What’s New With the CompTIA A+ Certification
Joy Dark Shelton is the author of COMPTIA A+ Guide to Information Technology
CompTIA has once again taken the A+ certification in a great direction with the most recent update: 220-1101 and 220-1102 exams. Let’s look at how domains have shifted, what’s been expanded and added and what was removed. Then let’s explore how we at Cengage accommodated the changes to best suit instructors and learners in our comprehensive text. At the end of this article, you’ll find links to CompTIA so you can review all the objectives in detail.
Changes in Core 1
In Core 1, the 5 domain weights have shifted as follows:
- Mobile Devices slightly increased from 14% to 15%
- Networking remained at 20%
- Hardware decreased from 27% to 25%
- Virtualization and Cloud Computing slightly decreased from 12% to 11%
- Hardware and Network Troubleshooting increased from 27% to 29%
If you read each individual objective, you might think that hardware is all but gone. But if you look closer, you’ll see that the details are still there, they’re just hiding under broader topics. You’ll also notice a shift from hardware knowledge to troubleshooting knowledge. CompTIA updated objectives on processor, socket and memory technologies. Redundant power supply and 3D printers were expanded from previous objectives.
New objectives include the hardware security module (HSM), capture card for streaming and badging and printer security. Objectives retired from Core 1 include older technology (such as DDR2 RAM, older connector types and hybrid drives), specific expansion cards, several peripheral devices, virtual printing and the entire custom PC configuration section.
Changes in Core 2
In Core 2, the 4 domains have shifted as follows:
- Operating Systems increased from 27% to 31%.
- Security slightly increased from 24% to 25%.
- Software Troubleshooting decreased from 26% to 22%.
- Operational Procedures slightly decreased from 23% to 22%.
Some of the most noticeable expansions include operating systems, which include Windows 10 and Windows 11, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS. Mobile operating systems include Android, iOS and iPadOS. One noticeable shift is the inclusion of additional content on Apple products. The macOS section more than doubled in content and stepped up a level in Bloom’s Taxonomy from identifying to doing. More Linux commands were added, and scripting objectives stepped up a level in Bloom’s Taxonomy from identifying a script file type to knowing when to implement a script. In Core 2, everything related to Windows 7 or 8 has been pulled, and troubleshooting has been streamlined.
Changes to the Cengage CompTIA A+ Guide to IT Technical Support
Now how did all this change affect the CompTIA A+ Guide to IT Technical Support book? The first major change you’ll notice is that we only have a single title now instead of dividing content into two Core books. Because ALL the content is available to ALL students, we won’t have to repeat content coverage in order to put everything into context. We added a Core-to-Core feature so you know exactly where to jump to in another module to find related content in the other Core. This also means we are able to create a clean split in modules for Core 1 (Modules 1-10) and Core 2 (Modules 11-21, Appendix A). The most significant changes in our module titles in Core 1 include the Networking Fundamentals module and the Network Infrastructure and Cloud Computing module, which are presented in an order that makes better sense for instruction.
Also, Printers has its own module again. In Core 2, we separated security modules from two chapters into four modules, and macOS got its own module because content grew significantly. Many people ask why we put Core 2 objectives in Appendix A: Safety Procedures and Environmental Concerns, rather than in a module. This Core 2 content is about how to keep yourself and your equipment safe while working inside a computer, and that happens in Core 1. We put this content in an appendix because we really wanted these safety measures to be easily found for review before starting Core 1 modules.
CompTIA is bringing the A+ exam into continued relevancy in the IT industry with this update to the certification. Technology that you continue to see and are starting to explore in an IT technician’s career are included with a depth that clearly demonstrates a professional level of expertise.
Review each of the objectives in detail for yourself: