Home > Articles > Certification > Cisco Certification > CCNA

CCENT and CCNA Certification 2013: Which Exam Should You Take?

  • Print
  • + Share This
If you are considering taking the exams to become certified as a Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), this article by Cisco expert Michelle Plumb will help you decide which exams you should take. These exams are not for the faint at heart. They are meant to weed out those who are committed from those who are easily dissuaded.

For more information on the new Cisco CCENT/CCNA exams, including special offers and study guides, visit our Cisco Press "About CCNA" page.

Like this article? We recommend

This article reviews the options you have when preparing for the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) certification and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification.

CCENT

First, let’s start with the CCENT certification. This certification is geared toward an entry-level network technician. This certification proves you have foundational knowledge for a small- to medium-sized network. Passing this exam is the first step to enter into a network engineering job using Cisco routers and switches. The course that you should take for the CCENT exam is ICND1v2.0. This is an updated course and exam due this spring. The new exam number is 100-101. Once you have passed this exam, you become a CCENT.

CCNA

If you have taken the ICND1 course and exam, strongly consider taking the ICND2 course and exam 200-101 as well. By taking this second exam and passing it, you will achieve the CCNA certification. The CCNA credentials show your abilities to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-sized routed and switched networks.

This exam is also challenging. Again, as with the CCENT exam, make sure you feel extremely comfortable with all the material covered in the ICND courses. You can expect the same type of questions using simulators, drag and drop, as well as multiple choice.

A Combination

You do have another option for exams. If you are a very skilled individual who has in-depth knowledge and experience configuring routers and switches in a medium- to large-sized network, then the combination exam might be for you. Cisco has an exam that covers knowledge from both ICND1 and ICND2: exam 200-120.

I highly caution anybody who is considering taking the all-in-one exam. This is a very tough exam. You need to make sure you know subnetting like the back of your hand and can do it very quickly. You also may see several simulations where you need to configure the various routing protocols, including figuring out what subnet information needs to be entered. With the new ICNDv2.0 classes and exams, you also have to be very proficient with IPv6. You will need to be capable of configuring and routing IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time. You may also see drag and drop type questions.

Scheduling

You will schedule these exams on the Pearson Vue website. You will need to bring a picture ID, and a photo will be taken of you at the testing center. You will also need to sign some paperwork about the exams, and sign in and out of the exam center.

Study Tips

If this is the first exam you have taken in a while, I have some study tips that have helped me:

  • Make sure to attend the appropriate course and/or purchase the official Cisco press books for the exam.
  • Review the material at least three times. Then use practice questions to see how I am doing with the material. For these exams, as stated earlier in this article, you have to know subnetting. So when I was just learning how to subnet, I made sure every day I ran through a subnetting problem, just to keep it fresh in my mind.
  • Do not wait longer than one month from finishing the class until taking the exam. We start to lose some of the information that is fresh in our minds.
  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam. A good solid breakfast or lunch before the exam is a good idea as well.
  • Stop studying the day before. If you don’t know it by then, you might want to think about rescheduling the exam. You only have 24 hours before your scheduled time to make any changes. But make sure you double-check the cancelation policy.
  • Make sure to know exactly how long it will take to reach the exam center, and arrive 15 minutes early. Sometimes if no one is in the seat you are scheduled for, the test center might let you get started a little early if it is available.
  • Be prepared to store your accessories or valuables. You will be required to lock your valuables in a locker. You are not allowed to take purses, cell phones, etc. into the room where the exam is administered. You might also be asked to leave your watch in a locked locker.
  • When you get into the testing room, you will be given something to write with either a dry erase type board or paper. You will have to return these materials when you are done with the exam.

The Exam Process

Once you sit down and start into the exam process, you will see examples of the type of questions and how to navigate them. This does not take away from your timed exam. If you are not familiar with the types of questions and how to navigate the simulations, the examples will walk you through how to navigate them. You may also receive a brief questionnaire about your training before starting the official exam.

Once you are finished with this portion of the exam, the real exam begins. Try to take a deep breath and stay calm. I still get nervous to this day after taking many of these exams every year. Make sure you read each question thoroughly. This is one of the biggest reasons people miss questions. Read the entire question and all the answers before you start to formulate an answer. For simulations, double-check your work before you submit and move on. With Cisco exams, you cannot go back to a question once you have clicked Next to move to the next question.

When you have finished, you will see your score, and a printout of the exam information will be given to you by the exam proctor.

Final Thoughts

If something happens and you don’t pass on the first attempt, please don’t give up. These exams are very difficult, and I don’t want to see anyone get discouraged from trying again.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020