Exam Development

CompTIA exams are built by the industry, for the industry. We draw the content for the exams from a combination of industry-wide survey feedback and contributions from our team of volunteer subject matter experts. The result is a rigorous exam development process representing thousands of hours spent exceeding the knowledge standards the industry expects.

Listed below are some of the activities that must be considered in developing a high-stakes certification exam and how CompTIA addresses those considerations.

Subject matter experts (SMEs)

Subject matter experts are used in focus groups, item writing sessions and item review sessions. CompTIA estimates that 5,000 subject matter expert hours are required to develop one exam.


A trained psychologist/psychometrician assists the development, review and maintenance of the exam. This ensures that the test and the test development process are legally defensible. Our exam development process for all of our certifications abides by and exceeds the test development standards of the following:

  • Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (Guidelines) published by U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission.
  • The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (Standards) published by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education. Additionally, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner, CompTIA Cloud+, CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Security+ certifications are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the ISO 17024 standard.

Security continuously ensures the integrity of the exam process. CompTIA takes exam security seriously and therefore, involves an industry council that sets standards for global test security.