CompTIA[#comptia]: CompTIA Certifications
CompTIA stands for “Computing Technology Industry Association”
CompTIA is known for having “vendor-neutral” exams. Actually, they have sometimes been criticized for claiming to be vendor-neutral while seeming to show some favoritism to industry leaders, like Microsoft. However, they may be quite a bit more neutral than the earlier situation where vendors like Dell and Compaq may have had their own certifications. An organization called the Association of Better Computer Dealers (abbrevaited ABCD) developed an exam, and later ABCD renamed themselves to CompTIA. ABCD was formed by five organizations (widely cited, although not as widely cited is which organizations those were: CompTIA 20 year recognition seems to indicate that Compaq was one, and a Xerox staff member named Aaron “worked with the team of subject matter experts (including vendors such as Compaq, HP and IBM, as well as dealers) to help ABCD develop the test objectives”, so maybe four of those five were Compaq, HP, Xerox, and IBM).
In most cases, yes, there is a direct cost. However, if participating in any sort of training program (such as formal education offerred by a college or perhaps even a high school), be sure to check with the program administrators because there may be a heavily discounted option. Some students might even find that there is no additional cost at all, because the discount may simply be considered to be a benefit of using the training program. Some exam codes reflect being discounted more than other exam codes, so be sure to check into that possibility if a voucher needs to be purchased.
Typically, a person signs up for a test by using a “voucher”, and these vouchers are sold. (The cost for a specific voucher depends on factors including which types of exams the voucher may be good for. Some vouchers may be good for just a single exam (per voucher), but offer multiple choices for which exam the voucher is good for.) CompTIA's FAQ on vouchers says that people “do NOT need a voucher to take a CompTIA exam, this is optional”. However, this may be the cheaper route.
Back when there were multiple companies overseeing the testing centers, vouchers (at least some, perhaps all) were specific to an organization that runs testing centers. This means that a voucher for Pearson VUE may not work for trying to take a test at a testing center run by Prometric, and a voucher for Prometric may not work for trying to take a test at a testing center run by Pearson VUE.
Vouchers have had expiration dates: It seems probable that all vouchers expire at some point.
The following paragraph is based on observations of how a testing provider's website seemed to work (rather than being based on official policy that is being quoted): It seems that what the vouchers are actually good for is for signing up for an exam: Once an exam is fully signed up for then that voucher is spent. At that point, CompTIA re-scheduling policies (a policy page previously at http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=87 ) may still allow the possibility to alter when an exam is taken, but the voucher seems to already be spent at that point (which means that the voucher would no longer be usable by another person).
- [#ctiajkz]: Which voucher(s) to get
Be sure to choose the correct exam codes, although there may be some flexibility. Most notably, some exam codes may be equivilent to other exam codes, but just be cheaper. The cheaper exams may only be made to select individuals, such as those taking the test as part of a participating (educational) program. (This doesn't necessarily mean that the total cost, including the price of the educational program itself, ends up being cheaper for the person who takes the exam.)
Some research has not identified any differences between the exams when it comes to the content of the exams, or the usefulness in completing any such exam. The only differences between some of these exams seems to be how the exam vouchers are obtained (most notably: the price).
For example, CompTIA KB 2: CompTIA exam codes ( http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=2 ) stated “JK0 prefix exam codes are exclusive to our E2C (Education to Career) members and their students.” When selecting a voucher, see if there are multiple versions of the test and if there are multiple exam codes for the same version of a test. People who participate in a training program should probably ask staff members whether they can get a lower cost exam. (The reason that a lower cost exam might be available is if the educational program allows the use of the programs that start with JK0-. That is a J, a K, and a zero.) PearsonVUE price list for CompTIA notes that the exams that start with a prefix of JK0 “are identical in all aspects to their non-Academic counterparts with the only difference being the exam code. These JK0 exams are in the English language only.” CompTIA Exam Codes states, “The JK0 prefix exam code is for CAPP Academy members and their students.” That same CompTIA Exam Codes lists exam codes that have been created for (current versions of) CompTIA's certifications.
CompTIA's page for Educators on the “Education to Careers” (“E2C”) program notes, “Membership is available to degree-granting academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations and government education organizations. E2C members receive significantly discounted CompTIA exam vouchers, instructor tools and resources, and an online community to network with other IT instructors.” So, if participating in a program which allows for the cheaper “Education to Careers” (“E2C”) vouchers, then by all means, take the exam which is cheaper and which essentially offers no downsides. (The only potential downside may be if there are other strings attached, such as if a local testing center only allows for exams with some codes, and perhaps there are disadvantages to the testing center that allows the E2C exam codes. For example, perhaps that testing center is physically located farther away, or offers the tests at fewer separate times. Questions about such policies of a testing center would be something to contact the individual testing provider (e.g. Pearson VUE or Prometric) and/or testing center (i.e., the specific location) about, not CompTIA.)
For example, for a version of the Security+ exam which has been used, JK0-015 and SY0-201 have been made available. Forum post indicates that JK0-015 is cheaper than SY0-201 and the cheaper exam code is available as part of an offering made by some educational institution(s).
The E2C program was mentioned by CompTIA's KB on CompTIA Membership Inquiries (at http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=15074 ), which also mentioned a KB describing the CAPP program (at http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=63 ). The CompTIA Authorized Partner Program (“CAPP”) web page has stated, “The first two of five planned Authorized Partner Programs, for delivery providers and content providers, have been launched. A third program for academic partners is scheduled to launch this year.” (This text was seen in the latter half of December 2010.)
To see the possible exam codes to use, visit CompTIA's listed certifiations, choose a certification, and look for information (in the right frame) about which exam code or codes may be offerred. Do realize that multiple exam codes may refer to multiple exams that are required for a single certification, and so they might NOT all be choices of exam codes meant for one exam.
- [#ctiagvch]: Where to get vouchers from
CompTIA Authorized Partner Program web page has stated, “To simplify the overall testing experience for our certification candidates, CompTIA exams will be delivered exclusively with Pearson VUE”.... “effective July 9, 2012.” “CompTIA certification exams will no longer be available at Prometric testing centers at that time. Moving to Pearson VUE for exclusive worldwide delivery of CompTIA exams will provide our candidates with one point of contact to serve all of their testing needs.” CompTIA customer support center: KB about using a single vendor provided similar language: “We want to simplify the overall testing experience. Moving to Pearson VUE for exclusive worldwide delivery of CompTIA exams will provide our candidates with one point of contact to serve all of their testing needs.” PearsonVUE's page about CompTIA has stated, “Pearson VUE is accepting Prometric exam vouchers for CompTIA exams. Candidates only need to provide the Prometric voucher number when registering for their exam with Pearson VUE.” (That text will probably be removed once all already-sold Prometric exams have expired.)
CompTIA's page about Unauthorized Training Materials and Third-Party Offers Policy has stated, “CompTIA recommends that vouchers be purchased directly through Pearson VUE or Prometric or directly from our online store at www.comptiastore.com. Individuals who use any unauthorized discount or promotional code may have their exam results invalidated and/or risk up to and including a lifetime ban on all future exams and the nullification of all previous certifications.”
