Mastering CompTIA A+ Domains: Essential Tips and Strategies for Certification Success

Mastering CompTIA A+ Domains: Essential Tips and Strategies for Certification Success 327 0

The CompTIA A+ certification is a globally recognized introductory information technology (IT) certification covering computer basics and is the industry standard for those wishing to launch their IT career.  Professionals with this certification are proven problem solvers capable of supporting the core technologies essential for business IT operations, including hardware, software, networking, security, and troubleshooting.

Employers worldwide use the A+ certification as a way to identify qualified personnel in end-point management and technical support roles, such as technical support specialists, field service technicians, and IT support technicians. CompTIA certificates are regularly re-invented by IT experts to ensure it teaches the current, in-demand core skills and abilities for the workplace.

A+ is structured into two exams: Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102). These tests cover different domains that represent critical areas of knowledge and skills necessary for IT professionals to secure a job, perform day-to-day tasks, and diagnose and solve problems efficiently. If you hope to pass the exam and succeed in any subsequent IT roles you may hold, you need to have a thorough understanding of domain objectives.

CompTIA A+ Domain Breakdown

To earn the A+ credential, candidates must pass two certification exams. Here’s a breakdown of the domain objectives covered in each:

Domain Objectives for Core 1 (220-1101)

The 220-1101 exam includes the following domains and topics:

  • Mobile Devices (15%)
  • Networking (20%)
  • Hardware (25%)
  • Virtualization and Cloud Computing (11%)
  • Hardware and Network Troubleshooting (29%)


Domain Objectives for Core 2 (220-1102)

The 220-1102 exam includes the following domains and topics:


  • Operating Systems (31%)
  • Security (25%)
  • Software Troubleshooting (22%)
  • Operational Procedures (22%)

Detailed Analysis of Each Domain

CompTIA remains the gold standard in IT certifications because it is constantly being reinvented by industry experts to address the field’s most pressing needs. And recently, the evolution of the CompTIA+ domain objectives to include emerging technologies has been significant:

Integration of Modern Technologies: The addition of topics like cloud computing, IoT, and mobile device management ensures the certification remains relevant and up-to-date.

Enhanced Focus on Security: In response to the rising cyber threat landscape, CompTIA+ has broadened its coverage of security-related topics.

Updated Networking Content: The inclusion of newer networking standards and protocols ensures the certification aligns with the latest industry practices.

The CompTIA+ domain objectives are meticulously aligned with current industry standards and practices. This alignment is evident in several key areas:

Networking: The focus on well-known port numbers and network protocols mirrors the essential skills needed in modern IT networking roles.

Hardware and Software Knowledge: By splitting the certification into hardware (1101 exam) and software (1102 exam), CompTIA+ covers the foundational bases crucial in IT roles.

Security: The increasing emphasis on cybersecurity topics within CompTIA+ reflects the growing importance and complexity of this field in the IT industry.

Troubleshooting Methodology: The domain dedicated to troubleshooting aligns with common incident management and problem-solving practices, which are indispensable in IT operations.

Soft Skills: Including domains that focus on customer service and communication acknowledges the industry's recognition of these skills as critical in IT roles.


Domain Objectives for Core 1 (220-1101)

The CompTIA A+ 220-1101 exam includes the following domains and topics:


Mobile Devices

Remote and hybrid work environments have become increasingly prevalent. A+ ensures IT professionals know how to successfully install, configure, and optimize components of mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.



Explain types of networks and connections, including basic TCP/IP concepts, and compare protocols and ports for wireless networking types.



Learn how to explain cable types and connectors, install and configure motherboards, and understand legacy cable types. CompTIA A+ ensures IT professionals can install and configure power supplies, cooling, storage devices, system memory, and CPUs.


Virtualization and Cloud Computing

A+ validates your ability to summarize client-side virtualization and cloud concepts.

Hardware and Network Troubleshooting

The recently revised A+ certification focuses heavily on troubleshooting and remotely diagnosing and fixing common software, hardware, or connectivity problems. Candidates learn to address real-world device and network issues quickly and efficiently.


