CompTIA “Big 3” Exam Retirement Dates

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CompTIA “Big 3” Exam Retirement Dates

Article updated 12/26/2022.

The CompTIA exam retirement cycle ensures certification for any exam with the “ce” suffix (for continuing education) is valid three years from the date you take your exam if only one exam is required. If two exams are required (as is the case for A+ 220-1001 and 220-1002 as well as Linux+) it’s the date of the second exam that defines the start of the three-year period.

Scroll down to where we list the exam codes and retirement dates for the “big three” CompTIA certification exams.

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NOTE: The CompTIA exam retirement dates ensure you will always be certified for three years irrespective of when you pass your exam and when the exam you took is retired by CompTIA. It does not matter if you take your exam a month from its retirement date you will still be certified for three years even though the exam is retired for most of those three years. As an example, Network+ N10-007 will be retired on March 31, 2022. Were you to pass that exam say in February of 2022, you would still be certified until February of 2025 even though for most of that time Network+ N10-007 will have been retired and Network+ N10-008 would be the “current version” available in the testing centers.

Want to recertify without taking the test? click here.

CompTIA Exam launch and retirement dates

A+ 220-1001 & 220-1002 aka Core 1 & Core 2

CompTIA A+ce – Core 1 exam# 220-1001 and Core 2 exam# 220-1002. These were launched on January 15, 2019. Exam retirement date: should be 3 years plus six months “grace period” after the release date. However this time it was a lot later, the retirement date was October 20, 2022. Typically CompTIA makes it on the dot three years and six months after the launch of the new version. This time maybe COVID interfered with the schedule. Click here for info about our A+ 1101 & 1102 Exam Simulator.

Button to click for access to our free A+ Study Guide

A+ 220-1101 & 220-1102 Release Date

The release date for these two exams was April 21, 2022. The retirement date should be mid- to late 2025.

A+ 220-1201 & 220-1202 Release Date

Given CompTIA’s three-year renewal schedule the release date for this version of the A+ exams should be spring 2025. We will update this information as soon as we get closer to having hard dates.

You can download the main CompTIA Exam Objectives here.

Button to click for access to our free Network+ Study Guide

Network+ N10-008

CompTIA Network+ce – Exam codeN10-008 was released in September of 2021. A six-month grace period (when both Network+ N10-007 and N10-008 will be available simultaneously) means that the Network+ N10-007 should be retired from the test centers in March of 2022. Click here for the Network+ N10-008 Exam Simulator.

Network+ N10-009

Network+ N10-008 went live on September 15th, 2021. This should mean that the availability of the replacement Network+ N10-009 would be September 15, 2024. However, it’s not unusual for CompTIA to be two to three months behind schedule on their three-year update schedule. So, a release date in November or December of 2024 is not out of the question. Knowing that CompTIA allows for six months “grace period” (the six-month overlap during which the new exams and the old exams are both offered) the Network+ N10-008 would then be retired somewhere around Maay of 2025.

Security+ SY0-501 & SY0-601

The release for Security+ SY0-601 was November 12th, 2020.  The Security+ exam SY0-501 was retired on July 31, 2021.

CompTIA Security+ce. Exam code SY0-601. This exam was released on November 12th, 2020, and is currently the only version of the Security+ exam available in testing centers.

Security+ SY0-701

As mentioned above, CompTIA is on a three-year renewal schedule for this exam so the launch date for Security+ SY0-701 was November 7, 2023.

IT Fundamentals FC0-U61

Not in the “big three” but slowly getting there is the IT Fundamentals certification. The current exam number is FC0-U61. It was launched on September 4, 2018.

Exam number FC0-U51 was retired in the US on July 15, 2019, and in the rest of the world, except Japan, by December 31, 2019. In Japan, it remained valid until March 31, 2020.

Lifetime certifications 

Any candidate certified on or prior to December 31, 2010, is certified for life. It is only since January 1, 2011, that the continuing education renewal requirement kicked in.

