A Step-by-Step Guide to Earn Your CompTIA Network+ Certification

Taylor Karl
A Step-by-Step Guide to Earn Your CompTIA Network+ Certification 886 0

The CompTIA Network+ certification is a globally recognized credential that validates essential networking skills and knowledge required for entry-level network professionals. Whether you are working to start a new career in IT networking or to establish formal credentials of your existing knowledge, use this guide to prepare you to earn your CompTIA Network+ certification.

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CompTIA Security+® Certification Overview

Network+ is a certification that covers the essential principles for network infrastructure and is designed for IT professionals who work or plan to work in a network-related role. It is all about developing a solid foundation in networking.


Certification Issuing Organization

With over 2 million IT certifications issued, CompTIA is the world’s largest vendor-neutral IT exam developer and a nonprofit global trade association. Vendor-neutral means it is not limited to or restricted by a specific hardware brand or software platform.



The vendor-neutral CompTIA Network+ certification validates the needed entry-level skills for network administrator and technician roles.



CompTIA Network+ is explicitly designed for IT professionals seeking network administrator, junior systems engineer, or network field technician roles and those needing to formalize their existing knowledge to advance their careers.



Anyone can take the exam as there are no formal prerequisites. However, to achieve a passing score, CompTIA recommends having CompTIA A+ certification in addition to nine months of networking experience or equivalent knowledge.



Always check CompTIA for the most current exam objectives. As of this writing, content areas are networking concepts, infrastructure, network operations, network security, and network troubleshooting. There are separate CompTIA certifications for cybersecurity.


·        Networking Concepts

o   Understanding the OSI Model

o   TCP/IP Fundamentals

·        Infrastructure

o   Networking Devices

o   Cabling and Connectors

·        Network Operations

o   Network Topologies

o   Wireless Networking

·        Network Security

o   Security Protocols

o   Firewalls and IDS/IPS

·        Network Troubleshooting

o   Problem-Solving Techniques

o   Common Network Issues


Exam Format and Duration

CompTIA uses Pearson VUE as the test proctor, providing options for online or in-person exam experiences. In either format, the CompTIA Network+ exam will last 90 minutes, with a maximum of 90 questions. Be prepared for performance-based questions (PBQs) using simulations of real-world problems to assess your problem solving skills.


Timeframe for Obtaining Certification

The exam will be a maximum of 90 minutes. Still, there is no time limit on your preparation if you factor in the recommended work experience of at least nine months of networking experience.


Is the CompTIA Network+ Certification Right for You?

Invest your valuable time preparing to pass a global IT certification exam when it aligns with or furthers your IT career goals.


Who should pursue the CompTIA Network+ Certification?

This certification is ideal for those with a basic understanding of IT and networking. It's particularly beneficial for individuals specializing in network support or administration. As New Horizons Trainer Ken Cramshaw puts it, "Network+... we're not developing a skill set. We're just developing a vocabulary."


Are there prerequisites for CompTIA Network+?

There are no prerequisites, but it is recommended to have the CompTIA A+ certification or equivalent knowledge, plus nine to twelve months of networking experience.


How crucial is hands-on experience or lab work for the CompTIA Network+ exam?

Practical experience is highly beneficial for the performance-based questions that use simulations for testing problem solving. Knowing the term definitions is needed as is the ability to understand them in the context of a question and applying them in practical scenarios.


How to Get CompTIA Network+ Certification | Prepare Using Self-Assessment, Learning Resources, and Study Tips

To increase your chances for success, use a step-by-step process to guide your exam prep.

Step 1: Learn about the CompTIA Network+ certification: what knowledge areas are covered, exam prerequisites (if any), exam duration, exam format options, and how to register.

Step 2: Leverage proven learning resources: CompTIA resources (downloadable exam objectives and practice test questions), self-assessment to identify knowledge gaps and exam prep course.

Step 3: Create a Study Plan and stick to it!

Step 4: Register for your exam through CompTIA.

Step 5: Ensure your preparation for exam day.


