Just passed the CompTIA A+ exams

A few days ago, I got an email from CompTIA offering a 20% off coupon on their A+ Certification. I had been mulling over the CompTIA A+ certification for a while: After all, the book has been on my shelf for, like, 3 years, but I just never thought it was worth the money to take the test. $226/exam, with 2 exams, means that I would be in for $452 assuming I didn’t fail either exam. If I failed one, I would have to pay $678+tax, which I simply couldn’t justify.

I didn’t accept the email deal, but it woke me up to something: Through my college, I can purchase vouchers at a massively discounted rate. More than 54% off, actually. The $226 exam was only $103 with my college discount, and this reduced my total price to $206 assuming I didn’t fail either exam, which is less than the standard MSRP for just one voucher.

With a sudden influx of cash from my summer freelancing (being 18 years old) and the discovery of the discount, I spontaneously decided to take the exams… 2 days later. I figured I wouldn’t need much practice, because I had been working with computers in my free time for years. I entered into the 220-1001 exam after only an hour of review of an older 220-901 book from Mike Meyers and 4 of the 20 ExamCompass practices quizzes. Spontaneous and stupid? A little…

I entered the Core 1 exam and was shocked by the number of questions about printers. It felt like 1/3 of the questions were printer-related. I had not spent much time reading about printers and was actually getting really nervous. When you walk into a test expecting questions about Windows 10, and are instead asked questions about what’s causing faint colors, I began fearing that I would fail.

Unexpectedly, despite the sheer number of printer questions, I passed: 683/900, with 675 required. Only 8 points above the minimum. Even though that hurts, it is still a pass. Somehow encouraged, I immediately purchased for $103 another exam voucher for 220-1002 (Core 2), and scheduled it for what was only 90 minutes after finishing Core 1.

So, after my barely-passed 12:00 online exam, I took Core 2 at 2:30. I passed that one much better and the questions were much closer to what I was expecting: 788/900 with a 700 minimum.

I’m posting this at 4:00 PM, and I haven’t received my certificate yet. But that’s OK, I will get that in a few days and will be really happy to add this to my website and profile:

I just don’t know what else to say. Taking a proctored exam online was nerve-racking at first, but I quickly got used to it and didn’t have any problems. If you have to take it online, well, that works perfectly well and is more convenient than driving to a testing center.

Next up, the Network+, which has had a year old book sitting on the shelf…

Published by Gabriel Sieben

Gabriel Sieben is a software developer from St. Paul, MN, who enjoys experimenting with computers and loves to share his various technology-related projects. He owns and runs this blog, and is a traditional Catholic. In his free time (when not messing with computers), he enjoys hiking, fishing, and board games.

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