How to Prepare for Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Exam?

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CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification, has been rising in demand recently. It is one of the most sought-after certifications by the IT professionals. CCNA certification is given by Cisco for the associate level networking professionals.
Subsequently, CCNA Certification helps in raising the career of an IT professional regarding knowledge, skills, better job opportunities and raised pay.
With this certification, an individual is expected to be capable of configuring, operating as well as troubleshooting several components such as switches and routers of a network system.
In the blog, you will get the overall strategies and tips to prepare for the CCNA certification. Let’s have a look at the necessary information and the objectives covered in the CCNA certification first.

CCNA Exam Objectives

Before you take any exam or certification, it is essential that you know the CCNA syllabus before. So, here is what the CCNA certification exam covers!

1) Network Fundamentals

This is the first module, and it involves the most fundamental topics related to networks, such as firewalls, TCP/IP protocols, and various network topologies. It also has IPv6, IPv4,  address types in details.

2) LAN Switching Technologies

This modules comprises of many switching concepts in a network; configuring, verifying and troubleshooting VLANs, inters witch connectivity, EtherChannel and STP protocols.

3) Routing Technologies

This module consists of some routing concepts along with routing table types of routing, namely dynamic and static routing; interior and exterior routing protocols; OSPv3 for IPv6 and OSPFv2 for Ipv4 and; EIGRPs for both IPv6 and IPv4; and RIPv2 for IPv4.

4) WAN Technologies

It involves a detailed study of configuration and verification of both PPP and MLPPP on PPPoE client-side interfaces and WAN interfaces using local authentication. It also includes WAN connectivity options, basic QoS concepts.

5) Infrastructure Services

This module covers topics like DNS lookup operation troubleshooting client connectivity issues including DNS; configuring and verifying DHCP on routers, primary HSRP, source NAT and NTP operating in a client/server mode.

6) Infrastructure Security

The infrastructure security module has topics like port security, common access layer threat mitigation techniques, configuration, verification and troubleshooting of IPv6 and IPv4 access list for traffic filtering. Along with these, it also involves ACLs using the APIC-EM Path Trace ACL analysis tool, troubleshooting of basic device hardening and configuration verification.

7) Infrastructure Management

As the name suggests, it involves the management of the devices that constitute the networking system. The verification and configuration of device monitoring protocols are also added here. Device performance maintenance also comes under its ambit.

CCNA Exam Fees

The exam costs quite the right amount. So it is good you do the preparation well before taking the exam. Most of the Cisco exams cost around USD300; only the exam CCNA Routing and Switching (200-125) cost USD325. Other Cisco exams like ICND1 and ICND2 exams cost USD165 each.

CCNA Certification Exam Information

The CCNA exam is actually to check the fundamentals of a professional. Thus it is likely that the level of exam questions will keep evolving with the arrival of modern technologies. However, there is a regular procedure that is followed to conduct the exam in a fair manner.
  • To obtain the CCNA routing and switching certification, you have two options
  1. One exam 200-125 CCNA Routing and Switching
  2. Two exams ICND1 100-105 and ICND2 200-105
  • The exam is objective type. You will be given multiple choices from which you will have to pick the correct answer.
  • There will be other types of questions such as Simlet, drag and drop,  Testlet, and Sim.
  • The number of questions asked in the Real exam usually ranges between 60 and 70.
  • The time limit for the exam is 90 minutes
  • The CCNA exam is available in two languages, i.e., English and Japanese.

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Recommended Study Material for CCNA Certification Exam Preparation

As already mentioned, the exam can be taken in 2 ways so, if you are taking the 200-125 CCNA routing and switching exam, then the best deal will be if you buy the CCNA version of both the products. If you are tensed about how to pass the CCNA Certification exam in the first exam, go through the CCNA Preparation material and get ready to pass the exam. Here is the CCNA preparation material to finish your CCNA exam preparation.
  • You will get two books, namely, The Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Official Cert Guide and the Cisco CCNA ICND2 200-105 Official Cert Guide. They cover all the essential topics from the syllabus.
  • Additionally, you will also get a study plan which will guide you through the material.
  • You can also get the objective type questions from the books titled 31 days From the Cisco Press. This book is like a quick guide for the CCNA Certification exam preparation and serves excellent if you are looking for ways to crack in your first attempt.

