What Is A Performance-Based Question?

by Janet Pinkerton | Oct 09, 2012

CompTIA is adding performance-based questions to its CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certification exams in the coming months, and many candidates are wondering how this type of question will be different from the exams' traditional multiple-choice format.

Multiple-choice questions in CompTIA exams ask a candidate to select one or more correct answers to a specific question, and the candidate clicks on the correct answer or answers.

However, performance-based questions require the candidate to perform a task or solve a problem in simulated IT environments. For each performance-based question, the exam prompts the candidate to perform a specific task or solve a specific problem. A simulated environment is then launched in which the candidate completes the required steps.

Each question is designed around real-world computer scenarios that will test a candidate's skills and knowledge. Depending on the nature of the exam and the exam question, the simulated environments may include different aspects of IT infrastructure, such as command prompts, Windows or networking environments.

Once candidates use the simulated environment to perform the requested task or solve the stated problem, they click a "Done" button to submit their answer.

Exam candidates must pay careful attention to the wording and details of each question in order to form the correct answer.

To prepare for exams with performance-based questions, CompTIA encourages candidates to gain hands-on practice with the topics covered by the exam objectives, in addition to engaging in their preferred methods for study and training.


  • Nduka

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Hi, I'm looking into taking the CompTIA A+ (901 & 902) exam in 7 weeks. I was wondering when the exam format of only multiple choice questions is due to change to include the addition of performance based questions? Has this already happened? Or when is it likely to be introduced? I look forward to your response. Thank you.

  • Jesse Morton

    Thursday, December 29, 2016

    In response to Nduka, it apears hat performance-based questions are already part of the CompTIA A+ certification exam.

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