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Comptia A+ Exam

CiriraCirira IowaRegistered User regular
A little background. I work in a corporate environment building and troubleshooting PCs. I work as part of a Help Desk that is responsible for everything from Server Maintenance to Network Troubleshooting to PC Repair and Maintenance. We troubleshoot via phone and primarily use VNC so that we can control the PCs to do our work. I've been at my current job for 3 years. I can build my own PC and maintain PCs for friends and neighbors. I worked for the Geek Squad as well for whatever that is worth.

I hate taking tests and struggle with money. I'm currently taking an A+ class that also qualifies towards my Associates that is boring me to death.

My work will pay for the exams IF I pass them, if not I'm out the $135 bucks per test. I'm hesitant to take the tests because of the cost. I could afford to not pass, but I'd really like to go in and nail the exams the first time.

Given this information do you think I'm ready for the A+ exam, or should I wait until the class ends in July? If I get the cert before my class ends I get an auto 100% on the final.

Please help me decide oh gods of the Moe

Cirira on

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    AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    How much time do you need between passing the A+ exam and the class final? Will your prof accept proof of passing the exam for the 100% on the day of the final?

    When I took the A+ exam the tests were scored really quickly and I received printouts verifying my passing scores before I left the center. Of course, that was a couple iterations of the exam ago, but basically I'd say give yourself as much time with the class as possible before taking the A+ exam. A lot of people don't have a high opinion of its difficulty, but you may as well get as much classroom assistance as you can before you take it.

    Also, do you find the class materials are good? I took a Networking class that used the Networking+ manual as the textbook. If your class is similar, start reading ahead.

    Alecthar on
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    CiriraCirira IowaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I already read and did all 22 chapters of the book and lab manual. We can bring our proof of cert passage to the final and get credit.

    The class only has 4 more weeks. It's twice a week, 5 hours per day, so suffering through the rest of the class is painful.

    Not a single one of the people I know at my company or among friends that have MCSE and MCITP certs even consider the A+ exam worth doing, but my manager suggested it for some reason. That's why I was asking here.

    Cirira on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Not sure if its changed, but it used to be that passing the A+ exam was one way of handling the hardware maintenance requirement for the MS exams.

    Though, from what I understand, A+ has lost a lot of its cachet.

    AngelHedgie on
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    ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Though, from what I understand, A+ has lost a lot of its cachet.

    This was kind of my impression...I remember looking at what that test covered a long time ago and thinking "Really?"

    Scrublet on
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    General_WinGeneral_Win Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I agree, those certifications are so that you can get into the industry. Your experience alone is way better than passing your A+. Unless your employer just wants to check off a box.

    General_Win on
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    CiriraCirira IowaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    They want to check off a box so I'm doing the cert just to check off the box.

    Cirira on
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    KrikeeKrikee Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    With that kind of experience the A+ should be a cake walk. The only part that may be a problem is the old school computing parts that are no longer relevant (generally) such as, IRQs. In its current state it is merely resume fodder. The new revision starting next year (Jan 2011) is supposed to be better but, it also entails a re-certification cycle like most major cert companies.

    Krikee on
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    CiriraCirira IowaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The class is actually going over a new version of the test (from 2009) that doesn't cover the legacy equipment. I was going to take the test in 2008 but the legacy stuff had me going "who really needs this crap?"

    That's why I am a bit hesitant to take the test. I don't know anyone who has taken the A+ for some reason.

    Cirira on
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    HoundxHoundx Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I just interviewed for a position today requiring MCITP certs and this came up. The interviewing manager told me that they literally give no weight to A+. I've seen a few positions listing it as a requirement tho and it's not like it would hurt to have it.

    Houndx on
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    CiriraCirira IowaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah I have my MCITP Desktop certs and MCAS for Office 2007 (or MOS, I think they changed the designation). I've been working on MCITP Server Admin but for some unknown reason they decided that the entire Help Desk should get A+ this year. I don't know a single person working in IT with an A+ cert or any management that puts any weight behind it other then mine. I was just hoping someone here had taken the test recently and could say "yeah it's easy", or "no the new one is actually difficult".

