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CompTIA A+ Certification

Exam Objectives
EXAM NUMBER: 220-901
About the Exam
Candidates are encouraged to use this document to help prepare for CompTIA A+ 220-901. In order to receive
the CompTIA A+ certification, you must pass two exams: 220-901 and 220-902. CompTIA A+ 220-901 measures the
necessary skills for an entry-level IT professional. Successful candidates will have the knowledge required to:
• Assemble components based on customer requirements
• Install, configure and maintain devices, PCs and software for end users
• Understand the basics of networking and security/forensics
• Properly and safely diagnose, resolve and document common hardware and software issues
• Apply troubleshooting skills
• Provide appropriate customer support
• Understand the basics of virtualization, desktop imaging and deployment
These content examples are meant to clarify the test objectives and should not be
construed as a comprehensive listing of all the content of this examination.

CompTIA A+ is accredited by ANSI to show compliance with the ISO 17024 standard and,
as such, undergoes regular reviews and updates to the exam objectives.

CompTIA exams result from subject-matter expert workshops and industry-wide survey
results regarding the skills and knowledge required of an entry-level IT professional.


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The lists of examples provided in bulleted format are not exhaustive lists. Other examples of
technologies, processes or tasks pertaining to each objective may also be included on the exam
although not listed or covered in this objectives document. CompTIA is constantly reviewing the
content of our exams and updating test questions to be sure our exams are current and the security
of the questions is protected. When necessary, we will publish updated exams based on existing
exam objectives. Please know that all related exam preparation materials will still be valid.

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

Required exam 220-901
Number of questions Maximum of 90
Types of questions Multiple choice and performance-based
Length of test 90 minutes
Recommended experience Six to 12 months hands-on experience in the lab or field
Passing score 675 (on a scale of 100–900)


The table below lists the domains measured by this examination
and the extent to which they are represented:


1.0 Hardware 34%

2.0 Networking 21%
3.0 Mobile Devices 17%
4.0 Hardware & Network Troubleshooting 28%
Total 100%

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

1.0 Hardware
1.1 Given a scenario, configure settings and use BIOS/UEFI tools on a PC.
• Firmware upgrades/flash BIOS - Enabling and disabling devices • Monitoring
• BIOS component information - Date/time - Temperature monitoring
- RAM - Clock speeds - Fan speeds
- Hard drive - Virtualization support - Intrusion detection/notification
- Optical drive - BIOS security (passwords, drive - Voltage
- CPU encryption: TPM, LoJack, secure boot) - Clock
• BIOS configurations • Built-in diagnostics - Bus speed
- Boot sequence

1.2 Explain the importance of motherboard components,

their purpose and properties.
• Sizes • RAM slots • Front/top panel connectors
- ATX • CPU sockets - USB
- Micro-ATX • Chipsets - Audio
- Mini-ITX - Northbridge - Power button
- ITX - Southbridge - Power light
• Expansion slots • CMOS battery - Drive activity lights
- PCI • Power connections and types • Bus speeds
- PCI-X • Fan connectors • Reset button
- PCIe
- miniPCI

1.3 Compare and contrast various RAM types and their features.
• Types - ECC vs. non-ECC • RAM compatibility
- DDR - RAM configurations
- DDR2 - Single channel vs. dual
- DDR3 channel vs. triple channel
- SODIMM - Single sided vs. double sided
- DIMM - Buffered vs. unbuffered
- Parity vs. non-parity

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

1.0 Hardware

1.4 Install and configure PC expansion cards.

• Sound cards • Storage cards
• Video cards • Modem cards
• Network cards • Wireless/cellular cards
• USB cards • TV tuner cards
• Firewire cards • Video capture cards
• Thunderbolt cards • Riser cards

