CCNA Exam and Certification: What It Is, How to Prepare and How Is It Beneficial?

The CCNA Certification stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. It is a certificate that states that the holder of this certificate has proper knowledge related to networking. They can configure, operate and troubleshoot medium-level routed and switched networks. Thus, any individual who is in this field or is interested in it will benefit from getting the CCNA Certificate.

The newest version of this certification was recently launched by CISCO. It goes by the name CCNA 200-301. It is greatly in demand by many MNCs.

About CCNA Certification

To have a successful career in the field of networking, the CCNA 200-301 can act as a stepping stone. The CCNA certificate has a validity of 3 years. The reason why there is validity is because with time the software and technology changes or upgrades. Thus, after 3 years, the certificate holder will have to again appear for the certification exam.

The topics that are covered under the CCNA certification are-

1. IP addressing

2. OSI models

3. Routers/routing protocols

4. Wide Area Network and Land Area Network design

5. VLAN and WLAN

6. Network Security and Management

And as for CCNA 200-301, the following topics are covered-

1. Network fundamentals

2. IP services

3. IP connectivity

4. Automation and programmability

5. Network access

6. Security fundamentals

The core CCNA has an exam time of 90 minutes. Whereas the CCNA 200-301 has an exam time of 120 minutes and has 120 questions. There are no pre-requisites that are set by CISCO to appear for these exams.

Eligibility criteria

To become eligible to get the CCNA certificate, the interested individual needs to clear either of the following two exams.

• CCNA Exam (200-210)

• ICND1 Exam (100-101) and the ICND2 (200-101)

An individual can finish the training sessions related to the certification in around 5 weeks. To clear the examination, they should pay extra attention to practical sessions. Online training is available so you can clear the exam even with self-study.

Benefits of taking the CCNA Certification

1. Global recognition- the certificate is acknowledged globally, thus you can even get jobs on a global level.

2. Career growth- as the certificate help with gaining more knowledge about networking, the certificate holder gets more opportunity for jobs and promotions.

3. Increasing knowledge- since there is no pre-requisite required to appear for this exam, anyone looking to increase their networking knowledge can join the certification. The training sessions will help in dealing with real-life networking issues and also new concepts.

4. Higher pay- as the certificate holder increases their knowledge and gets better career opportunities, their pay scale will also increase. In fact, they can even negotiate to increase their salary.

Tips for better preparation

So if you have decided on pursuing the CCNA Certification, then the following tips may help with better learning-

• Make sure to have the best CCNA study material. Because the right material makes a huge difference in the preparations.

• Do not only rely on theoretical knowledge. Try applying it in real-time situations. Practical experience will help with the better grasping of concepts.

• Take practice tests. It will help in inspecting the level of preparation. Also, take mock tests before the exam to set your speed for the exam day.

• And, few days before the exam, remember to take time off so that your mind can breathe. And having sufficient sleep the night before the exam is a must.

Hope these tips are helpful!