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View Full Version : Should I get CompTIA A+ in UK?


anglian
02-09-2012, 03:55 PM
Hi,

I am about to start a PC repair business, and although I do not have any qualifications for this I have been fixing PC's & laptop's. setting up networks and when I had a webhosting company in 2006 had 60 servers online.
So, should I study for and get CopmTIA A+?
Home learning center has courses for 1800 which although the price includes the final examination is a bit expensive for me as I am currently unemployed.

Would like to hear your views on if it is worth doing on not.

Thanks

Tony

Encrypted Existence
02-09-2012, 04:01 PM
I think you should go for it. If you have a decent amount of experience (and it sounds like you do) then you should be able to pass the test by reading a book and watching some videos. I just passed my A+ back in August and I am glad that I have it.

recommended study material:

book: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=jean+andrews&hl=en&prmd=imvnsbo&resnum=4&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1024&bih=564&wrapid=tlif132880326184310&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=13883098198581995785&sa=X&ei=xu0zT4uCDerY0QHY27ngAg&ved=0CGUQ8wIwAA# (this is the book that I used)

videos: www.professormesser.com(free)

Martyn
02-09-2012, 04:14 PM
I agree study for it at home, those courses are expensive.

joydivision
02-09-2012, 04:19 PM
I wonder if this is something I might want to study, is there much point for an experienced tech? I have a computing related degree although it covered more the computer science aspect of things rather than any real hands on skills.

Currently studying a PTTLS course at my local college but once that is finished I would want to keep studying.

Encrypted Existence
02-09-2012, 04:27 PM
I wonder if this is something I might want to study, is there much point for an experienced tech? I have a computing related degree although it covered more the computer science aspect of things rather than any real hands on skills.

Currently studying a PTTLS course at my local college but once that is finished I would want to keep studying.

I enjoy being able to put the cert logos on my business cards and website (eventually). I feel that when a potential customer sees those logos it gives them a bit of piece of mind. Go for it!

anglian
02-09-2012, 04:33 PM
Seems like "Go for it" is the popular answer!

Just have to work out if I can afford the 80/month/24months at the moment

Thanks for the answers

TLE
02-09-2012, 04:33 PM
I wonder if this is something I might want to study, is there much point for an experienced tech? I have a computing related degree although it covered more the computer science aspect of things rather than any real hands on skills.

Currently studying a PTTLS course at my local college but once that is finished I would want to keep studying.

Teaching Adult Education, Nice choice Joydivision. I did this back when I was 20, but I never finished the course, although I was already teaching 2 classes at the time. Rather than A+, you might be better off sitting some MS certifications.

As for the OP's questions, I agree with the other, I think you would be better off buying the books and studying at home. A+ is really quite simple, and only demonstrates a basic understanding.

Martyn
02-09-2012, 04:35 PM
You can get the logos without paying an arm and a leg. :)

anglian
02-09-2012, 04:43 PM
I think you would be better off buying the books and studying at home. A+ is really quite simple, and only demonstrates a basic understanding.

Do you think it would be possible to learn A+ from books and then just to book the examinations myself?
Sounds a lot cheaper :D

TLE
02-09-2012, 04:53 PM
Do you think it would be possible to learn A+ from books and then just to book the examinations myself?
Sounds a lot cheaper :D

Thats exactly what I did. If you ran a hosting company you must have at least have a basic understanding of components, operating systems and networks so I really do think a book is the best way to go. I bought one of the courses and it was a complete waste of time.

I found the Mike Meyers books to be best for the A+. Have a search around on the internet for practice tests and try them. They should at least point out if you need to simply brush up, or if you need to study a bit more in depth.

anglian
02-09-2012, 04:57 PM
Hi,

So would I just need to take exams 220-701 & 220-702 to gain the certification?

The exams are 114 each, so I could spend a bit on books and still save a fortune!

Martyn
02-09-2012, 04:59 PM
Hi,

So would I just need to take exams 220-701 & 220-702 to gain the certification?

The exams are 114 each, so I could spend a bit on books and still save a fortune!

That's the way to go. With the internet there is plenty of online resources plus your hands on.

TLE
02-09-2012, 05:01 PM
The other thing to remember is that the Compita certifications are now only valid for 3 years. After that you will need to re-certify if you wish to continue using the logo.

anglian
02-09-2012, 05:29 PM
That's the way to go. With the internet there is plenty of online resources plus your hands on.

I found this
http://www.e-learningcenter.com/general_it.htm

Anyone have any experience with them?
at $179 (I guess thats 100ish in real money) doesn't seem to bad

NWPhotog
02-09-2012, 05:38 PM
Seems like "Go for it" is the popular answer!