1.5 Install and configure storage devices and use appropriate media.
• Optical drives - SD • Tape drive
- CD-ROM/CD-RW - MicroSD • Media capacity
- Blu-ray - xD - CD-RW
- BD-RE - Hybrid - DVD
• Magnetic hard disk drives - eMMC - Blu-ray
- 5400 rpm • RAID types - Tape
- 7200 rpm -0 - DVD DL
- 10,000 rpm -1
• Hot swappable drives -5
• Solid state/flash drives - 10
- Compact flash

1.6 Install various types of CPUs and apply the appropriate

cooling methods.
• Socket types - Architecture (32-bit vs. 64-bit)
- Intel: 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, 1150, 2011 - Integrated GPU
- AMD: AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+ - Disable execute bit
• Characteristics • Cooling
- Speeds - Heat sink
- Cores - Fans
- Cache size/type - Thermal paste
- Hyperthreading - Liquid-based
- Virtualization support - Fanless/passive

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

1.0 Hardware

1.7 Compare and contrast various PC connection interfaces,

their characteristics and purpose.
• Physical connections - Audio - IR
- USB 1.1 vs. 2.0 vs. 3.0 - Analog - NFC
- Connector types: A, B, mini, micro - Digital (Optical connector) • Characteristics
- Firewire 400 vs. Firewire 800 - RJ-45 - Analog
- SATA1 vs. SATA2 vs. SATA3, eSATA - RJ-11 - Digital
- Other connector types - Thunderbolt - Distance limitations
- VGA • Wireless connections - Data transfer speeds
- HDMI - Bluetooth - Quality
- DVI - RF - Frequencies

Install a power supply based on given specifications.
• Connector types and their voltages • Specifications
- SATA - Wattage
- Molex - Dual rail
- 4/8-pin 12v - Size
- PCIe 6/8-pin - Number of connectors
- 20-pin - ATX
- 24-pin - MicroATX
- Dual voltage options

Given a scenario, select the appropriate components for a custom
PC configuration to meet customer specifications or needs.
• Graphic/CAD/CAM design workstation - High-end video/specialized GPU • Thin client
- Multicore processor - High-definition sound card - Basic applications
- High-end video - High-end cooling - Meets minimum requirements
- Maximum RAM • Home theater PC for selected OS
• Audio/video editing workstation - Surround sound audio - Network connectivity
- Specialized audio and video card - HDMI output • Home server PC
- Large fast hard drive - HTPC compact form factor - Media streaming
- Dual monitors - TV tuner - File sharing
• Virtualization workstation • Standard thick client - Print sharing
- Maximum RAM and CPU cores - Desktop applications - Gigabit NIC
• Gaming PC - Meets recommended - RAID array
- Multicore processor requirements for selected OS

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

1.0 Hardware

1.10 Compare and contrast types of display devices and their features.
• Types • Refresh/frame rates • Aspect ratios
- LCD • Resolution - 16:9
- TN vs. IPS • Native resolution - 16:10
- Fluorescent vs. LED backlighting • Brightness/lumens - 4:3
- Plasma • Analog vs. digital
- Projector • Privacy/antiglare filters
- OLED • Multiple displays

1.11 Identify common PC connector types and associated cables.

• Display connector types • Device cables and connectors
- DisplayPort - Firewire (IEEE1394)
- RCA - PS/2
- HD15 (i.e., DE15 or DB15) - Audio
- BNC • Adapters and convertors
- miniHDMI - DVI to HDMI
- miniDin-6 - USB A to USB B
• Display cable types - USB to Ethernet
- DVI - Thunderbolt to DVI
- VGA - PS/2 to USB
- Component - HDMI to VGA
- Composite
- Coaxial

1.12 Install and configure common peripheral devices.

• Input devices - Touchpads • Input & output devices
- Mouse - Smart card readers - Touch screen
- Keyboard - Digital cameras - KVM
- Scanner - Microphone - Smart TV
- Barcode reader - Webcam - Set-top box
- Biometric devices - Camcorder - MIDI-enabled devices
- Game pads • Output devices
- Joysticks - Printers
- Digitizer - Speakers
- Motion sensor - Display devices

