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What's New in the CompTIA Network+ (N10-006) Exam

Sep. 25, 2015
George Mays


CompTIA has raised the bar for Network+ candidates. The new certification exam has significant changes to the five "domains" or knowledge areas with new content related to security, cloud, data-center and operational concerns and troubleshooting. There is also a greater emphasis on wireless networking and VoIP. Use this white paper to help you gain an overview of what's new and what's different.


CompTIA is fond of making changes periodically to their various certifications, and Network+ is no exception. Recent changes on February 28, 2015, have begun affecting prospective candidates.

When changes are made, they not only affect the exam itself but also the books and training materials in the marketplace that need to "catch up" and reflect the new requirements. With that in mind, CompTIA provides a grace period in which the old and new requirements overlap one another. Until August 31, 2015, the previous exam is still offered, as is the new one. (Note: These dates are for the English-language version of the exams.) So, the big question is, "How is the new exam different from the old one?"

Let's start with the basics. While each exam runs 90 minutes and has the same passing score of 720 (on a 100-900 scale), the designations have changed: the old exam is now referred to as the N10-005 exam, while the new one is the N10-006 exam.

The number of questions has also changed. The old exam specified a maximum of 100 questions, whereas the new exam is limited to ninety questions. In practice, the old exam was usually around 92 questions or so, a mixture of "performance-based" questions (e.g., 8 questions) and multiple-choice questions (e.g., 84 questions). If one were to guess about the future direction in this regard, it seems likely that there will be more emphasis on the performance-based questions.

The performance-based questions are simply simulations of practical scenarios that pop up in networking. For example, you might be presented with a diagram of two interconnected networks with various computers attached. Your task might be to change the configuration settings on a computer that is having difficulty communicating with others.

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