What’s new with CompTIA’s A+ certification

Joy Dark Shelton is the author and editor of COMPTIA A+ Guide for Information Technology

CompTIA has taken the A+ certification in a new direction with the 220-1101 exam and 220-1102 exam. Let’s examine how domains have changed, what has been expanded and removed, and how they have changed. Let’s then look at how Cengage accommodated these changes to best suit learners and instructors in our comprehensive text. You’ll find links that will take you to CompTIA at the end of the article so you can go over all the objectives in depth.

Changes in Core 1
Core 1 has 5 domain weights that have been changed as follows:
Mobile Devices slightly higher than 14% to 15%
Networking was at 20%
Hardware fell from 27% to 25%
Virtualization and Cloud Computing have seen a slight decrease in their popularity from 12% to 11%
Hardware and Network Troubleshooting increased by 27% to 29%
You might think hardware is gone if you go through each objective. If you look closely, you’ll find that the details are still there. They’re just hidden under larger topics. There is also a shift in hardware knowledge to troubleshooting. CompTIA has updated its objectives regarding socket, memory and processor technologies. Redundant power supply was increased and 3D printers were added to the list of objectives.
New objectives include the hardware security modules (HSM), capture cards for streaming and badging, and printer security. Core 1 objectives were retired. They include older technology (such DDR2 RAM and older connector types and hybrid drive), specific expansion cards and virtual printing.

Core 2 Changes
Core 2 has the following 4 domains:
Operating Systems rose from 27% to 31%
Security slightly increased from 24% – 25%
Software Troubleshooting fell from 26% to 22%
Operational Procedures slightly fell from 23% to 22%
Operating systems are the most prominent expansions. These include Windows 10, Windows 11, macOS Linux, and Chrome OS. Mobile operating systems include Android and iOS, as well as iPadOS. The inclusion of additional content on Apple products is a noticeable change. The macOS section has more than doubled its content and moved up a level in Bloom’s Taxonomy, from identifying to actually doing. There were more Linux commands added. Scripting objectives have risen a level in Bloom’s Taxonomy, from identifying a file type to knowing when to execute a script. Core 2 has everything you need to know about Windows 7 and 8. Troubleshooting has been simplified.

Cengage CompTIA A+ Guide for IT Technical Support has been updated
How did this all affect CompTIA A+ Guide to Technical Support? First, you’ll notice that we now have one title instead of splitting content into two Core books. All the content is now available to all students. This means that we won’t need to repeat content coverage to put everything in context. A Core-to-Core feature was added to allow you to know exactly where to go in another module to find similar content in the other Core. This allows us to create a clean division in Core 1 (Modules 1-10, Appendix A) and Core 2 (Modules 21-21, Appendix B). The Networking Fundamentals module as well as the Network Infrastructure and Cloud Computing modules are the most significant changes to our Core 1 module titles. They are presented in a more logical order for instruction.
Printers also has its own module. Core 2 was a split of security modules from two chapters into four modules. Because content grew significantly, macOS also got its own module. Many people wonder why Core 2 objectives are not in a module but in Appendix A: Safety Procedures & Environmental Concerns. This Core 2 content focuses on how to keep your equipment and yourself safe while working with a computer. It is located in Core 1. This content was added to the appendix as we wanted these safety precautions to be easily accessed before starting Core 1 modules.
CompTIA has updated the certification to bring the A+ exam back into relevance in the IT industry. The technology you are continuing to see and exploring in your career as an IT technician are covered with a depth that clearly shows professional expertise.

Take a look at each objective in detail:
A+ Core 1 Objectives
A+ Core 2 Objectives