Also, the page (or perhaps an older version - CompTIA's page about Unauthorized offerings, archived by the Wayback machine @ Archive.org but now an invalid/redirected URL) noted, “Neither CompTIA nor Pearson VUE or Prometric, its primary test delivery partners, guarantee the authenticity of any discount or promotional code (e.g., voucher or promotional code) obtained from any third party individual or entity.” (These quotes came from when CompTIA used Prometric in addition to Pearson VUE. It would not be surprising if the quoted material sometime gets updated to reflect the fact that CompTIA dropped support for Prometric.) There is some more harsh and condemning text on that page, particularly about some vouchers which are apprently offered by some sites. CompTIA's FAQ on vouchers notes, “If you did not purchase your voucher from CompTIA, you must contact the party through which you obtained your voucher for assistance. CompTIA cannot assist with voucher purchases made outside the CompTIA Marketplace.” That web page links to CompTIA's online store, the Certification Marketplace. All in all, the information that comes straight from the source seems to recommend people avoid third party sites.
This recommendation isn't universal. CertCities.com article: CompTIA Bans Discount Voucher Resales noted that for a voucher that was provided at a discount because the purchaser obtained bulk rates, the voucher “providers must bundle the vouchers with other services, such as training.” In the All-In-One book for studying for the CompTIA A+ (page 6 of chapter 1, using the Ch01.pdf from the CD that came with the book, probably from the 700 series), Mike Meyers wrote, “NOTE” “CompTIA requires any company that resells vouchers to bundle them with some other product or service. Because this requirement is somewhat vague, voucher resellers have been known to throw in some pretty lame stuff, just to meet the requirement and keep their overhead low.”
The book by Mike Meyers went on to state:
“As I always say, “You don't have to buy your voucher from us, but for goodness' sake, get one from somebody!” Why pay full price when you have a discount alternative?”
A book in the same series and by the same author, but meant for the CompTIA A+ certifiation, sates “Very few people pay full price for the exam. Virtually every organization that” provides “CompTIA A+ training and testing also offers discount vouchers.” “Vouchers are sold per exam, so” (for the A+ certification which requires two exams), “you'll need two vouchers to take the two CompTIA A+ exams.” “No one should ever pay full price for CompTIA A+ exams.” (Bottom of page 9, both of the book and of chap1.pdf which came from the CD that came with the book.)
If considering getting a discounted voucher from an organization such as one that offers training (or simply sells voucher), do check out the information (mainly the 3rdpartysites.pdf PDF file listing some known sources of Unauthorized Training Materials (as archived by the Wayback Machine at Archive.org)), previously offered from a hyperlink provided by available from CompTIA's page about Unauthorized offerings. (A local copy has been stored in ctiaunau.zip, although that does not have original metadata like the original file's timestamp.) Although CompTIA may not vouch for the authenticity of vouchers from some sources, they do vouch for the definite non-authenticity of offerings from some organizations which are known to be sources of problems. So avoiding those is definitely recommended. However, beyond that, decisions about how much risk is worth saving a bit of money is something that individuals may need to assess on their own, ready to reap all the negative consequences of any unfortunate decision. Again, for those who wish to play things fully safe, CompTIA's official recommendations are provided in the text mentioned earlier.
Some people have found that the best price is provided through a school. Some schools have offered discounts as much as 100%, meaning that the voucher was free (and was provided as part of the school's budget).
Here are some offerings that might seem rather safe:
- ][CyberPillar][ may make an offering in the future; if so, that is recommended by this text. There is no current offering.
- Sybex page for CompTIA vouchers may provide a discount code that can be used at the official CompTIA Marketplace. This is rather comforting, as that's the one source that CompTIA really endorses. Sybex is a part of a publisher named Wiley, and they provide a lot of books used for college courses, so they have a clearly recognized incentive to make sure that their offers are legitimate.
- Total Seminars: Vouchers offers some vouchers. The books published by Total Seminars are widely available, including at nationwide chain bookstores. Vouchers are not available for all of CompTIA's exams, but are available for some of them.
- [#ctiarenw]: Expiration Date/Renewal requirements
(Note: This is about the certifications themselves expiring. Vouchers likely have expiration dates that expire quicker than the certifications; perhaps about a year. Specific information should be available when attempting to obtain a voucher.)
CompTIA's Continuing Education Program lists the Continuing Education Unit requirements for the various certifications. This would seem to imply that those certifications expire. A list of certifications that expire has also been seen at CompTIA's “Good for Life” page. Towards the beginning of the year 2013, that has included “CompTIA A+”, “CompTIA Network+”, “CompTIA Security+”, “CompTIA Storage+”, and “CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)”. “Comptia Cloud+” and “Comptia Mobility+” were seen listed at CompTIA's “Stay Certified” (“Continuing Education Program”) page. One other way to check about expiration of already-obtained certifications may be to check a transcript. If the certification shows up and shows an “Expiration Date” of “n/a”, that would seem to indicate that the certification does not expire.
- Current info
We'll start with information relevant for certifications that are obtained today. (People who have earned certifications in the year 2010, or ealier, s hould check out the “Good For Life” section below.)
Check out Certification.CompTIA.org Continuing Education FAQ: section titled “Certification Renewal Process”. At the time of this writing (July 2018), the first question stated:
“Which CompTIA certifications expire?”
“CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Cloud+, CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+), CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP).”
- Old info
http://www.comptia.org/certifications/listed/renewal.aspx#five has stated, “The new certification renewal policy is applicable to all individuals who earn CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and/or CompTIA Security+ certifications on or after January 1, 2011. Other CompTIA certifications are not affected by the new policy at this time.” (Note: that information sounds quite time-dependent. Before trusting this information, check CompTIA's website to see if that information is still true.)
- Further “Good for life”/“CE” details
A page has been seen at: CompTIA Good-for-Life (GFL) Certification Holders. That text was found more recently than some of the text quoted below, and is believed to be a newer publication.
Some CompTIA examinations used to be actively promoted as being “good for life”. People who have obtained the CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and/or CompTIA Security+ certifications in 2010 or earlier will continue to officially be considered to be actively “certified”, without concern of expiration dates. Later on, CompTIA introduced expiration dates for anyone obtaining some certifications, including any of those three certifications (A+, Network+, and Security+) that were earned in the year 2011 or later.
People who need to obtain the newer certifications (who are often younger than the people who have the older certifications) often consider the treatment to be unfair. In truth, there really is no downside to having the older certifications. The lack of expiration dates is simply based on what CompTIA was offering at the time. At the time of this writing, CompTIA still offers some certifications without imposing expiration dates. Delving into this topic further is not being done with the intention of stirring up jealousy among those who already feel envious (even though that is recognized as being a strong possibility), but this topic is being covered a bit further because the information may be very relevant for some other people.
People who took the examination(s) for the CompTIA A+ in 2011 actually do not get a certification that has the official name of “CompTIA A+”. Instead, the official name for the certification that people get today is the “CompTIA A+ CE” (or “CompTIA A+ ce”). The “CE” (or “ce”) stands for “continuing education”, and refers to the fact that the certification does have an official expiration date. To keep such a newer certification active, people need to regularly fulfill the requirements of CompTIA's “continuing education” program.