Exam hierarchy 

CompTIA has established a hierarchy  of the exams (1 lowest – 3 highest) as follows:

  1. A+
  2. Network+
  3. Security+

To renew a CompTIA “ce” certification there are three alternatives:

  1. Simply retake the exam (and pay the whole exam fee).
  2. Fulfill the CompTIA continuing education requirements (cost a bit less than the exam fee but does “cost” a lot more time”.
  3. If you are a holder of two or three of the above certs then just renew the “highest” one to automatically get your lower one renewed.

Reasons given in a survey by employers for requiring certification.

Reasons given by employers for requiring certification.

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65 thoughts on “CompTIA “Big 3” Exam Retirement Dates

  1. I just checked CompTIA’s site. Security+ version SYO-401 will be retired in July of 2o18, not mid-2o17. I was shocked to read the mid-2017 expiration date, and was relieved to see that it’s actually a year later.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out Joshua. We have made the correction and it now says “mid- to late 2018”. CompTIA typically giving a six month grace period between the release of the new and retirement of the old, the actual retrement date should be September 30, 2018. We are awaiting confirmation on that.

  2. If I wanted to get a Sec+ certification now, in June.. What should I be doing ideally?

    Should I wait till SYO-501 is implemented, or just go get a SYO-401 certification? or perhaps even get both?

    1. The best alternative is to take the SY0-401 because 1) There won’t be any learning materials available for SY0-501 until October, and 2) whether you take the 401 or 501 either of those will have you certified just the same and for the exact same duration i.e. three years from the exam date.

    2. …and the way you get both is by recertifying three years down the line… In terms of employers, there is no benefit in having both.

  3. For the Network+ N10-006, is there an exact date of retirement in the fall?

    1. The Network+ N10-007 is scheduled for release next year in March. Given that CompTIA allows for a 6 mo. grace period where both the old and the new are available at the same time, that would indicate a retirement date for Network+ N10-006 of September or October 2018.

  4. so my a+ certification from 2000 is still active?

    1. Yes, it is. As long as it is pre-2011 you are good for life!

  5. I have all 3 of the above Certs. I need to renew them by December 31st. I know of that renewing the highest will automatically renew the ones below it. Can I just take some online courses and like watch all the videos there and not have to take any exams?

  6. I have Security+ (GFL). Do I need to retake the exam to proceed with Security+ CE (DoD) requirement.

  7. so based on what I heard the release date is March 1st, 2018 for Network+07.

    Can I still take Network+06 exam after March 1st? and is that going to be valid for 3 yrs? or it will expire in September and then I have to take newest exam version?

    Thank you

    1. Yes you can. You can still take Network+ N10-006 till July of this year.

  8. Hello,

    Just to make sure what Dina was asking. If I get the N10-006 before July, I will be good for 3 years?

  9. Hi. I’m thinking of starting to study A+ and Network+ simultaneously as I actually got the qualifications years ago in 2005. I don’t have my certs and a lot of content will be new.
    Im currently not in the IT industry and I want to make a career for myself now.
    Just about to purchase the study books and it seems a lot of the content came out Jan 2016. There seem to be new books editions being published this summer. Should I just buy the books now as i really want to start now. Will much change, as in will I need to buy new editions in the summer or will I be able to get “updated or new content” elsewhere?

    1. Hi Daniel, these are good and interesting questions.
      The new Network+ N10-007 is coming out in March this year but CompTIA’s “grace period” (during which you can choose between N10-006 & N10-007) will last until at least July 2018.
      The current A+ (901 & 902) was released in December 2015 (that is why you see a fair amount of January 2016 prints) and will be available until at least June next year (2019).
      This all means that you have plenty of time to pass these exams. What is important is that you use the study materials developed for the very exam version you are planning on taking. To pass requires about 80% – 85% correct answers. The difference in content from one exam version to the next is 25% – 40% so you can see that with materials for the incorrect version it would be very hard to succeed at the exam.
      We recommend you start studying now for the A+ (you have a year and a half) and wait until March to get the new Network+ materials. That way you won’t be so pressed for time. It would be different if you had studied up on Network+ N10-006, then we would recommend you sit for that exam to improve your chances but since you are starting fresh, pick the one that gives you the most time to succeed.

