The CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a certification in information technology offered by CISCO System. If you are reading this page, you have already chosen to get a CCNA certification for a boost in your IT career.
To earn the CCNA certification credential, you need to take the certification exam. Your certification is based on whether or not you can clear the exam. However, before you begin your learning and certification journey, there are a few things you should know. This includes information about the exam, passing scores, important topics to prepare for, and how you can study for this particular exam.
Different Ways to Get the CCNA Certification
To earn the CCNA credential, you can choose one of two pathways.
- You must clear the CCNA Composite exam, a total of one exam.
- You must clear both the ICND1 and ICND2 exams, a total of two exams.
Choosing a route for yourself can be confusing. Here’s a simpler way to understand. If this is your entry point into the networking domain or if you don’t have too much past experience in the world of networking, choose the second route with two exams. If you have a working knowledge of industrial know-how, it would be beneficial to choose the first route and clear just one exam.
Several other factors can also affect your final choice and the Cisco certification route you choose, for example, how much time you have or the certification level you are looking at achieving. If you can work very hard in a short period and want an advanced certification, prepare for the CCNA Composite exam.
Prerequisites and Overview of CCNA:
Before you enroll in a training course online for your certification, there are some skills you should have.
- Working knowledge of computers
- OS navigating skills on a PC
- Ability to use the internet
- Knowledge of IP addresses
- Knowledge of networking fundamentals
This certification has a few prominent domains that make up a large part of the qualifying exam. When these topics are broken down into smaller blocks, preparing becomes easier. These larger domains and their respective weightage are
- Network Fundamentals makes up 15% of the exam
- LAN Switching Technologies makes up 22% of the exam
- Routing Technologies makes up 23% of the exam
- WAN Technologies makes up 10% of the exam
- Infrastructure Services makes up 10% of the exam
- Infrastructure Security makes up 10% of the exam
- Infrastructure Management makes up 10% of the exam
The questions in the exam can have different types of formats. This includes multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blanks, test lets, and many others.
The CCNA certification can change your career path by making you more qualified for roles in good companies with better pay packages. The exam is challenging, which makes it essential for you to be consistent in your studies so that you are well-prepared.
While every student’s learning style and career goals are different, here are some of the most commonly used approaches to studying for this exam.
With self-study, you will be able to concentrate on the topics at hand without getting distracted by something. With patience, time and confidence, self-study can be very useful.
The key to learning the basics of any technology lies in the subject books. It can seem boring but the theories you read and study are what will help you build your foundation.
Practice makes perfect. After you have gotten a basic idea about the exam from the books and self-study sessions, you can start practicing answering questions. This step is vital if you want to crack the exam.
Watching instructional videos can have as many advantages as listening to an instructor. It helps clear doubts, understand fundamentals clearly and receive additional information that you might miss out on from books.
If you have enough time to spare, it would be helpful to join a CCNA training class. It will help you clarify any queries you have with an expert instructor and study along with other students who are preparing for the exam.
CISCO Grading System
CISCO does not officially publish passing scores. Very often, the questions, formats, and passing grades can change without any intimation. What this means for you is you cannot know the exact passing marks until you’re in the exam hall. But based on previous exams, this is usually 800-500 out of 1000.
Cisco has a point scale to score applicants’ exams, which ranges between 300-1000. Anyone attempting the exam automatically has 300 points. Every right answer you give increases your score on the scale. You should aim to answer the most questions you can because you won’t know the weightage of each question independently.
Start Training for Your Certification Today
The demand for CCNA certifications is increasing quickly. Many new job avenues open up for you once you earn the CCNA credential. According to PayScale, CCNA certified professionals can make over $78000 per annum, 30% more than the average salary in America.
Give your career a boost and start training today.