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

1.0 Hardware

1.13 Install SOHO multifunction device/printers

and configure appropriate settings.
• Use appropriate drivers for a - USB • Public/shared devices
given operating system - Serial - Sharing local/networked device
- Configuration settings - Ethernet via operating system settings
- Duplex - Wireless - TCP/Bonjour/AirPrint
- Collate - Bluetooth - Data privacy
- Orientation - 802.11 (a/b/g/n/ac) - User authentication on the device
- Quality - Infrastructure vs. ad hoc - Hard drive caching
• Device sharing - Integrated print server (hardware)
- Wired - Cloud printing/remote printing

1.14 Compare and contrast differences between the various

print technologies and the associated imaging process.
• Laser • Thermal
- Imaging drum, fuser assembly, - Feed assembly, heating element
transfer belt, transfer roller, pickup - Special thermal paper
rollers, separate pads, • Impact
duplexing assembly - Print head, ribbon, tractor feed
- Imaging process: processing, - Impact paper
charging, exposing, developing, • Virtual
transferring, fusing and cleaning - Print to file
• Inkjet - Print to PDF
- Ink cartridge, print head, roller, feeder, - Print to XPS
duplexing assembly, carriage and belt - Print to image
- Calibration

1.15 Given a scenario, perform appropriate printer maintenance.

• Laser • Impact
- Replacing toner, applying - Replace ribbon, replace
maintenance kit, calibration, cleaning print head, replace paper
• Thermal • Inkjet
- Replace paper, clean heating - Clean heads, replace cartridges,
element, remove debris calibration, clear jams

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

2.0 Networking
2.1 Identify the various types of network cables and connectors.
• Fiber • Coaxial
- Connectors: SC, ST and LC - Connectors: BNC, F-connector
• Twisted Pair
- Connectors: RJ-11, RJ-45
- Wiring standards: T568A, T568B

2.2 Compare and contrast the characteristics of connectors and cabling.

• Fiber • Twisted pair • Coaxial
- Types (single-mode vs. multi-mode) - Types: STP, UTP, Cat 3, Cat 5, Cat 5e, - Types: RG-6, RG-59
- Speed and transmission limitations Cat 6, Cat 6e, Cat 7, plenum, PVC - Speed and transmission limitations
- Speed and transmission limitations - Splitters and effects on signal quality
- Splitters and effects on signal quality

2.3 Explain the properties and characteristics of TCP/IP.

• IPv4 vs. IPv6 • Client-side DHCP
• Public vs. private vs. APIPA/link local • Subnet mask vs. CIDR
• Static vs. dynamic • Gateway
• Client-side DNS settings

2.4 Explain common TCP and UDP ports, protocols and their purpose.
• Ports - 443 – HTTPS - LDAP
- 21 – FTP - 3389 – RDP - SNMP
- 22 – SSH - 137-139 – NetBIOS/NetBT - SMB
- 23 – TELNET - 445 – SMB/CIFS - CIFS
- 25 – SMTP - 427 – SLP - SSH
- 53 – DNS - 548 – AFP - AFP
- 80 – HTTP • Protocols • TCP vs. UDP
- 110 – POP3 - DHCP
- 143 – IMAP - DNS

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

2.0 Networking

2.5 Compare and contrast various WiFi networking

standards and encryption types.
• Standards • Encryption types
- 802.11 (a/b/g/n/ac) - WEP, WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES
- Speeds, distances and frequencies

2.6 Given a scenario, install and configure SOHO wireless/

wired router and apply appropriate settings.
• Channels • NAT/DNAT
• Port forwarding, port triggering • Basic QoS
• DHCP (on/off) • Firmware
• DMZ • UPnP