      1. Thanks so much for the quick reply.

        Do you know what the wait times are for getting an exam date? I’ve just flew through a good amount of A+ questions and felt comfortable with them. Of course I will be sure before I book anything but just on the offchance that I could be ready for both exams before July 2018.

        And also how much will the credibility of n10-006 fade once n10-007 is out. Is it better to wait for any other reasons such as opinion of prospective employers?

        1. Wait times are typically very short, a few days at the most. In our long experience, the credibility of a new exam version does not negatively impact the prior one. Employers are only interested to know whether you are Network+ certified or not i.e. is your certification status current or not? Whether you pass N10-006 or N10-007 you will be just as certified for three years from the date of your exam and that’s all employers are concerned with.

          1. Thank you again. I think it’s worth me purchasing both books and making an informed careful decision whether to go full steam ahead with the Network+ after ive decided how much of it is coming back to me and how much new material I have to absorb. If I feel like I want longer then i can but the new books for 007.
            Just to be able to say I’m 007 qualified has a nice ring to it for other reasons as well.
            Thanks for some sound advice today it’s very much appreciated.

          2. You are most welcome! And you are right, the key is that the decision be informed. we are sure Q would approve…

  10. I am going to be taking the Security+ 401 in the coming months (before the July expiration date obviously). In the event that I don’t pass it but buy the Comptia pack that has the retake included, would I need to then take the retake before the July expiration date? Or would having purchased the retake allow me to retake the 401 after that date?

    1. Hi RR, you would still have to take it before the July expiration date. What happens on that date is that CompTIA retires/takes the exam away from the testing centers so there will be zero chance for anyone to take it. If you are uncertain about your chances to pass the exam, we recommend you do a first try sometime in May. That way if it doesn’t work out, you give yourself a month or two to go back studying and try again.

  11. There are a number of people here at my work that have received SY-401 Certification in the last year and some that are just now getting it. With SY-501 coming out in July – can we still renew our SY-401 after July – for another 3 years through CEU’s? How long can we continue to renew the SY-401 through CEU’s? Can I then still renew another 3 years if SY-601 comes out? Also to clarify – I can get a number of CEU’s by taking in essence the SY-501 class after it comes out but not taking the test?

    1. All right so first to the issue of renewability and the options there: SY0-501 is already out and our prep materials are here:
      When CompTIA releases a new version of an exam it always allows for a “grace period” of at least 180 days. That is why the Security+ SY0-401 option will still be available to you until July included although 501 has been out for three months already. During the grace period, it doesn’t matter which exam you take – you will still be just as certified for 3 years from the exam date. That remains true even if you take the 401 exam on its very last day in the centers.

      Regarding CEUs. In a relatively complex process, CompTIA grants these for classes, seminars, and some other activities/events explained in great detail on its site. To go the CEU route you have to have an account with CompTIA and specifically “enroll” in the CEU program, pay each year to remain in the program, never let it lapse, and do the various activities required to remain certified. If you do all those things and remain indefinitely in the system, then yes, you can certify to the next version without taking the test. If you Google “CompTIA ceu requirements” then you will find out all you need about that process.

      Hopefully, this helps, good luck on your quest for certification!

  12. I will be taking my comptia A+ exam this May. If I passed it will be still valid until 3years? thank you.

    1. Yes Aldrin, there are no exceptions to the three years validity rule. If a CompTIA exam is available in a testing center and you pass it, it will be valid three years from the date you passed the exam.

  13. I want to take the SOY 401 exam . I want to know if it will be retired at the beginning of July or at the end of July.