Unpleasantly, CompTIA initially seemed elusive about what would happen to the older (already-obtained) certifications after a person's account started getting involved in CompTIA's “continuing education” program. CompTIA indicated that people with the older certifications could get involved in the “Continuing Education” program, but did not seem to make any clear statements about what would happen to the older certification if the “Continuing Education” program expired.
However, such concerns were finally laid to rest with a news article released later. To access the news article, a person did need to log into CompTIA's “Career ID” site. Then, the user could go to the “Demographics”, and choose the March 25, 2013 news article which was located at: https://www.certmetrics.com/comptia/candidate/news_item_details.aspx?naid=4 (Note: That news article required that the user was logged in before being able to access the news article. The contents of the article are readable by looking at screenshot of CompTIA info regarding non-expiration) When a person is logged in, that web page (CompTIA news article: CompTIA's "Good for Life" Continuing Education Credits) had this to state:
Participation in the CE program does not affect a candidate’s “certified for life” status, the good for life certification will always remain in effect, regardless of CE program participation.
(That news article was released 2013-Mar-25, according to a notice that was seen after going to the “Demographics” page.)
A FAQ from 2011 says the same thing. For people who earned the CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and/or CompTIAL Security+ before 2011,
those certifications will never expire, and you will always be considered “certified for life” for those certifications, regardless of if you participate in the CE program.
People with the older certifications may still be able to benefit from participating in the “continuing education” program. Some organizations may desire to see an active status in CompTIA's “continuing education” program. It took over two years for the author of this text to find a definitive quote from CompTIA about exactly what would happen after the “CE” expires. However, the text that was just quoted seems to finally answer that question. So, enrolling in the “CE” program does not jeopardize the “grandfathered” status.
- More info on Renewals
CompTIA: “Earn a Higher-Level CompTIA Certification” says, “You do not need to provide specific documentation. When you pass the exam of a valid CompTIA certification within the three-year renewal cycle, CompTIA will automatically renew your certification.” (That comment was made in a section about obtaining additional CompTIA certifications. Other activities, including getting other certifications, may require some documentation.) The web page also shows a pyramid of certification names; clicking on those names shows which items automatically renew.
- CompTIA: “Renewing Multiple Certifications” also has a pyramid of certification names; clicking on those names shows which items automatically renew. This web page refers to a renewal “intent level”. It says, “You will be prompted to select your intent level when paying CE fees and/or submitting CEUs when logged in to your certification account.” Hopefully the earlier “Earn a Higher-Level CompTIA Certification” continues to talk about renewals being automatic.
- “CompTIA CE Program FAQ”: “How do I know what is a higher-level CompTIA certification and what is lower?” provided five exams as a “hierarchy” Listed in order from lowest to highest, they were: CompTIA A+ ce, CompTIA Network+ ce, CompTIA Security+ ce, CySA+, CASP.
If you're interested in taking one or more “third party” certifications, the details are specific to examinations.
Third Party Certifications for renewing the “CompTIA A+ ce”
- Certification.CompTIA.org: “Renewing A+ Single”, “CompTIA A+” “- 20 CEUs required for certification renewal” shows single exams that will provide all 20 CEUs needed for renewing the “CompTIA A+ ce”
- Certification.CompTIA.org: “Renewing A+ Multiple””, “CompTIA A+” “- 20 CEUs required for certification renewal” shows exams that will provide just some of the CEUs needed for renewing the “CompTIA A+ ce”
- Third Party Certifications for renewing the “CompTIA A+ ce”
CompTIA: CE Renewal Cycle seems to be encouraging people to pay an “annual CE fee” each year. However, CompTIA CE Program FAQ: “Can I renew my CompTIA certification by passing another CompTIA exam?” says, “CompTIA certifications can be renewed if a higher-level CompTIA certification is earned. If you earn a higher-level CompTIA certification to fulfill your renewal requirements, you don’t need to pay the CE fees for the lower CompTIA certification.” The advice provided by this text is to not pay a CE fee for a certification if you are just planning to renew that certification by taking a higher-level CompTIA certification.
Other activities may be available and attractive. CompTIA CE: “What Renewal Options Are Available to you” has some charts with hyperlinks to more specific details.
- That page can be reached by going to Certification.CompTIA.org “Continuing Education” page called “Choose Your Activities”, and clicking on the third option, which is titled, “At a Glance: Renewal Options for Your Certfiication”.
- Another page that provides hyperlinks to various options is Certification.CompTIA.org Continuing Education: Renewing with multiple activities (which has multiple options, and may require scrolling down to see them all).
Some options include:
Relevant Work Experience
- Requires a letter printed on company letterhead, and a supervisor's signature
Taking certain certification examinations that CompTIA has chosen
- Some of those are offered by CompTIA
- Some of them are offered by other organizations, but CompTIA still has chosen to recognize that the content covered in those other certifications' examinations are likely to be suitably close to the material of a CompTIA certfiication, so you can get some renewal credit that way. (Certification.CompTIA.org: Earn Non-CompTIA IT Certfications provides hyperlinks to specific options for each expirable CompTIA certification.)
- Attending a conference
- Publish (a blog post, a book, an article, or a “white paper”)
- Completing a training course (which may be a College Course)
- Create instructional materials
- Teach of Mentor
CompTIA CE: Earn CEUs specifies how many CEUs are required for each certification.
Transcender (IT Certification Success) Blog entry on CompTIA expirations shows a statement that certificates from before 2011 were initially planned to expire as well. That article recommends visiting www.comptia.org/renewal and http://blog.comptia.org/ for the latest official information.
One way to (help?) effectively renew a certification may be to show that a different exam has been taken. Some information was drawn from a CompTIA series of charts (in PDF format) related to “continuing education” requirements. There's a bit of redundancy in that document: the bulk/majority of exams that can renew one certification may also be available options for renewing another certification.
- Certification requirements
A certification may require one or more exams. For example, the CompTIA A+ certification requires two exams to be completed. Individually, they are called the CompTIA A+ Essentials exam and the CompTIA A+ Practical Application exam. Each exam may have one or more exam codes. For example, the CompTIA A+ Essentials may have only one exam code, “220-701”. The CompTIA Security+ has had two simultaneous exam codes, SY0-201 and JK0-015.
In addition to photo ID, and having the test paid for, a time must be scheduled.
CompTIA FAQ 111 (old URL = http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=111 , new URL = http://newsupport.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=111 ) told exam takers, “If you do not answer this within the allotted 15 minutes you will forfeit your exam and your exam fee. You will not receive a refund and you will not be able to reschedule your exam.” PearsonVUE's page about CompTIA similarly states, “Please note: CompTIA requires the candidate to review the CompTIA Candidate Agreement” ... “prior to beginning an exam. The candidate will be allowed fifteen minutes.” CompTIA's policy page goes on to say, “We recommend all candidates read the entire policy, prior to taking our exams, assuring you can agree or disagree within the 15 minute time frame.” The policy has been made available online: see CompTIA Candidate Agreement. Other related policies may be located at CompTIA FAQs Knowledge Base subsection CompTIA FAQs Knowledge Base: CompTIA Policies & Agreements.
