CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Prep (Exams A+ Essentials, 220-602, 220-603, 220-604)

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Overview

This book covers every skill measured by the latest A+ Exams including:

  • Understanding all essential PC terminology, concepts, internal components, and peripherals
  • Installing, upgrading, configuring, and optimizing PC components
  • Troubleshooting hardware and performing essential preventive maintenance
  • Mastering today’s best practices for professionalism and client communications
  • Managing storage, printers, and scanners
  • Maintaining laptops and other portable devices
  • Performing advanced component installation, upgrade, and troubleshooting
  • Installing, upgrading, repairing, and optimizing all Windows operating systems covered on the A+ exams
  • Securing PCs and safeguarding their contents against data loss
  • Setting up networks and troubleshooting network connectivity issues
  • Understanding and managing computer-related safety and environmental issues

WRITTEN BY A LEADING A+ EXPERT

Charles J. Brooks is currently co-owner and vice president of Educational Technologies Group Inc., as well as co-owner of eITPrep LLP, an online training company. He is in charge of research and product development at both organizations. A former electronics instructor and technical writer with the National Education Corporation, Charles taught and wrote on post-secondary EET curriculum, including introductory electronics, transistor theory, linear integrated circuits, basic digital theory, industrial electronics, microprocessors, and computer peripherals. Charles has authored several books, including the first five editions of A+ Certification Training Guide, The Complete Introductory Computer Course, and IBM PC Peripheral Troubleshooting and Repair. He also writes about networking, residential technology integration, and convergence.

CD Features MeasureUp Practice Questions!

The CD features innovative testing software powered by MeasureUp, with an extensive collection of additional practice questions. This state-of-the-art study system can help you get completely ready for any current A+ exams: A+ Essentials, 220-602, 220-603, or 220-604!

  • Multiple test modes, so you can study in the way that’s most comfortable for you
  • Detailed explanations of correct and incorrect answers help you thoroughly understand every A+ topic
  • Helps you quickly identify your strengths–and fix your weaknesses

www.examcram.com

ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3565-2

ISBN-10: 0-7897-3565-2

U.S. $59.99

CAN. $65.99

U.K. £42.99 (inc. of VAT)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789735652
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 11/19/2007
  • Series: Exam Prep Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 1436
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 2.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles J. Brooks is currently co-owner and vice president of Educational Technologies Group, Inc., as well as co-owner of eITPrep, LLP, an online training company. He is in charge of research and product development at both organizations. A former electronics instructor and technical writer with the National Education Corporation, Charles taught and wrote on postsecondary EET curriculum, including introductory electronics, transistor theory, linear integrated circuits, basic digital theory, industrial electronics, microprocessors, and computer peripherals. Charles is the author of several books, including the first five editions of A+ Certification Training Guide, The Complete Introductory Computer Course, and IBM PC Peripheral Troubleshooting & Repair. He currently writes about networking, residential technology integration, and convergence.

David L. Prowse is currently a network security engineer and is the creator of Guru Computer Training, Inc., a web-based training company. In his spare time over the past decade, he has managed to train more than 2,000 A+ students with great success. A former coder, David enjoys bringing the “hyper technical” to the table, while keeping the reading experience enjoyable. He is the author of the Exam Cram Network+ Lab Manual, which has been showered with excellent reviews. David has also worked as the technical editor on half a dozen Exam Cram projects.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction

CompTIA® A+ Exam Prep is designed for those with the goal of certification as an A+ certified technician.

The 2006 version of CompTIA's A+ Certification exams represents the most extensive changes to the certification since its inception. The traditional two-test model featured one exam for Hardware (Core) and a separate exam for Operating System Technologies. That's been changed to a two-test requirement featuring one required exam followed by three options for Advanced exams to complete the certification.

The introductory level exam is called the A+ Essentials exam (220-601). The three options for the Advanced exam are designed to address the three main professional tracks commonly associated with A+ certification—Depot Technician (220-604), Remote Support Technician (220603), and the all-around IT Technician (220-602).

***

Note - For a complete listing of the latest exam objectives, go to http://certification.comptia.org/a/.

***

Many of the objectives given for each exam overlap with objectives in the other exams. The main difference between the Essentials exam that everyone must take and any of the Advanced exams is supposed to be the level of knowledge required. CompTIA gives a recommendation of 500 hours of experience for the Essentials exam taker and 1,000 hours for any of the Advanced exams.

