CompTIA A+

Certification Exam Objectives

Exam 220-901

version 2.0

Candidates are encouraged to use this document to help prepare for CompTIA A+ 220-901. In order to receive the CompTIA A+ certification, you must pass two exams: 220-901 and 220-902. CompTIA A+ 220-901 measures the necessary skills for an entry-level IT professional. Successful candidates will have the knowledge required to:

  • Assemble components based on customer requirements
  • Install, configure and maintain devices, PCs and software for end users
  • Understand the basics of networking and security/forensics
  • Properly and safely diagnose, resolve and document common hardware and software issues
  • Apply troubleshooting skills
  • Provide appropriate customer support
  • Understand the basics of virtualization, desktop imaging and deployment

These content examples are meant to clarify the test objectives and should not be construed as a comprehensive listing of all the content of this examination.

1.0 Hardware

1.1 Given a scenario, configure settings and use BIOS/UEFI tools on a PC.

  • Firmware upgrades/flash BIOS
  • BIOS component information
  • BIOS configurations
  • Built-in diagnostics
  • Monitoring

1.2 Explain the importance of motherboard components, their purpose and properties.

  • Sizes
  • Expansion Slots
  • RAM Slots
  • CPU sockets
  • Chipsets
  • CMOS battery
  • Power connections and types
  • Fan connectors
  • Front/top panel connectors
  • Bus speeds
  • Reset button

1.3 Compare and contrast various RAM types and their features.

  • Types
  • RAM compatibility

1.4 Install and configure PC expansion cards.

  • Sound cards
  • Video cards
  • Network cards
  • USB cards
  • Firewire cards
  • Thunderbold cards
  • Storage cards
  • Modem cards
  • Wireless/cellular cards
  • TV tuner cards
  • Video capture cards
  • Riser cards

1.5 Install and configure storage devices and use appropriate media.

  • Optical drives
  • Magnetic hard disk drives
  • Hot swappable drives
  • Solid state/flash drives
  • RAID types
  • Tape drives
  • Media capacity

1.6 Install various types of CPUs and apply the appropriate cooling methods.

  • Socket types
  • Characteristics
  • Cooling

1.7 Compare and contrast various PC connection interfaces, their characteristics and purpose.

  • Physical connections
  • Wireless connections
  • Characteristics

1.8 Install a power supply based on given specifications

  • Connector types and their voltages
  • Specifications

1.9 Given a scenario, select the appropriate components for a custom PC configuration to meet customer specifications or needs.

  • Graphic/CAD/CAM design workstation
  • Audio/video editing workstation
  • Virtualization workstation
  • Home theater PC
  • Standard thick client
  • Thin client
  • Home server PC

1.10 Compare and contrast types of display devices and their features

  • Types
  • Refresh frame rates
  • Resolution
  • Native resolution
  • Brightness/lumens
  • Analog vs. digital
  • Privacy/antiglare filters
  • Multiple displays
  • Aspect ratios

1.11 Identify common PC connector types and associated cables.

  • Display connector types
  • Display cable types
  • Device cables and connectors
  • Adapters and converters

1.12 Install and configure peripheral devices

  • Input devices (keyboard, mouse, scanner)
  • Output devices (Printers, speakers, display)
  • Input & output devices (KVM, touch screen, MIDI-enabled devices)

1.13 Install SOHO multifunction device/printers and configure appropriate settings

  • User appropriate drivers for a given operating system
  • Device sharing
  • Public/shared devices

1.14 Compare and contrast differences between the various print technologies and the associated imaging process.

  • Laser
  • Inkjet
  • Thermal
  • Impact
  • Virtual

1.15 Given a scenario, perform appropriate printer maintenance.

  • Laser
  • Thermal
  • Impact
  • Inkjet

2.0 Networking

2.1 Identify the various types of network cables and connectors.

  • Fiber
  • Twisted Pair
  • Coaxial

2.2 Compare and contrast the characteristics of connectors and cabling.

  • Fiber
  • Twisted pair
  • Coaxial

2.3 Explain the properties and characteristics of TCP/IP.

  • IPv4 vs. IPv6
  • Public vs. private vs. APIPA/link local
  • Static vs. dynamic
  • Client-side DNS settings
  • Client-side DHCP
  • Subnet mask vs. CIDR
  • Gateway