Just have to work out if I can afford the 80/month/24months at the moment

Thanks for the answers

If you have experience there is no reason to take the course. Get Mike Myers' or a comparable book, brush up on your knowledge and take the test. I wouldn't say it is easy but it isn't overly tough either.

anglian
02-09-2012, 09:56 PM
Would someone that has taken their CompTIA A+ please check out this link

http://www.freepractice.com/Aplus/aplus_1.htm

and let me know if the questions (a bit out of date) are realistic of the actual exam.

Thanks

Tony

TLE
02-09-2012, 11:26 PM
Would someone that has taken their CompTIA A+ please check out this link

http://www.freepractice.com/Aplus/aplus_1.htm

and let me know if the questions (a bit out of date) are realistic of the actual exam.

Thanks

Tony

Yes they are very simliar, if you get one of the Mike Meyers books it comes with a cd and lots of test questions which are simliar to the real exam.

Rosco
02-10-2012, 12:06 AM
professor messer free a+ training course.... Very good and informative plus free! I have watched them all and they are great!

Dameize
02-10-2012, 12:15 AM
Logo wise theres a guy on fiverr called thetwo cant reccomend him enough.. ive had lots of logos from him other technibblers can probs back him up to. In regards to the A+ Just watch some vids and take some mock exams etc.

goldmercury
02-11-2012, 01:07 PM
Waste of money if you ask me - focus any money you have in generating business you'll soon learn how to repair as you go ;)

I had a great understanding of desktops a few years ago - then I started working on laptops - self learnt with old faulty ones off of ebay :)

MobileTechie
02-11-2012, 02:53 PM
At 1800 it most definitely be a waste of money. if you knew very little about PCs and wanted a way of learning then doing the exam after learning from a book would be quite useful.

The single best resource for the h/w side of PCs is the latest version of Scott Mueller's "Upgrading & Repairing PCs" book. If you wade through that tome and remember most of it you'll know almost everything there is to know of any value about PC hardware. It's a 100% must-have for any PC tech. I learned loads of things I didn't know plus is an authoritative reference book for when confronted with "will X will work with Y" decisions.

joydivision
02-11-2012, 04:10 PM
It seems very easy, I am half tempted to sit the exam just for the sake of it, something else to add onto the CV :p It is probably a bit out dated now though. I assume the modern exams cover more about laptops?

pugsport
02-24-2012, 03:47 PM
I took the A+ home study course through Computeach which cost me 1800,
depending on how much time you can devote the shortest term is estimated at 18 months to completion, it took me 2.5 years!! You need discipline and a structured time table, it is so easy to detract from home study.
The advantage of using a provider like Computeach is you have tutor support.
The package comprised of a 2 inch thick book the Complete A+, although many students who participated in the forums found this book to hard going and subsequently bought Mike Meyers A+ book, which easier reading. Also included was an on line interactive course, covering all aspects you need to learn, plus a login to a website (I forget the name) for practice exams.

I quickly found out, much too my annoyance alot of these resources are freely available on the internet, I also found sites that provide practice exams
at very reasonable prices.

Although A+ is considered an entry level into I.T. the course material covers such a wide and broad variance of topics, technical specs, various architectures etc, you have to learn it all as you never know what to expect in the exams, the pass mark is so high that if you get 4 or 5 Qs wrong you will fail the exam. I can confidantly state that most of you, if you took the exam would probably fail, like any subject matter you learn an awful lot of knowledge that you will never need in day to day business and eventually forget. One of the biggest frustrations of the mock/practice exams, was it took students on average 6 months to pass a pratice exam.You had to pass the practice exam before Computeach put you into the real exam.

My conclusion, do not pay a provider for a home study course, there are plenty of free resources on all subjects, this being probably the best

http://www.professormesser.com/

Although there are plenty of sites offering free practice exams they are not always up to date or comprehensive enough and I would advise paying for it.
Practice exams are essential, they will highlight weak areas.

anglian
02-24-2012, 03:59 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I have decided to go for it alone.
I have a few books (Mike Meyers is one)
I am getting an average of 80% on practise tests that I have taken from a variety of places, so I think it is worth the 110 gamble to take the first part of the exam and see how I fare before considering any other courses.

Dameize
02-24-2012, 04:00 PM
Heres some advice.

Go to the colleges and unis offering IT stuff as they quite often have the means to do the test my local college offers A+ exams at 80 pound each which is cheap.