2.7 Compare and contrast Internet connection types,

network types and their features.
• Internet connection types - ISDN • Network Types
- Cable - Cellular - LAN
- DSL - Tethering - WAN
- Dial-up - Mobile hotspot - PAN
- Fiber - Line-of-sight wireless Internet service - MAN
- Satellite

2.8 Compare and contrast network architecture

devices, their functions and features.
• Hub • Bridge • Repeaters/extenders
• Switch • Modem • Ethernet over Power
• Router • Firewall • Power over Ethernet injector
• Access point • Patch panel

2.9 Given a scenario, use appropriate networking tools.

• Crimper • Cable tester
• Cable stripper • Loopback plug
• Multimeter • Punchdown tool
• Tone generator and probe • WiFi analyzer

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

3.0 Mobile Devices
3.1 Install and configure laptop hardware and components.
• Expansion options - USB to Bluetooth - Wireless card
- Expresscard /34 - USB optical drive - Mini-PCIe
- Expresscard /54 • Hardware/device replacement - Screen
- SODIMM - Keyboard - DC jack
- Flash - Hard drive - Battery
- Ports/Adapters - SSD vs. hybrid vs. magnetic disk - Touchpad
- Thunderbolt - 1.8in vs. 2.5in - Plastics/frames
- DisplayPort - Memory - Speaker
- USB to RJ-45 dongle - Smart card reader - System board
- USB to WiFi dongle - Optical drive - CPU

3.2 Explain the function of components within the display of a laptop.

• Types • WiFi antenna connector/placement
- LCD • Webcam
- TN vs. IPS • Microphone
- Fluorescent vs. LED backlighting • Inverter
- OLED • Digitizer

3.3 Given a scenario, use appropriate laptop features.

• Special function keys - Keyboard backlight • Docking station
- Dual displays - Touchpad (on/off) • Physical laptop lock and cable lock
- Wireless (on/off) - Screen orientation • Rotating/removable screens
- Cellular (on/off) - Media options (fast forward/rewind)
- Volume settings - GPS (on/off)
- Screen brightness - Airplane mode
- Bluetooth (on/off)

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

2.0 Mobile Devices

3.4 Explain the characteristics of various types of other mobile devices.

• Tablets - Fitness monitors • Smart camera
• Smartphones - Glasses and headsets • GPS
• Wearable technology devices • Phablets
- Smart watches • e-readers

3.5 Compare and contrast accessories and ports of other mobile devices.
• Connection types - IR - Extra battery packs/battery chargers
- NFC - Hotspot/tethering - Protective covers/water proofing
- Proprietary vendor-specific ports • Accessories - Credit card readers
(communication/power) - Headsets - Memory/MicroSD
- MicroUSB/miniUSB - Speakers
- Lightning - Game pads
- Bluetooth - Docking stations

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

4.0 Hardware and Network Troubleshooting
4.1 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common problems related to
motherboards, RAM, CPU and power with appropriate tools.
• Common symptoms - No power - Proprietary crash screens
- Unexpected shutdowns - Overheating (BSOD/pin wheel)
- System lockups - Loud noise - Distended capacitors
- POST code beeps - Intermittent device failure • Tools
- Blank screen on bootup - Fans spin – no power to other devices - Multimeter
- BIOS time and settings resets - Indicator lights - Power supply tester
- Attempts to boot to incorrect device - Smoke - Loopback plugs
- Continuous reboots - Burning smell - POST card/USB

4.2 Given a scenario, troubleshoot hard drives and

RAID arrays with appropriate tools.
• Common symptoms - RAID stops working - FORMAT
- Read/write failure - Proprietary crash screens - File recovery software
- Slow performance (BSOD/pin wheel) - Bootrec
- Loud clicking noise - S.M.A.R.T. errors - DiskPart
- Failure to boot • Tools - Defragmentation tool
- Drive not recognized - Screwdriver
- OS not found - External enclosures
- RAID not found - CHKDSK