These exams measure essential competencies for a microcomputer hardware service technician with six months of on-the-job experience. You must demonstrate knowledge that would enable you to properly install, configure, upgrade,troubleshoot, and repair microcomputer hardware. This includes basic knowledge of desktop and portable systems, basic networking concepts, and printers. You also must demonstrate knowledge of safety and common preventive-maintenance procedures.

Another major change for the 2006 A+ exam is the inclusion of a soft skills domain. This is not exactly a new idea for the A+ exam. Various past versions have required a customer service element as part of the certification. However, the computer repair industry has made it clear that in most computer repair-related job roles, customer service and satisfaction skills are equally as important as technical skills.

For the 2006 version of the A+ exams, CompTIA has continued to use a fixed length, linear format test. They have also continued their practice of injecting new test items into the exam and administering them as nonscored questions. The psychometric evaluation of the questions is derived from these tests. When the new questions have been validated through this method, they will be injected into the live 2006 exams as scored questions.

After validation, the questions will be returned to the question pools as scored items, thus creating a dynamic test pool that is continually being renewed. To cope with this, Educational Technologies Group (ETG) has established our Dynamic Test Tracking system that is available to everyone who purchases this product.

ETG's Dynamic Test Tracking system is an online service that includes dynamic, interactive updates for each chapter and lab procedure in our course. These changes also include Test Tips and Curriculum Notes for any changes encountered in the A+ exams over the life of this exam version. In this way, your courseware will never be out of date or incomplete. How This Book Helps You

This book is your one-stop answer for the A+ exams. Everything you need to know to pass the exams is in here. You do not have to take a class in addition to buying this book to pass the exam. Depending on your personal study habits or learning style, however, you might benefit from buying this book and taking a class. It can also help advanced users and administrators who are not studying for the exam but are looking for a single-volume technical reference.

Our book provides a self-guided tour of all the areas covered by all four of the A+ exams and identifies the specific skills you need to achieve your A+ certification. You also will find the features that make Que's training guides so successful: clear organization, helpful hints, tips, real-world examples, and step-by-step exercises. Specifically, this book is set up to help you in the following ways: Organization

This book is organized according to individual exam objectives. It covers every objective that you need to know for all four A+ exams. As much as possible, the objectives are covered in the same order as they are listed by the certifying organization, CompTIA, to make it as easy as possible for you to learn the information. We also have attempted to make the information accessible in the following ways:

  • The book includes a full list of exam topics and objectives.

  • Each chapter begins with a list of the objectives to be covered.

  • Each chapter also begins with an outline that provides an overview of the material and the page numbers indicating where you can find particular topics.

  • Information on where the objectives are covered is also conveniently condensed on the tear card at the front of this book.

Instructional Features

This book is designed to provide you with multiple ways to learn and reinforce the exam material. Following are some of the helpful methods:

  • Objective explanations—As mentioned previously, each chapter begins with a list of the objectives covered in the chapter. In addition, immediately following each objective is an explanation in a context that defines it more meaningfully.

  • Test tips—Exam tips appear in the margin to provide specific exam-related advice. Such tips might address what material is covered (or not covered) on the exam, how it is covered, mnemonic devices, and particular quirks of that exam.

  • Summaries—Each chapter ends with a summary.

  • Terms you'll need to understand—A list of key terms appears at the end of each chapter. The key terms are also italicized the first time they appear in the text of the chapter.

  • Notes—These paragraphs appear in the margin and contain various kinds of useful information such as tips on technology or administrative practices, historical background on terms and technologies, or side commentary on industry issues.

  • Warnings—When you are using sophisticated technology improperly, the potential for mistakes or even catastrophes to occur is ever present. Warnings appear in the margin to alert you to such potential problems.

  • Challenges—These instructional elements require you to analyze a situation and come up with a solution to a technical problem. They are included here in anticipation of the application questions that appear in the A+ exams. Answers appear in the "Challenge Solutions" section.

Extensive Practice Test Options

This book provides numerous opportunities for you to assess your knowledge and to practice for the exam. The practice options include the following:

  • Review questions—These questions appear in the "Exam Prep Questions" section. They reflect the kinds of multiple-choice questions that appear on the A+ exams. Use them to practice for the exam and to help you determine what you know and what you need to review or study further. Answers and explanations for them are provided.

  • Practice exam—A practice exam is included in the "Final Review" section for each exam (as discussed later).

  • MeasureUp—The MeasureUp software included on the CD that accompanies this book provides even more practice questions. You also can purchase more questions at http://www.measureup.com.

