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A+ Certification without taking a class?

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November 30, 2008 2:35:44 AM

I've become very interested in computers lately and thought about using my knowledge to get some extra cash. But every computer store or tech place requires an A+ certification. I've been trying to find where I can take the test, but I've only found tests with required classes. Does anyone know if I could just take the test somewhere without taking any classes? Does anyone have any helpful information on the difficulty of the test from personal experience? Thanks.
November 30, 2008 2:41:49 AM

it isnt that bad but you need to realize they ask alot of worthless questions that dont translate to reality. you can take the 2 exams at a VUE or Pro Metric test center. find out as much as you can ahead of time since they cost 170+ each to take.
a b à CPUs
November 30, 2008 2:45:03 AM

http://certification.comptia.org/resources/registration...

I wouldn't brag to someone I had an A+ qualification though.

It is a bit like telling someone you can walk unassisted, or you can drink without a straw or your toilet trained.

I suppose it is a start ... not really an IT qualification though.

Good luck.

I guess many people just do the test.

Anyone here who has posted more than 500 times should be just given one ...

MU should be able to confer them as honorary Dean ... heh heh.

Related resources
November 30, 2008 2:54:26 AM

lol yea..dont bother hanging a plaque on the wall for this one. its the logical first step. much like reynold is saying, its a humble beginning (his examples are comparable lol)
November 30, 2008 3:30:23 AM

Reynod said:


Anyone here who has posted more than 500 times should be just given one ...


YES! i get one! :D 
November 30, 2008 4:30:43 AM

yea there are some jobs out there that give you a big boost if you pass A+, but you have to keep in mind, alot of them require you to get re-certified every year because the tests change as the hardware advances. I took an independant study class for A+ cert in high school. Prolly the biggest waste of time in my opinion. But then again i decided not to go into the feild of repairing computers. It's a hobby now and im keeping it that way. I just give people advice and troubleshoot my own issues.

It comes down to what you plan to do in life. Enjoy fixing PC's? Go take the test. Buy an A+ book and do some practice problems to make sure you dont need to study. Sharpen up where you need it and your golden. I bet they still ask some pretty old hardware related questions.
a c 126 à CPUs
November 30, 2008 6:59:11 AM

Last time I checked they still ask questions about floppies and even old style jumpers on the mobos even though thats not common thses days.

I think DOS is still on the test too.....
November 30, 2008 7:24:33 AM

I work at a pretty big hospital in nyc as a programmer;
the pharmacy has these drug dispensing machines on every floor;
the dispensers are very much like automated teller machines;

each nurse has a PIN that they enter in the machine, then they select a patient from a list and a drug;
then a specific drawer opens which contains that drug and the patient is automatically charged

the machine only stores 30 days worth of data;
to save and back up the data we must download the database to FLOPPIES

that's the just the way these machines are built

I couldn't believe it
November 30, 2008 8:41:55 AM

Reynod said:
http://certification.comptia.org/resources/registration...

I wouldn't brag to someone I had an A+ qualification though.

It is a bit like telling someone you can walk unassisted, or you can drink without a straw or your toilet trained.

I suppose it is a start ... not really an IT qualification though.

Good luck.

I guess many people just do the test.

Anyone here who has posted more than 500 times should be just given one ...

MU should be able to confer them as honorary Dean ... heh heh.

does that mean i get 3 in like 2 days time? :kaola: 
November 30, 2008 3:16:57 PM

I took the test back in 2005, and at that time, we were busy discussing the finer points of IRQ settings and the ISA bus. The cert looks nice on your resume, but dont expect to learn anything useful in the process of getting it.
November 30, 2008 3:18:10 PM

Habitat87 is right about my intentions. I was hoping to get an easy job at one of the big electronics stores. When I see a store charging $100 to install a stick of RAM in someone's computer, I want to get in on some of that. You said that there's two tests for $170+. Does that make it $340+ per try.
November 30, 2008 3:31:42 PM

Its actually in 3 parts now, hardware, software, and 'customer service' which measures your people skills. When I took it, they were each seperate tests, but it may be combined now, I haven't kept up.
December 1, 2008 3:39:47 PM

I took my A+ cert a few years back when it was only 2 tests. I finished the first test in about 5 minutes and the second in about 10 with atleast a 90% on both. Anyone with basic computer repair skills/knowledge is capable of passing the A+ exam. The only studying I did was from a book I got off amazon. (A+ Certification by Michael Myers I think). In the end I kinda felt the book was a waste because I could have easily passed without it. While the A+ is easy its considered the entry into higher level exams. Combine the A+ with the Network+ and you have the electives for your Microsoft certifications.
December 1, 2008 4:19:13 PM

I read an 1100 page book to study up for my A+ exam, that worked fine.

