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How to get my 500 hours hands-on experience for CompTIA A+?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by kvncooper, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. kvncooper

    kvncooper New Member

    I'm looking at starting a new career in IT and am leaning towards the BTEC Computer Engineering and then closely followed by the CompTIA A+. I am not in any IT role at the moment and so my concern is this:

    How do I get my 500 hours hands-on experience needed for the CompTIA A+?

    Would really appreciate some advice.

    Many thanks.
  2. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

    Where does it say you need 500 hours hands-on experience for the A+?
  3. Trogdor

    Trogdor Kilobyte Poster Gold Member


    You do not need to clock IT experience to take, and pass the A+. Just study for the exams, sit the exams and you are certified. The A+ forum here has all kinds of useful information to help you study for, and pass the exams to become A+ certified.

    CompTIA RECOMMENDS you take this exam with 500 hours experience in the workplace or lab setting. You will not get turned away from the testing site if you do not have this, and there is nothing saying that you cannot set up your own lab at home (read: having a PC you can have a play with). Most take between one and four months to study for each exam and during this time you will have clocked up over 500 hours tinkering at home.

    Hope this helps and best of luck with your studies.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Server+, PDI+, MCDST, HP APS Server, HP APS Desktop / Laptop
    WIP: ITIL, CCNA, MCSA, and BSc
  4. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    The experience level for the A+ is basically meaning that you know your way around a pc and have some experience of say building/upgrading them and troubleshooting issues and if you have had a pc for a year or so you will have done this. That will count as the experience needed.

    The A+ is entry level meaning that it is for someone looking to get into the industry it isn't like the MCSA/E where you actually need to be in the industry before starting the cert.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. kvncooper

    kvncooper New Member

    Fantastic! Thanks chaps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2010
  6. ITtech

    ITtech Bit Poster

    Yes, it is true that no one checks or validates that you have 500 hours of experience before you can attempt the exam. It is recommended that you try to practice as much as you can. I believe in practice makes perfect the more time you spend on anything will only make you better at it!

    I would recommend buying few refurbished computers and laptops and practice on them. Use this site and other self study tools to get you there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2010
    Certifications: A+, Network+, CNA, MCSE, CCNA, MCT
  7. gray19lfc

    gray19lfc Bit Poster

    I'm in the same boat. Looking for a career change and am looking at doing the A+ but reading that you need some kind of experience before you should take it.

    How are you supposed to get the experience? Surely that is what the training providers are offering? You study all aspects of the course and then take the exam to get certified?
  8. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    It's more along the lines of having some experience so that you don't feel you have wasted it if you don't pass the exam. TP do not offer 'Experience' they offer the knowledge and know how to pass the exams, surely you don't think you can just go into a classroom, take a class and become an expert in it? God help me if you ever decided to become a surgeon then. A classroom can give you the basics, but it's on the job training that gives you the experience, its having tried something, discovered that actually pressing that on\off button rather than this one is thats needed for experience (I actually know someone who went in to turn off a server, she did but as she had just pressed the button realised it was the wrong server so stood there for 30 minutes waiting for someone to come find her so that we could get everyone out of the server and power it down gracefully).

    Training is one thing, it's not the everything and it certainly isn't something that should be used as Experience.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  9. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    Most TPs offer little more than self-study does i.e here's the material, get on with it. Give us a shout if you're stuck.

    Think about it though, all the times you've configured something on your PC, added/replaced hardware, installed an OS/application, resolved a problem. That all counts as lab experience and you've probably racked up a fair few hours already, without meaning to.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job

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