4.3 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common video,

projector and display issues.
• Common symptoms - Artifacts - Distorted geometry
- VGA mode - Color patterns incorrect - Burn-in
- No image on screen - Dim image - Oversized images and icons
- Overheat shutdown - Flickering image
- Dead pixels - Distorted image

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

4.0 Hardware and Network Troubleshooting

4.4 Given a scenario, troubleshoot wired and wireless

networks with appropriate tools.
• Common symptoms • Hardware tools • Command line tools
- No connectivity - Cable tester - PING
- APIPA/link local address - Loopback plug - IPCONFIG/IFCONFIG
- Limited connectivity - Punchdown tools - TRACERT
- Local connectivity - Tone generator and probe - NETSTAT
- Intermittent connectivity - Wire strippers - NBTSTAT
- IP conflict - Crimper - NET
- Slow transfer speeds - Wireless locator - NETDOM
- Low RF signal - NSLOOKUP
- SSID not found

4.5 Given a scenario, troubleshoot and repair common mobile

device issues while adhering to the appropriate procedures.
• Common symptoms - No wireless connectivity - No sound from speakers
- No display - No Bluetooth connectivity - GPS not functioning
- Dim display - Cannot display to external monitor - Swollen battery
- Flickering display - Touchscreen non-responsive • Disassembling processes
- Sticking keys - Apps not loading for proper re-assembly
- Intermittent wireless - Slow performance - Document and label cable
- Battery not charging - Unable to decrypt email and screw locations
- Ghost cursor/pointer drift - Extremely short battery life - Organize parts
- No power - Overheating - Refer to manufacturer resources
- Num lock indicator lights - Frozen system - Use appropriate hand tools

4.6 Given a scenario, troubleshoot printers with appropriate tools.

• Common symptoms - Garbled characters on paper - Printing blank pages
- Streaks - Vertical lines on page - No image on printer display
- Faded prints - Backed up print queue • Tools
- Ghost images - Low memory errors - Maintenance kit
- Toner not fused to the paper - Access denied - Toner vacuum
- Creased paper - Printer will not print - Compressed air
- Paper not feeding - Color prints in wrong print color - Printer spooler
- Paper jam - Unable to install printer
- No connectivity - Error codes

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

CompTIA A+ Acronyms

The following is a list of acronyms that appear on the CompTIA A+ exams.

Candidates are encouraged to review the complete list and attain a working
knowledge of all listed acronyms as a part of a comprehensive exam preparation
AC Alternating Current CFS Central File System or Common File System or
ACL Access Control List Command File System
ACPI Advanced Configuration Power Interface CGA Computer Graphics and Applications
ACT Activity CIDR Classless Inter-Domain Routing
ADSL Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line CIFS Common Internet File System
AES Advanced Encryption Standard CMOS Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor
AGP Accelerated Graphics Port CNR Communications and Networking Riser
AHCI Advanced Host Controller Interface COMx Communication Port (x=Port Number)
AP Access Point CPU Central Processing Unit
APIPA Automatic Private Internet Protocol Addressing CRT Cathode Ray Tube
APM Advanced Power Management DAC Discretionary Access Control
ARP Address Resolution Protocol DB-25 Serial Communications D-Shell Connector, 25 Pins
ASR Automated System Recovery DB-9 9 Pin D Shell Connector
ATA Advanced Technology Attachment DC Direct Current
ATAPI Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface DDoS Distributed Denial of Service
ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode DDR Double Data Rate
ATSC Advanced Television Systems Committee DDR RAM Double Data Rate Random-Access Memory
ATX Advanced Technology Extended DDR SDRAM Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic
AUP Acceptable Use Policy Random-Access Memory
A/V Audio Video DFS Distributed File System
BD-R Blu-ray Disk Recordable DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
BIOS Basic Input/Output System DIMM Dual Inline Memory Module
BNC Bayonet-Neill-Concelman or DIN Deutsche Industrie Norm
British Naval Connector DLT Digital Linear Tape
BSOD Blue Screen of Death DLP Digital Light Processing or
BTX Balanced Technology Extended Data Loss Prevention
CAD Computer Aided Design DMA Direct Memory Access
CAPTCHA Completely Automated Public Turing Test DMZ Demilitarized Zone
to tell Computers and Humans Apart DNAT Destination Network Address Translation
CAS Column Access Strobe DNS Domain Name Service or Domain Name Server
CCFL Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp DoS Denial of Service
CD Compact Disc DRAM Dynamic Random Access Memory
CD-ROM Compact Disc-Read-Only Memory DRM Digital Rights Management
CD-RW Compact Disc-Rewritable DSL Digital Subscriber Line
CDFS Compact Disc File System DVD Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc
CERT Computer Emergency Response Team DVD-RAM Digital Video Disc-Random-Access Memory

