The Most Comprehenfive CompTIA A+ Cheat Sheet In 2024

Reviewing some of the main Windows principles before taking the A+ examinations. This CompTIA A+ cheat sheet contains quick facts to remember on exam day.

Updated at April 19, 2024

One of the numerous unique certifications offered today is the CompTIA A+ designation. On the other hand, having this certification gives you a lot of advantages. The certificate gives you a leg up in terms of job opportunities by demonstrating your technical expertise and proficiency.

Two tests—the CompTIA A+ 220-1101 (Core 1) and 220-1102 (Core 2)—must be passed to become CompTIA A+ certified. Core 1 requires a minimum score of 675, while Core 2 requires a minimum score of 700; both range from 100 to 900. Before taking the test, you must have relevant expertise, as explained in this article on the CompTIA A+ cheat sheet.

Let’s get started with our free CompTIA A+ practice test to pass your actual test with a high score on your first attempt.

About CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ is a professional certification that demonstrates your knowledge of fundamental technologies. The A+ validates skills in networking, hardware, operating systems, security, virtualization and cloud computing, and other areas. It’s a good place to start if you want to work as a technical support expert, field service technician, help desk technician, service desk analyst, data support technician, desktop support administrator, or anything similar. Obtaining the certification helps to break into the IT industry. However, don’t assume that because it’s an entry-level certification, it’ll be simple to pass and the employment will be low-paying.

Otherwise, the average compensation for the occupations listed above is around $50,000. Entry-level work will pay less at first, but as you gain experience, your potential for greater income improves. CompTIA A+ certified individuals are hired by IT organizations such as Intel, HP, and Dell.

CompTIA A+ certification requires passing two tests: CompTIA A+ 220-1101 (Core 1) and 220-1102. (Core 2). Core 1 must be passed with a score of 675 or higher, and Core 2 must be passed with a score of 700 or higher; both scores can range from 100 to 900. Before taking the test, it is suggested that you have prior experience in the field.

However, it is best to be well-prepared before attempting the certification. The following is a review of the essential CompTIA A+ resources you’ll need to pass the exam, and most of the content below was prepared with the aid of guides used by individuals who passed the examinations and earned the A+.

CompTIA A+ Cheat Sheet

This CompTIA A+ port cheat sheet guide is divided into two sections: The first section contains facts for the first test (220-1101) while the second section has material for the second test (220-1102).

220-1101 Cheat Sheet

Connect all of the components to the motherboard. ATX, microATX, and ITX are all possible form factors. PCI Express (PCIe) and PCI are two types of extension buses. Intel chipsets communicate with the CPU through DMI or QPI. HyperTransport is the AMD CPU-to-chipset connectivity.

BIOS/UEFI locates, tests, and initializes components before booting to a hard disk, optical disc, USB flash drive, or network through PXE. The time/date and passwords are stored in the CMOS. A CR2032 lithium battery powers the CMOS.

BIOS/UEFI configurations consist of time/date, boot device order, passwords, power management, WOL, monitoring, clock and bus speeds, virtualization support (Intel VT or AMD-V), enable/disable devices, diagnostics, security, and intrusion detection.

The majority of computations are handled by the central processing unit (CPU) or processor.

Intel CPUs utilize the sockets listed as LGA775, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, and 2011. AMD CPUs utilize AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, and FM2+ sockets.

Each core has an L1/L2 cache. The L3 cache is shared by the CPU as a whole.

When the heat sink is placed, a thermal compound (paste) is employed. Heat sinks can be active (with a fan) or passive (without a fan). Heat may be effectively reduced using liquid-based cooling systems.

Random Access Memory (RAM) DIMMs include DDR (184 pins), DDR2 (240 pins), DDR3 (240 pins) and DDR4 (288 pins). RAM SODIMMs include DDR (200 pin), DDR2 (200 pin), DDR3 (204 pin), and DDR4 (260 pin). The following is an example of a DDR3-1600 data transmission calculation: 1600 MT/s × 8 = 12,800 MB/s. Dual-channel is a 128-bit bus with double the width. A triple-channel bus is three times the width of a 192-bit bus. A quad-channel bus is four times the breadth of a 256-bit bus. Latency is expressed as CL or CAS.

To minimize overheating, a “dual-rail” power supply separates and controls the current in each wire.