Other requirements may be listed on CompTIA KB 156 ( http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=156 ).
- [#ctiaobjc]: Objectives (for CompTIA certification examinations)
On CompTIA's web page about a particular exam (e.g. the home page for the CompTIA A+ certification), on the right side is a hyperlink that says “See what the exam covers”. This “exam objectives” page may request an E-Mail address. However, the information is then provided; the page has been used without seeming to receive any mandatory E-Mails. So, there might not be any need to check the E-Mail address right away (just to get a required code), unlike many times when an E-Mail address is required. There is a possibility that CompTIA will start to send E-Mails to that address.
- [#ctiaprac]: CompTIA Practice tests
On CompTIA's web page about a particular exam (e.g. the home page for the CompTIA Network+ (a.k.a. “Net+” and “N+”) certification) is a hyperlink that says “Take a practice test”.
The sample test offerings have been known to change. The hyperlink has been known to move: previously it was at http://www.comptia.org/certifications/testprep/practicetests.aspx but that now redirects to http://certification.comptia.org/home.aspx ) At one point previously, it seemed that hyperlink led to some practice tests where a PDF viewer may be needed.
- CompTIA practice test by MeasureUp
At another point, it seemed that CompTIA had a practice test being offered through MeasureUp. This would seem to indicate that MeasureUp.com was fairly authorized. They have not been seen on CompTIA's list of disapproved training content. A “demo” test may be available, by going to MeasureUp and choosing “Products”, and then making a choice regarding what test(s) are being prepared for. Then look for a hyperlink that says “View Demo”. An E-Mail address may need to be provided.
Notes made from some testing around late 2012 or early 2013 indicated that if Firefox is used, the practice test may take a while (certainly multiple minutes) to load. If Microsoft Internet Explorer is used, then the Microsoft Silverlight web add-on may be required.
There may be multiple applicable resources for each particular exam, so for even more applicable practice, search the entire Product Demo Form for the name of the exam. For example, when CompTIA started offering the 220-801 and 220-802 exams for the CompTIA A+ certification, and had not yet removed the 220-701 and 220-702 exams, there was a time when MeasureUp had a Practice Test for both the older version and the newer version. Also, MeasureUp and some Video Training available lower on the page. Even more surprising, at one point A+ had been identified as being listed under both CompTIA and Microsoft. (This seems funny, since the A+ exam is clearly a CompTIA exam, and not a Microsoft exam. At the time of this writing, it is not yet known whether the A+ practice test listed under Microsoft was the same practice test as what is properly listed under CompTIA, or if these practice tests might somehow differ. So, that might have been an additional available resource?) So, (before even taking the practice test) search the web page to see what all resources are available. (Finding related resources can likely be done quickly simply by using a web browser's “Find”/“Search” functionality.)
- CompTIA CertMaster
CompTIA seems to be recommending CertMaster. A trial of this program may be available: CompTIA CertMaster Trial.
- [#brdmpcti]: CompTIA's policies on disapproved training content
See also: disapproved training content for an overview, including CompTIA's list of sites that are unauthorized. (That list simply contains sites which are known to be problematic, and does not necessarily list all problems.) Ignoring that advice could risk losing all prior CompTIA certifications AND being unable to re-certify.
Using sites that may contain official CompTIA questions does risk the ability to obtain any future certifications, or previous certifications. CompTIA's page about Unauthorized Training Materials and Third-Party Offers Policy has stated, “CompTIA is not affiliated with and does not authorize, endorse or condone utilizing any content provided by unauthorized third-party training sites.” “Individuals who utilize such materials in preparation for any CompTIA examination, may be precluded from taking a CompTIA examination and/or have their certifications revoked”. The quote goes on to refer to the Candidate Agreement. That agreement has stated that one of the problematic activies is: “Seeking and/or obtaining unauthorized access to examination materials (this includes using braindump material and/or any unauthorized publication of Exam questions with or without answers)”. Technical methods of copying exam questions is prohibited, and even “reconstruction through memorization” is also a prohibited way of getting questions from an exam. (Cisco also cites “reconstruction through memorization” as a recognized problematic activity.)
Another action identified as problematic is “Misconduct as determined by statistical analysis”. This probably involves people answering lengthy questions quicker than shorter and easier questions, which may be prone to occur if people recognize the lengthier question from a brain dump. (Microsoft's certification program also identifies “Misconduct as determined by statistical analysis” on Microsoft's Exam policies: “Candidate Bans” section.)
Sybex, a part of Wiley publishing, makes books that have been used by various training organizations (such as colleges and “boot camp” style). They may provide some sample questions. For instance, on the back of the Sybex Linus Plus 2nd Edition book was a reference to go to Sybex: Linux Plus (2nd Edition) to access a free sample test. The website distributed a file that could be run under Microsoft Windows, and provided “the free downloadable files” including “practice exams, flashcards and glossary of terms”. (At the time of this writing, the author of this text has not confirmed whether the Sybex site requires any information from the book, or whether “the free downloadable files” are actually downloadable and usable by anybody.) Using this resource involved registering for a web account, and then logging into that account.
- Testing locations/scheduling
CompTIA outsources the task of actually administering the exam directly. The organizations that provide that service for CompTIA run testing centers, so determining the locations and times of the tests will need to be done through the testing centers. CompTIA's page of testing centers says, “CompTIA exams are provided through Pearson VUE and Prometric testing centers. (ProMetric information was at http://www.prometric.com/CompTIA/default.htm although that location may no longer be valid.) The CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals exam is also offered at Certiport testing centers. Visit their sites to find the closest testing center to you.”
- For locations and times with Prometric, see Prometric's Seat Availability.
For locations with Pearson VUE, see Pearson VUE Testing Center Locator, Pearson VUE locator for CompTIA tests. For times for the tests with Pearson VUE, create an account if needed and log in at Pearson VUE CompTIA Activity.
(Pearson VUE does not seem to share the times to the general public unless one has taken the time to create and log into an account. Although this extra step may take more time, they can have a different location than Prometric and for some people that may be more convenient. Also, they may offer more times when the tests may be taken, so spending the time may often be more fruitful.)
- (This site does not currently have further information about Certiport.)
- [#ctiatkxm]: Things to do (to pass a CompTIA certification, and after passing)
- Obtain the knowledge necessary to pass an exam
- Obtain some basic knowledge about the exam. Determine how many exam(s) are needed to qualify for the certification that is desired. Is this an exam that is affected by CompTIA's “continuing education” requirements?
- Determine how payment for the exam will occur. This will likely involve paying for a voucher. (This does not mean that the person taking the test has to be the one who directly pays for the voucher. See the section on getting a voucher for a CompTIA examination.)
- Perform whatever training you are planning to do. Obtain the knowledge necessary to pass an exam.
- Review the objectives of the exam.
- As an exception to the general process, if the certification being pursued is the CompTIA Linux+ (Powered by LPI), do not just continue on with this list. Instead, see the section about CompTIA Linux+, which will indicate that the test taker should obtain an LPI ID before taking CompTIA's certification. (This is not absolutely necessary in order to get CompTIA's certification, but it is a good thing to do.)
