Traditionally CompTIA certification exams have consisted of a hundred multiple-choice questions. With the goal of improving the value of its certifications, CompTIA has started including performance based questions. The newest A+ certification exams (220-801 and 220-802), include performance based questions so you can demonstrate your ability to perform basic computer technician tasks. Performance based question demonstrates a candidates ability to work on an operating system, as opposed to just memorizing a bunch of facts.
So what are performance based questions? Performance based questions are simulations of actual tasks you may have to complete. For instance, it could be setting up a new user, installing a driver, or typing in the appropriate commands at a command prompt. The new computer technician certification exam system will present you with simulated Windows environment where you will need to select the appropriate tool from the start menu then make the correct choices in that tool to accomplish the task.
The best way to prepare for performance based questions is to take every opportunity to practice. Get access to at least one of the versions of Windows you are expected know for the CompTIA exam. Ideally, you would have all versions but that is usually not possible. As you study, take note of how to start a particular tool in the different versions of Windows. Once started most of the tools are similar enough that you should be ok. As you study and encounter the different tools you are required to know, practice using the tool on a real system. Actually performing an action will make it much easier to remember than simply reading about it.
Below is a short video that shows the different type of questions you’ll see on the exam.