Data is stored on hard drives. They are classified as follows:

  • HDD stands for hard disk drive. SSD stands for solid-state disk (flash-based)
  • SATA: A serial ATA interface consists of a 15-pin power connection and a 7-pin data connector. Rev 1 (1.5 Gb/s), Rev 2 (3 Gb/s), Rev 3 (6 Gb/s), Rev 3.2 (SATA Express) (16 Gb/s), Rev 3.2 (SATA Express) (16 Gb/s).

Redundant Array of Independent Disk (RAID). RAID 0 is for striping, RAID 1 is for mirroring, and RAID 5 is for striping with parity. RAID 10 refers to mirrored sets within a striped set. RAID 0 means that it is not fault-tolerant. Disk duplexing is achieved by employing RAID 1 with two disk controllers.

Changeable media is used by optical disc drives to store and retrieve data.

Among the several optical discs are:

  • CD-ROM: Data CDs typically have a capacity of 700 MB and can read and write at speeds of up to 52x (7.8 MB/s). They can also rewrite at a rate of up to 32 times (4.8 MB/s).
  • DVD-ROM: The capacity of DVDs ranges from 4.7 GB (DVD-5) to 17 GB (DVD-9) (DVD-18 dual-sided and dual-layered). DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, and DVD-RW recording technologies are available.
  • Blu-ray: Blu-ray discs (BDs) are used for video games and high-definition television. They feature capacities ranging from 25 to 128 GB (mini-discs 7.8 or 15.6 GB) and write speeds ranging from 1x to 16x (36 Mb/s to 576 Mb/s).

Solid-state drives (SSDs), USB flash drives, CompactFlash, and Secure Digital (SD) cards are examples of solid-state media.

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Laptops are portable miniaturized versions of desktop computers. Keyboards, touchpads, SODIMM RAM, screens, inverters, batteries, optical disc drives, smart card readers, and hard drives are all replaceable (SSD, HDD, or hybrid). M.2, Mini PCIe, and Mini PCI (internal) and ExpressCard /34 and /54 (external) technologies are used in laptops.

Video cards are linked to motherboards through x16 PCIe or PCI expansion slots. DVI, VGA, HDMI, Mini-HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, S-Video, Component Video/RGB, and Composite are all video connection and cable types. Color depths that are often used include 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit. The most common resolutions are 1280720 (720p 16:9 aspect ratio), 19201080 (HD 1080p, 16:9 aspect ratio), 1366786 (16:9), 16801050 (WSXGA+, 8:5 aspect ratio), 19201200 (WUXGA, 8:5), and 640480. (VGA, 4:3). TN is for twisted nematic; IPS stands for in-plane switching; IPS has a wider viewing angle.

Sound cards generally connect as x1 PCIe (or PCI cards) and contain PC 99 color-coded 1/8″ mini-jacks for I/O and speakers, as well as optical I/Os known as S/PDIF.

The USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface can support up to 127 devices. USB 1.1 (full speed) operates at 12 Mb/s and has a maximum cable length of 3 meters. USB 2.0 (high-speed) transfers data at 480 Mb/s over a maximum cable length of 5 meters. USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed) operates at a rate of 5 Gb/s. USB 3.1 (SuperSpeed+) has a transfer rate of 10 Gb/s. Ports in version 3.x are blue. Desktops/laptops employ Type A/Type B connections, whereas tablets/smartphones use mini- and micro-connectors. Type C plugs are one-third the size of Type A plugs. Type C also works well with the USB 3.1 specification.

IEEE 1394a, often known as FireWire, operates at 400 Mb/s. IEEE 1394b operates at a speed of 800 Mb/s. IEEE 1394 chains could only support a maximum of 63 devices.

Thunderbolt: Version 1 is 10 Gb/s and uses DisplayPort; Version 2 is 20 Gb/s and also uses DisplayPort; Version 3 is 40 Gb/s and uses USB Type C.

Processing, Charging, Exposing, Developing, Transferring, Fusing, and Cleaning are all steps in the image processing of laser printing.

Printer configuration settings include duplexing (printing on both sides); collation (printing many jobs in a row); and orientation (portrait or landscape). DPI stands for quality (600 or 1200).