- Sign up for the exam.
- Take the exam at the location and time that the exam was scheduled for. CompTIA re-scheduling policies (which was at CompTIA FAQ 87: Re-scheduling, at http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=87 ) notes that re-scheduling is handled by the testing center provider, and maybe subject to forfeiting the paid exam fee).
- Pass the exam
- Upon Success
Keep a copy of the score report. It can be useful. Here are some examples of how it can be nice:
- On the last page of the score report, there may be a “Registration Number” and a “Validation Number” that can be used at Pearson VUE's authentication site. That may be the earliest way that the person who passed the test can use a publicly accessible website to see some electronically accessible acknowledgement that the examination was passed. However, even that might not work for some time. The website might seem to be having an error (which is harmless) if this verification is attempted before some computerized process happens behind the scenes.
- handling missing or incorrect exam information says to submit a copy of the score report. (This might be what was previously noted by CompTIA FAQ 21 at the old http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=21 URL.)
At least one college (WGU.edu) has been known to want a copy of the score report.
- Recently, a “View Score Reports” option has been seen on the Pearson VUE website. The score report might not be available immediately, but as that option exists, presumably it may become available in a few days or so?
- One option involved E-Mailing a scanned copy. If you have access to a device like a scanner or a fax machine (which are often some options provided by businesses that also provide copying/printing services), but the device is not at home, then it may make sense to use the device on your way home from the testing center. (Suggestion: if using E-Mail, then E-Mail yourself first or as a carbon copy. That may simplify things if the intended final recipient doesn't successfully get the desired copy.)
- Sometimes, even before CompTIA's CertMetrics.com website recognizes the certification, a candidate may be able to see an electronic verification that the candidate passed by logging into PearsonVue's CompTIA area (at https://pearsonvue.com/comptia ) and choosng “Exam History”, and seeing the word “Pass”. Or, perhaps, click “View Score Reports”, although such a score report has been known to not show up until even after CompTIA's CertMetrics.com website recognized the certification.
- Wait a length of time. The minimum length of time may be as high as five business days. (It has also been known to be under 24 hours.) If it has been under 5 days, see: CompTIA FAQ 36 ( http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=36 ). If it has been longer, see CompTIA FAQ 21 (http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=21 ).
Follow up and log into the CompTIA Career ID site (which might simply redirect to CompTIA CertMetrics login).
- If you're having troubles logging in, know that the Pearson VUE's score report should show your CompTIA ID (which starts with “COMP” and then has some numbers). That might be helpful in making sure you get access to your correct account.
Upon logging in (after CompTIA's website recognizes the certification has been obtained), if CompTIA is recognizing a recently-passed but unverified certification, the site will have some information be verified.
- If CompTIA's website is not showing the exam yet, and there have not been 5 days yet, then: log off, wait some more, and try again later.
Verify info and get a certificate kit. (Verifying info may proceed with initiating the request for a certificate kit.)
- Verify Demographics
After logging in, check the recent activity (shown on the bottom of the “Home” page of the site, which is generally the first page seen when logging in). If enough time has passed that the site is now recognizing the recent exam, there may be an orange box near the top of the page which says, “Before the system will attempt to deliver your fulfillment, you must update your address information (on the demographics page) to confirm that it is correct.” Go ahead and view the CompTIA Candidate Demographics page (which requires the user to be signed in). Verify that the information (especially the spelling of your name, but also your address) is correct, and press the “Submit” button on the bottom of the Demographics page.
- Getting a certificate kit
Current info: after the demographics has been verified, information about getting a certificate may show on the “Fulfillment” page (using the red banner near the top of a page, when logged into the CareerID site). Namely, at the time of this writing, the page says, “Approximately 2-3 business days after you have verified your demographic information is accurate,”, then the “Sent to Fulfillment” date will flip from “n/a” to an actual date. Further info may appear at the top of the “Fulfillment” site, or CompTIA: Certificate Fulfillment Status which may be found in the left frame's “Certificates, Credentials & Transcripts”, “Certificates and Kits”.
This involves having some stuff (a certificate and a card) mailed, free of any additional cost.
Old info: there used to be a process of requesting fulfillment. (This might have just involved verifying the info on the Demographics site?) Instructions were to request a fulfillment for a certificate kit, as noted by the CompTIA FAQ 82: Getting a certificate kit (at the http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=82 webpage).
CompTIA: Order a certificate kit may be found in the left frame's “Certificates, Credentials & Transcripts”, “Certificates and Kits”.
[#ctiacpdf]: Obtain the PDF certificate which shows this has been achieved.
- This can be done by going to the CompTIA Certification Holder's website at https://comptia.org/careerid (which just redirects to https://www.certmetrics.com/comptia/login.aspx ) and using the “Candidate ID” to log in. (The “Candidate ID” may start with “COMP” and then have twelve digits. If a person has taken a certification exam (at least if the exam was passed...), this should show up on a “Score Report” given at the conclusion of the relevant examination.)
- Once logged in, if the web browser doesn't automatically go to the Certifications “tab” on the web page (of the logged-in CompTIA CareerID site), then proceed to go there manually. Then check out the “Downloads” column. (If you have obtained multiple CompTIA certifications, be careful which certification you see.)
- Download the logos. Or, if there are no plans for using the logos, then perhaps there is no reason to bother to download them. Even if there is no immediate plan to use the logos, at least just realize that you now have more permission to use the logo (compared to before the certification was obtained). (help.comptia.org page on Logos says, &lduqo;You will be prompted to read through and agree to the usage guidelines before you can access your logo(s).”
- Get your verification codes. (See: section on verification codes for CompTIA.)
- If desired, make a(n electronic) transcript. (This is done when logged into the fulfillment center.) Note that this may show the physical address for the person who obtained the certification (although that is an option, so displaying the address can be disabled when creating the transcript). Related URLs: Submit proof of your CompTIA certifications, create a transcript
- (For more information about certification verification, see the section on “Verifying CompTIA certifications”.)
- Optional (generally recommended, although certain privacy advocates may recommend being careful with this) - Take some of the verifiable online hyperlinks (using the number provided on the certificate, or the transcript), and make that information easily available online. (As an example: TOOGAM's CompTIA certifications makes the electronic PDF files (including the verification code which works), and multiple other verification hyperlinks, publicly available.)
Have CompTIA send information to other organizations, if applicable/desired. This is generally desired for people who passed the CompTIA Linux+, and some other people may also desire having such information being sent out.
- If the test passed was the CompTIA Linux+ (Powered by LPI), go get additional certifications at no cost and with minimal effort (but some time of waiting). See details in the process of CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI. CompTIA's information is at: CompTIA web page about sending info to LPI. However, the CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI has more details about how to get even more out of the certification.
- (accessible via left frame: “Certificates, Credentials & Transcripts”, “Credentials”, “Verify credentials to Microsoft”).
- (accessible via left frame: “Certificates, Credentials & Transcripts”, “Transcripts”, “Submit proof of your CompTIA certifications”).
- United States Department of Defense 8570 Requirements info (accessible via left frame: “Certificates, Credentials & Transcripts”, “Certificates and Kits”, “Register and release certifications to fulfill 8570 requirements”, or via top: “Continuing Education”, “DoD Requirements”).