Final Review

This part of the book provides the following three valuable tools that can help you prepare for the exam:

  • Practice Exam—A full practice test for each of the exams is included. Questions are written in the styles used on the actual exams. Use it to assess your readiness for the real thing.

  • This book includes the Glossary and Appendix A, "What's on the CD-ROM."

These and all the other book features mentioned previously will enable you to thoroughly prepare for the exam. Registering for the Exam

To register for the A+ exam, contact Marcraft at 800-441-6006. Special discounts are available for Que customers.

For more information about the exam or the certification process, contact Educational Technologies Group (ETG) or the CompTIA organization:

CompTIA Headquarters

Attn: A+ Certification
1815 S. Meyers Road, Suite 300
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-5228
Phone: 630.678.8300
Fax: 630.268.1384

info@comptia.org

http://www.comptia.org

Educational Technologies Group
100 N. Morain St.
Kennewick, WA 99336
Tel: 800-441-6006
Fax: 509-374-1951

info@marcraft.com

http://www.marcraft.com Hardware and Software You Will Need

As a self-paced study guide, this book was designed with the expectation that you will use your computer as you follow along through the exercises. You also should use the MeasureUp software on the accompanying CD. Your computer should meet the following criteria:

  • 32-bit operating system (Windows 9x/2000/XP or NT 4.0)

  • 10MB hard-drive space

  • 16MB RAM

  • IE 4.01 or later

  • 640_480 video resolution with 256 colors or more

  • CD-ROM drive

Advice on Taking the Exam

You should keep the following advice in mind as you study:

  • Read all the material. Make sure that your exam preparation is thorough. Do not just drop into the book and read around. Read through all the material. This book includes additional information not reflected in the objectives in an effort to give you the best possible preparation for the examination—and for on-the-job experiences to come.

  • Complete the steps. They will provide you with another way of understanding the material as well as more information on how well you comprehend it.

  • Use the questions to assess your knowledge. Do not just read the chapter content; use the questions to find out what you know and what you do not. Study some more, review, and then assess your knowledge again.

  • Review the exam objectives. Develop your own questions and examples for each topic listed. If you can develop and answer several questions for each topic, you should not find it difficult to pass the exam.

Remember, the primary objective is not to pass the exam—it is to understand the material. After you understand the material, passing the exam should be simple. Knowledge is a pyramid; to build upward, you need a solid foundation. This book and the CompTIA A+ certification program are designed to ensure that you have that solid foundation.

***

Note - Although this book is designed to prepare you to take and pass the A+ Essentials, Depot Technician, Remote Support Technician, and IT Technician exams, there are no guarantees. Read this book, work through the questions and exercises, and when you feel confident, take the practice exam and additional exams using the MeasureUp test engine. This should tell you whether you are ready for the real thing.

When taking the actual certification exam, make sure that you answer all the questions before your time limit expires. Do not spend too much time on any one question. If you are unsure, answer it as best as you can; then mark it for review after you have finished the rest of the questions.

Good luck!

***

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 Basic PC Terms and Concepts

Chapter 2 PC System Boards

Chapter 3 Microprocessors

Chapter 4 Random Access Memory (RAM)

Chapter 5 Data Storage Systems

Chapter 6 Ports and Peripherals

Chapter 7 Installing, Upgrading, Configuring, and Optimizing PC Components

Chapter 8 Basic Troubleshooting and Preventive Maintenance Techniques

Chapter 9 Advanced PC Troubleshooting

Chapter 10 Portable Computer Fundamentals

Chapter 11 Maintaining and Repairing Portable Computers

Chapter 12 Windows Operating Systems

Chapter 13 Major Windows Structures

Chapter 14 Installing and Upgrading Operating Systems

Chapter 15 Optimizing Operating Systems

Chapter 16 Operating System Utilities

Chapter 17 Basic Operating System Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Chapter 18 Printers and Scanners

Chapter 19 Printer and Scanner Servicing

Chapter 20 Basic Networking Concepts

Chapter 21 Installing Local Area Networks (LANs)

Chapter 22 Wide Area Networking

Chapter 23 Network Troubleshooting

Chapter 24 Security

Chapter 25 Safety and Environmental Issues

Chapter 26 Professionalism and Communication

Chapter 27 Advanced PC Component Installations and Upgrades

Chapter 28 Essentials Practice Exam

Chapter 29 IT Tech Practice Exam

Chapter 30 Depot Practice Exam

Chapter 31 Remote Support Practice Exam

Appendix What’s on the CD-ROM

Glossary

Read More Show Less

Preface

Introduction

CompTIA® A+ Exam Prep is designed for those with the goal of certification as an A+ certified technician.