Audio/video workstations are examples of custom PCs. They will need special A/V cards, fast hard drives, and multiple monitors; CAD/CAM workstations will need powerful multicore CPUs, high-end video cards, and maximized RAM; home server PCs (gigabit NIC, RAID arrays, print sharing, file sharing, media streaming); HTPCs (compact form factor, surround sound, HDMI output, TV tuner); gaming PCs (multicore CPU, high-end video, high-def sound, high-end cooling); thin clients (low resource needs, fulfills minimum OS requirements, relies on server, diskless, embedded OS, network connection); virtualization workstations (strong CPU and plenty of RAM). Type 1 hypervisors are made of the raw or native metal. Type 2 is hosted and operates on top of the operating system.

LAN stands for local area network. WAN stands for wide area network. MAN stands for metropolitan area network. PAN stands for personal area network.

Switches are used to link computers on a LAN. Routers connect two or more local area networks (LANs) to the Internet. Firewalls safeguard computers and networks against unauthorized access. IDS stands for intrusion detection system. IPS stands for intrusion prevention system. UTM stands for unified threat management.

Twisted pair (RJ45, RJ11) network connectors; fiber optic (SC, ST, and LC) network connectors; coaxial network connectors (F-connector, BNC).

568B color standards include 1. white/orange, 2. orange, and 3. yellow. 3. white and green, four. blue 5th. White/Blue Green, 6th 7. white/brown, and 8. brown

IPv4 addresses, such as, are 32-bit dotted-decimal integers.

They can be manually entered or allocated dynamically (DHCP). Among the IP classes are:

  • The Class A range is 1–126, and the subnet mask is 10.x.x.x Private: 10.x.x.x
  • Class B address range: 128–191, subnet mask:, private.–

  • The Class C range is 192–223, and the subnet mask is Private IP address: 192.168.x.x The loopback address is

APIPA’s IP address is 169.254.x.x (also known as link-local)

Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) addresses have a prefix (for example, The /24 denotes a subnet mask.

IPv6 addresses are hexadecimal numbers of 128 bits, such as 2001:7120:0000:8001: 0000:0000:0000:1F10.

::1 is the loopback address. Unicast

The most popular form of address is IPv6, which is given to a single platform.

1000 Mb/s (gigabit Ethernet) and 10 Gb/s are common network speeds (10 Gb Ethernet).

Network protocols entail…

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Port 21
  • Port 23
  • SSH (Secure Shell). Port 22
  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

Port 25 (can also use port 587)

  • DNS (Domain Naming System). Port 53
  • HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

Port 80

  • SMB (Server Message Block). Port 445, 137–139
  • RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). Port 3389
  • IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol). Port 143
  • AFP (Apple Filing Protocol). Port 548 (or 427)
  • HTTPS (HTTP Secure). Port 443
  • POP3 (Post Office Protocol). Port 110

Cabling standards comprise…

    • Category 3: Rated for 10 Mb/s
    • Category 5: Rated for 100 Mb/s
    • Category 5e: Rated for 100 Mb/s and gigabit networks
    • Category 6/6a: Rated for gigabit and 10 Gb/s networks
    • Category 7: Rated for gigabit and 10 Gb/s networks
  • Plenum-rated cable: A fire-resistant cable designed for airways, conduits, and regions where sprinklers cannot reach.

Wireless Ethernet versions, including their name, data transmission rate, frequency, and modulation:

  • 802.11a, 54 Mb/s, 5 GHz
  • 802.11b, 11 Mb/s, 2.4 GHz
  • 802.11g, 54 Mb/s, 2.4 GHz
  • 802.11n, 300/600 Mb/s, 5 and 2.4 GHz
  • 802.11ac, 1.7 Gb/s and beyond, 5 GHz

Bluetooth is a short-range technology that enables network devices to communicate and connect more easily.

Bluetooth is classified into three types: Class I has a transmission range length of 100 meters; Class II (the most common) has a range of 10 meters; and Class III has a range of 1 meter and is rarely used. Bluetooth Version 1 has a maximum data transfer rate of 721 Kb/s, Version 2 has a rate of 2.1 Mb/s, and Version 3 has a rate of 24 Mb/s.

NAT (Network Address Translation) is the process of changing an IP address as it travels via a router. It converts one network to another.

Port forwarding is the process of forwarding an external network port to an internal IP address and port.

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220-1102 Cheat Sheet

Troubleshooting Theory (CompTIA 6-Step) 1. Identify the issue. 2. Develop a plausible cause theory. (Consider the obvious.) 3. Put the theory to the test to find out what’s causing it. 4. Make a plan of action to tackle the problem and put it into action. 5. Verify that the entire system is operational and, if necessary, devise methods to prevent future problems. 6. Keep a record of your discoveries, actions, and outcomes.