- Additional organizations may be informed by using the CompTIA CareerID site (log in), and going to Demographics (the bar with the red background, near the top), Authorizations (just below the top/red bar). At the time of this writing (near the end of the year 2014), the supported organizations included:
- Keep a copy of the score report. It can be useful. Here are some examples of how it can be nice:
- [#ctiavrfy]: Verifying CompTIA certifications
- Immediate verification methods
Once a test is taken, the end user will be informed of the score and so the test taker knows the results before leaving the testing room. Nearby the testing room, the person should check with some staff (likely the same staff who checks the test taker in before the exam is started) and a print-out is provided. That is the most immediate, although not officially definitive, proof available. CompTIA FAQ 156: Information, which was at http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=156 stated, “The score report information that you receive upon completion of your exam (do not lose - keep for your permanent records), prior to leaving the test site, is also confidential and contains confidential information and is not the means for verifying a certification.”
However, near the end of the score report, there may be a “Registration Number” and a “Verification” number. Just above those numbers, the score report may note, “You Can Authenticate This Score Report Using Pearson VUE's Digital Embosser!” At the time of this writing, it is believed (but not yet verified) that this validation method might work more quickly than using CompTIA's site, and involves going to a trustworthy source that the testing candidate does not have access to modify.
Another way to see some verification that a person passed is for that person to log into an account on a website for a testing provider. (Head to PearsonVUE Signin page for CompTIA. Log in. Then, in the “My Account” section (on the right side), follow the “Exam History” hyperlink.) However, that information would not be accessible to someone who does not have the password to log into the account, so that isn't a very good long term solution either. Also, the initial screen shows exam attempts including those with a “Status” of “Fail”, so anyone with an imperfect history might not want to use this method to demonstrate results to anyone they wish to impress. What this does do, though, is allows a test taker to see some sort of information online, and this method may provide some results even before CompTIA recognizes the certification.
- Long term verification methods
Later, perhaps one business day or several business days later, the results will be recognized by CompTIA's online candidate database. The person who passed the exam may need to log into CertMetrics CompTIA site to help make verification happen.
(CompTIA FAQ 36 (at http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=36) says to “allow the test service provider 3-5 business days to upload” results; that same timeframe is noted elsewhere), the user may log into the CompTIA account and request a transcript from CompTIA's website CertMetrics.com (as noted by CompTIA KB 116: PDF Certificate).
The “3-5 business days” guideline might be a bit inflated just to allow some leeway for the organizations (CompTIA and the testing provider, which is only PearsonVUE at the time of this writing). Near the very end of October (err, probably of either 2013 or 2015), CompTIA's website did recognize a certification in a bit less than 48 hours, but did not recognize the certification after about 40 hours. In July of 2018, this was known to take less than 24 hours. So it appears that the amount of time has been known to vary, but do not be surprised if any new certifications are not acknowledged the day after any examinations are taken. Do not be afraid to check once in a while, because this may come well before the full 5 business days have fully passed.
Here are two ways to get a verification code which the CompTIA website will accept:
- One of them is available by looking at the PDF of the certificate. (See: CompTIA certificate PDF file.) In the lower-left corner, there iwll be a line that says “CODE: ”, and will provide a code. (Just below that is a line that says “Verify at http://verify.CompTIA.org”.) (This may essentially just be a rediction to https://www.certmetrics.com/comptia/public/verification.aspx which may be handy to know about in case the shorter URL of http://verify.CompTIA.org ever becomes unresponsive, like it seemed to be for at least a few days in August 2018.
For another available code, you can go to the “Fulfillment” tab, and look in the “Verification code” column. That code can also be used at at http://verify.CompTIA.org
- Why they provide two codes? Who knows!
CompTIA KB 46: Third party verification ( http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=46 ) notes that the PDF certificate feature and the Transcript feature are “both verifiable” and “are the only CompTIA approved methods of certification verification available to our Certified Professionals.” (Based on that, the “Fulfillment” tab's “Verification code” column may be a bit less officially supported than using the code from the PDF certificate?)
View the certificate. In the lower-left corner is a hyperlink to http://verify.CompTIA.org. Go there in a web browser and then type the Code in the lower-left corner of the certificate.
CompTIA KB 150 ( http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=150 )
Upon creating the transcript as described by CompTIA KB 15074: Verifying credentials using Transcript feature, a transcript will show up on the Transcript page. If the transcript shows up as “Inactive” then ensure that any expiration date is properly showing a future date.
The transcript may or will expire. (A new one may be made.)
For verification by Microsoft, include the MCP number in the Remarks field as noted by CompTIA KB 28: Verifying for MS ( http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=28 ). The reason for doing is is that MS can give some credit for CompTIA tests, as noted by CompTIA KB 70: Benefits for MS's program of taking CompTIA tests ( http://support.comptia.org/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=70 ).
- Upon failure / Retaking certification examinations
If an examination is not passed, see: CompTIA Retake Policy. If the concern is related to renewing a “Continual Enrollment”, see the information regarding expiration. (There are ways to renew other than just retaking certifications.) This policy is largely covered by CompTIA's Agreement required of test takers (e.g., when checked in October of 2013, section 6 has been labeled “Retake Policy”).
An exception may be the CompTIA Linux+ (Powered by LPI). Although CompTIA may have the same policy for the CompTIA Linux+ as the policy for other CompTIA certification examinations, it makes sense to also qualify for the LPIC-1 certification (provided by LPI) at the same time. So, also follow the Retake Policy from Linux Professional Institute's Candidate Area, which may require an additional wait.
- Single Cert Certs
These are single certifications:
- [#aplsctia]: CompTIA A+
This exam covers performing various tasks, such as hardware installation. This certification's topics has included (and may still include) details such as basics about the internal parts of laser printers.
This certification was once provided by a single comprehensive test. Since then, its content has been split into two separate tests. Both pieces were required to become A+ certified. When a new version of the exam is released, CompTIA has offered some overlapping time where the old version has remained available for some time after the new one is released. If multiple versions of the exam are offered, then both tests may need to be from the version of the exam.
- CompTIA A+ Essentials
The CompTIA 701 exam (passable by taking either exam code 220-701 or JK0-701) was called “CompTIA A+ Essentials”. This exam tested “for technical understanding of computer technology, networking and security, as well as communication skills and professionalism.” A passing score was 675 on a possible scale ranging from 100 to 900. (The quote, and some other information, came from CompTIA A+ 700 series web page.)
The CompTIA A+ 801 exam was an update to cover “the fundamentals of computer technology, installation and configuration of PCs, laptops and related hardware, and basic networking.”