Recommended Study Materials for CompTIA Network+ Certification Testing

Even if you have work experience, you need to know formal terms and definitions. Your learning style should influence your overall study efforts with vetted study materials:

  • Leverage official CompTIA study materials, such as study guides and practice tests.
  • Explore reputable textbooks and study guides.  
  • Gain testing confidence through certification training with practice exams.


CompTIA CertMaster is a powerful tool for self-paced learning with flashcards, practice questions, and self-assessments. Use CertMaster for learning progress analytics and reporting as well.

Register to Take the CompTIA Network+ Exam

You must buy a voucher or training bundle from CompTIA for exam access.

a.   Purchase your CompTIA Network+ voucher from the CompTIA Store.

b. Schedule the exam at a Pearson VUE testing center.

Once you are scheduled, update your calendar so that you don’t miss it! 


Take the CompTIA Network+ Exam | Exam Day

For online or onsite, you must have a good rest the day before your exam and be prepared.


Online Testing

CompTIA recommends that those taking the Network+ exam online prepare by:

  • Securing a quiet, private location for the exam duration
  • Using reliable technology with a webcam
  • Having a strong internet connection (minimum 1 Mbps down/up)

In-Person Testing

CompTIA recommends taking the Network+ exam at a Pearson VUE center for those who:

  • Need access to a private location, reliable technology, and a strong internet connection.
  • Have language barriers.
  • Need the structure of an in-person testing environment.

CompTIA Exam Policies and Preparations

For all CompTIA exams, you will need to sign for the:

  • candidate agreement
  • ID policy,
  • certification retake policy, and
  •  continuing education policies.

CompTIA Network+ Certification Exam Tips


Subject Matter Experts offer these tips and strategies for managing time and nerves during the exam:

 Pace yourself. You have 90 minutes to answer 90 questions. Stay on pace to prevent guessing at the end or not able to get to all questions.

Carefully read the entire question and all answers. You will likely miss questions for which you know the correct answer if you rush.

Either answer a question or don’t. If your answer is an educated guess, stick with your first guess.

If you think an item is a trick question, think again. Try to avoid imagining detailed scenarios in which the answer could be true. In most cases, "trick questions" are tricky because they're not taken at face value. Do not introduce facts not in evidence and avoid assumptions.

 If you struggle with a question, try reposing each option as a true-or-false question. Options that are not true or that you must work to make true are likely not correct.

 If two responses appear to be equally correct, eliminate the response that seems least related to the question. You need the best answer, only a correct one. Some responses may be correct but are outside the question.

 Beware of distractors, which are answers listed on a multiple-choice test designed to distract you from the correct answer.

Don't worry about the pattern of the answers. You might be right if you answer B to four questions in a row.


It is unlikely that any student will answer all questions on a professional certification exam correctly. Remember that a passing 75% score means that 25% of the questions were answered incorrectly. The certifying organizations,  ITIL, PMI, and COBIT, require 65/70%, 61% (historically), and 70% to pass! So, don't panic if you see a question you did not anticipate or prepare for. Use everything you know about the content of the course and your reasoning ability to analyze the question and identify a logical answer.

Post-Certification Plans

Enjoy your passing score, but know that it is not the end of your journey; it's only a step in it.


o   Keep skills and knowledge current. Consider pursuing advanced certifications or specializations to demonstrate your commitment to staying current.

o   Maintain educational requirements (Continuing Education Credits) to ensure your certification remains valid.

o   Continue your professional development: attend conferences, webinars, and workshops; in those sessions, ask questions and expand your professional network with mentors.

o   Engage with peer communities. Connect with networking groups (as in people networks, not the technical network) to remain updated on trends and issues across the industry. Networking events offer opportunities to learn from others, share knowledge, and stay updated on industry trends.



Earning the CompTIA Network+ certification is a significant achievement that opens doors to various opportunities in the IT industry. Use a step-by-step process to guide your exam prep:

Step 1: Learn about the CompTIA Network+ certification.

Step 2: Leverage proven learning resources.

Step 3: Create a Study Plan and stick to it!

Step 4: Register for your exam through CompTIA.

Step 5: Ensure your preparation for exam day.

A successful networking career journey requires a commitment to lifelong learning and is a great platform to connect to the vibrant IT professional community. Good luck on your journey to becoming a CompTIA Network+ certified professional!