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Here’s everything you need to know about the CCNA certification exam

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(© daviles – stock.adobe.com)

Have you been dreaming of landing a job in the Networking/IT industry? Maybe something in cloud engineering, network engineering, or information technology?

If so, then you’re in luck.

In 2020, Cisco designed a special exam called CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) – an all-encompassing certification program. Before the 2020 CCNA, candidates interested in IT and computer networking fields had to choose from a wide variety of examinations relevant to their fields. This included exams like CCNA data center, CCNA routing and Switching, CCNA wireless, etc.

With the new CCNA exam, however, students no longer have to take multiple exams to chase careers in IT fields. The exam is already a multi-faceted one, which brings all the disciplines under one roof.

When you think of the new CCNA, think of it as an exam that gives you entry to mid-level entrance into a wide range of IT and Computer Networking fields.

What is the basis of the CCNA certification exam?

The CCNA exam is developed based on the latest Computer Networking and IT job roles. That means that all the latest challenges confronting the industry have been considered while constructing the exam. This ensures that candidates are well-trained and well-equipped to handle any forthcoming challenges that might confront them in the industry.

What does the CCNA exam test?

Cisco designed CCNA to test candidates’ networking and IT knowledge.

Why take the CCNA exam?

Because it affirms your ability to understand, install, configure, and operate switched and routed networks.

Any employer who finds CCNA certification on your resume will believe you’re more than equipped to handle and implement the basic operations of the industry.

What can you do with the CCNA certification?

Becoming CISCO certified through the CCNA exam qualifies you for a number of high-paying positions in the IT and Computer Networking industry.

For example, someone with CCNA can land a job in any of the following job positions:

  • Network technician, director, investigator, engineer, security expert.

Note: different firms may choose to call them something else.

  • Cloud Engineer
  • Network Administrator
  • Solutions Design Engineer
  • VoIP Engineer
  • Infrastructure Engineer
  • Telecom Engineer
  • Systems Administrator

Amongst others.

By how much does the CCNA exam boost your job chances and expected salary?

CCNA certified professionals are hot chase in the industry. That means you won’t struggle to land a job. Plus, you can expect a salary boost of more than 20% compared to someone without CCNA certification.

Details of the exam

Exam Structure
Duration: 2 hours
Number of questions: 100
Price: $300
Exam Type: Multiple-choice, Drag & Drop
Exam validity: CCNA is valid for three years. That means after three years, the candidate has to retake the exam. This is because the CCNA exam is constantly updating its syllabus, taking into accounts the latest industry developments. So, a holder with relevant knowledge in 2021 may no longer be up-to-date in 2024 unless he renews his skill set.

Areas tested in the exam:

  • Automation and Programmability – will make up 10% of the exam
  • IP Services – will make up 10% of the exam
  • IP Connectivity – will make up 25% of the exam
  • Network Fundamentals – will make up 20% of the exam
  • Security Fundamentals – will make up 15% of the exam
  • Network Access – will make up 20% of the exam

What are the prerequisites for sitting for the CCNA exam?

Absolutely no prerequisite. Sitting for CCNA doesn’t require you to have any pre-existing degree or qualifications.

However, you must have some basic understanding of IT and Computer Networking solutions. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to pass the exam.

How do you prepare for the CCNA certification examination?

Take courses: The best way to prepare for your CCNA exam is to take a couple of CCNA-related courses. Remember we mentioned a couple of areas that the CCNA exam cuts across. If you’re new to the exam, it’s always best to enroll in courses related to these areas. For example, courses related to networking, IP connectivity, Network access, routing, etc.

There are many online providers like Spoto offering these courses. They will equip you with all the knowledge you need to blow the exam into the waters.

Dedicate your time and resources to studying: As you may well know, the best way to prepare for any exam is to study hard.

However, considering the boatload of materials you’ll need to study to prepare for your CCNA exam, the best thing would be to search for study materials online.

How long do you need to study before taking the CCNA exam?

Although there are no one-size-fits-all study patterns, most holders recommend studying for at least 4-6 hours every day for 3 months before the exam.

Where can you find practice questions for the CISCO exam?

Your best bets are exam dumps. And you can find those on the Spoto website. I recommend Spoto because their dumps are regularly updated, which means you won’t end up practicing questions that are out-of-date and irrelevant.

Note: Exam dumps are when someone takes an exam and then comes online to upload the questions.

What happens if you fail the exam?

You can retake the exam as many times as you like. But I assure you that if you choose a training and dump provider like Spoto, there’s no way you’ll fail.

What is the pass percentage required to get in CCNA 200-301?

The average pass mark is 825/1000. But I’ve seen candidates scoring 950+/1000 and above, so there’s no reason you can’t.

Story by Uday Tank


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