    Cirira on
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    InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Houndx wrote: »
    I've seen a few positions listing it as a requirement tho and it's not like it would hurt to have it.

    I wouldn't go that far.

    I would say that at best it is ignored.

    Infidel on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    A+ used to be important in the bad old days, when getting a computer up and running could be an arcane art - it was joked about SCSI that it required three terminations on the cable - the near end termination, the far end termination, and the goat, terminated over the cable with a silver knife under the full moon. In those days, getting a functioning computer from parts took skill and more than a little tweaking.

    But today, computers are pretty much made up of fancy electronic Lego blocks. Connection standards are more or less foolproof. And as a result, the value of the A+ had dropped dramatically.

    AngelHedgie on
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    nstfnstf __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    I have the A+. Yes there isn't a lot of weight behind it. But you'd be shocked the amount of kids that come out of college with some IT related degree that can't do jack. The A+ implies that you can at least replace a PSU or fix up a printer without making things worse.

    It, in and of itself, isn't worth much else. However if you take certs in a progressive manner (ie, A+, net+, sec+, MCSA/E) then it implies you have some sort of base information about the job.

    nstf on
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    KazooKazoo Get in the van. I have candy.Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Cirira wrote: »
    Yeah I have my MCITP Desktop certs and MCAS for Office 2007 (or MOS, I think they changed the designation). I've been working on MCITP Server Admin but for some unknown reason they decided that the entire Help Desk should get A+ this year. I don't know a single person working in IT with an A+ cert or any management that puts any weight behind it other then mine. I was just hoping someone here had taken the test recently and could say "yeah it's easy", or "no the new one is actually difficult".

    I took my A+ last year in July. It's extremely easy. If you've been working on a helpdesk for three years, you will have no issue passing the test. Hell, at least half of the questions were customer service related.

    Kazoo on
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    darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I ignored A+ for years before it was finally updated in around 2007, it is far more relevant now and the next revision should make it more useful as well.

    of course depending what you want to do later on it might not be as useful as it was for me. I needed it as a prereq for some vendor specific certifications, but I cant think of anything outside of vendor specific hardware certs that require A+ for anything.

    darkmayo on
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    Rhys55Rhys55 Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Did my A+ about 10 years ago, and I as well as my co-workers put no stock into having it. However, something to remember about the "check box" aspect like you said.

    Larger companies move like molasses when it comes to these things, and the one I work for is huge. HR determines what you need as minimum guidelines just to get to the interviews. So basically you have some HR person looking online to what is needed, and adding A+ to that list. That's the person who sifts through the resume pile and pushes the ones that meet all the check boxes onto the IT team, who do the interviews.

    Too often the requirements for one field be it IT/Sales/repair/whatever are determined by someone in HR who only has some guidelines from that dept at best. Generally they have no idea, and use HR resources online that all say "IT guy... he needs the A+ !!!)

    Rhys55 on
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    nstfnstf __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    Rhys55 wrote: »
    Did my A+ about 10 years ago, and I as well as my co-workers put no stock into having it. However, something to remember about the "check box" aspect like you said.

    Larger companies move like molasses when it comes to these things, and the one I work for is huge. HR determines what you need as minimum guidelines just to get to the interviews. So basically you have some HR person looking online to what is needed, and adding A+ to that list. That's the person who sifts through the resume pile and pushes the ones that meet all the check boxes onto the IT team, who do the interviews.

    Too often the requirements for one field be it IT/Sales/repair/whatever are determined by someone in HR who only has some guidelines from that dept at best. Generally they have no idea, and use HR resources online that all say "IT guy... he needs the A+ !!!)

    Yeah but as stated some vendor specific certs that are decent require it. A+ also leads you into Network+ and Security+ which are nice to have, and actually do teach some relevant crap. IE you will need to know that damn OSI layer, and they will help prep for the CISCO items which aren't bad.

    I'd never swear the A+ off. I wouldn't spend 2k on a course for it unless work is paying for it, in which case by all means do it. But shelling out for the test is worth the cash.

    The courses are comical though. You'll have like 4 people that could just challenge the test and like 20 that couldn't plug in a mouse.

    nstf on
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