2.4 Explain common TCP and UDP ports, protocols and their purpose.

  • Ports (21 – FTP, 22 – SSH, 80 – HTTP)
  • Protocols (DHCP, DNS, LDAP, SMB)
  • TCP vs. UDP

2.5 Compare and contrast various WiFi networking standards and encryption types.

  • Standards (802.11 {a/b/g/n/ac}, speeds, distances, and frequencies)
  • Encryption types (WEP, WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES)

2.6 Given a scenario, install and configure SOHO wireless/wired router and apply appropriate settings.

  • Channels
  • Port forwarding
  • DHCP (on/off)
  • DMZ
  • Basic QoS
  • Firmware
  • UPnP

2.7 Compare and contrast Internet connection types, network types and their features.

  • Internet connection types (Cable, DSL, Dial-up)
  • Network Types (LAN, WAN, PAN, MAN)

2.8 Compare and contrast network architecture devices, their functions and features

  • Hub
  • Switch
  • Router
  • Access point
  • Bridge
  • Modem
  • Firewall
  • Patch Panel
  • Repeaters/extenders
  • Ethernet over Power
  • Power of Ethernet injector

2.9 Given a scenario, use appropriate networking tools.

  • Crimper
  • Cable stripper
  • Multimeter
  • Tone generator and probe
  • Cable tester
  • Loopback plug
  • Punchdown tool
  • WiFi analyzer

3.0 Mobile Devices

3.1 Install and configure laptop hardware and components

  • Expansion options (SODIMM, Flash, Express card /34)
  • Hardware/device replacement (memory, hard drive, keyboard)

3.2 Explain the function of components within the display of a laptop.

  • Types (LCD, OLED
  • WiFi antenna connector/replacement
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Inverter
  • Digitizer

3.3 Given a scenario, use appropriate laptop features.

  • Special function keys (dual displays, Wireless on/off, Bluetooth on/off)
  • Docking station
  • Physical laptop lock and cable lock
  • Rotating/removable screens

3.4 Explain the characteristics of various types of other mobile devices.

  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Wearable technology devices
  • Phablets
  • e-Readers
  • Smart camera
  • GPS

3.5 Compare and contrast accessories and ports of other mobile devices

  • Connector types (NFC, MicroUSB, Bluetooth)
  • Accessories (Headsets, Speakers, Gamepads)

4.0 Hardware and Network Troubleshooting

4.1 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common problems related to motherboards, RAM, CPU and power with appropriate tools.

  • Common symptoms (System lockups, POST code beeps, Continuous reboots)
  • Tools (Multimeter, Power supply tester, POST card/USB)

4.2 Given a scenario, troubleshoot hard drives and RAID arrays with appropriate tools.

  • Common symptoms (Read/write failures, Slow performance, Loud clicking noise)
  • Tools (Screwdriver, External enclosures, CHKDSK)

4.3 Given a scenario troubleshoot common video, projector and display issues.

  • Common issues (No image on screen, Dead pixels, Artifacts)

4.4 Given a scenario, troubleshoot wired and wireless networks with appropriate tools.

  • Common symptoms (No connectivity, APIPA/link local address,Limited connectivity)
  • Hardware tools (Cable tester, Loopback plug, Punchdown tools)
  • Command line tools (PING, IPCONFIG/IFCONFIG, TRACERT)

4.5 Given a scenario, troubleshoot and repair common mobile device issues while adhering to the appropriate procedures.

  • Common symptoms (No display, Battery not charging, Ghost cursor/pointer drift)
  • Disassembling process for proper re-assembly

4.6 Given a scenario, troubleshoot printers with appropriate tools.

  • Common symptoms (Streaks, Faded prints, Creased paper)
  • Tools (Maintenance kit, Toner vacuum, Compressed air)