify available IRQs, DMAs, and I/O addresses and procedures for device installation and configuration. Content may include the following:

Standard IRQ settings


Floppy drive controllers

Hard drive controllers

USB ports

Infrared ports


1.4 Identify common peripheral ports, associated cabling and their connectors.

Content may include the following:
Cable types

Cable orientation

Serial versus parallel

Pin connections

Examples of types of connectors:







IEEE 1394

1.5 Identify proper procedures for installing and configuring IDE/EIDE devices. Content may include the following:


Devices per channel


1.6 Identify proper procedures for installing and configuring SCSI devices. Content may include the following:

Address/Termination conflicts


Types (example: regular, wide, ultra-wide)

Internal vs external

Expansion slots, EISA, ISA, PCI

Jumper block settings (binary equivalents)

1.7 Identify proper procedures for installing and configuring peripheral devices.

Content may include the following:
Monitor/Video Card


USB peripherals and hubs

IEEE 1284

IEEE 1394

External storage

Docking stations

PC cards

Port replicators

Infrared devices

1.8 Identify hardware methods of upgrading system performance, procedures for replacing basic subsystem components, unique components and when to use them.

Content may include the following:

Hard drives


Upgrading BIOS

When to upgrade BIOS

Portable systems

Hard drive

Types I, II, III cards


DOMAIN 2.0: Diagnosing and Troubleshooting
This domain requires the ability to apply knowledge relating to diagnosing and troubleshooting common module problems and system malfunctions. This includes knowledge of the symptoms relating to common problems.

Content Limits

2.1 Identify common symptoms and problems associated with each module and how to troubleshoot and isolate the problems. Content may include the following:

Processor/Memory symptoms


Floppy drive

Parallel ports

Hard drives




Slot covers

POST audible/visual error codes

Large LBA, LBA


Sound Card/Audio







Power supply

Troubleshooting tools (e.g., multimeter)



2.2 Identify basic troubleshooting procedures and how to elicit problem symptoms from customers. Content may include the following:

Troubleshooting/isolation/problem determination procedures
Determine whether hardware or software problem
Gather information from user regarding:
Customer environment
Symptoms/Error codes
Situation when the problem occurred
DOMAIN 3.0: Preventive Maintenance

This domain requires the knowledge of safety and preventive maintenance. With regard to safety, it includes the potential hazards to personnel and equipment when working with lasers, high voltage equipment, ESD and items that require special disposal procedures that comply with environmental guidelines. With regard to preventive maintenance, this includes knowledge of preventive maintenance products, procedures, environmental hazards and precautions when working on desktop computer systems.

Content Limits

3.1 Identify the purpose of various types of preventive maintenance products and procedures and when to use them. Content may include the following:

Liquid cleaning compounds
Types of materials to clean contacts and connections
Non-static vacuums (chassis, power supplies, fans)
3.2 Identify issues, procedures and devices for protection within the computing environment, including people, hardware and the surrounding workspace. Content may include the following:

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and suppressors
Determining the signs of power issues
Proper methods of storage of components for future use
Potential hazards and proper safety procedures relating Laser
High-voltage equipment
Power supply
Special disposal procedures that comply with environmental guidelines
Toner kits/cartridges
Chemical solvents and cans
MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) precautions and procedures
What ESD can do, how it may be apparent or hidden
Common ESD protection devices
Situations that could present a danger or hazard
DOMAIN 4.0: Motherboard/Processors/Memory

This domain requires knowledge of specific terminology, facts, ways and means of dealing with classifications, categories and principles of motherboards, processors and memory in desktop computer systems.

4.1 Distinguish between the popular CPU chips in terms of their basic characteristics. Content may include the following:

Popular CPU chips (Intel, AMD, Cyrix)


Physical size



On board cache or not


SEC (Single Edge Contact)
4.2 Identify the categories of RAM (Random Access Memory) terminology, their locations and physical characteristics. Content may include the following:

EDO RAM (Extended Data Output RAM)

DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)

SRAM (Static RAM)

RIMM (Rambus Inline Memory Module 184 Pin)

VRAM (Video RAM)

SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic RAM)

WRAM (Windows Accelerator Card RAM)
Locations and physical characteristics:
Memory bank

Memory chips (8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit)

SIMMS (Single In-line Memory Module)

DIMMS (Dual In-line Memory Module)

Parity chips versus non-parity chips

4.3 Identify the most popular type of motherboards, their components and architecture (bus structures and power supplies). Content may include the following:

Types of motherboards:
AT (Full and Baby)

Communication ports


Processor sockets

External cache memory (Level 2)

Bus Architecture




USB (Universal Serial Bus)

VESA local bus (VL-Bus)

Basic compatibility guidelines


SCSI (Wide, Fast, Ultra, LVD (Low Voltage Differential))

4.4 Identify the purpose of CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor), what it contains and how to change its basic parameters. Example basic CMOS settings:

Printer parallel port — Uni., bi-directional, disable/enable, ECP, EPP

COM/serial port — memory address, interrupt request, disable

Floppy drive—enable/disable drive or boot, speed, density

Hard drive — size and drive type

Memory — parity, non-parity

Boot sequence



Plug & Play BIOS

DOMAIN 5.0: Printers

This domain requires knowledge of basic types of printers, basic concepts, printer components, how they work, how they print onto a page, paper path, care and service techniques, and common problems.

Content Limits

5.1 Identify basic concepts, printer operations and printer components. Content may include the following:

Paper feeder mechanisms
Types of Printers
Dot Matrix
Types of printer connections and configuration
5.2 Identify care and service techniques and common problems with primary printer types. Content may include the following:

Feed and output

Errors (printed or displayed)

Paper jam

Print quality

Safety precautions

Preventive maintenance
DOMAIN 6.0: Basic Networking
This domain requires knowledge of basic network concepts and terminology, ability to determine whether a computer is networked, knowledge of procedures for swapping and configuring network interface cards, and knowledge of the ramifications of repairs when a computer is networked. The scope of this topic is specific to hardware issues on the desktop and connecting it to a network.

Content Limits

6.1 Identify basic networking concepts, including how a network works and the ramifications of repairs on the network. Content may include the following:

Installing and configuring network cards

Network access

Full-duplex, half-duplex

Cabling—Twis ted Pair, Coaxial, Fiber Optic, RS-232

Ways to network a PC

Physical Network topographies

Increasing bandwidth

Loss of data

Network slowdown


Hardware protocols


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