Windows 8.1 min. prerequisites: CPU = 1 GHz; RAM = 1 GB for 32-bit, 2 GB for 64-bit; free disk space = 16 GB for 32- bit, 20 GB for 64-bit.

Windows 7 min. prerequisites: CPU = 1 GHz; RAM = 1 GB for 32-bit, 2 GB for 64-bit; free disk space = 16 GB for 32- bit, 20 GB for 64-bit.

Minimum system requirements for Windows 7 are as follows: CPU = 1 GHz; RAM = 1 GB for 32-bit, 2 GB for 64-bit; free disk space = 16 GB for 32-bit, 20 GB for 64-bit.

Windows Vista min. prerequisites: CPU = 800 MHz; RAM = 512 MB; free disk space =15 GB.

Command Prompt is a command-line program for Windows. To run in elevated mode, do the following: ((Windows 8))) (Windows 7/Vista) Right-click the Start button and choose Command Prompt. Start > All Programs > Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator. All variants: Enter CMD in the search area, then choose with Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Snap-ins are simple console windows that may be added to the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Computer Management and Performance Monitor are two examples.

Libraries in Windows 8 and 7 conceptually reflect user-defined folder collections (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos).

Device Manager, System Information tool, Task Manager, and Msconfig are examples of common system tools.

Windows Easy Transfer and the User State Migration Tool (USMT) can be used to move user data.

The Registry is a database that stores all of Windows’ settings. You may get to it by entering regedit.exe into the Run prompt. Hives are used to store settings; for example, HKEY LOCAL MACHINE is a frequently updated hive.

Remote Desktop software allows you to see and control the graphical user interface (GUI) of a remote computer.

By default, the %windir% (or %systemroot%) in Windows 8/7/Vista is C:Windows.

Bootmgr, Winload.exe, and BCD are examples of Windows 8/7/Vista boot files.

Repairs to bootrec and fixboot Bootmgr, Bootrec /fixmbr, and Bootrec /rebuildbcd rewrite the master boot record and rebuild the boot configuration data store, respectively.

DIR is the directory command in Windows. The MD command is used to add directories, the RD command to remove them, and the CD command to browse through them.

Files can be modified with the commands del (deletes), copy (copies files), xcopy (copies multiple files and directory trees), and robocopy (robust file copy, replaces xcopy).

Drives can be manipulated in format (creates a new file system) and diskpart (does everything Disk Management does but in the Command Prompt).

In Windows, file checking command-line utilities such as Chkdsk (/F repairs problems; /R locates problematic areas and restores data) and SFC are employed (System File Checker). SFC /scannow is a frequent command.

A hard disk with MBR (master boot record) can contain up to four partitions, but only one extended partition. Logical drives are sections of a larger partition. The Active partition is the one from which the computer boots and it generally houses the operating system. A volume is any lettered part of a drive.

A hard disk employing GPT (GUID Partition Table) may contain 128 partitions and go above the MBR’s 2 TB limit. The GPT is kept in several places. A UEFI-compliant motherboard is required.

File systems include NTFS (Windows’ primary file system), FAT32 (an earlier system), CDFS (Compact Disc File System), exFAT (Extended FAT, optimized for flash drives), NFS (Network File System, Linux computers), ext3 and ext4 (extended file systems, popular in Linux).

A service pack (SP) is a collection of updates, bug fixes, updated drivers, and security patches that are installed from a single downloaded file or disc. Service packs are not used in Windows 8 or 8.1.

Windows Update may be accessed via the Control Panel or by going to Start > All Programs > Windows Update (in Windows 7/Vista).

Backups may be made in Windows 8 via File History, Windows 7 via Backup and Restore, and Vista via Backup Status and Configuration.

System Restore can repair problems caused by faulty hardware or software by reverting to a previous point in time.

F8 activates the Advanced Boot Settings Menu (ABOM), which offers options including Safe Mode, Enable low-resolution video, and Last Known Good Configuration. Safe Mode, which must be activated in Windows 8 if feasible, can boot the system with minimum drivers.

Startup Repair, System Restore, and Command Prompt are among the system recovery tools available in the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE).

The Event Viewer warns about possible issues and displays mistakes as they occur in three primary log files: System, Application, and Security. Security presents auditing data.

