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Handshake Programs and the A+ Practice Test

A-I remember a specific question asked on the A+ practice test. It read, “True or false; before sending data a modem sends a request to send signal or RTS.” At the time I did not know what the acronym “RTS” stood for exactly. I remember performing a Google search on the term. The first website in the search listings was a Wikipedia article for “Real Time Strategy.” I did not think this article referred to the term RTS used on the A+ practice test. Interestingly, the second website listed was for a “Reformed Theological Seminary.” I did not think this website referred to the same “RTS” as on the A+ practice test either.


It turns out that the RTS acronym referred to on the A+ practice test actually stood for “Request to Send.” After a little more research I found out that this is something called a “handshake program” used by certain wireless networking protocols. The RTS goes hand in hand (no pun intended) with a reciprocal handshake program called “CTS” which stands for “Clear to Send.” As such the RTS and the CTS are two handshake signals exchanged by the communicating ends of the wireless networking protocol before transmitting data.


Based on all of the afore mentioned information recounted in the paragraphs above I would have to conclude that the answer to the A+ practice test question would be “True.” Essentially, the modem would send the RTS. Once it received the corresponding CTS it would then be free to send the data. The term “handshake program” refers to the fact that one end extends a hand that must be reciprocated by the other end extending a hand. The respective hands are the RTS and the CTS in this analogical term. This is one of many pieces of information that would be helpful to know in order to do well on an A+ practice test and the A+ certification exam.

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