How to Pass your 220-1001 and 220-1002 CompTIA A+ Exams

CompTIA’s A+ certification is one of the most popular IT certifications in the world. In this video, you’ll get an overview of both the 220-1001 and 220-1002 exams, and you’ll learn the best way to study and pass these exams.

<< Previous Video: A+ Video Index Next: Laptop Hardware >>

Hi. My name is James Messer and welcome to my CompTIA 220-1001 and 220-1002 A+ training course. This training course is going to take you through everything you need to know to pass both of these exams and earn your A+ certification. If you found this training course, then you’re probably already aware that CompTIA has some of the most popular IT certifications in the world.

The A+ certification may be the most popular of all of them. It’s usually where people are starting when they’re trying to begin their career in information technology. The A+ certification is also a common prerequisite for entry-level positions in IT. If you’re looking for your very first job having to do with technology, they may require that you have an A+ certification prior to starting.

And because the A+ certification exam covers so many different topics– hardware, software, networking, security, mobile devices, and so much more– learning that information does provide you with the knowledge you need to be able to succeed in a role dealing with information technology. If you haven’t gone down this road of IT certification before, you may not be familiar with CompTIA. CompTIA is the Computing Technology Industry Association, and their certification arm is the largest provider of vendor neutral IT certifications in the industry.

Prior to CompTIA certifications, IT professionals had to become certified on vendor specific exams. So if you wanted to become knowledgeable about IBM products, you had to get certifications from IBM. If you wanted to become familiar with Microsoft products, you had to get Microsoft specific certifications. And there was not a vendor neutral certification available until the CompTIA series of exams was introduced.

These exams are now available in over 100 countries in many different languages. So wherever you are in the world, there’s probably an IT certification from CompTIA that would apply to you, and your country, and your language. I’ve written and produced this course as someone who’s been through the industry for over 30 years, everything from help desk to supercomputer management, all the way through software engineering, network analysis and troubleshooting, and finally, network security systems engineering.

I’ve also authored a number of different courses and books dealing with other technologies, such as networking, security, Linux, Microsoft, and others. And, of course, I’m also certified for A+ Network+, and Security+, so I can not only give you a perspective of what the exam expects you to know, I can apply all that back to what you might expect to see in the real world. CompTIA introduced the 220-1001 and the 220-1002 A+ exams on January 15, 2019. You might also see these exams referred to as the Core 1 and the Core 2 exam.

If you look through the list of available A+ videos for this course, you’ll see there is a very long list. That’s because I’ve broken up the videos into bit-sized chunks, and all of these videos follow the CompTIA exam objectives. So if you’re looking for a particular topic, you can always cross-reference by the objective number and the name of the video. I’ve also designed this course so that it’s covering every single topic from those CompTIA exam objectives. If you’re someone who is trying to find a course that handles everything you need to know for the exam, you’ll be able to find it in this video series.

I’ve designed this course to give you a strong foundation in technology. So whether you’re looking for your first job or whether you’re looking for a better job in IT, this course would apply to you. Now that you’ve gained access to this course, you may have noticed that there was no email address registration. There was no cost associated with this. This entire course is available for free, and it’s not just a single video or a group of partial videos.

The entire course, every minute of every video, is available for you to watch for free online. If you don’t have the ability to watch this entire course online, I do have an offline version available for sale. You can either purchase a downloadable digital version or I’ll send you a USB drive that contains all of these files in a physical package. I also sell a comprehensive set of course notes. So if you’re someone who wants a summary of everything that you’re going to see in this video series, these course notes might be able to help you as well.

You’ll find links to all of my courses and products on my website. You can find them all at To earn your A+ certification, you’ll need to pass two separate exams.

One exam is the CompTIA A+ 220-1001. This is also called the Core 1 course. This covers mobile devices, networking, hardware, virtualization and cloud computing, and hardware and network troubleshooting. This exam is 90 minutes long, and you could get a maximum of 90 questions on this exam. These exams are graded on a scale between 100 and 900, and to earn your 220-1001, you’ll need to get a score of 675.

The other exam that you’ll need to pass is the CompTIA A+ 220-1002 or the Core 2 exam. This exam covers operating systems, security, software troubleshooting, and operational procedures. Again, it’s 90 minutes long. And, again, you could get a maximum of 90 questions. The scoring range is the same as the Core 1 exam, between 100 and 900.

But to pass your 220-1002 exam, you’ll need to make a score of 700. You can take the 220-1001 and the 220-1002 in any order you’d like. You can choose to take the 1002 first or you can take the 1001 first. There’s also no time restriction between these exams. As long as you pass both of these exams before the exam series is retired, you’ll be A+ certified.

That means these retirement dates will be very important. The 220-1001 and the 220-1002 exams were released on January the 15th, of 2019. We usually expect that there is a three-year cycle before a new series of exams is released. That means that you’ll need to pass both of these exams before January 15, 2022.

