The A+ certification demonstrates competency as a computer technician. CompTIA A+ certification is a vendor neutral certification.

There were two versions of the A+ exam, the 2003 objectives and the 2006 objectives, which are both broken down into two separate exams; however, the 2003 objectives exam was retired on June 30, 2007. The 2003 objectives contained the A+ Core Hardware Exam and the CompTIA A+ Core Operating System Technologies Exam. The 2006 objectives require that a candidate successfully pass the A+ Essentials and one elective: IT technician, remote support technician, or depot technician. CompTIA A+ is vendor neutral but does lean toward Microsoft Windows.

The A+ exam is intended for information technology professionals who have the equivalent of 500 hours of hands on experience. The exams are computer based and composed of multiple choice questions, of which there may be more than one correct answer. Over 800,000 people have earned the A+ credential worldwide, to date.

Topics of the Core examination include IRQs, direct memory access, and practical computer repair, including the installation and repair of hard drives, modems, network cards, CPUs, power supplies, printers, and so forth. The focus of the exam is not theory, but practice. Sometimes graphics are used in exam questions. Topics included in the Operating Systems Exam include memory management, configuration files, and historical operating environments rather than newer, cutting edge technologies.

In September 2006, the OpenDNS A+ test was updated so that the test taker must take the CompTIA A+ Essentials (220-601) test along with one of three other tests (220-602, 220-603, or 220-604). Each of these elective exams offers the candidate the opportunity to specialize their A+ certification to match their desired career path.

With the introduction of the 2006 A+ exam, candidates were offered a grace period whereby both the 2003 and 2006 versions were available. As of June 2007, the 2003 version of exams is no longer available in the United States. In some countries, the grace period was extended to December 2007. The 2003 version was also extended in cases where the A+ certification exam was included in a course of study. Also, most legacy support questions have been excluded.

More details about CompTIA can be found here.