In order to stay up-to-date with current technology, CompTIA continually updates their certification tests. When new certification tests are released, CompTIA typically offers both the old and new versions of the certification exams for a given period before retiring the old test. Both the previous versions of the A+ exams (exam numbers 220-701 and 220-702) and the new tests (exam numbers 220-801 and 220-802) will be available through August 31, 2013. At this point the old exams will be retired and those interested in A+ certification will need to take the 800 series of exams.
Of course these changes bring a number of questions, so we’ve put together the following FAQ to help you decide on the best course of action for you.
What does this mean for me as a Career Step student?
The original version of the Computer Technician course (offered to all students who enrolled before January 1, 2013) was designed to meet the objectives of the 701 and 702 exams. If you’re enrolled in this course, you must complete your training and take your certification tests before August 31. We strongly recommend you plan to complete your coursework by July 15 in order to ensure you have time to pass your Career Step final (you will have to wait 2 weeks between exam attempts if you need to take it multiple times) as well as the certification exams before they’re retired.
Do you have training for the new version of the CompTIA A+ exams?
Career Step released a new version of the Computer Technician program on February 19. This updated course is designed to meet the objectives of the 220-801 and 220-802 tests, and students who enrolled in the Computer Technician program after January 1, 2013 were upgraded to the new program at no charge.
What if I enrolled in the Computer Technician program before January 1, 2013?
Students who enrolled in the Computer Technician course before January 1, 2013 and would like to upgrade to the new course can do so for only $300.
Will I receive new textbooks if I upgrade to the new program?
No, the price of the upgrade covers the new curriculum, not new textbooks. However, you can purchase the textbooks that coincide with the new program for $225.
Should I switch to the new program?
Only if you think you will not be able to complete the course and take the 220-701 and 220-702 certification tests before the August 31 deadline. However, this older version of the course will be retired after August 31, and you will not be able to purchase a course extension should you not graduate before your expiration date.
Does it matter whether I take the old or new versions of the certification tests?
No, passing either set of tests will earn you CompTIA A+ certification.
I want to switch to the new program; can I pick up where I left of in the old program?
No, to meet the new CompTIA A+ exam objectives for each test it was necessary to reorganize the course material. Much of the same information is still in the updated course but has been redistributed and new material that did not exist in the old version of the program has been added. However, your hard work will still pay off. Much of the material in the older version of the course is also included in the updated program, and you’ll be able to move through this material more quickly as you encounter it in the new program.
Have questions about the new CompTIA A+ exams or the updated Career Step Computer Technician course? Leave us a comment below or contact your Computer Technician instructor at 1-888-657-5752 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can upgrade to the new program or purchase the new textbooks by contacting the Career Step Operations team at 1-888-657-5752 option 9 or email@example.com.
Best of luck as you’re preparing for CompTIA A+ certification!