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Is the A+ exams 801 - 802 really this hard?

Discussion in 'A+' started by NewTech, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. NewTech

    NewTech New Member

    I've bought a book and some practice tests. I'm getting between 76% and 93% on the tests, mostly on the low end. I've quite experienced with computers and thought the exam would be a breeze but now I'm a bit spooked as some of the practice questions are ridiculously hard.

    Like whether the cache of an core 2 duo processor is on die or part of the MCH... I mean really who knows these kinds of things? How much L1 cache does an i5 cpu have, etc. I know OF these things being an enthusiast but I never sat down and memorized every damn trait of different cpu models going back 3 years, at least until now :/

    If you are having a power problem do you check the wall, cable, or PSU first? I dunno kind of ambiguous???

    Is the exam really this hard or are the practice questions overkill? What's even more disturbing is I've seen tons of forums posts about the A+ test being sooo easy yet so many of the questions are very tricky. There are several answers that could be right depending on what criteria you seem to think is most important. It is very, very ambiguous, like...

    The temperature going up and down, humidity up and down wildly over the last week and causing a computer to no longer boot. Is it thermal contraction and expansion or "chip creep". I put chip creep but was wrong, thermal expansion it said. Isn't it the same thing???? This kind of nit picky craziness has me almost in a rage, lol.

    So is it really this hard?

    EDIT: In case not many have taken the 801 or 802, if you've taken the 701-702 I'd appreciate hearing from you as well. I imagine the difficulty would not be significantly changed. Was the 701/702 that hard?

    I've studied really hard and feel very comfortable with the material, however these weird / ambiguous / tricky questions kind of have me in a funk, not to mention the oddball questions asking specific details about something that really does not matter for what a real tech needs to know.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  2. BB88

    BB88 Kilobyte Poster Gold Member

    The exams were very "Americanized" for me, being English. So some wording of the questions was a little tricky to understand.

    That being said, there weren't many, if any, that tried to trick you up, by being ambiguous.

    Get hold of the Boson Practice Tests, they will help!
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, MCSA: Office 365,, 70-410, 70-680
    WIP: PRINCE2 Foundation, MCSA: Server 2012, PRINCE2 Practioner
  3. shadowwebs

    shadowwebs Megabyte Poster

    the A+ does require you to remember a lot of information for the exam.

    I was once told "if something is too easy, then it's not worth doing", and it's true... you wouldnt find me playing with lego blocks anymore as it's too easy, instead i play with pc's :)
    Certifications: compTIA A+, Apple Certified Technical Coordinator 10.10 (OS X Yosemite, Server and Support)
  4. jvanassen

    jvanassen Kilobyte Poster

    When i was studying for my A+ last year. Even though the Mike Meyers book i was studying from had a whole chapter on CPU models/types and the history of them, how much cache they had etc etc. I never got a CPU specific question in the exam or the Boson practice exam software i was using.

    Whether this is meant to be something you need to know for the exam im not entirely sure but i know where your coming from, does seem a bit silly to start remembering specific details of a model of CPU.

    There were however other details you needed to remember for the exam such as specific port numbers etc and abbreviations, i learnt these by sticking lots of post it notes around my house.
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Network+, CCENT
    WIP: ICND2 200-101
  5. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    With things like that to study I always find its easier to look for a pattern to memorize instead of each cpu and its make up for example. I can't really speak for the A+ today cause its been 10 years since I took it, but take a look at a feature and see where it was introduced or retired and memorise that instead. So if you have for 10 different cpu models write then down in a list then the main headline features of a cpu across the top (in excel) then just stick crosses in all the boxes where the features exist that way its easy to spot the pattern and you dont have to memorize a fantastical amount of facts and figures.

    My A+ exam had me thinking about P166's to 333mhz cpus If I remember correctly.
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  6. NewTech

    NewTech New Member

    Yeah I don't mind memorizing things like port numbers, that can actually be useful. If you're in the command line and looking at current connections and need to know what services are active that can be important.

    I guess "hard" isn't really the description I was after. I don't mind a fairly hard test to prove what you know. I should have said ambiguous and flat out weird as what I meant. I'm thinking its just some of these practice questions are a little crazy, not properly vetted by the author. I suppose they can only think of so many things by themselves and didn't really think it through well enough. The CompTIA is supposed to have an entire panel of experts so I'd imagine there are few if any truly ridiculous questions that survive the editing process.

    After I take the tests I'll follow up here and give my take on the kinds of questions they ask.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  7. shadowwebs

    shadowwebs Megabyte Poster

    Just as a follow up... How are you finding the studying?
    Certifications: compTIA A+, Apple Certified Technical Coordinator 10.10 (OS X Yosemite, Server and Support)

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