Ask around!

pugsport
02-24-2012, 05:48 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I have decided to go for it alone.
I have a few books (Mike Meyers is one)
I am getting an average of 80% on practise tests that I have taken from a variety of places, so I think it is worth the 110 gamble to take the first part of the exam and see how I fare before considering any other courses.

If I remeber correctly 80% is not enough to pass, I could be wrong, but it would be shame to pay for the exam then fail, I reccomend doing more practice tests and focus on your weak areas.

anglian
02-24-2012, 07:18 PM
If I remeber correctly 80% is not enough to pass, I could be wrong, but it would be shame to pay for the exam then fail, I reccomend doing more practice tests and focus on your weak areas.

My bad, I am getting 80% before doing any reading on the subject, so should be ok after a book or two.

Exam is 100 questions with pass scores set as
675 for CompTIA A+ Essentials
700 for CompTIA A+ Practical Application
(on a scale of 100-900)

Cornfed
02-25-2012, 08:54 AM
I used the Mike Meyers book as well. You can also save a couple of quid by getting the test vouchers from gracetechsolutions.com. 108 per test instead of 114.

ImaPC
02-26-2012, 01:24 AM
Would someone that has taken their CompTIA A+ please check out this link

http://www.freepractice.com/Aplus/aplus_1.htm

and let me know if the questions (a bit out of date) are realistic of the actual exam.

Thanks

Tony

Haven't done my A+ but did buy the books, which cost me 750 (this is going back about 7 years ago)

The thing that put me off was that these books taught about Win95 and Win NT... which i thought was a bit behind the times, so never really bothered doing the course... I've still got the books somewhere lol

speaking of which, i did check the link out, and was quite happy to sit and answer what i thought seemed more common sense then anything else, however i did get stumped on the questions about voltage and the like...

It was all going well, untill i got to question 45...

45 The mouse works in MS-DOS but not in Windows 3.1. What do you do?

Once i copied it, i closed the window lol...

Do you really wanna pay $1800 to learn about windows 3.1 lmao

pugsport
02-26-2012, 01:58 PM
The current A+ no longer covers older Tech such as NT, 2000 nor the manual configuration of devices apart from SCSI.

http://www.freepractice.com/Aplus/aplus_1.htm

I do not think this site has been updated for many years.

rsarceno
02-26-2012, 05:21 PM
So, should I study for and get CopmTIA A+?

Yes, get as much certification as you can and keep it current. Most residential client doesn't know anything about it but some SMB client sometimes ask for it.

If you have experience and know the terminology then reading books is enough to pass the test. If you want Video Training, I recommend http://www.cbtnuggets.com and http://www.trainsignal.com.

I have been taking certification test since the 80's but for the pass 15 years, I have been buying my test voucher from http://www.getcertify4less.com. They are legit. It cost more to buy direct from pearsonvue.com and/or prometric.com

If case your not aware, there are also practice test available from Transcender and other companies. Be careful of Braindump if you elect to go in that direction.

I'm currently studying for my Cisco exam. If you interested, PM me and I will give you the forum links where I frequently visit for certification. I'm not sure if it's OK to publish links for other forums.

You need to visit these forum specially if there are simulation questions where it's possible to have multiple answer. The test will only look for specific answer. Other correct answer will not give you any point. Sometimes the most logical real life answer is not the correct answer.

Good Luck

YeOldeStonecat
02-26-2012, 06:38 PM
Would like to hear your views on if it is worth doing on not.


IMO, anyone that plans on being in this field for a living should do these courses/certs. Even if you come from experience and you think the class will be beneath you and boring.

With education, you should build a proper foundation....start with the 101 course and work your way up. Some of the higher end courses you may be interested in may have pre-requisites (like you have to have taken A+ already).

And even if you think you know it all already, you're bound to walk away from the class learning at least one new thing.

And do courses right...pay attention in class, read the books, learn what you're supposed to....don't go cheating and hit up braindump sites just learning the exam questions to pass the test. I call those idiots "paper certs"....they cheated to pass the tests, they have a wall of certs...but stick them in front of a server or router in some real world scenario and prepare to laugh your butt off at their fumbling and failure. Embarrassment to the field they are! I remember way back doing this big project deploying a wide area network for a school system for a big town in my state, the company I worked for was hired to design/install the WAN and infrastructure....and then hand over the network to the towns newly formed internal IT department. For a couple of months I had to work aside the new guys to familiarize them with it. This one guy they hired, bragged about how he flew through the tests to pass his exams. Yet anything I put him in front of..he'd stare at like a deer caught in headlights. I remember one specific example..installing a new NIC in a workstation...he was clueless on Device Manager and how to install drivers.