CCNA Exam Preparation Strategies

A planned approach to anything significant is very much essential; as it will guide you throughout in getting the correct objective. Read the following useful tips that may help you in your CCNA exam preparation.
  • Firstly, you should have a base knowledge of the networking models. However, if you are new, then you may opt for the two exam pattern offered by Cisco. Otherwise, one exam is sufficient. The exams are mentioned in one of the aforementioned sections.
  • Secondly, you need to study in depth. Simply gathering knowledge will not satisfy. You will be needed to test other networks using your knowledge, so be prepared to handle challenges and thus, prepare accordingly.
  • Practice CLI by buying those types of equipment or renting them, but do it. Simply knowledge is not everything in this case. You have to know the router and switch commands and configure them accordingly.
  • Subletting is another essential sphere where you need to focus. Practice it until it is as simple as ABC. Not only comfortable but try to make it fast too.
  • Last but not least, practice from the Cisco Learning Network. It is like a community where you can post your doubtful questions and get responses in minutes or hours. They even sometimes give samples of questions similar to the real exam.

How to Pass CCNA Exam in First Attempt?

Well, anything is possible, if you have the correct strategy and the courage to do anything that you want greatly. Here are some useful tips on how to crack the CCNA exam in your first attempt.
  • Firstly, find the practice and previous year questions of the exam on the internet. It will help you in obtaining information about the exam as well as the question pattern.
  • Practice is the key for excellent in anything. So, practice as much as you can. Lab practice is an added benefit, so if you can do that, then it will be more than enough for your preparation.
  • Look for the glossaries and summaries in books. Those are basic points and give you the gist of any topic. It will help you in remembering the things quickly too.
  • While preparing for CCNA, do not forget to assess your preparation. To do that, you must take CCNA mock tests that available online on nwexam.com.
  • Lastly, you may go through the essential topics. Since networking is a vast area, it becomes hard to cover every topic. However, some fundamentals such as different protocols, TCP/IP models,  data flow, and OSI model must be at your fingertips.

How to Get CCNA Certification?

Gaining certification is the first step in your IT career. So, let’s have a look at the steps to know how to get CCNA certification:
  • Firstly, Get a Certificate of the entry level if you are fresher to this networking genre. It will help you obtain an insight into the fundamentals.
  • Prepare Your CCNA Certification exam with all the appropriate materials and follow the strategies mentioned in this blog.
  • Go for specialization in networking. This will help you in gaining added knowledge as well as to become an expert in this field. As a result, job opportunities will rise.
  • Finally, with all the above-mentioned things, having passed the exam, you will become a network administrator or software developer. You can design domains that will run effectively and smoothly.

The Validity of the CCNA Certification Exam

  • A CCNA certification is likely to remain valid for 3 years. After that, the certificate will be invalid, and you will be needed to recertify the same by taking an exam again.
  • The exam will consist of topics from the renewed technologies along with basic contents.
  • In case of a CCNA certification, you need to take the Cisco CCNP certification before it becomes valid. However, if you take any higher level exam within those 3 years, you won't need to take any other exam for recertification.

Summing Up

It will not be wrong to say that the CCNA exam is one of the hardest exams in the IT industry. This certification helps the networking professionals to demonstrate and validate their skills. It serves as a massive opportunity for the IT experts to develop in their career. With this certification, you become a specialist in networking with global recognition.
 
If you are an aimed networking professional preparing for CCNA certification, this CCNA Certificate exam preparation guide will help you a lot to complete the goal. Along with this preparation guide, nwexam.com has brought CCNA Practice tests that will help you get fully prepared for the exam and be ready to Clear the exam in the first attempt.
 
So, join us today and take a step towards a bright career!
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