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CompTIA Server+ Exam Review SK0-003

CompTIA's Server+ exam has undergone several updates since it's debut in 2001. Our reviewer recently faced and aced the third version of the exam, SK0-003. Here are his thoughts about it.

The CompTIA Server+ certification has been a staple of the CompTIA certification offerings, first appearing around 2000 with the SK0-001 exam. The third version of the exam (SK0-003) became live in 2009, suggesting that it is about time for CompTIA to consider refreshing the exam with a new version.

According to CompTIA, "the certification is targeted towards individuals with 18-24 months of IT experience. Although not a prerequisite, it is recommended that CompTIA Server+ candidates hold a CompTIA A+ certification." It represents a logical step for information technology workers who have their CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications and are looking for the next certification in their path of lifelong technical learning.

When I recently reviewed my CompTIA certification transcript, something I strongly recommend you do to track certifications you hold to check their expiration date, I discovered that either I took the certification exam and CompTIA lost my results, or I never took the exam and had not obtained the certification. In an effort to "backfill" holes in the certification section of my resume, I decided to take the Server+ exam. As a preliminary step, I reviewed the certification exam objectives. The domains covered by the exam are listed below.

CompTIA Server+ Exam Domains:

Domain% of Examination
1.0 System Hardware


2.0 Software


3.0 Storage


4.0 IT Environment


5.0 Disaster Recovery


6.0 Troubleshooting


"I had no trouble completing the exam in the allotted time (actually finishing the exam with a little less than a half hour to spare.)"

Reviewing the exam objectives convinced me that additional study time for taking the exam, while potentially useful, wasn't necessary given both my work experience and other certifications I held. While I would not encourage such an approach to exams for someone at the "18-24 months of IT experience," it made sense in my situation.

Like other typical CompTIA exams, I was given 90 minutes to answer 100 questions. For those unfamiliar with CompTIA exams, that works out to approximately 54 seconds per question. In tackling this type of multiple choice exams, I follow a methodology that characterized as "mark and move on," and outlined for my college students. The website where I explain the process is publicly accessible and I would encourage its use.

The questions encountered on the exam were fairly consistent with what I've seen on the Network+ exam. I had no trouble completing the exam in the allotted time (actually finishing the exam with a little less than a half hour to spare. With a passing score requirement of 750/900, you must get approximately 82% of the questions correct (meaning you could guess incorrectly on approximately 18 of the questions and still score a passing grade on the exam). I did quite well on the exam (see the scoring sheet on my blog).

A great piece of news relative to this certification is unlike other core CompTIA certifications (A+, Network+, and Security+), the Server+ certification is a "lifetime" certification meaning you do not have to pay a certification maintenance fee and complete ongoing continuing education requirements in order to keep your certification. Simply pass the exam and you remain Server+ certified.


steve linthicum

About the Author

Professor Steve Linthicum is a full-time faculty member at Sierra College in Rocklin, California and is a member of its Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, and Administration of Justice Departments. Steve holds a variety of IT virtualization and Cloud certifications including VMware VCP (versions 4 and 5), Microsoft MCSE: Private Cloud and MCITP: Virtualization Administrator, and Citrix CCA: XenDesktop. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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