Thursday, April 1, 2010


In 2007, CCENT certification was introduced. CCNA then became more difficult to achieve. CCNA features tests that are extremely "real world". Statistically, most people pursue the CCNP track first. Each exam has an expiration of 3 years.
-->CCVP-->CCIE Voice
-->CCNP-->CCIE Routing and Switching
-->CCSP-->CCIE Security
CCENT is achieved by passing ICND1. CCNA is achieved after you complete ICND2. You must complete ICND1 and ICND2 within 3 years of the first exam. Passing any higher level certification will automatically renew all lower level ones.

There is a single CCNA exam that a candidate can pass, but it's more difficult now. The current CCNA exam is designed for people who have an expiring certificate. The biggest thing one fights during the CCNA exam is time.

Once CCNA is achieved, one can go ahead to pursue one of the specializations in the three major exam tracks: CCVP, CCNP and CCSP. It is actually more valuable to go after CCNP first, then move over to CCVP and CCSP. That's because the two exams sometimes assumes that you know things that are in CCNP.

Two percent of CCNP passers attempt the CCIE later on. CCIE requires you to travel to a Cisco's test centre to sit through an 8 hour lab session.

CCENT-certified individuals should be able to:
-Describe the operation of data networks
-Implement a small, switched network
-Implement IP addressing and services
-Implement a small, routed network
-Understand wireless and WAN connectivity
-Implement basic network security

It's good practice to set a date for an exam. If you do not set a date, you may just drift. You can always reschedule an exam within a 24 hour window. Setting the date allows a goal to shoot for.

When taking the exam, arrive early. Grab some beverage and bring them into the test centre. Ask for multiple sheets of paper and start with the exam tutorial. Pace yourself well and spend no more than 10 minutes on simulations. Not all questions are equal and some may be weighted more than others.

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