A stop error (also known as a Blue Screen of Death or BSOD) causes the operating system to halt and displays a blue screen with text and code. Faulty hardware or defective drivers might be to blame for the stop error.

Processes may be terminated using Task Manager or the command task kill in the Command Prompt. Tasklist displays a list of presently executing processes.

Protocols for wireless encryption include:

  • WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), 64-bit key size, deprecated
  • WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access), version 2 is 256-bit
  • TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol), 128-bit, deprecated
  • AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit
  • The best combo is WPA2 and AES (as of the writing of this book.)

There are three sorts of cloud types: SaaS (software as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service), and PaaS (platform as a service) (platform as a service).

Malicious software includes: This is referred to as malware, and it comprises the following:

  • Virus: A virus is a piece of computer code that executes without your awareness. When this code is executed, it infects the machine. Boot Sector, Macro, Program, Polymorphic, Stealth, and Multipartite are some examples of types.
  • Worms: They are similar to viruses in that they multiply themselves.
  • Trojan horses are programs that pretend to perform useful purposes while doing dangerous ones in the background.
  • Spyware is malicious software that is either accidentally downloaded from a website or installed in conjunction with other third-party software.
  • Rootkit: A piece of software designed to get administrator-level access to the system core while remaining undetected.
  • Ransomware is software that holds a computer captive until the user pays a ransom.

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Windows Recovery Utilities

Fixing a system that would not boot is one of the most difficult things to accomplish while troubleshooting a system. The A+ Certification examinations assume that you are familiar with the various recovery options available in Windows. This table discusses prominent recovery tools and where you can access them – make sure to know these for the A+ Exam.

Recovery ConsoleThe command line interface is used to diagnose disk difficulties and boot problems.Boot from the Windows installation CD or, if preloaded, from the boot menu.
Repair ModeAccess to graphical user interface (GUI) and command line recovery tools is provided.Start by booting from the Windows installation or recovery disk.
Restore pointsA snapshot of a system's configuration; used to restore a system's state prior to the installation of a driver or software.Select All ProgramsAccessoriesSystem ToolsSystem Restore from the Start menu. Click Next after selecting Restore My Computer to an Earlier Time. Select your chosen restore point and click Next, then Next again. Windows will now boot to the specified restoration point.
Windows allows you to boot your operating system to a restore point and revert to that system configuration - especially important if your machine has been infected with a virus. To restore to a previous state, boot from the Windows installation disk and select Repair Your Computer, then System Restore from the System Recovery dialog box.
You may also access restore points using Safe Mode, which may be beneficial if you have been infected with a virus and are unable to open System Restore regularly.
Safe ModeLoads the operating system using the bare minimum of drivers.A sophisticated starting menu option (F8)
Last Known Good ConfigurationLoads the configuration from the last time you booted and logged in successfully.A sophisticated starting menu option (F8)
Automatic System Recovery (ASR)Windows installation and restoration that is automatedDuring bootup, press F2.

A+ Certification From CompTIA

We hope you find our CompTIA A+ study guide useful. Remember that each exam takes 90 minutes to complete. And, while the certification is intended for novices, it serves as a springboard for further growth in any IT job path you choose. Whether you want to be a field service technician or a desk support analyst, CompTIA A+ is an excellent place to start in your IT career. The certification is utilized all over the world by persons with IT experts who desire to get certification to advance/get a new job or command a higher wage in the expanding IT industry.

Take advantage of other free resources to avoid having to redo the examinations. With enough time and work, you may soon get certified and then be on your way to achieving your professional objectives. The CompTIA A+ certification is highly recognized in the IT industry and many other fields. As a result, it is acknowledged by large organizations such as Nissan, BlueCross BlueShield, Dell, HP, and many more. CompTIA recommends that you have nine to twelve months of experience before completing the two A+ certification examinations, as previously indicated.

The Takeaway

Experts with CompTIA A+ certifications have a history of problem-solving. They support a variety of modern important technologies, like as virtualization, networking, and security. In today’s digital economy, CompTIA A+ is the prerequisite for beginning a career in information technology. Candidates for the CompTIA A+ Core Series must pass the Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 exams (220-1102). The following new topics are covered in these exams, showcasing the tools and skills IT specialists need to support a hybrid workforce. But, you need to thoroughly study through exercises if you want to do well on the CompTIA A+ exam. The Comptia A+ cheat sheet is an excellent option that you should consider.