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

DVD-ROM Digital Video Disc-Read-Only Memory GSM Global System for Mobile Communications
DVD-R Digital Video Disc-Recordable HAL Hardware Abstraction Layer
DVD-RW Digital Video Disc-Rewritable HAV Hardware-Assisted Virtualization
DVI Digital Visual Interface HCL Hardware Compatibility List
DVR Digital Video Recorder HDCP High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection
ECC Error Correcting Code or HDD Hard Disk Drive
Error Checking and Correction HDMI High-Definition Media Interface
ECP Extended Capabilities Port HIPS Host Intrusion Prevention System
EDO Extended Data Out (RAM) HPFS High-Performance File System
EEPROM Electrically Erasable Programmable HSF Heat Sink and Fan
Read-Only Memory HTML Hypertext Markup Language
EFS Encrypting File System HTPC Home Theater PC
EIDE Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol
ELP Electroluminescence Panel HTTPS Hypertext Transfer Protocol Over
Secure Sockets Layer
EMI Electromagnetic Interference
I/O Input/Output
EMP Electromagnetic Pulse ICMP Internet Control Message Protocol
EPROM Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory ICR Intelligent Character Recognition
EPP Enhanced Parallel Port ICS Internet Connection Sharing
ERD Emergency Repair Disk IDE Integrated Drive Electronics
eSATA External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment IDF Intermediate Distribution Frame
ESD Electrostatic Discharge IDS Intrusion Detection System
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
EULA End-User License Agreement
IIS Internet Information Services
EVGA Extended Video Graphics Adapter/Array IMAP Internet Mail Access Protocol
EVDO Evolution Data Optimized or Evolution Data Only IMEI International Mobile Equipment Identity
Ext2 Second Extended File System IMSI International Mobile Subscriber Identity
exFAT Extended File Allocation Table IP Internet Protocol
FAT File Allocation Table IPCONFIG Internet Protocol Configuration
IPP Internet Printing Protocol
FAT12 12-Bit File Allocation Table
IPS In-Plane Switching
FAT16 16-Bit File Allocation Table IPSec Internet Protocol Security
FAT32 32-Bit File Allocation Table IR Infrared
FDD Floppy Disk Drive IrDA Infrared Data Association
Fn Function (referring to the function key on a laptop) IRP Incident Response Plan
FPM Fast Page Mode IRQ Interrupt Request
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
FRU Field Replaceable Unit
ISO International Organization for Standardization/
FSB Front Side Bus Industry Standards Organization
FTP File Transfer Protocol ISP Internet Service Provider
FQDN Fully Qualified Domain Name JBOD Just a Bunch Of Disks
Gb Gigabit Kb Kilobit
GB Gigabyte KB Kilobyte or Knowledge Base
GDDR Graphics Double Data Rate KVM Kernel-based Virtual Machine
LAN Local Area Network
GDI Graphics Device Interface
LBA Logical Block Addressing
GHz Gigahertz LC Lucent Connector
GUI Graphical User Interface LCD Liquid Crystal Display
GPS Global Positioning System LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
GPT GUID Partition Table LED Light Emitting Diode
GPU Graphics Processing Unit LI-ON Lithium-Ion
LPD/LPR Line Printer Daemon/Line Printer Remote

