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Keith Barker
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CompTIA A+ (220-1101) FAQs: Cost, Training, Value

Is the CompTIA A+ worth it?

If you're starting your career in IT and you're looking for a way to qualify for entry-level positions, the A+ is definitely worth the time, effort and money. Even for IT professionals who are already working, the A+ can shore up weak areas in your experience or knowledge. CompTIA's credentials are respected all over the world, and the A+ is worth it because it represents all the skills and knowledge that comprise an entire career's foundation.

How much does the CompTIA A+ 220-1101 cost?

The 220-1101 exam for the A+ costs $246, but earning CompTIA's A+ will cost more than that. There are no prerequisite courses or certifications before taking the A+, but there are two exams which you need to pay for (and pass!) separately. The 220-1101 and 220-1102 both cost $246, which makes the total cost of the A+ $492 – before accounting for any training or preparation you do in advance of the exam.

How difficult is the 220-1101 A+ exam?

The A+ 220-1101 is a surprisingly challenging exam. Despite being an entry-level certification, there are some sources who claim the pass rate is as low as 30%. CompTIA designed the 2 A+ tests to be a thorough battery of a wide, diverse selection of IT topics. And the fact that the tests are vendor-agnostic doesn't make them easier, it actually increases the challenge by widening the range of possibilities that need to be tested for.

Does the CompTIA A+ ever expire?

Yes, the A+ credential from CompTIA does expire – 3 years from the date it was earned. The certification is only good for 3 years because it's a trusted representation of all the skills and knowledge an entry-level IT professional should know, and those skills can become outdated or change. Therefore, CompTIA requires that certification-holders renew their credential with continuing education credits, online activities, or by earning a more advanced CompTIA certification.

How to study for the A+ cert from CompTIA?

Most people who try for the A+ are newcomers with little to no formal knowledge or training in IT. For them, the place to start is with a course specifically meant to walk someone through all the subjects on the 220-1101 and 220-1102 exams. But knowledge alone won't be enough, you should also find a course that offers virtual simulations or ways to digitally practice the skills that the exams will test you for.
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