    1. Yes, July 31, 2018 is the last day for Security+ SY0-401.

  14. Thinking about taking the 220 901 and 220 902 before the end of the year but if it is going to be retired shortly should i wait till the 220 1001 and 220 1002 are launched? Really was stoked to take the exam and start looking for IT work in my area. If i were to take it would it just end up obsolete and me having spent money unwisely? Opinions on the matter greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Josh, whichever version you sit for (901/1001 or 902/1002) you will still be certified for the exact same duration i.e. three years from the date you successfully pass the exam. And no, if you pick A+ 220-901 & 902, your certification will not be obsolete. In both cases, you will be just as A+ certified.
      If you choose 901/902, then you must take these two as CompTIA does not allow mix and match, so no one can be certified by combining say 220-901 with 220-1002.
      If you chose to sit for 220-901 & 220-902 then you’ll have a deadline of July next year as that is when that version will be retired. Would you pick A+ 220-1001 & 220-1002 then you’ll have over three years before any deadline becomes an issue.

      Hope this helps and good luck on your quest for certification and a brand new career!

      1. So in short it is better to wait till 1001 and 1002 are released that way i have time to get in the continuing education. For example if i passed in the next four months we will say, i would not have enough time to do all the CE’s required to be exempt from doing the 1001 and 1002 is this correct? And why would i choose to sit for a version of the exam that is going to be phasing out and having to spend more money to be the most current in my certification? please tell me if i am completely misunderstanding.Man wish i was old enough at the time to have a permanent license.

        1. The CE timeline is not affected by the retirement date since it is precisely to be approved for the A+ 220-1001 and 220-1002 that you would be taking the CE’s. Since the A+ 220-1001 and 220-1002 certification will be around till the summer of 2022 that will give you plenty of time for the CE’s. In terms of having the latest cert, employers don’t ask for that, they just want to know you are current in your certification. On your resume, it will say “A+ Certified [and date of exam]” people typically don’t list the exam number because employers don’t ask for that.

  15. Hi there, I am grandfathered in with my A+ way back in 2003. I feel like I am being over looked by employers because the material is studied for and passed ages ago is so out of date. I am aware of the 3 year renewal of my certifications being introduced in 2011. I do plan on studying for the new A+ exams just to refresh myself on the new materials but rather skip the exam part if possible. Lets say I pass either the network+ or Security+ will that automatically renewal my ancient A+ certification to the most current at that time. Thank you for your time and advice.

    1. Yes, if you pass either the Network+ or Security+ that will indeed automatically renew your A+ credential. Network+ renews A+ and Security+ renews A+ and Network+.

  16. girlfriend is buying me exam vouchers for A+ for xmas. should i just get the new exam or can i?

    1. For a 6 months period starting in January 2019 and ending in July 2019, you will be able to choose between A+ 901/902 and A+ 1001/1002,

    2. Up until July 2019, you have the choice to pass either the A+ 901/902 or the A+ 1001/1002. Once you pass the exam and no matter which version, you will be A+ certified for three years from the date of the exam. What should guide your choice is probably which version you will feel most familiar with based on the exam objectives. Of course, if you have already studied for the 901/902 then you should pick that version.

  17. Hi I want ask you I am planning to take 220-901. 220-902 exams within next 2 months either January or February so am I gonig to see 220-901.220-902 or the new one core 1 and core 2 I am not sure which test I will see. Thanks

    1. Hi Abdiaziz, because CompTIA offers a 6 months grace period on A+, you will be fine to take 220-901 and 220-902 as late as July 2019. Between January and July both the 901/902 exams and the 1001/1002 will be available at the testing centers.

  18. Hi
    Can I get 220-901 and 902 in July? and if I pass it is valid for 3 years still?

    1. Yes, you can, and yes it will. You have until July 31 and your certification will be valid three years from the date you pass the exam.

  19. my question is tomorrow is the last day for 900 series to be taken. now the new core will take over. My question is, if you live in a Foreign Country, ie.. Germany, France, etc.. I believe those dates extend out till October 2019. Can you take the course in English, or would it be in German, French, etc..

