I noticed that the thread stickied to this board hasn't been updated in ages. The OP still referencing old, outdated objectives. I wanted to create an updated FAQ on the current exam objectives that could help others study and pass. Hopefully this post gets stickied so that it can be a community resource.
The CompTIA A+ certification is a vendor neutral certification that covers hardware and software objectives. The objectives will teach you how to assemble, install, configure, and troubleshoot computer systems and basic networking fundamentals. You will also learn about mobile devices and a bit about security. The CompTIA A+ exam is split into two separate tests. The 220-901 focuses on hardware whilst the 220-902 focuses on software.
220-901 objectives cover hardware, networking, mobile devices, and troubleshooting of hardware and networking.
220-902 objectives cover Windows OS, other operating systems and technologies, security, software troubleshooting, and operational procedures.
You are required to pass both exams to be considered CompTIA A+ certified.
The answer? It honestly depends. Some IT employers don't care about the A+ certification whilst others demand that you have it. My take on it? Get it. Having the A+ certification on your resume can only help you. Not only that --but the knowledge gained from studying the objectives can be useful. Some of what you learn you will never use.. and that's okay. Having the CompTIA A+ certification shows potential employers that you have the initiative and ability to self-study and progress in your education. They like that.
Obtaining the A+ certification can help you get an entry level IT position. This would include positions such as a helpdesk support technician at which you could expect to make $30K - $40K per year according to Glassdoor, if you are in the US. It also helps you get your foot in the door to continue deepening your knowledge and pursuing more advanced certifications and jobs.
The cliche answer is probably what you already know: Google is your friend.
Other than that. Here are some great resources. Some are forums and some are online learning resources:
Professor Messer’s free A+ Videos — Most of you probably already know about Messer’s free videos. Their a bit dry but the content is great.
Quora CompTIA Topic - This is a great place to ask specific questions about the A+ objectives. I actually frequent here and help others.
Exam Cram by David L. Prowse — My personal favorite if you prefer reading from an actual book. The content is to the point without boring you to death.
CompTIA subreddit — Surely you know about Reddit. The CompTIA subreddit has 3,500+ other techies.
Bleeping Computer - You're already here! This community is here to help! Don't be afraid to ask questions. I know that myself as well as others here on the board would be glad to help.
When I am helping others pass the A+ I normally suggest to study in this order:
Study the section in the book. Whether you are using the Exam Cram or Mike Meyers or whatever. Read the chapter / section first. Let's say you read the chapter about troubleshooting.
Watch Professor Messer's corresponding video to that chapter. In this case we would watch his video about troubleshooting.
Do it again
Come here and ask questions on what you don't understand
In the words of Albert Einstein,
I created this guide because I live by this quote. Technology absolutely fascinates me. The best way for me to learn is by learning something so well that I can simply explain it to others. Want to know more about me? Check out my profile here on BleepingComputer.
Overall, the best advice I can offer is this. Don’t just memorize test questions and answers. Take your time to fully comprehend what you’re studying. If possible create a test lab.
Good luck on your adventure into the tech world as a professional. It is what you make of it. Now go out and do.