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CompTIA

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a non-profit trade association offering wide range of certifications in the field of IT. CompTIA certification programs are divided into four categories: basic, specialty, professional, and mastery series.

Exams falling into each of the categories cover different skills and areas of expertise. These range from entry-level certifications suitable for candidates with little or no experience or those changing careers to IT, to expert-level programs designed for experienced IT professionals with advanced knowledge and skills.

CompTIA basic series certification program includes the CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals certificate suitable for individuals and students preparing to enter the IT workforce and professionals changing careers to IT or technology-related fields.

CompTIA specialty series certification programs (Cloud Essentials, Green IT, Healthcare IT Technician, IT for Sales, and Social Media Security Professional) evaluate business and technical skills required for specialized vertical or niche markets.

CompTIA professional series programs evaluate technical skills required in a specific job role. Certifications in this category include: A+, Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+), Convergence Technologies Professional (CTP+), Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+), Linux+ Powered by LPI, Network+, Printing and Document Imaging (PDI+), Project+, Security+, Server+, and Storage+ Powered by SNIA.

CompTIA mastery series program includes CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification.

CompTIA Exam Credentials

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) / Novell Certification Programs

Due to mutual agreements between CompTIA, Linux Professional Institute (LPI), and Novell, at the time of taking the CompTIA Linux+ exam it is possible to choose whether to forward the exam results to the Linux Professional Institute (and at no cost automatically become LPIC-1 certified). The LPI credentials can be then passed to Novell to acquire the Novell Certified Linux Administrator (NCLA) Certification.

CompTIA does not give credit nor accept other organization's credentials or certifications toward acquiring any of its own certifications.



Certification Renewal

Starting from January 1, 2011, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certifications expire three years after the date the candidate is certified. These certifications can be maintained by passing the most current CompTIA exam prior to the three-year expiration date or enrolling in CompTIA's Continuing Education (CE) Program.

CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications are graded according to the exam difficulty level. The Continuing Education program allows for automatic renewal of the lower-level certifications by passing a higher-level certification exam (renewing through achieving other certifications). For example, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ can be automatically renewed by fulfilling the Continuing Education program requirements for the CompTIA Security+ certification.

Completion of CE for CompTIA Security+ would grant the participant CompTIA Security+ce, and simultaneously update CompTIA A+ce and CompTIA Network+ce, to the Security+ expiry date. Candidates must have a certification for it to be applicable as part of the CE program. No certification is granted through CE.

CompTIA certification holders enrolled in the Continuing Education Program can also renew their CE certifications by acquiring higher-level, third-party certifications.

Test Delivery Program

Starting from July 9, 2012, CompTIA exams are available exclusively via Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE currently has more than 5,000 testing centers in more than 165 countries, including several hundred company owned and operated Pearson Professional Centers

Authorized test centers can be found by visiting the Pearson VUE website and using its Test Center Locator. Pearson VUE offers a variety of exam booking options including online scheduling, scheduling by phone and scheduling via the testing center.

Certification Exam Formula

The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) exam, introduced in September 2011, was the first CompTIA exam to employ a mix of multiple choice and performance-based questions.

CompTIA expands its use of the latest exam delivery technology to its top three certification exams (A+, Network+, Security+) in order to more accurately gauge the skill level of exam candidates.

Multiple-choice questions in CompTIA exams require selection of one correct answer. If a candidate changes his/her mind and decides to pick different answer while on the question page, the previous choice is deselected. Multiple-selection types of questions require candidates to choose and click on more than one correct answer.

Some of the CompTIA exams may also include the so-called "fill in the blank" questions that require typing text on the keyboard. These types of questions are used to test the knowledge of Linux and Windows commands.

Performance-based questions require the candidate to perform a task or solve a problem in simulated IT environments. For each performance-based question, the exam prompts the candidate to perform a specific task or troubleshoot a specific problem.

Performance-based questions on CompTIA exams are designed around real-world computer scenarios to test the knowledge and skills related to different aspects of IT infrastructure, such as for example the use of a command-line interface or networking environments.

Resources

Free Online CompTIA A+ Practice Exams
Free Online CompTIA Network+ Practice Exams
Free Online CompTIA Security+ Practice Exams