New A+ Certification Exams 2009 released
Aug 11, 2009 - Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has unveiled updated A+ exams to provide technical support professionals with a more comprehensive skill set. The 2009 A+ exam versions - 220-701 and 220-702 - are designed to equip tech support with changes in vendor independent expertise demanded by industry and society. The latest version of CompTIA A+ is CompTIA A+ 2009 Edition.
A+ is CompTIA’s flagship certification and is globally recognized as the leading certification for validating tech support expertise. Records from CompTIA indicate that more than 700,000 people worldwide have become CompTIA A+ certified since the program’s inception in 1993.
Unlike the A+ 2006 track of 5 exams the new exams have been streamlined. The new A+ qualification consists of two tests: CompTIA A+ Essentials 220-701 and CompTIA A+ Practical Applications 220-702. These are already globally available and both exams must be passed to obtain A+ certification.
A CompTIA A+ bridge exam BR0-003 has also been created.
The Essentials exam covers the basics of computer, networking and security technology, as well as operating systems. Communication skills and professionalism are also dealt with, and the test requires at least 500 hours of hands-on lab or field work.
The CompTIA A+ Essentials (2009 Edition) exam is based on these objectives
The Practical Applications segment extends the knowledge and skills identified in the Essentials and concentrates on hands-on experience. It will involve resolving problematic scenarios and difficulties with the use of tools and troubleshooting techniques.
The CompTIA A+ Practical Application (2009 Edition) exam is based on these objectives.
Each exam - 220-701 or 220-702 - will ask 100 questions in traditional multiple choice and multiple answer format. For each exam, candidates must attempt approximately 100 questions in 90 minutes. The passing score for A+ Essentials (220-701) exam is a 675 while the passing score for the A+ Practical Application (220-702) is 700. Passing scores are on a scale of 100-900.
Existing A+ Releases
Existing releases of the A+ exam 220-601 through 220-604, can
no longer be taken. Though such existing releases can still
be used by organizations and educational institutions throughout the
a ll English versions of the CompTIA A+ 600 Series were
retired after March 5, 2010.
ll English versions of the CompTIA A+ 600 Series were retired after March 5, 2010.
However, those who are already certified in the most recent version of CompTIA A+ (2006 objectives) are eligible to update their currency through taking the CompTIA A+ bridge exam BR0-003 (one exam), which covers the new objectives.
According to CompTIA, “the A+ Bridge examination measures necessary competencies for an entry-level IT professional in today’s technology environment, with the equivalent knowledge of at least 500 hours of hands-on experience in the lab or field. Successful candidates will have the knowledge required to understand the fundamentals of computer technology, networking, and security, and will have the skills required to identify hardware, peripheral, networking, and security components. Successful candidates will understand the basic functionality of the operating system and basic troubleshooting methodology, practice proper safety procedures, and will effectively interact with customers and peers”.
Significant changes and additions noted to the latest versions of the A+ exams include the following:
Accreditation, Currency and Relevance
CompTIA states the “CompTIA A+ certification is the industry standard for computer support technicians. The international, vendor-neutral certification proves competence in areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting. CompTIA A+ certified technicians also have excellent customer service and communication skills to work with clients”.
A+ is part of the certification track for corporations such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and Novell. Several technology organizations such as CompuCom and Ricoh, have made CompTIA A+ certification mandatory for their service technicians.
CompTIA therefore notes that the update became necessary to ensure that the A+ reflects changes in technologies and covers the latest skills needed by IT technicians. In addition since CompTIA A+ is ISO 17024 accredited, it must be reviewed and updated every three years to maintain accreditation.
CompTIA is regarded globally as the leading provider of vendor neutral skills certification for information technology (IT) professionals. Most major certification sponsors review and update their certifications from time to time in order to maintain currency and relevance to the IT community.
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