There is usually an overlap period between the time that a new exam series is released and the old one is retired. And, usually, that’s about six months. So you could see this entire exam series available six months after that January 15, 2022 date. Of course, all of these dates are subject to change. So make sure you check the CompTIA website to find exact dates on when these exams are expecting to be retired.

You don’t want to take one exam and then get caught without passing the second exam before the retirement date because then you’d have to start all the way over with a new series of exams. Like many IT industry exams, the A+ certification exams include multiple choice questions, where you’ll get a question and then a series of answers that you’ll need to choose from. The CompTIA exams also include a handful of questions at the beginning of the exam that CompTIA calls performance-based questions. These are questions that are anything but multiple choice. They might be fill in the blank.

You might be presented with a command prompt and asked to perform a set of functions, or it might be a drag and drop, or a matching question. The important thing is that you know your information from the exam objectives, and then it won’t matter how CompTIA asks the question. You’ll know exactly how to answer it.

Before you start any of your studies for the exam, I highly recommend that you download the CompTIA exam objectives for both of these certification exams. They will tell you exactly the information you need to know to pass these exams. And then I recommend you have at least four different resources available to help you with your studies. The first would be to watch these videos. I cover every topic from the exam objectives, so this would be a good way to begin learning that content.

Another important resource I recommend is a good book. This gives you another source of information to go along with the videos. You might also want to test yourself. There is Q&A and other tests that you could take on the Professor Messer website and, of course, get as much hands on as possible. Going through the process of performing functions at the command line helps solidify those objectives into your mind so when you sit down for the exam, you’ll know exactly what you should be doing.

As you use these videos and refer to other training materials, you may find that the topics are not in the same order as you move from resource to resource. All of my videos are in the same order as the CompTIA exam objectives. And most books will not follow that same format. However, most books and other materials will cross-reference against those exam objective numbers. So you should be able to look at any chapter of any book, find the CompTIA exam objective numbers associated with that chapter, and then cross-reference that back to the videos associated with those topics.

Although I recommend you use as many training materials as possible, some people prefer simply watching the videos. So you can start at the beginning and watch all the way through and know that you’ve covered every topic for the exam. I mentioned earlier that you should download those exam objectives as the first thing you do prior to starting your studies. And, of course, before you walk into the exam, I also recommend referring back to those exam objectives. They make a great checklist, and it may be able to tell you exactly where you want to spend more time before going into the exam room.

I also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the testing center in your area. This way you’ll know where the testing center is located, and you won’t have to worry about finding a brand new testing center on the day of your exam. I also recommend that you ask to see the testing room prior to booking your exam that way you’ll know if it’s going to be a comfortable area for you to be able to take your exam. The day of your exam should be as low stress as possible. And studies have shown that if you sleep well and get a good amount to eat that you’ll perform well when taking these types of exams.

And it might be useful to get on-site a little bit early. You can reference your notes, do some last minute cramming, and some locations may be able to get you into the room a little bit early as well and allow you to get started on your exam. During the exam, you should be working in an environment that’s going to give you the best possible chance for passing. If you run into noise issues or any problem with the environment, make sure you notify the testing center. These exams also have a number of technical performance-based questions.

And if you run into any technical issues with the testing itself, make sure you also contact the testing center before the exam is over. You might also have a different strategy for testing than other people might. For example, when I work on these types of exams that I have a series of performance-based questions at the beginning, I skip over those questions and go directly to the multiple choice, go through all of the multiple choice, and then circle back to the performance questions at the end.

Your time management becomes very important when you’re working on these exams, so you might also choose to mark certain questions so that you can come back later and refer to those after you’ve gone through all of the other questions on the exam. If you have time, it’s also useful to go back through every single question, reread it, and make sure that you answered what you intended when you answered that particular question. And, lastly, when you submit the exam, you’ll know immediately if you passed or if you didn’t. This will give you an opportunity to get the certified results that will probably be at the front desk of the testing center.

Do not leave the testing center until you have those certified results. If you pass the exam, the certified results will be the proof of your pass. If you did not pass the exam, these certified results are almost more important. They provide you with a list of all of the different topic areas where you provided an incorrect response, and they’ll be a very useful study guide when you’re planning to take the exam again.

Make sure that you don’t leave the testing center until they provide these certified results. Becomes extremely difficult to obtain these after the fact. So make sure that if they have a problem with their printer that they’re able to resolve it or print to a different printer so that you can get those results before you leave the facility.

Now it’s time to study. All of the videos are available for you to watch on The full index of everything is categorized and listed in order of the exam objectives. Make sure you get those exam objectives. I have a quick link that takes you to the exact page on the CompTIA website at

There’s also a real-time chat available on my website. And, usually, you can find other students there that are studying these materials as well. And I have monthly live study groups available. You can find the calendar for all of these live events available on my website at Thanks for watching my A+ training course, and best of luck with your A+ studies.