Domain Objectives for Core 2 (220-1102)

The CompTIA A+ 220-1102 exam includes the following domains and topics:


Operating Systems

Install and support Windows OS, including command line and client support, system configuration imaging, and troubleshooting for Mac OS, Chrome OS, Android, and Linux OS. A+ professionals understand multiple operating systems, when to use them, and how to keep them running correctly.



Gain a working understanding of malware removal, identifying and protecting against security vulnerabilities for devices and their network connections. A+-certified workers can securely configure SoGo networks and end-user systems and devices.


Software Troubleshooting

A+ personnel can install and troubleshoot common PC and mobile device issues, including typical OS, malware, and security issues.


Operational Procedures

Tier I support requires quality interpersonal skills; A+ validates that candidates can follow best practices for safety, environmental impacts, communication, and professionalism.


Preparation Tips for Each Domain

When it comes to studying for the A+ exams, there is no better resource than the official CompTIA study guides and practice tests. Third-party materials can also be beneficial, but the focus should be on understanding core concepts and terms found on the exam.



Third-party Training Resources:

Self-paced learning is a great way to study at your own pace. You may also consider training courses offering a structured curriculum that aligns with the CompTIA A+ exam objectives. New Horizon's Official CompTIA® A+® Core 1 and Core 2 (Exams 220-1101 and 220-1102) course provides the background knowledge and skills you will require to be a successful A+ technician. New Horizons is an authorized training partner with CompTIA. That means our certified subject matter experts only deliver content approved by CompTIA.


Additionally, engaging with online communities such as Reddit and the CompTIA forums can be valuable for discussing concepts, sharing experiences, and getting advice from others who are preparing for or already taking the CompTIA A+ exams.


Practice Exams: CompTIA offers official practice tests, and you can also find third-party practice exams from various sources. These help you familiarize yourself with the exam format and identify areas needing more attention. Completing practice tests reinforces the information you've studied, exposes you to different question formats, and can boost your confidence before completing the official exam.


Additionally, there are several aspects of the CompTIA+ domains that present challenges for learners. We recommend devoting extra time to the following areas as you prepare for the exams:


  • Networking Concepts: The intricacies of IP addressing and protocols can be challenging. Overcoming this involves practical exercises and real-life scenarios to contextualize these concepts.
  • Binary and Decimal Conversions: Frequent practice and real-world application can demystify these mathematical concepts.
  • Operating System Troubleshooting: Creating hands-on experiences, such as using virtual machines or test environments, can help learners tackle the complexities of operating system issues.


Applying Domain Knowledge in Real-World Scenarios

Let’s look at a few practical applications of how domain knowledge is applicable in IT roles:


  • Networking: Establishing a network in a small office showcases the application of IP addressing, DHCP, DNS, and understanding network protocols.
  • Security: Implementing security protocols in a small business context demonstrates the critical nature of protecting data.
  • Hardware: Building a computer from scratch helps in understanding the practical aspects of hardware configuration and troubleshooting.
  • Operating Systems: Managing diverse operating systems in a company illustrates the importance of OS proficiency.
  • Soft Skills: Resolving a complex customer support issue highlights the necessity of effective communication and empathy in IT support roles.



Getting CompTIA A+ certified opens you up to a wide range of information technology jobs crucial to employers, which is why they highly value this certification. It emphasizes practical, hands-on skills so candidates can apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. This practical approach is valuable in IT roles where problem-solving and troubleshooting are everyday tasks.


As you work your way through your study plan, remember that certain domain areas are particularly critical for IT professionals.


  • Networking: Fundamental to almost all IT roles, a solid grasp of networking basics is essential.
  • Security: Given the escalating cyber threats, a robust understanding of security practices is crucial.
  • Troubleshooting and Problem-Solving: The ability to effectively diagnose and resolve technical issues is key in IT.
  • Operating Systems: Proficiency in various operating systems is vital, given their ubiquity in IT environments.


Mastering the CompTIA A+ domain objectives is vital for building a strong foundation in IT, gaining practical skills, and positioning oneself for success in the dynamic and evolving field of information technology.