Did not pass the exam

Blade RunnerBlade Runner Junior MemberMember Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
I took the A+ hardware with the new objectives (and new format) last month. I missed it by just 14 points. I was P*SSED considering the amount of time I put into this. I'm used to being a bookworm. I had a 3.8 GPA in HS and 3.2 in college - i'm not adverse to studying.

This is my first time taking any kind of CompTIA cert. test and I have some questions for the veterans here.

The test I took (through Prometric) had some questions that threw me off and certainly I did not expect them given the all the feedback I read at other forums (including this one) from people who have taken the A+ exam.

There were two questions related to the OS. One related to the device mangler in Windows and another question asked which MS OS supported HALT. That's not HAL - but HALT. Anyone know what OSs support that? I sure don't - never even heard of it.

There were also atleast 3-5 questions related to NetBeaui/POP3/SMTP/TCP/IP.

Is this normal? I dont' think these questions should be on the hardware test but then again - I could be wrong.

I've also heard some people say you don't need to know specifics on CPUs. Wrong. There were some questions on my exam that asked specifics on two popular AMD CPUs. In Mike Meyers passport book, he suggests that you focus on Intel chips rather than AMDs because they're more popular. Again, with the new format and changes made to the exam, I strongly disagree. There were more questions related to AMD chips compared to Intel.

I wrote a letter to CompTIA regardign the OS specific questions and I've yet to hear back from them.

Your feedback would be appreciated.

Comments

  • RussSRussS Grumpy old bugger Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Ummmmm

    Firstly, what edition of Mikes book did you use?

    I do however find it strange that there are things like pop3, SMTP etc on the hardware portion. Knowing CPUs is something you should have a passing familiarity with, but there really should not be anything more indepth other then being able to identify them as they change so quickly.

    HALT - definitely sounds like a typo. As far as writing to Comptia to complain ... ahhhhh, good luck icon_rolleyes.gif
    www.supercross.com
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • STexamsSTexams Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Encountering basic networking principles such as protocols (TCP/IP, NetBEUI, etc) is normal on the core hardware exam. The HALT is what is throwing me off. I haven't heard of it either.
    Freddy
    Free Online Exams and Tutorials
    http://www.stexams.com
  • RussSRussS Grumpy old bugger Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Stuff like NETBEUI AND TCP/IP I can agree are something that can be in the core exam as they are protocols related to hardware communication, however POP3/SMTP are definitely OS subjects.
    www.supercross.com
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • dcgreen7dcgreen7 Junior Member Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Did the question specify that the HALT command was in a Microsoft OS? Linux has a HALT command used to stop the CPU. See this link:

    http://www.computerhope.com/unix/uhalt.htm

    I've never heard of a HALT command under W9x, NT, or W2K.
  • moghrabimoghrabi Junior Member Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    The HALT command is a built-in OS instruction that tells the CPU to go idle when the CPU is not in Processing mode. This helps the CPU to be Cool.

    Modern operating systems like Linux execute the HLT instruction in an idle priority thread. This thread is always executed when the CPU is otherwise idle. No additional execution time for HLTing is needed, the CPU will not run slower.

    Microsoft introduced the HLT command under NT and later but is only enabled when the BIOS and ACPI implementation is recognized by the OS.

    Hope this helps.
  • Blade RunnerBlade Runner Junior Member Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Mograhbi thanks for the info. It's not the same thing as what I saw on the exam "HALT" but based on what you're saying it is probably the same thing we're talking about. Yes i did study the chapter on networking basics so I know the questions on TCP/IP & NetBeui are fair game but what bothered me was the questions related to internet e-mail protocols i.e. POP3 etc.

    In any event, i managed to reach the Operations Manager at CompTIA today and he said he would look into it and get back with me. Thanks all for the feedback. Like i said, this is my first CompTIA test and I really didn't know if i was wrong to assert the questions related to HALT and POP3/SMTP were invalid for the Core Hardware exam.

    He did mention to me that CompTIA does reserve the right to insert "Unscored items" into their tests. These questions are more or less beta questions to guage how effective they might be in a future test and they are supposed to unscored. What I'm thinking is that if this happened in my test, Prometric could have made a mistake in scoring such a question as part of my overall score. Just a hunch.

