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The CCNA is one of the most sought after credentials in our industry, with more employers require CCNA certification from their mid-level IT professionals than any other certification. Why? Because CCNA credentialed engineers have demonstrated the knowledge and skills to do the job!

There are two different paths to becoming a CCNA (Routing and Switching):

If you pass the composite test (50 to 60 questions drawn from the CCNA exam topics list) you will be a Cisco Certified Network Associate. The certification last for three years during which time you must either pass a CCNP level test or re-pass the CCNA test.

You can also become a CCNA by passing two separate exams. The ICND1 a partial test (40 to 50 questions) which examines your knowledge of the topics that Cisco deems appropriate for the ICND1 certification. If you pass this test Cisco confers upon you the title CCENT - and you are half way to becoming a CCNA.

The second test (50 to 60 questions) is based on the content of Cisco's ICND2 objectives. Passing these two tests will qualify you as a Cisco Certified Network Associate for a period of three years.

The value and benefits of the certification are the same irrespective of the path you choose to achieve it. Two tests or one? It is largely a matter of personal preference. Either way, your status as a CCNA is a significant milestone in your career!

Essential CCNA Preparation Resources

  • Cisco information on the CCNA, ICND1 and ICND2 Tests
  • How to register for the exam,tutorial explaining the type of exam questions, duration of test, etc.

  • Make your own lab
  • There is no better way to master CCNA skills than to acquire and configure your own network of Cisco switches and routers. This document contains tips on what equipment to buy, where to buy it and how to set it up.

  • Rent a lab
  • At this website you can rent a rack of real Cisco equipment for $1.50 an hour (you will probably spend more money on snacks during that hour than the $1.50 you will spend for access to the lab). You will have access to six routers and five switches. Although you have to schedule your time, the equipment is almost always available.

  • The OSI 7 Layer Song
  • Songs are much easier to remember that abstract information. This is why advertisers use jingles so frequently - songs make information you don't even want to remember memorable. The OSI 7 Layer Song will help you to remember the key concepts of the OSI 7 layer model. To be most effective, sing this song out loud when you first get up in the morning and just before you go to bed in the evening.

  • 8 Steps to Subnetting Success
  • This is the handout sheet you were given that describes the 8 step subnetting process that was covered in class.

  • Extra Subnetting Problems
  • Here are 30 additional subnetting problems to help you acquire the speed and accuracy you need to pass the CCNA test.

  • ICND1 Key Points
  • This is a summary of the key points of needed to pass Cisco’s ICND1 test. This summary represents a minimum base of knowledge for the CCNA. You should know MORE than this before taking the test!

  • CCNA Key Points
  • This is a summary of the key points of needed to pass Cisco’s full CCNA test. This summary represents a minimum base of knowledge for the CCNA. You should know MORE than this before taking the test!

  • ICND1 Skill Mastery
  • On the ICND1 test you will be assigned a variety of configuration tasks. This document presents a plan to master the skills necessary to pass the simulation problems on the test.

  • CCNA Skill Mastery
  • On the CCNA test you will be assigned a variety of configuration tasks. This document presents a plan to master the skills necessary to pass the simulation problems on the test.


Other Great CCNA Resources

  • Official Cisco ICND1 Certification Guide
  • Cisco's Official study guide for the 100-101 ICND1. This is a well written book provides exam preparation materials that offer assessment, review, and practice to help Cisco Certification candidates identify weaknesses, concentrate their study efforts, and enhance their confidence as exam day nears. Available in both paper and e-book formats.

  • Official Cisco ICND2 Certification Guide
  • Cisco's Official study guide for the 200-101 ICND1. This is a well written book provides exam preparation materials that offer assessment, review, and practice to help Cisco Certification candidates identify weaknesses, concentrate their study efforts, and enhance their confidence as exam day nears. Available in both paper and e-book formats.

  • Official Cisco CCNA Certification Guide
  • Cisco's Official study guide for the 200-120 CCNA. This is a well written book provides exam preparation materials that offer assessment, review, and practice to help Cisco Certification candidates identify weaknesses, concentrate their study efforts, and enhance their confidence as exam day nears. Available in both paper and e-book formats.

  • Hundreds of free practice questions from Cisco
  • Cisco has provided for you hundreds of free practice test questions. They are not similar in form to the real test questions, but they cover the same topics as the test. These questions are very useful in identifying topics that you need to study more intensely before taking the test (free registration is required).

  • A few dozen papers covering a variety of CCNA topics
  • This area of Cisco's website contains some high quality articles and free sample chapters from Cisco press books covering a wide variety of CCNA related topics (free registration is required).

  • Cisco Hands On Training Podcast - Darrell Root
  • This series of podcasts, by Darrell Root, presents a collection of video based "hands-on" lessons in most of the technologies covered in the CCNA and CCNP Certifications. Darrell has produced more than 40 lessons (30+ hours) of great training, and it's free!

  • On line Wireshark training - Laura Chappell
  • Laura Chappell is a great teacher of network analysis, troubleshooting and security training using Wireshark. Her classes are available on-line and the free samples she provides are a great introduction to Wireshark.



"Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do)." - Stephen Covey