Calling all A+ veterans for clarification (aka already wrote 801, 802 or both)

ThreePeakSolutionsThreePeakSolutions Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
So I'm getting ready to write 801 in 3-4 days. Studied using various methods (still underway) including Darril Gibsons A+ training kit, itu A+ online "course", just about to start prof messers A+ series for review, and I also have probably another 7-8 books or resources (accompanying CDs for the books with various practice tests, ebooks, games, flashcards etc etc etc.... :-..() not going to bother listing them, but they are the usual suspects you hear about on forums about the A+ exam. (Ie: exam cram, Mike meyers etc...) throw in for ridiculous measure 3 comptia/a+ specific apps with practice questions, flashcards etc and some printed resources from various origins.... Why did I just waste 9 lines explaining the resources I have used or have at my disposal? Because although i obviously haven't gone through all of them, despite so many different resources and authors and interpretations of what is supposed to be the exact same exam and material covered. ....i continue to encounter very confusing or unclear issues re: the A+ exam testing procedures, wording that is foolish and/or subjective etc... point being...all these different sources....yet I'm left wracking my brain trying to figure out what I'm actually about to encounter. This isn't about seeking the content or questions, and it's not about what content is fair game (so start hitting backspace if you started writing"download the objectives "😯) For starters, the practice tests are so variable in difficulty and weighting of content that I'm left to conclude more than one area will be heavily focused on learning every detail with next to nothing of it on the actual test. . The opposite also seems true, topics that had little emphasis or were glanced over in training material shows up in the form of a highly detailed "who the **** would know this. ..ever! " question. To clarify, I'm not ocd or ****, but the outcome of the test on 1st attempt WILL have significant impact on a legal matter and my family's livelihood....actually! If I **** up it will mean two little kids impacted. Accident + insurance lawyers trying to avoid compensation, not some kind of child protective services **** btw. So ya....better believe I'm not taking chances. A few examples I encountered. If you have written or have input, please do so.
1) simulations : can't get an answer from official sources. All I know is its "simulated pc environment" so if it's cmd prompt ****, is it functional like the real environment? If I type /? After a command, would I get the same output as I would at home? A typo or accidental syntax, would it spit out the standard error message and let me re-enter or use cmd prompt tools and features? Or is it for show and the cmd you enter just like writing an answer on paper and hitting enter is the equivalent of submitting?

2) poor foresight of wording: 801 released 2012, now 2015. Accross multiple sources I encounter things like "of the following ________ standards, which is the most recent?" Or along those lines where the period they refer to is unclear. Ex: that type question re: ram. Lists ddr1-ddr4. I answer ddr4. It is marked incorrect because they say ddr3 is correct as ddr4 is not yet reality..... .....!?.....?!......uhhhhhhhh NO! Ah but technically as of 2012 when books and exam came out, that IS factual. As worded, the "newest/most recent/advanced" answer is different. From what I've been told, you can't argue or appeal on site if at all.. many other examples, but you get the idea. Questions about current standards or subjective/relative dates. ....what's the deal on the real exam and has answers orcontent been tweaked from the original 2012?
3) XP... I expect to see compare/contrast type questions re different versions of windows. But many practice questions seemed to reference xp and xp specific/detailed procedures. Far more than I would have expected. Ie: exact path/chain of access to reach a specific goal. "How would you access this in xp/what exact order would you use to get to ________ in xp" etc.... it seemed far more focused on xp in amount of questions specific to it as well as focusing on the minute details of xp. I really expected more of it to be focused on vista/7 based on materials and adoption. Again, if you view this from circa 2012, it makes more sense. Is this observation correct on the real exam? Is it weighted and approached as if written in 2012? Or is it updated or tweaked for the 3 years since? Do I pretend I'm motherf*cking Marty mcfly when I write it rather than answering accurately for the time? Let's start wth that. I know I'm not alone in frustration with this exam.


  • xocityxocity Member Posts: 230
    This is really hard to read. It hurts my eyes, please restructure your post and im sure you will get more responses.
  • CenponCenpon Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I won't lie I didn't finish reading this post because it hurts to read. I did exceptionally well on both exams using ONLY free resources at my disposal.

    First: Find a pdf download of the exam cram 4th edition

    Second: Go on youtube and look up Professor Messer and Eli the Computer Guy(some videos are useful)

    Next: Go to they have many videos for different certifications

    Last: If you haven't done so already download the exam objectives and use it as a check list

    You can use and for test practice including command prompt lab.

    For the A + exam you can used what is listed above to study and there are all completely free. For the first exam the only hands on you need is an open PC if you can or go visit a Computer Store and ask to look and get explanations on the different names and uses for different tools/hardware parts. For the second exam all you need to play with is the command prompt. The test is only difficult if you neglect to review the FREE objectives. I hope this helps and good luck on your exam.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Sounds like your thinking about this wayyyyyyyy too much... Pretty certain I just studied one book and Messer's videos and passed.

    Its been acouple of years since I took it but the test is on basic computer knowledge. Even if the test changed a small amount since 2012 it definitely is not enough to make a difference if you pass or not. Get a book that has came out in the past year if your worried about it.

    Read a book on it, watch the videos, look over the exam objectives, take the test.
  • shrinskshrinsk Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Dude, you are overthinking this waaaaaaaaaay too much. As others have said, limit your sources to a few. Practice exams are extremely valuable.

    I have no prior tech education. I have a bachelors in history and a masters in teaching. I used 3 sources and I'm highly confident in my knowledge and skills. It is possible to succeed.

    The actual test is very straight forward. Either you know the information or you don't (some questions are designed to trip you up, but they won't if you know your stuff), or you are able to perform the requested task in a scenario or you can't. You will be given a command prompt or functional desktop depending on the task. Just take care of business!

    As someone coming from the field of public education, assessments are generally structured in 1/3's: 1/3 basic, 1/3 moderate, 1/3 advanced. I've found this to be the case with this exam as well. And while "trip up" questions are not necessarily fair from an educator's standpoint, I somewhat see the value in it for these exams as you are being asked to complete something that is concrete in nature.

    I will give you that having to put procedures in order simply from memory is not a fair assessment of someones knowledge or skill, but that's what happens when educational outsiders get involved with educational assessments (but thats a discussion for another forum on another site!).

    Good luck
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