A+ (A Plus) is an entry-level computer certification for PC computer service technicians. The exam is designed to certify the competency of entry-level PC computer service professionals in installing, maintaining, customizing, and operating personal computers. The A+ certification is sponsored by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). CompTIA is a large trade group, founded in 1982 and made up of resellers, distributors, and manufacturers. It sets voluntary guidelines dealing with business ethics and professionalism, and is involved with many issues including product returns, warranty claims, and price protection.
Historically, A+ Certification was a lifetime certificate, but as of 2011, the A+ certificate must be renewed every three years by retaking the A+ test. Otherwise, certificate holders must pay a CEU (Continuing Education Units) fee to maintain certification.
The A+ exam contains situational, traditional, and identification types of questions. All of the questions are multiple choice, and there is only one correct answer for each question. The A+ exam is open to anybody, although it is designed to be taken by those with at least six months of job experience as service technicians.
Currently, A+ is the only major non-vendor-specific hardware certification available for IBM-compatible computer systems. Increasingly, many help desk positions as well as service centers are requiring A+ certification or similar experience as a basis for hiring.