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Understanding the Differences Between the CompTIA A+ Essentials and 702 Exams

📄 Contents

  1. Overview of the Domains Covered on Each Exam
  2. Hardware
  3. Operating Systems
  4. Networking
  5. Conclusion
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Mark Soper, author of three CompTIA A+ Certification books, including CompTIA A+ 220-701 and 220-702 Cert Guide (with Scott Mueller and David L. Prowse), helps you understand how to master the Essentials and 220-702 exams' coverage of hardware, operating systems, and networking. The ultimate objective? To help you pass both exams with flying colors.

For years, the CompTIA A+ Certification process has included two exams. Until the 2006 exams came on-line, understanding the difference between the exams was easy: One exam covered operating systems and software, and the other exam covered hardware.

However, starting with the 2006 exams and continuing with the new 2009 exams, CompTIA has drastically changed the domains covered on the exams.

There are now two exams:

  • 220-701 (better known as Essentials)
  • 220-702 (also known as Practical Application)

This article helps you understand how these exams differ from each other and how to prepare yourself for both exams.

Overview of the Domains Covered on Each Exam

The 220-701 Essentials exam includes five domains:

  • 1.0 Hardware
  • 2.0 Troubleshooting, Repair, and Maintenance
  • 3.0 Operating Systems and Software
  • 4.0 Networking
  • 5.0 Security
  • 6.0 Operational Procedure

The 220-702 exam includes four domains:

  • 1.0 Hardware
  • 2.0 Operating Systems
  • 3.0 Networking
  • 4.0 Security

As you can see, the Hardware, Operating Systems, and Networking domains are present in both the Essentials and 220-702 exams. To find out what's different, let's take a closer look at each of these "duplicate" domains.

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