    1. Hi Jeffrey, you are right tomorrow is the last chance to take the English version of A+ 901 or 902. Tomorrow is the retirement date of the English version, after that the foreign versions will be available until October 1, 2019, at which date those will be retired too. So between Aug. 1 and Sep. 30 you would have to take the A+ exam in the country’s language. That is how it is setup. However, if you are only English speaking and currently living abroad it may be worth contacting CompTIA and see if they will make any exceptions to accommodate that situation.

  20. I am CompTIA Sec + 501 certified, I would like to renew it with single activity, through CompTIA Cert CE. When is the CE for the 501 will be released?

    1. Hi Jaime, renewal can be obtained by either acquiring 50 Continuing Education Units (CEU) within a 3-year renewal timeframe.
      Your 3-year timeframe begins on your initial certification date. It is renewable by meeting these obligations before your renewal date.
      Good Luck!

  21. Hi,

    I’ve read your responses to the CompTIA candidates on this platform, from what I’ve gathered from your responses is that N10-007’s retirement month is March 2021 but they will be a grace period of 6 months, starting from April or March… Is it safe for me to start with embark on taking N10-007 provided that I’m going to write the exam before the grace period ends? I desperately neex to know.. Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Nobuhle, Yes, it is perfectly safe to start preparing for Network+ N10-007 as long as you sit for the exam before the “grace period” expiration. We strongly recommend that you shoot for taking the exam at least a couple of months before expiration just in case you were to miss on the first try. You don’t want the exam to be retired before you have a shot at a retry with a little prep in between.

  22. How long time, i need to prepare a Network + certification?

    1. It all depends on your level of knowledge and experience. With none yo, you are probably looking at a year as A+ is a recommended prerequisite. If you have lots of experience, then a few weeks should do the trick.

  23. Is Network+ N10-0007 still on track to be replaced by the newer version within a few months?

    1. Yes Nieko, it’s touch and go right now. We don’t have clear guidance although we initially were told to expect it by the end of April. That came and went so it may be any week now for Network+ N10-008.

    2. …so hot of the presses it seems like CompTIA is now planning to release Network+ N10-008 on August 31, 2021. If so, the Network+ N10-007 will be retired in February or March of 2022. We are still monitoring the situation though.

  24. Am i able to schedule my Net+ n10-007 exam after August 31st? or does it need to be completed before then if I have a voucher

    1. That’s a good question Amber. The answer is yes, you can schedule your Network+ N10-007 anytime during the grace period of six months past the launch of the new Network+ N10-008.
      Best of luck on the exam!

  25. Is there a way to update the Security+ lifetime to CE other than retaking the test. My organization will only accept the CE.

    1. Hi Gene, sorry, unfortunately not. CompTIA offers no process by which you could convert the Security+ lifetime to CE. Given that CE stands for continuing education, it is by design a way to push the “latest and greatest” and that is probably why your employer requires it.

  26. i am starting my review soon for CompTIA A+ 220-1001 & 1002. if the release of the new 220-1101 is around June 2022, will i still be able to take the exam for 1001 & 1002?
    TIa 🙂

    1. Hi Sneeky! Yes, you will. If the A+ 1101/1102 is released in June, then you will have until December to sit for the A+ 1001/1002. CompTIA gives for A+ (and Network+ & Security+) a six-month “grace period” after a new release during which you have a choice between the two versions. They have done it for a long time mainly to not penalize anyone deep into studying the current version of the exam. Best of luck on your quest for certification!

  27. I am confused should I go for Network+ or not. as it is 270 CAD. It is expensive. is it really worth it?

    1. Hi Aaquib, that is a good question that I am sure many wonder about. The answer is it depends on where your level of knowledge or experience is at. If it is going to make the difference between passing the exam on the first try or not, then it is worth it because if you were to not pass you would have to pay for another exam voucher. Here is the kicker though, with the CertBlaster first try guarantee you will get your money back would you fail on the first attempt so you are not really taking a big risk trying it. Good luck in your quest for certification!

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