    You should all be aware (if you didn't know this already) that CompTIA reserves the right to do this at any time without advance notice to the candidate and is included in the "agreement" section before you proceed to take the test.
  • moghrabimoghrabi Junior Member Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply and the info. I am very sure that the question is the same as I explained. I am a Campus Manager and IT professional for over 15 years. I do review some of the test questions when in BETA. This question is valid for the 2003 A+ exam. I wish you luck with CompTIA but I don't think they will budge.
  • Blade RunnerBlade Runner Junior Member Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    RussS wrote:
    ...however POP3/SMTP are definitely OS subjects.

    Russ, all i know about these two protocols is that they are for internet e-mail. Can you explain how these questions should have been on the OS portion of the exam? TIA.
  • WebmasterWebmaster Johan Hiemstra Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    I think RussS is referring to basic e-mail software configuration as in knowing that smtp is for outgoing mailserver and pop3 for 'incoming'.

    For more info you could try:
    icon_arrow.gifwww.techexams.net/technotes/networkplus/tcpipsuite.shtml

    Exam objective 6.2 for the A+ Core exam is

    6.2 Identify basic networking concepts including how a network works. Concepts include:
    -
    -
    -
    -
    - Protocols
    --- TCP/IP
    --- IPX/SPX (NWLINK)
    --- AppleTalk
    --- NETBEUI/NETBIOS
    -
    -
    -

    SMTP and POP3 are part from the TCP/IP protocol suite. One could wonder why SMTP and POP3, being application layer protocols, are on the core hardware exam. But, although not entirely logical, if they list basic networking concepts, hardware or software, TCP/IP is mandatory (it is impossible to understand basic hardware concepts and equipment without knowing about at least one protocol, TCP/IP being the most popular and common..) and when TCP/IP is listed you can expect to be asked about any of the TCP/IP 'sub-protocols' including SMTP, POP3, ARP, ICMP etc. etc. etc.
  • Blade RunnerBlade Runner Junior Member Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks all for the information. The more i think about it, the more disagree with POP3/SMTP being on the exam. (Even the HALT question is questionable in my book.) Nevertheless, it is what it is and there's nothing i can do about it. I do wish however that CompTIA would have outlined that more clearly in their published objectives on their website. For a relative computer novice like me, I don't know whether pop3/smtp are subprotocols or not. Nor did any of the books i read cover that; it threw me totoally off-guard to see it on the exam. Whatever man... it's over and done with.
  • learningITlearningIT Member Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Maybe try again? It's worth another try...get used to failing, I fail all the time! icon_lol.gif Persistance will get you there. Techexams.net has some good A+ test questions that you should consider looking at, as well as 10 practice exams (500+about 250=750 questions) on:

    http://www.freepractice.com/

    If you can score 80% or better average on all these tests you should be set. These of course, aren't too updated, but they can help... Does anyone have any other A+ free practice websites to share?
    I want to learn to succeed.
  • Blade RunnerBlade Runner Junior Member Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Appreciate the encouragement but like i alluded to earlier, i'm not used to failing tests as i did with this one. I totally disagree that these questions with HALT and SMTP/POP3 are valid questions for the Core exam but it seems the consensus here thinks they are. The justifications/explanations don't ease the pain of failing this exam - i'll have to shell out another $140 for another voucher and for a laid-off worker barely stretching every last dollar to my name - it's very aggrevating and BS.
  • rigpigrigpig Junior Member Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    On the subject of CPUs, a guy whoattended the same course seminar as I did sat teh test (I lost by bottle and deferred it icon_lol.gif ), he was asked SEVEN questions on AMD CPUs including for example the FSB speed of a 2100+.
  • Orion82698Orion82698 Senior Member Member Posts: 483
    learningIT wrote:
    Maybe try again? It's worth another try...get used to failing, I fail all the time! icon_lol.gif Persistance will get you there. Techexams.net has some good A+ test questions that you should consider looking at, as well as 10 practice exams (500+about 250=750 questions) on:

    http://www.freepractice.com/

    If you can score 80% or better average on all these tests you should be set. These of course, aren't too updated, but they can help... Does anyone have any other A+ free practice websites to share?

    Not a very good site to be using if you want to get up to date practice questions, but that's just my .02 cents. Try www.****.com and www.mcmcse.com instead ;)

    Chris
    A+, DCSE
    WIP Vacation ;-)

    Porsche..... there is no substitute!
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