The 2006 version of CompTIA's A+ Certification exams represents the most extensive changes to the certification since its inception. The traditional two-test model featured one exam for Hardware (Core) and a separate exam for Operating System Technologies. That's been changed to a two-test requirement featuring one required exam followed by three options for Advanced exams to complete the certification.

The introductory level exam is called the A+ Essentials exam (220-601). The three options for the Advanced exam are designed to address the three main professional tracks commonly associated with A+ certification—Depot Technician (220-604), Remote Support Technician (220603), and the all-around IT Technician (220-602).


Note - For a complete listing of the latest exam objectives, go to http://certification.comptia.org/a/.


Many of the objectives given for each exam overlap with objectives in the other exams. The main difference between the Essentials exam that everyone must take and any of the Advanced exams is supposed to be the level of knowledge required. CompTIA gives a recommendation of 500 hours of experience for the Essentials exam taker and 1,000 hours for any of the Advanced exams.

These exams measure essential competencies for a microcomputer hardware service technician with six months of on-the-job experience. You must demonstrate knowledge that would enable you to properly install, configure, upgrade, troubleshoot, and repair microcomputer hardware. This includes basic knowledge of desktop and portable systems, basic networking concepts, and printers. You also must demonstrate knowledge of safety and common preventive-maintenance procedures.

Another major change for the 2006 A+ exam is the inclusion of a soft skills domain. This is not exactly a new idea for the A+ exam. Various past versions have required a customer service element as part of the certification. However, the computer repair industry has made it clear that in most computer repair-related job roles, customer service and satisfaction skills are equally as important as technical skills.

For the 2006 version of the A+ exams, CompTIA has continued to use a fixed length, linear format test. They have also continued their practice of injecting new test items into the exam and administering them as nonscored questions. The psychometric evaluation of the questions is derived from these tests. When the new questions have been validated through this method, they will be injected into the live 2006 exams as scored questions.

After validation, the questions will be returned to the question pools as scored items, thus creating a dynamic test pool that is continually being renewed. To cope with this, Educational Technologies Group (ETG) has established our Dynamic Test Tracking system that is available to everyone who purchases this product.

ETG's Dynamic Test Tracking system is an online service that includes dynamic, interactive updates for each chapter and lab procedure in our course. These changes also include Test Tips and Curriculum Notes for any changes encountered in the A+ exams over the life of this exam version. In this way, your courseware will never be out of date or incomplete.

How This Book Helps You

This book is your one-stop answer for the A+ exams. Everything you need to know to pass the exams is in here. You do not have to take a class in addition to buying this book to pass the exam. Depending on your personal study habits or learning style, however, you might benefit from buying this book and taking a class. It can also help advanced users and administrators who are not studying for the exam but are looking for a single-volume technical reference.

Our book provides a self-guided tour of all the areas covered by all four of the A+ exams and identifies the specific skills you need to achieve your A+ certification. You also will find the features that make Que's training guides so successful: clear organization, helpful hints, tips, real-world examples, and step-by-step exercises. Specifically, this book is set up to help you in the following ways:

Organization

This book is organized according to individual exam objectives. It covers every objective that you need to know for all four A+ exams. As much as possible, the objectives are covered in the same order as they are listed by the certifying organization, CompTIA, to make it as easy as possible for you to learn the information. We also have attempted to make the information accessible in the following ways:

  • The book includes a full list of exam topics and objectives.
  • Each chapter begins with a list of the objectives to be covered.
  • Each chapter also begins with an outline that provides an overview of the material and the page numbers indicating where you can find particular topics.
  • Information on where the objectives are covered is also conveniently condensed on the tear card at the front of this book.

