CompTIA A+

Certification Exam Objectives

Exam 220-902

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 Windows Operating Systems

1.1 Compare and contrast various features and requirements of Microsoft Operating Systems (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1).

  • Features (32-bit vs. 64-bit, Side-by-side apps, Windows firewall)
  • Upgrade paths – difference between in place upgrades, compatibility tools, Windows upgrade OS advisor)

1.2 Given a scenario, install Windows PC operating systems using appropriate methods.

  • Boot methods (USB, CD-ROM, DVD, PXE)
  • Type of installations (Unattended, Upgrade, Clean Install)
  • Partitioning (Dynamic, Basic, Primary)
  • File System types/formatting (exFAT, FAT32, NTFS)
  • Load alternate third-party drivers when necessary
  • Workgroup vs. domain setup
  • Time/date/region/language settings
  • Driver installation, software and Windows updates
  • Factory recovery partition
  • Properly formatted boot drive with the correct partitions/format

1.3 Given a scenario, apply appropriate Microsoft command line tools.


1.4 Given a scenario, use appropriate Microsoft Operating system features and tools.

  • Administrative (Computer management, Device manager, Local security policy)
  • Task Manager
  • Disk management (Drive status, Mounting, Initializing)
  • Other (User State Migration Tool {USMT}, Windows Easy Transfer, Windows Upgrade Advisor)
  • System utilities (REGEDIT, COMMAND, MMC, MSTSC)

1.5 Given a scenario, use Windows Control Panel utilities

  • Internet options
  • Display/display settings
  • User accounts
  • System
  • Windows firewall
  • Power options
  • Programs and features
  • HomeGroup
  • Devices and printers
  • Sound
  • Troubleshooting
  • Network and Sharing Center
  • Device Manager

1.6 Given a scenario, install and configure Windows networking on a client/desktop

  • HomeGroup vs. WorkGroup
  • Domain setup
  • Network shares/administrative shares/mapping drives
  • Printer sharing vs network printer mapping
  • Establishing network connections (VPN, Dial-ups, Wireless, Wired)
  • Proxy settings
  • Remote Desktop Connection
  • Remote Assistance
  • Home vs. Work vs. Public network settings
  • Firewall settings
  • Configure an alternate IP address in Windows
  • Network card properties

1.7 Perform common preventative maintenance procedures using the appropriate Windows OS tools.

  • Best practices (Scheduled backups, disk maintenance, updates, Antivirus/Anti-malware)
  • Tools (Backup, System restore, Recovery image, Disk maintenance utilities)

2.0 Other Operating Systems and Technologies

2.1 Identify common features and functionality of the Mac OS and Linux operating systems.

  • Best Practices (Scheduled backups, scheduled disk maintenance, patch management)
  • Tools (Backup/Time Machine, Restore, Image recovery)
  • Features (multiple desktops, Key Chain, iCloud)
  • Basic Linux commands (ls, grep, cd, mv, cp)

2.2 Given a scenario, setup and use client-side virtualization.

  • Purpose of virtual machines
  • Resource requirements
  • Emulator requirements
  • Security requirements
  • Network requirements
  • Hypervisor

2.3 Identify basic cloud concepts

  • SaaS
  • IaaS
  • PaaS
  • Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid vs. Community
  • Rapid Elasticity
  • On-demand
  • Resource pooling
  • Measure service

2.4 Summarize the properties and purpose of services provided by network hosts.

  • Server roles (Web server, File server, DHCP server)
  • Internet appliance
  • Legacy/embedded systems

2.5 Identify basic features of mobile operating systems.

  • Android vs. iOS vs. Windows

2.6 Install and configure basic mobile device network connectivity and email.

  • Wireless/cellular data network (enable/disable)
  • Bluetooth
  • Corporate and ISP email configuration
  • Integrated commercial provider email configuration
  • PRI updates/PRL updates/Baseband updates
  • Radio firmware
  • IMEI vs. IMSI
  • VPN

2.7 Summarize methods and data related to mobile device synchronization.

  • Types of data to synchronize (Contacts, Email, Pictures, Music)
  • Synchronization methods (Cloud, Desktop)
  • Mutual authentication for multiple services (SSO)
  • Software requirements to install the applications on the PC
  • Connection types to enable synchronization

3.0 Security

3.1 Identify common security threats and vulnerabilities

  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Spear phishing
  • Spoofing
  • Social engineering
  • Shoulder surfing
  • Zero-day attack
  • Zombie/botnet
  • Brute forcing
  • Dictionary attacks
  • Non-compliant systems
  • Violations of security best practices
  • Tailgating
  • Man-in-the-middle

3.2 Compare and contrast common prevention methods.

  • Physical security (locks, mantraps, id badges)
  • Digital security (antivirus, firewalls, smart card)
  • User education/AUP
  • Principle of least privilege

3.3 Compare and contrast differences of basic Windows OS security settings

  • Users and groups
  • NTFS vs. Share permission
  • Shared files and folders
  • System files and folders
  • User authentication
  • Run-as administrator vs. standard user
  • BitLocker
  • BitLocker-To-Go
  • EFS

3.4 Given a scenario, deploy and enforce security best practices to secure a workstation.

  • Password best practices (strong passwords, password expiration, requiring passwords)
  • Account management (restricting user permissions, login time restrictions, disabling guest accounts)
  • Disable auto run
  • Data encryption
  • Patch/update management

3.5 Compare and contrast various methods for securing mobile devices.

  • Screen locks
  • Remote wipes
  • Locator applications
  • Remote backup applications
  • Failed login attempt restrictions
  • Antivirus/anti-malware
  • Patching/OS updates
  • Biometric authentication
  • Full device encryption
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Authenticator applications
  • Trusted sources vs. untrusted sources
  • Firewalls
  • Policies and procedures

3.6 Given a scenario, use appropriate data destruction and disposal methods

  • Physical destruction
  • Recycling or repurposing best practices

3.7 Given a scenario, secure SOHO wireless and wired networks

  • Wireless specific (change SSID, setting encryption, disable SSID broadcast)
  • Change default usernames and passwords
  • Enable MAC filtering
  • Assign static IP addresses
  • Firewall settings
  • Port forwarding/mapping
  • Disable ports
  • Content filtering/parental controls
  • Update firmware
  • Physical security

4.0 Software Troubleshooting

4.1 Given a scenario, troubleshoot PC operating system problems with appropriate tools

  • Common symptoms (Failure to boot, Improper shutdown, service fails to start)
  • Tools (BIOS/UEFI, SFC, Logs)

4.2 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common PC security issues with appropriate tools and best practices

  • Common symptoms (Pop-ups, browser redirection, OS update failures)
  • Tools (Antivirus software, Recovery console, Refresh/Restore)
  • Best practice procedure for malware removal

4.3 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common mobile OS and application issues with appropriate tools.

  • Common issues (dim display, intermittent wireless, apps not loading)
  • Tools (hard reset, soft reset, uninstall/reinstall apps)

4.4 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common mobile OS and application security issues with appropriate tools.

  • Common symptoms (power drain, unintended WiFi connection, Leaked personal data/files)
  • Tools (App scanner, Anti-malware, Force stop)