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

LPT Line Printer Terminal
PAT Port Address Translation
Low Voltage Differential PATA Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment
LVDS Low Voltage Differential Signaling PC Personal Computer
MAC Media Access Control or Mandatory Access Control PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect
MAN Metropolitan Area Network PCIe Peripheral Component Interconnect express
MAPI Messaging Application Programming Interface PCI-X Peripheral Component Interconnect Extended
MAU Media Access Unit or Media Attachment Unit PCL Printer Control Language
mATX Micro Advanced Technology Extended PCMCIA Personal Computer Memory Card
Mb Megabit International Association
MB Megabyte PE Preinstallation Environment
MBR Master Boot Record PGA Pin Grid Array
MBSA Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer PGA2 Pin Grid Array 2
MDM Master Data Management PGP Pretty Good Protection
MFA Multifactor Authentication PII Personally Identifiable Information
MFD Multi-Function Device PIN Personal Identification Number
MFP Multi-Function Product PKI Public Key Infrastructure
MHz Megahertz PnP Plug and Play
MicroDIMM Micro Dual Inline Memory Module POP3 Post Office Protocol 3
MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface PoS Point of Sale
MIME Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension POST Power On Self Test
MIMO Multiple Input Multiple Output POTS Plain Old Telephone Service
MMC Microsoft Management Console PPM Pages Per Minute
MP3 Moving Picture Experts Group Layer 3 Audio PPP Point-to-Point Protocol
MP4 Moving Picture Experts Group Layer 4 PPTP Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol
MPEG Moving Picture Experts Group PRI Primary Rate Interface
MSCONFIG Microsoft Configuration PRL Preferred Roaming List
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet PROM Programmable Read-Only Memory
MT-RJ Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack PS/2 Personal System/2 Connector
MUI Multilingual User Interface PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network
NAC Network Access Control PSU Power Supply Unit
NAS Network Attached Storage PVA Patterned Vertical Alignment
NAT Network Address Translation PVC Permanent Virtual Circuit
NetBIOS Networked Basic Input/Output System PXE Preboot Execution Environment
NetBEUI Networked Basic input/output system QoS Quality of Service
Extended User Interface RADIUS Remote Authentication Dial-In User Server
NFC Near Field Communication RAID Redundant Array of Independent
NFS Network File System (or Inexpensive) Discs
NIC Network Interface Card RAM Random Access Memory
NiCd Nickel Cadmium RAMBUS Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory
NiMH Nickel Metal Hydride RAS Remote Access Service
NLX New Low profile Extended RDP Remote Desktop Protocol
NNTP Network News Transfer Protocol RF Radio Frequency
NTFS New Technology File System RFI Radio Frequency Interference
NTLDR New Technology Loader RGB Red Green Blue
NTP Network Time Protocol RIP Routing Information Protocol
NTSC National Transmission Standards Committee RIS Remote Installation Service
NVM HCI Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface RISC Reduced Instruction Set Computer
OCR Optical Character Recognition RJ-11 Registered Jack Function 11
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer RJ-45 Registered Jack Function 45
OLED Organic Light Emitting Diode RMA Returned Materials Authorization
OS Operating System ROM Read-Only Memory
PAL Phase Alternating Line RPO Recovery Point Objective
PAN Personal Area Network RTC Real-Time Clock