Instructional Features

This book is designed to provide you with multiple ways to learn and reinforce the exam material. Following are some of the helpful methods:

  • Objective explanations—As mentioned previously, each chapter begins with a list of the objectives covered in the chapter. In addition, immediately following each objective is an explanation in a context that defines it more meaningfully.
  • Test tips—Exam tips appear in the margin to provide specific exam-related advice. Such tips might address what material is covered (or not covered) on the exam, how it is covered, mnemonic devices, and particular quirks of that exam.
  • Summaries—Each chapter ends with a summary.
  • Terms you'll need to understand—A list of key terms appears at the end of each chapter. The key terms are also italicized the first time they appear in the text of the chapter.
  • Notes—These paragraphs appear in the margin and contain various kinds of useful information such as tips on technology or administrative practices, historical background on terms and technologies, or side commentary on industry issues.
  • Warnings—When you are using sophisticated technology improperly, the potential for mistakes or even catastrophes to occur is ever present. Warnings appear in the margin to alert you to such potential problems.
  • Challenges—These instructional elements require you to analyze a situation and come up with a solution to a technical problem. They are included here in anticipation of the application questions that appear in the A+ exams. Answers appear in the "Challenge Solutions" section.

Extensive Practice Test Options

This book provides numerous opportunities for you to assess your knowledge and to practice for the exam. The practice options include the following:

  • Review questions—These questions appear in the "Exam Prep Questions" section. They reflect the kinds of multiple-choice questions that appear on the A+ exams. Use them to practice for the exam and to help you determine what you know and what you need to review or study further. Answers and explanations for them are provided.
  • Practice exam—A practice exam is included in the "Final Review" section for each exam (as discussed later).
  • MeasureUp—The MeasureUp software included on the CD that accompanies this book provides even more practice questions. You also can purchase more questions at http://www.measureup.com.

Final Review

This part of the book provides the following three valuable tools that can help you prepare for the exam:

  • Practice Exam—A full practice test for each of the exams is included. Questions are written in the styles used on the actual exams. Use it to assess your readiness for the real thing.
  • This book includes the Glossary and Appendix A, "What's on the CD-ROM."

These and all the other book features mentioned previously will enable you to thoroughly prepare for the exam.

Registering for the Exam

To register for the A+ exam, contact Marcraft at 800-441-6006. Special discounts are available for Que customers.

For more information about the exam or the certification process, contact Educational Technologies Group (ETG) or the CompTIA organization:

CompTIA Headquarters

Attn: A+ Certification
1815 S. Meyers Road, Suite 300
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-5228
Phone: 630.678.8300
Fax: 630.268.1384

info@comptia.org

http://www.comptia.org

Educational Technologies Group
100 N. Morain St.
Kennewick, WA 99336
Tel: 800-441-6006
Fax: 509-374-1951

info@marcraft.com

http://www.marcraft.com

Hardware and Software You Will Need

As a self-paced study guide, this book was designed with the expectation that you will use your computer as you follow along through the exercises. You also should use the MeasureUp software on the accompanying CD. Your computer should meet the following criteria:

  • 32-bit operating system (Windows 9x/2000/XP or NT 4.0)
  • 10MB hard-drive space
  • 16MB RAM
  • IE 4.01 or later
  • 640_480 video resolution with 256 colors or more
  • CD-ROM drive

Advice on Taking the Exam

You should keep the following advice in mind as you study:

  • Read all the material. Make sure that your exam preparation is thorough. Do not just drop into the book and read around. Read through all the material. This book includes additional information not reflected in the objectives in an effort to give you the best possible preparation for the examination—and for on-the-job experiences to come.
  • Complete the steps. They will provide you with another way of understanding the material as well as more information on how well you comprehend it.
  • Use the questions to assess your knowledge. Do not just read the chapter content; use the questions to find out what you know and what you do not. Study some more, review, and then assess your knowledge again.
  • Review the exam objectives. Develop your own questions and examples for each topic listed. If you can develop and answer several questions for each topic, you should not find it difficult to pass the exam.

Remember, the primary objective is not to pass the exam—it is to understand the material. After you understand the material, passing the exam should be simple. Knowledge is a pyramid; to build upward, you need a solid foundation. This book and the CompTIA A+ certification program are designed to ensure that you have that solid foundation.


Note - Although this book is designed to prepare you to take and pass the A+ Essentials, Depot Technician, Remote Support Technician, and IT Technician exams, there are no guarantees. Read this book, work through the questions and exercises, and when you feel confident, take the practice exam and additional exams using the MeasureUp test engine. This should tell you whether you are ready for the real thing.

When taking the actual certification exam, make sure that you answer all the questions before your time limit expires. Do not spend too much time on any one question. If you are unsure, answer it as best as you can; then mark it for review after you have finished the rest of the questions.

Good luck!


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 23, 2009

    This Works

    I have spent 4 Days reading this book and reviewing the test questions on the Measure_UP cd that comes with this book -- and WOW ACED both of my A+ Exams..

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