CompTIA now includes performance-based questions on their exams to make them more practical and keep up with trends in certification testing. Knowing what to expect and how to approach the new question types is key to your success in passing the exams. First, let me fill you in on some facts about the exams.
There are several different types of questions that may be included in your CompTIA exam:
- Multiple choice – the standard question, pick the right answer
- Multiple response – question, pick all that apply with more than one correct answer
- Fill in the blank – question, fill in the answer to the question
- Drag and drop – image or question where you drag answers to match the image or text
- Exhibits – answer questions relating to an attached picture or diagram (variation to Multiple choice)
- Performance-based – detailed question, open dialog boxes or other configuration windows and configure as needed.
CompTIA is adding more of the newer Drag and drop and Performance-based questions to their exam pool. You may get as few as 2-3 or as many as 10-12 of these newer type questions depending on which exam you are taking. The more new type questions you get the fewer of the traditional multiple choice, multiple response or exhibit type questions you will have, depending on the difficulty of the performance-based questions you get.
How new question types are graded:
Two important pieces of information about the new drag and drop and performance-based questions that you need to know:
- Partial Credit; Scoring credit may be offered if a candidate answers only part of a question correctly.
- No Negative Credit; CompTIA does not employ negative scoring on exam questions. In other words, scoring credit is not taken away for incorrect answers. A candidate should answer every exam question, even on the ones where they are not sure of the answer.
The new question types like drag and drop and performance-based questions will be presented at the beginning of the exams. These questions can be more complex and take longer to answer than traditional multiple choice questions. DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN WITH THE PERFORMANCE-BASED QUESTIONS. You can skip questions and come back and answer them at the end. Here are some strategies to use when taking the exams:
- Skip the Performance-based questions and come back at the end to answer them so you don’t get bogged down and run out of time.
- Count the performance-based questions as you skip them so you know how many you have to do when you come back to them at the end.
- Read over all the performance-based questions and answer the ones you are most comfortable with first. Leave the ones you are less confident about until last.
- If you are not sure about some of the steps in the performance-based or drag and drop questions, give it your best guess. You may receive partial credit. Since CompTIA does not employ negative scoring a wrong answer does not hurt you any more than an unanswered question. Make your best guess, it can’t hurt you.
CompTIA provides information that may be helpful in preparing for the exams at the following links:
- CompTIA Exam Taking Tips: http://certification.comptia.org/testing/about-testing
- Performance Based Questions (PBQs) – http://certification.comptia.org/testing/about-testing/performance-based-questions-explained
Total Seminars’ TotalSims and TotalTester products will help you prepare for your CompTIA exams and make sure you are ready to pass. TotalSims help you prepare for the performance-based questions and let you do hands-on exercises to reinforce the concepts you learn while studying for the exams. Total Tester provides hundreds (A+ and Net+ have over 1000) of questions to create practice exams. You can create custom exams that focus only on objectives or chapter content you are having trouble with.