A plus 220-1001 – Exam Objective 3.8

A plus Exam Objective 3.8

3.8 Given a scenario, select and configure appropriate components for a custom PC configuration that meets customer specifications or needs.

Click here for our A+ Exam Simulator for exams 220-1001 & 220-1002

Welcome to Exam Notes by CertBlaster! In this article, we will cover Core 1 A plus Exam Objective 3.8: Given a scenario, select and configure appropriate components for a custom PC configuration that meets customer specifications or needs.

We will look at a performance-based question and explore how that question type can address A plus exam objective 3.8. Objective 3.8 aims at assessing your ability to “Given a scenario, select the appropriate components for a custom PC configuration that meets customer specifications or needs.” First, notice that the exam objective starts by stating “Given a scenario…”.

This is important because this signals that CompTIA will not be satisfied with just asking you simple knowledge-based questions. CompTIA will want to see you apply this knowledge to a given situation as it would occur in real life. This is where a Performance-Based Question comes in particularly handy.

The Performance Based Question we have used in this post can also be viewed on our YouTube Channel at

This example (as well as the above video) comes from a CertBlaster A+ practice test for CompTIA A+ 220-1001:

A+ 220-1001 Performance Based Question (PBQ) – Custom workstation assembly.

The above screenshot is taken from an exam in Study Mode (choose Study Mode when you want to be able to see the answers and explanations). The scenario that A plus exam objective 3.8 puts you in is one where you are asked to perform a “custom PC configuration” based on customer specifications or needs. In this question, you are asked to configure a CAD/CAM workstation. Here is the question as presented:

“You are assembling a CAD/CAM design workstation. From the parts available choose those that best meet the requirements. Drag the labels to the correct motherboard locations.”

Keep in mind that since you are configuring a CAD/CAM design workstation from the parts available, you need to choose parts that meet the requirements. To achieve that in this performance-based question, drag the appropriate labels to the correct motherboard location. There is a list of components in the left pane.

A+ practice test question for Exam1 – Starting position

On the right of the screen is a motherboard with highlighted locations. These are the targets. Here is a portion of 3.8 that highlights the CAD/CAM design workstation requirements (you will need to know these inside and out by the time you take the test).

CompTIA A+ 220-1001 Exam Objective 3.8 – CAD/CAM

In order to answer this question, consider making sub-objective 3.8 your virtual answer grid. Here is how we can do this. Under 3.8, CompTIA’s requirement for a CAD/CAM design workstation is:

A) Multicore processor
B) High-end video
C) Maximum RAM

With that in mind, let’s go back to the choices presented in the question. After consideration, here is what your A, B, and C answers should be for this question:

A) The first choice is 8GB RAM which is a decent amount but not the only good amount. Checking the rest of the choices, 32GB is available and since the requirement is maximum RAM, the choice is simple. Select 32 GB and drag it to the memory slots on the motherboard.

B)  The answer at the top of the list is the AMD 145 Sempron which is a decent processor but only has a single core. We need a multicore processor. The AMD FX-8150 has 8 cores which easily qualifies it as multicore, a label that is assigned to the processor. Here is where you should realize that knowledge of actual hardware specifications is as just as critically important to the exam as the exam objective requirements.

C) The choice is between the Galaxy GeForce GTX760, with 4GB of memory, and the Nvidia GeForce GT240 that has 1GB of memory. The GTX both outperforms the GT and has more memory that is also faster. The GTX satisfies CompTIA’s “high-end video” requirement. You’ll drag the GTX card to the slot and since we are in Study mode, we can check the answer:

Success! We get a “Question Answered Correctly” message (see green text at the bottom of the frame). There is also an explanation of what we did and why we did it.

The main take-home here is that if 1) you know your components, and 2) you know the requirements for the different workstations under exam objective 3.8, then it’s almost hard to miss any of these questions.

Of course, this is not the only performance-based question type on the A+ Core 1 exam. There are others. There is also a distinct difference between the performance-based question in 220-1001 compared to 220-902. In 220-1001, the questions tend to be this kind of “enhanced drag and drop” while in A+ 220-902, the performance-based questions are more software simulations within the software where you may be asked to perform tasks. Performance-based questions in A+ 220-1002 will be discussed later.

Please see our narrated video about this question on our YouTube Channel.

We are hoping that if nothing else, you have learned that the process of elimination combined with your hardware knowledge will allow you to master any of the questions that address A plus exam objective 3.8.

That’s all for objective 3.8. Good luck with the test!

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