If I were you I'd look into getting A+ and MCDST. A four year college degree doesn't hurt either.
December 1, 2008 4:56:40 PM

The certifications will certainly get your foot in the door for a wide range of work. Corporate hardware roll outs, long term hardware support, call center phone jockeying, and even specialized retail pretty much require some interest in maintaining these qualifications.

The big money is still in either a college degree or years of on-the-job experience as these certifications rank about as high as a high school diploma when you're interested in making any real money.


I'm just saying, if you're trying to decide between this or a college education, remember that we are not in the IT gold rush of the 90's anymore. Go sit in college for four years and wait out the recession.
December 1, 2008 5:36:38 PM

I'm actually in college now earning a Business Degree. I just wanted this so I could get a better job over the summer. If it really costs $350+, it may not be worth it. Does anyone else remember how much they paid to take the test?
December 1, 2008 6:04:27 PM

Dougx1317 said:
I'm actually in college now earning a Business Degree. I just wanted this so I could get a better job over the summer. If it really costs $350+, it may not be worth it. Does anyone else remember how much they paid to take the test?


I paid $240 back in the day.

I have a business degree and certifications. I agree with others, that a college education is more valuable than certs.

1. Experience
2. College Education
3. Certifications
December 2, 2008 12:38:47 PM

When I took the test it totaled about $400 - $500 for both parts. You're doing the right thing by going to college, if you're just thinking A+ to help with a summer job then it really wouldnt be worth it. For me I got my A+ after getting a bachelors in computer science just to help boost my resume. In the end though TC is right, experience speaks first. Even with a bachelors in computer science and A+ cert I still had to start in customer service of a company before finally getting into a programming position and working my way up as I gained experience....
December 2, 2008 12:53:02 PM

Now it's been my experience that the IT guys and the software guys are mutually exclusive. There is overlap at times, sure, but generally you pick something and go with it.

Knowing about computer hardware won't make you a better programmer, and knowing programming language semantics and design patterns won't make your computers run smoother.

You'll find that the jobs which require you to do both usually end up with you dealing with some prick in HR or accounting that wants something unfeasible out of Crystal Reports. At that point you aren't a programmer or hardware specialist at all; you're an overqualified secretary.
December 2, 2008 12:58:25 PM

squatchman said:
Now it's been my experience that the IT guys and the software guys are mutually exclusive. There is overlap at times, sure, but generally you pick something and go with it.

Knowing about computer hardware won't make you a better programmer, and knowing programming language semantics and design patterns won't make your computers run smoother.

You'll find that the jobs which require you to do both usually end up with you dealing with some prick in HR or accounting that wants something unfeasible out of Crystal Reports. At that point you aren't a programmer or hardware specialist at all; you're an overqualified secretary.


LMAO, sounds like my job
December 2, 2008 6:14:19 PM

I took the test waaaaay back in 2000 and it was $512 back then. $256 for each part. It was only hardware and software back than.

It sounds like the test is still about the same as it used to be. You have to learn a lot of things that really dont apply to today's technology, but I think its worth it.

I bought an A+ Study book from a book store and that was more than enough to pass the test. Which you may or may not even need if you're into computers.
December 2, 2008 6:37:40 PM

a+ is good, I want to get it just to have... I built my own first pc in '98 after an electrocution that was NOT supposed to happen by my pc, my bank account got heisted, and a reputation that I downloaded porn (not true of course- my id went somewhere it should not have). I blamed the machine physically.I began to build my own qith a vengeance, very fast knowledge gained from not so nice a people...

The "aurora" of happy go lucky nerds that never get dirty or had to fight for security by themself keeps me away from "thier" industry with certs...

I am getting patient as I get older, on my 8th pc. "Old" facts are a must have in the real world, there is no such thing as useless info in relation to what seems to have faded into the past (that very past bites the "brand new" TODAY).

I compared pc repair/building to aviation mechanic..you can have no knowledge and fix things and cuss while doing it...and you could be an engineer with a memory of not even a pixel forgotten doing the same thing...it is up to you and resume and career games that have to be played.

I am kinda old to change into career games for pc building, even finding things unwritten, just by existing in a "hobby." I do really recommend the cert if you are starting off even as hobby..it seems a strong memory for conversation is the must have along with the cert to mean anything.
a b à CPUs
December 3, 2008 1:46:07 AM

The ICDL must be a B+ Certificate then eh?

They sent me one in the post (a little plastic card) after I did an online quizz at work.

I got a question wrong too ... wasn't paying much attention because there were hooters either side of me jiggling while they typed.

"Forgive me oh lord (MugZ) for I have sinned" ...

a b à CPUs
December 3, 2008 7:29:39 PM

Total cost for the exam (A+ Essentials + IT Tec, Remote assistance,etc) is about $ 300. I took the new test in summer this year. The new one has more to do with networking than hardware imo. Just get a good book on A+ and you are set. I had this great 400 page book that was pretty much on the money. Can't remember the name though :( .
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