Difference Between A+ 220-802 and 220-902 Exams
- 28th October 2016
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Technology
The CompTIA A+ certification has long been hailed as the perfect starting point for a career in the IT industry. With over a million certified professionals choosing to study with CompTIA, it is easy to see why it remains a dominating force in the IT certification field.
Upon gaining the A+ certification, the chances of bring hired into your first IT position will rise exponentially compared to that of an uncertified candidate, given that you will already possess a working knowledge of the material that was covered in the course.
With the retirement of the CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220-802 (English language) exams on 30 June 2016, CompTIA launched the A+ 220-901 and 220-902 exams on 15 December 2015 – both of which must be passed in order to receive the CompTIA A+ certification. Below we will take a look at the changes that have been affected between the A+ 220-802 and 220-902 exams.
Why has the CompTIA 800 series been updated?
As technology has advanced, there is a need for professionals to further their technical knowledge in order for their skills to remain relevant. At the same time there will be certain technologies that are no longer relevant and including them in a certification would prove to be futile. This is how CompTIA ensures that the professionals who have gained their certification remain in demand and, in so doing, CompTIA certifications will retain their reputation of being sought after and prestigious.
What new topics are covered in the CompTIA 220-902 exam?
Where the 220-802 exam focussed on the installation and configuration of PCs, mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS, common networking functions and security, the 220-902 exam covers the installation and configuration of operating systems such as Windows, Linux and Apple OS X, Cloud computing fundamentals, security and operational procedures.
It is clear to see that CompTIA have endeavoured to cover a much wider scope of topics than in the old exam, making it a certification that will create IT professionals with a larger and wider skill set and knowledge base.
CompTIA 220-902 Exam Objective Differences
The first noticeable difference between the old and new domains is that there are now five domains instead of the four that were present exam. The domain “Mobile Devices”, which used to be the 4th domain of the 220-802 exam, has now been moved over to the 220-901 domain breakdown. Where the old exam used to cover operating systems under one domain, there is now a split where Windows operating systems is covered by it’s own domain and other operating systems and technologies is also covered by it’s own, separate domain.
Domain 1.0 – Windows operating systems
This domain covers the Windows Vista, 7 and 8.1 operating systems and will make up 29% of the exam. Windows 10 had not yet been released upon the launch of the new exams and, therefore, is not included. You may also notice that Windows XP is no longer included, seeing as it has been discontinued.
There is also a strong emphasis on security and virtualisation. It would be a good idea to familiarise yourself with VMware and Hyper-V as the exam will also touch on software-based virtualisation.
Domain 2.0 – Other Operating Systems and Technologies
This is a brand new stand-alone domain with OS X, Windows Phone and Linux now being included for the first time. You will need to master Linux commands and more complex Linux issues. You will also be expected to know best practices for Linux and Mac OS including scheduling, backups, disc maintenance, updates and patches. This domain will cover 12% of the exam.
Domain 3.0 – Security
Vulnerabilities and threats are focussed on much more intently in the new exam. This will include Trojans, Malware, Spyware, Rootkits, Ransomware, Viruses and Worms. Be sure that you are well versed in End-user awareness training, IT security policies and social engineering. This domain also concentrates heavily on mobile device security. 22% of the exam is covered by this domain.
Domain 4.0 – Software Troubleshooting
Taking up 24% of the exam, in this domain, you will be faced with various operating system issues including desktops and mobile devices. You will need to truly understand the CompTIA 6-step troubleshooting model which incorporates the following steps:
- Identify the problem.
- Establish a theory of probable cause.
- Test the theory to determine the cause.
- Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and implement the solution.
- Verify full system functionality and, if applicable, implement preventative measures.
- Document findings, actions, and outcomes.
Another big difference between the old and new exam is that you will now deal with software tools, in contrast to the hardware tools that were covered in the old exam.
Domain 5.0 – Operational Procedures
Here we see the least amount of change compared to the other four domains. The remaining topics covered by this domain are:
5.1 – Given a scenario, use appropriate safety procedures
5.2 – Given a scenario with potential environmental impacts, apply the appropriate controls
5.3 – Summarize the process of addressing prohibited content/activity, and explain privacy, licensing, and policy concepts
5.4 – Demonstrate proper communication techniques and professionalism
With the only new topic included being:
5.5 – Given a scenario, explain the troubleshooting theory
13% of the exam is covered by this domain.
CompTIA A+ 220-902 Exam Information
The CompTIA A+ 220-902 exam is currently available in English, Japanese, German and Spanish (Modern). You will be allotted a total of 90 minutes (1.5 hours) to complete the exam, which contains a maximum of 90 questions. The format of the questions will be multiple choice with both single and multiple correct responses, drag and drop and performance-based questions. The passing score will be 700 on a scale of 900.
The CompTIA A+ certification is not only the first choice for IT career hopefuls, but has remained a deciding factor when organisations sift through candidates for IT positions. A CV that hails the A+ certification will stand out amongst those without a certification, or with a certification of lesser standing.
Once you have completed the CompTIA A+ course, passed the exam and earned your certification, you will have made comprehensive headway in starting a career as an in demand IT professional with a reputable, tried and tested certification behind your name.