There are so many A+ reference books that you’ve lost count and are unsure who or where to turn to. Many voices tell you which CompTIA A+ study guides are the best and which ones you should avoid. With all this noise, whose advice are you going to take?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered, and we’ll make sure you get the best bang for your buck. We’ll discuss the best CompTIA A+ books for your A+ self-study and compare their pros and cons. The links to the following titles apply to A+ certification exam codes 220-1101 and 220-1102.
When you’re ready, let’s begin with CompTIA’s official study guide, followed by other A+ books. As Amazon has a dynamic pricing policy, the book prices given are only accurate as of writing and may not reflect the most recent price changes.
The Official CompTIA A+ Core 1/2 Self-Paced Study Guide
James Pengelly, with contributions from Becky Mann, James Chesterfield, and Danielle Andries
These aren’t the go-to books for most A+ students, but we believe they merit a mention because CompTIA created this pair of study guides.
The main selling point for these two paperback volumes is that it’s “the only official CompTIA study guide for the CompTIA A+” Core 1 and Core 2 exams, going so far as to add: “The Publisher does not guarantee products purchased from Third Party sellers for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product.”
If you only buy them as-is, you’d notice that the books are text-heavy and the print illustrations are in black-and-white. They are companion study guides to CompTIA’s online curriculum CertMaster.
Each volume costs $128, so buying both books will cost you $256 USD. Officially, CompTIA sells bundles of these books with practice tests and other exam preparation materials, which can be rather costly compared with the third-party titles below.
CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide
- Mike Meyers is the founder of Total Seminars.
- Travis A. Everett, CompTIA A+, is a software developer, writer, and editor.
- Andrew Hutz, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+, has ten years of writing experience in the IT industry.
This bestselling on-the-job reference and test preparation guide has now printed its eleventh edition, covering the latest A+ exams (220-1101 and 220-1102).
You’ll find learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter, test-taking tips, practice exam questions, and in-depth explanations. Designed to help you easily pass the CompTIA A+ exams, this definitive guide doubles as an on-the-job IT reference.
This book is a well-written companion textbook to the Total Seminars A+ video training courses led by Mike Meyers. However, it blends Core 1 and Core 2 subject matter, which appeals to A+ learners who have a holistic view of the A+ syllabus but is frustrating to others who study Core 1 and Core 2 separately.
Kindle $39.99 USD
Hardcover $50.06 - $52.49 USD
CompTIA A+ Complete Certification Kit
- Quentin Docter holds A+ and other industry certifications. He’s an IT consultant who has written or co-authored several technical books.
- Jon Buhagiar has been an educator for 25 years at various colleges and leading corporate training.
- Troy McMillan, CASP+, is a product developer, technical editor, and full-time professional trainer teaching Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, and wireless classes.
- Audrey O’Shea holds CompTIA A+ and other industry certifications. She has taught courses in CompTIA A+, written technical books, and served as technical editor on two other CompTIA certification books.
This edition covers all the major changes to the latest Core 1 and Core 2 exams. It contains practice tests and a review guide on crucial hardware and operating system maintenance, cloud computing, security, and troubleshooting.
This exam prep kit contains practical guidance, insights from real-world experiences, exam highlights, and end-of-chapter review questions.
The major drawback is the thickness of these books. Some readers report problems with bookbinding, such as the pages sticking together.
Paperback $91.70 USD
CompTIA A+ Exam Cram
David Prowse has 20+ years of IT experience and loves sharing his knowledge with readers, viewers, and students.
This book is an all-inclusive study guide designed to help you pass the updated versions of the CompTIA A+ exams. It covers all exam objectives and topics, contains hundreds of realistic practice questions, and has a companion website featuring videos and practice tests.
The tools in this book include quizzes, Exam Alerts, and the book description mentions a last-minute review CramSheet. A purchase promises access to practice exams (with real-time assessment and feedback) in multiple test modes, videos, challenges, and the CramSheet.
Kindle $29.99 USD
Paperback $49.99 USD
CompTIA A+ CertMike: Prepare. Practice. Pass the Test! Get Certified! Core 1/2 Exam
Mike Chapple and Mark Soper are veteran tech experts and educators:
- Mike Chapple, Ph.D., teaches at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and he’s a bestselling author of over 25 books and provides cyber security certification resources on his website.
- Mark Soper, MCP, CompTIA A+, has over 30 years of experience in IT. He is the author or co-author of 40 books on technology, covering topics ranging from CompTIA A+ to Microsoft Windows, networking, and troubleshooting.
The books focus on getting readers job- and exam-ready. It covers IT basics and gives you access to online resources, a bonus practice exam, and audio study material.
The books guide you through the exam objectives and help you understand how they apply to real-world tasks. Each chapter includes two multiple-choice practice questions, with detailed explanations for each option to help readers understand the reason for the best answer.
Although we couldn’t find reviews of these two A+ volumes, Mike Chapple’s CertMike cyber security and IT education programs appears to have received much praise in general.
Core 1: Kindle: $24.00, Paperback: $38.99 USD
Core 2: Kindle: $30.00, Paperback: $34.96 USD
CompTIA A+ Study Guide + Audiobook
Faithe Wempen, M.A., CompTIA A+, has taught PC hardware and software architecture and A+ certification prep at Purdue University for nearly two decades and has written over 150 retail, trade, and academic books.
This book contains over 800 practice exam questions, including performance-based questions and practical exercises with accompanying videos. The book contains:
- 100% complete coverage of all official objectives for the exams
- Exam Readiness Checklists—you’re ready for the exams when you’ve mastered all the objectives on the lists
- Exam Watch notes that call attention to information about and potential pitfalls in the exams
- Two-Minute Drills for quick review at the end of every chapter
- Simulated exam questions that match the format, tone, topics, and difficulty of the real exams
Its web components include:
- An online testing bank that provides complete practice tests and customized quizzes by chapter or by exam domain
- Performance-based question simulations
- Video training from the author
- A comprehensive glossary
Kindle: $32.99 USD
Paperback: $39.99 USD
As you can see, when it comes to acing your A+ certification exams, you have a tremendous amount of information to absorb. You may pride yourself on taking excellent notes, but having a good reference book is invaluable. If you have a limited budget, we recommend grabbing Mike Meyer’s title above, as it’s the most comprehensive resource at a reasonable price.
If you want to learn more about CompTIA A+ and other IT certifications that may be suitable for you, you’d love our articles on this subject and our course offerings (included in our VIP Member Section) below:
Frequently Asked Questions
We don’t recommend doing so. The drawback of relying on a single reference book in A+ to pass A+ are you might lack practice in the hands-on aspects of the course, which the simulation performance-based questions assess. It’s far preferable to select a suitable online study course and do as many practice tests as possible, such as the ones listed above.
No. The CompTIA A+ certification has no prerequisites, although CompTIA recommends that candidates have nine to 12 months of hands-on experience as a help desk support technician, desktop support technician, field service technician, or similar role. Aspiring IT professionals with zero prior IT knowledge may consider the CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification first.
We believe so because of the job opportunities available to A+ holders. Refer to our article of the same title.
You might spend around $680 USD to obtain your A+ and a total of $1,000 USD over three years (including both exam and renewal costs), but the salaries of jobs you land are far greater. Refer to our article on CompTIA A+ certification costs.
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