For the CompTIA 220-901 exam, the list of objectives has has been made available, in English, at https://certification.comptia.org/docs/default-source/exam-objectives/comptia-a-220-901-exam-objectives.pdf
- Also available in Portuguese at https://certification.comptia.org/docs/default-source/exam-objectives/comptia-a-220-901-objs/v1-2-ptbr.pdf
- For the CompTIA 220-901 exam, the list of objectives has has been made available, in English, at https://certification.comptia.org/docs/default-source/exam-objectives/comptia-a-220-901-exam-objectives.pdf
- CompTIA A+ Practical Application
The CompTIA 702 exam (passable by taking either exam code 220-702 or JK0-702) was called “CompTIA A+ Practical Application”. This exam was considered to be “an extension of the knowledge and skills identified in CompTIA A+ Essentials, with more of a "hands-on" orientation focused on scenarios in which troubleshooting and tools must be applied to resolve problems.” A passing score was 675 on a possible scale ranging from 100 to 900. (The quote, and some other information, came from CompTIA A+ 700 series web page.)
The CompTIA A+ 802 exam's update was to focus on abilities “to install and configure PC operating systems, as well as configuring common features (e.g. network connectivity and email) for mobile operating systems Android and Apple iOS.”
For the CompTIA 220-902 exam, the list of objectives has has been made available, in English, at https://certification.comptia.org/docs/default-source/exam-objectives/comptia-a-220-902-exam-objectives.pdf
- For the CompTIA 220-902 exam, the list of objectives has has been made available, in English, at https://certification.comptia.org/docs/default-source/exam-objectives/comptia-a-220-902-exam-objectives.pdf
Both exams were 90 minutes each. With the 700 series exams, the number of questions was 100 per exam. With the 800 series exams, the number of questions dropped to 90 per exam.
PDF files, about the official Objectives list for the 900 series, noted, “Successful candidates will have the knowledge required to” do the following:
- 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
- [#ctianetp]: CompTIA Network+
This covers networking techniques.
People expecting to take this test should become familiar with popular network protocols and techniques such as subnetting. Another broad concept to be familiar with is how to utilize different types of networking hardware.
Objectives may be viewed by PDF files distributed directly from CompTIA. See: CompTIA Exam Objectives.
Under http://certification.comptia.org/Libraries/Exam_Objectives/ there has been a page at CompTIA_Network_N10-005.sflb.ashx which leads to downloading CompTIA+Network+(N10-005).pdf. In the same directory (on their website) there has also been a CompTIA_Network_Objectives_N10-004.sflb.ashx that leads to downloading CompTIA+Network+Objectives+N10-004.pdf.
- Study material
The first thing to do, before spending time on any study material, is to determine whether it meets the objectives. Otherwise, a great deal of time may be spent studying material that won't assist much in properly prepare a person to pass the desired certification examination.
][Cyber Pillar][ has been enhanced, and how has a guide to help cover most (at the time of this writing, nearly all) of the objectives of the CompTIA Network+ N10-005 examination. CompTIA Network+ N10-005 guide and information related to terms from the Glossary provided with CompTIA Network+ Objectives tends to refer people to ][Cyber Pillar][ (rather than, say, Wikipedia's coverage about the individual topics, which might often more generalized (broader) coverage than trying to pass on all the technical details). This guide is anticipated to be more useful for those who are just trying to get a working implementation (and are using the software that ][Cyber Pillar][ focuses on).
Wikibooks: Network Plus Certification: Objectives lists various objectives. Hyperlinks, such as the one named “Objective 2.8”, help point people to additional pages with more details on the specific sections. It looks like a lot of this information simply refers to related pages on Wikipedia.
MC MCSE free CompTIA Network+ N10-004 study guide is designed for an older version of CompTIA's Network+ certification exam. (The N10-005 has since been released.) On the plus side, this does show some pictures. Terms are covered fairly briefly.
For those who may be more interested in other presentation methods, All-in-One CompTIA A+ Certification, by Mike Meyers of Total Seminars provides some resources.
- [#ctiasecp]: CompTIA Security+
This covers technologies such as certificates and the public key infrastructure (“PKI”) system.
Related: CompTIA Security+ info (directory)
- [#ctiasvrp]: CompTIA Server+
This has a lot of focus on server-class hardware and how to interact with such hardware.
Related: CompTIA Server+ info (directory)
- [#ctiaplpi]: CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI
Note: Some of the information after this update may be a bit outdated. (It may be updated after some review.) New exam codes have been used. The process for gtting the LPIC-1 for free (upon getting the “CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI” certification) may have changed. SUSE may not be offering a free certification as they have previously done.
To get the LPIC-1 for free, it is recommended that you sign up for your “LPI ID” number (which you can do for free) before taking the CompTIA Linux+ certification.
You may wish to check CompTIA's website for an option to have the scores provided to LPI, even before you take the certification examination.
In the past, part of the “CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI” examination process would involve asking if you wanted to have information sent to LPI. If you do see such a question, be sure to say that yes, you would like to have such information sent. However, if you don't see such a question during the examination, don't worry about it.
Instead, look on CompTIA's website for an option to have the scores provided to LPI. Before you can get the scores sent, you may need to wait until CompTIA recognizes that you have completed all steps needed for the “CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI” certification.
CompTIA's Linux+ Page says, “Earning the certification is a stepping stone to vendor-specific training, such as Oracle Certified Associate and Novell SUSE Linux programs.” Also, “A new benefit for CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI candidates is that they may choose, at the time they take the exams, to have their exam record forwarded to the Linux Professional Institute. Certification in CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI enables candidates to become certified in LPIC-1 as well, enabling further participation in the LPI program if the candidate chooses.” Be sure not to miss this opportunity, because it does state, “at the time” when the exam is taken. (Perhaps it is unknown whether CompTIA might keep exam results confidential later.)
... that is... unless you are in Japan. LPI page about partnership with programs indicates that this “is not available in Japan.” (Similarly, LPI page on Novell partnership states, “This program initiative with SUSE and their CLA certification is not available to LPI candidates in Japan”.) Also, LPI Exams FAQ (FAQ 18) stated, “please know that our Board of Directors has passed a policy that you must take both exams of either the LPIC-1 or LPIC-2 certification within 5 years of each other in order for the certificate to be valid.” (The question was: “LPI introduced new exams on April 1, 2009. Are my previous exams still valid towards my certification?” The basic answer was: “Yes.”)
Here are the steps to perform in order to maximize the certification count, while minimizing things like work and expense:
- Sign up for LPI ID. See: LPI ID registration (found from LPI page about partnership with programs)
- When scheduling the test, sign in using PersonVUE's CompTIA site, not PearsonVUE's LPI site. Make sure to specify to take the examination from CompTIA. (Passing CompTIA's examination will allow LPIC-1 status. No documentation seems to indicate that passing LPIC-1 ends up getting a CompTIA certification. In fact, LPI page about partnership with programs says, “Please note that the "3-in-1" process is not reciprocal (i.e. you can't do it the other way round) and is not available in Japan.” So do this right, in order to be able to get credit for both certifications.)
- Perhaps optional at this point: Log into CompTIA's website. In the “Demographics” section, on the first page (called “Settings”), check the value of an option related to LPI. (It might default to “No Selection”. Changing this to “Yes” would seem like a sensible thing to do.)
- Some resources for being ready may be provided by LPI page on exam preparation: self-study. (That page may provide resources for resources related to various LPI certifications. Remember that the CompTIA Netowrk+ covers the same material as the LPIC-1. So, focus on resources related to the LPIC-1.)
