cisco ccna

What is CCNA

CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is a certification from Cisco, the world’s most famous company for manufacturing and selling networking equipment. This certification helps you to become familiar with a wide range of topics, such as:

  • TCP/IP model
  • Switches and routers
  • Network utilities (ping, tracert, arp)
  • IP addressing and subnetting
  • VLANs and trunking
  • Routing protocols such as OSPF
  • WLAN
  • NAT and ACLs
  • Automation and programmability

How to become CCNA certified?

You can become CCNA certified by taking and passing a single exam – the CCNA 200-301. The exact number of questions you will get on the exam can vary but will be around 120 questions. The minimum passing score can also vary but will be around 800-850 out of the maximum score of 1000.

Where to take the exam?

To take the CCNA exam you have to schedule a test appointment through Pearson VUE, an electronic testing company. Pearson VUE has many authorized testing centers throughout the world and you can locate a test center in your vicinity. Since the COVID pandemic it has also been possible to take the exam at home using your own laptop. If you want to take the home option then you need to meet the testing requirements which include being monitored through your webcam.

The exam is available in English and Japanese and lasts for 120 minutes. After finishing the test you will immediately get the results. Cisco provides just the basic information about your score, so you can’t be sure which questions you got right or wrong!

Preparing for the exam

There are several ways in which you can prepare yourself for the exam:

  • attending a CCNA course – Cisco courses are offered by various educational companies and institutions. You can use this online tool to locate an academy in your vicinity. These courses usually lasts a couple of months and include a lot of hands-on activities. Prices vary depending on your location, but the courses can be quite costly (up to $1000).
  • self-study with textbooks and online courses – another popular way to prepare a CCNA exam is by self-studying. There are lots of high-quality resources online and tools such as GNS3 or Packet Tracer that enable you to study without actually buying expensive equipment. Of course, this website is one of these high-quality online resources :-). Many people use a website like Ebay or Amazon to find CCNA kits that will enable them to work on real equipment.
  • concentrated boot camps – intensive, week-long live classes that cover months of materials in just a couple of days. Not recommended for beginners.

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