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

RTO Recovery Time Objective UPnP Universal Plug and Play
SAN Storage Area Network UPS Uninterruptible Power Supply
SAS Serial Attached SCSI URL Uniform Resource Locator
SATA Serial Advanced Technology Attachment USB Universal Serial Bus
SC Subscription Channel USMT User State Migration Tool
SCP Secure Copy Protection UTM Unified Threat Management
SCSI Small Computer System Interface UTP Unshielded Twisted Pair
SCSI ID Small Computer System Interface Identifier UUID Universally Unique Identifier
SD Card Secure Digital Card UXGA Ultra Extended Graphics Array
SDRAM Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory VA Vertical Alignment
SEC Single Edge Connector VDC Volts DC
SFC System File Checker VDI Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
SFF Small Form Factor VESA Video Electronics Standards Association
SFTP Secured File Transfer Protocol VFAT Virtual File Allocation Table
SIMM Single In-line Memory Module VGA Video Graphics Array
SLI Scalable Link Interface or System Level Integration VM Virtual Machine
or Scanline Interleave Mode VNC Virtual Network Computer
S.M.A.R.T. Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol
SMB Server Message Block or Small To Midsize Business VPN Virtual Private Network
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol VRAM Video Random-Access Memory
SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol WAN Wide Area Network
SoDIMM Small outline Dual Inline Memory Module WAP Wireless Access Protocol or Wireless Access Point
SOHO Small Office, Home Office WEP Wired Equivalent Privacy
SP Service Pack WiFi Wireless Fidelity
SPDIF Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format WINS Windows Internet Name Service
SPGA Staggered Pin Grid Array WLAN Wireless Local Area Network
SRAM Static Random-Access Memory WPA WiFi Protected Access
SSH Secure Shell WPA2 WiFi Protected Access 2
SSID Service Set Identifier WPS WiFi Protected Setup
SSL Secure Sockets Layer WUXGA Wide Ultra Extended Graphics Array
SSO Single Sign-On WWAN Wireless Wide Area Network
ST Straight Tip XGA Extended Graphics Array
STP Shielded Twisted Pair ZIF Zero Insertion Force
SXGA Super Extended Graphics Array ZIP Zig-zag Inline Package
TB Terabyte
TCP Transmission Control Protocol
TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
TDR Time Domain Reflectometer
TFT Thin Film Transistor
TFTP Trivial File Transfer Protocol
TKIP Temporal Key Integrity Protocol
TLS Transport Layer Security
TN Twisted Nematic
TPM Trusted Platform Module
UAC User Account Control
UDF User Defined Functions or Universal Disk Format
or Universal Data Format
UDP User Datagram Protocol
UEFI Unified Extensible Firmware Interface
UNC Universal Naming Convention

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Objectives Version 4.0 (Exam Number: 220-901)

A+ Proposed Hardware and Software List

CompTIA has included this sample list of hardware and software to assist
candidates as they prepare for the A+ exam. This list may also be helpful for
training companies that wish to create a lab component to their training offering.
The bulleted lists below each topic are sample lists and not exhaustive.

EQUIPMENT • Adapters
• Apple tablet/smartphone • Network cables
• Android tablet/smartphone • Unterminated network cable/connectors
• Windows tablet/smartphone • AC adapters
• Windows laptop/Mac laptop/Linux laptop • Optical drives
• Windows desktop/Mac desktop/ • Screws/stand-offs
Linux desktop • Cases
• Monitors • Maintenance kit
• Projectors • Mice/keyboards
• SOHO router/switch
• Access point TOOLS
• VoIP phone • Screw drivers
• Printer • Multimeter
- Laser/inkjet • Wire cutters
- Wireless • Punchdown tool
• Surge suppressor • Crimper
• UPS • Power supply tester
• Cable stripper
• Motherboards • Standard technician toolkit
• RAM • ESD strap
• Hard drives • Thermal paste
• Power supplies  • Cable tester
• Video cards • WiFi analyzer
• Sounds cards • SATA to USB connectors
• Network cards
• Wireless NICs SOFTWARE
• Fans/cooling devices/heat sink • Operating system disks
• CPUs • Antivirus software
• Assorted connectors/cables • Virtualization software
- USB • Anti-malware
- HDMI • Driver software
- etc

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