Notes on the New CompTIA A+ 220-1102 Exam

I took the 220-1102 exam yesterday, and passed with a score of 781 out of 900.  It takes a score of 700 to pass.  Again, there were 80 questions, with 90 minutes allowed to complete.  If you haven’t already read my previous companion article Notes on the New CompTIA A+ 220-1101 Exam, you can find it here.

First, my general comments about the exam.  After the three PBQs, it was mostly multiple-choice single answer, with a few (10-12) multiple-choice multiple answer questions.  I thought it was slightly more difficult than the 220-1101 exam.  I found a few of the questions quite challenging in spite of my 25+ years of IT experience and my 8 years working as an IT course instructor.

The scenarios had a heavy emphasis of variations on the theme “You are a help desk technician” or “You are a computer incident responder.”  The point of view of most of the scenarios was  definitely focused on information technology support professionals.  There were almost zero hardware questions, or network questions.  There were a few security questions, including four or five questions about ransomware.   So learn everything you can about dealing with ransomware.  It was mostly support-type questions about what is the “NEXT step.”

Performance Based Questions

The first three questions were the Performance Based Question type. Each of these PBQs simulated a help desk or support activity

PBQs are very important questions to get right, they are worth a lot more on your total score than the simple multiple choice questions.  Preparing for these questions is imperative. Here is what I can share about these questions.

First, my recommendation for completing the PBQs are:  Read each of the questions completely, and look at the diagram that is provided.  Do this for each PBQ.  Then mark these for review using the flag icon, and move on.  You want your subconscious mind to be thinking about the solution “in the background” while you go through the   I had three PBQs, you may get one more or less, and you may get different versions of these exercises or an entirely different questions than I had.

Question 1 – Help Desk Chat Session

In this scenario you are working a computer chat session.  The client cannot connect to their email.  It worked yesterday, but not today.  In the PBQ, you were required to select the proper step or response from a drop-down list, there were a total of three steps.

The first choice is basically what to do first to put the client at ease

The client provided a screen shot of the error message, and the information that updates had been run last night. The screen shot provided a pretty obvious clue about the email service misconfiguration.  This is the second choice.

The last selection covers the “next step.”  It helps to know your CompTIA  Troubleshooting Methodology.

Question 2 – Clearing Trouble Tickets in a Help Desk Queue

The second PBQ simulated the dashboard of a typical trouble-ticketing system.  You have been assigned two tickets.  One of the tickets is marked Urgent, the other one is Normal.  I suspect the first part of this question is whether you prioritize these two tickets correctly.  Maybe go with the Urgent ticket first?

You can open the tickets for more information by clicking on them.  Each of the tickets includes a screenshot or image attachment of some sort, which you can also click on to open.

One of the tickets is a problem the client is having starting their computer.  They are getting a “no boot device found” error message.  You can prepare for this part of the question by reviewing how to use the WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) and the bootrec command.  There are three steps to this solution, very similar to the first PBQ

The other ticket was from a client who could not connect to a mapped drive.  You can prepare for this part of the question by reviewing how to use net use command to map a drive.  There are the same drop-down boxes to make your selections from.

Question 3 – Connecting a User’s Tablet in a CYOD environment

A client has brought her personal tablet to the office and is having trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi.  The company has a CYOD (Choose your own device) policy.  Know the difference between BYOD and CYOD.

You are looking at an office schematic that shows the location of her office, the WAP, and a Wi-Fi heat map application.  Clicking on the WAP shows you the available SSIDs one for the office and one for Guests, and the related passphrases, and other settings for encryption and so forth.

The heat map shows you the Wi-Fi coverage on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.  Signal strength for the client is better on one of the bands, but not both. So pick the best one.

The tablet icon shows the configuration screen for the tablet.  You will need to configure the SSID, and passphrase.  You will need to choose between 802.11a, 80211b&g, or 802.11ac.  I think there was a setting for Wi-Fi encryption as well.

For me, this was the most difficult of the PBQs, with may things to discover and configure.  Use your scratch sheet to keep track of the information and various configuration elements.

Good luck on your 220-1102 exam. Come back and let us know how it was for you, and add some helpful comments for future test-takers.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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