- Follow other steps related to passing the certification examinations. (Take the examination: see steps in the generalized section on Things to do (to pass a CompTIA certification, and after passing).)
When taking the CompTIA Linux+ examinations, the examination used to ask candidates about sharing details with LPI. That question seems to have disappeared (presumably to be replaced by the setting on CompTIA's website), but if the question does happen to show up, make sure to specify to share details with LPI. If the option is presented, select “Forward my scores to LPI.” When the question was seen during the examination session, what was seen is that a screen asks for permission, so this is more of a Yes or No option. (Based on what was seen before, the recommended answer is “Yes”. However, to be safe, be sure to read the question before answering.)
There are two examinations: LX0-101 and LX0-102. This option has been known to appear on both examinations. If you see the question multiple times, make sure to provide permission each time you are asked.
CompTIA page about sending Linux+ results to LPI indicates the question will be asked. However, some experience suggests that this question might not be asked. If that's the case, don't worry about it: you won't be the only one who hasn't seen the question. Just make sure to go to the CompTIA site afterwards. (CompTIA page about sending Linux+ results to LPI states, “You can revise your settings, including the option to forward your exam results through your CompTIA certification account, at any time.”
- After passing the CompTIA Linux+, go to CompTIA's “Career ID” site. Verify that CompTIA's site is recognizing the certification. (This may routinely not be available the day that an examination is passed, or even the next day, as noted by the section on “Verifying CompTIA certifications”.) Once CompTIA's website is up to date on the certification, a message about verifying demographics will likely appear at the top of the home screen that is shown after logging in.
- After logging into the home screen, do verify demographics. Specifically, especially make sure the name and address are being shown as desired. Then, go to the next page, which is the Demographics “Settings” page. On that page, check the section called “My LPI Credentials”. Despite permission being granted earlier, this might default to “No selection”. Flip that to “Yes”. Then scroll down, and press the “Submit” button.
Verify that LPI recognizes the certification. This should be done after getting things taken care of with CompTIA, because CompTIA's items should be handled first. (Data should be verified with CompTIA as soon as CompTIA's website shows that the website has been passed. Handling the LPIC should be done afterwards.)
- Details on this are discussed in the info related to LPI.
- Contact Novell/SUSE to get some easy and free certifications from them. Details on this are discussed in the info related to LPI.
Received mailed exams.
- CompTIA can send out a mailed exam.
- LPI can send out a mailed exam. (LPI Exams FAQ (FAQ 15) is: “How long will it take for LPI to send out my certificate once I've passed?” The basic answer is “approximately 1-2 weeks for processing and up to an additional 3 weeks for international mail delivery”, which is summarized earlier as “between 2 to 5 weeks”. Also, “it is critical that you notify LPI if you change mailing addresses during this time.”)
Some additional information:
- Next steps
After passing the examinations, here are some additional steps that are recommended.
“Hurricane Electric”/TunnelBroker.net's IPv6 certification is free. It is a bit time consuming. Some of those steps may be a great way to further hone skills and familiarity with Linux.
Here are some shameless plugs of additional resources that may be interesting for people who have just obtained the Linux+ certification: TOOGAM's tutorial on using IPv6, TOOGAM's tutorial on building a network, TOOGAM's tutorial on making a virtual machine, providing professional services.
- Info related to TechCertRegistry
Information was here. However, this was recommended as a result of a recommendation from LPI's website. The information has since been moved to info related to LPI.
- Additional references related to this certification
In general, at the time of this writing, it is believed that CompTIA Linux+ does not expire. CompTIA's certifications generally do not “expire” unless the certification is tied to CompTIA's “Continuing Enrollment” requirements. The CompTIA Linux+ examination is not mentioned on CompTIA's web pages about CompTIA's “Continuing Enrollment” requirements, even though other CompTIA examinations are listed on a page such as CompTIA's “Stay Certified” (“Continuing Education Program”) page. For further details, see: CompTIA Expiration Date/Renewal requirements.
However, other certifications may expire. For instance, LPI's do. (LPI info)
See also: CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI.
- [#ctialnxp]: CompTIA Linux+
Information about the “CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI is still available. (The rest of this section discusses the exam simply known as “CompTIA Linux+”.)
CompTIA did have a certification called the “CompTIA Linux” before their partnership with the Linux Professional Institute which generated a mutual certification, which was named the “CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI” certification. That certification was likely Good For Life, not subject to expiration.
As of 2019, CompTIA has released a newer CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI. At the time of this writing, it seems CompTIA has released conflicting statements about whether this certification would be affected by CompTIA's CE program, because initially they said it would not be, but later they changed their mind and said it would be.
Related information may already be at, or may soon be getting added to this site's technical section on “CompTIA Linux+”-related content.
- [#ctiaprjp]: CompTIA Project+
This has a lot of focus on overseeing a “project”.
Related: CompTIA Project+ info (directory)
- Stackable Certifications
- CompTIA Stackable, CompTIA: Stackable Certifications, PhoenixTS: CompTIA Stackable Certifications
- Misc notes
For the support center, the site has redirected to certmetrics.com and https://s5.parature.com (so these sites do appear to legitimately be related to CompTIA).
CompTIA has a program called “CompTIA Authorized Quality Cirriculum” (“CAQC”) which may lead to some training materials showing a sort of official seal.
When logging in, the “CompTIA Candidate Database” has refered people to “CompTIA Subject Matter Expert” at http://certification.comptia.org/getCertified/examdevelopment but that address has been known to yeild a “404” error. A more recent page has been found at Comptia's “Get Involved” section: “Become a Subject Matter Expert”. Doing so has involved going to a location near Chicago, Illinois (in the United States of America).
- Levels of certifications
Some certifications are recognized as being more valuable than other certifications. On CompTIA's “Stay Certified” (“Continuing Education Program”) page, the page stated, “shown in their respective order, highest-level to lowest-level”:
- CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
- CompTIA Storage+
- CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA A+
CompTIA Server+ is generally recognized as being more advanced that CompTIA Network+. This is no surprise, as CompTIA Server+ is likely to assume familiarity with simpler concepts found on the CompTIA Network+, and has more of a focus on details that are more specific to working with network servers. Also, CompTIA Server+ is now generally recognized as being higher than CompTIA Security+ (especially after the expiration dates were introduced, affecting CompTIA Security+ like the lower-level CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA A+ certifications).
TechExams.net forum post stated, “I know there is no minimum age and they recommend at least 13.” Such details might not be readily visible on CompTIA's website, but there are claims of some CompTIA certifications being provided as part of high school programs. Some preliminary research does indicate that a 16 year old can obtain a CompTIA certification.
CompTIA Network+ page, as archived by the Wayback Machine @ Archive.org from October 2, 2015 had this to say (at the time) about the expiration date of the version of the Network+ that was released at that time: “TBD - Usually three years after launch”.
“More so than any other certifying body, CompTIA makes extensive use of performance-based questions and simulations in its exams,” said James Stanger, CompTIA’s chief technology evangelist. “These simulations accurately reflect the real-world scenarios IT pros face daily, requiring test-takers to demonstrate skills in networking, cybersecurity and other areas under the pressure of a timed test.”