CCNA Certification/Appendix A - About the Exam
About the Exam
The purpose of this page is to make you more familiar with the test itself, what options you have, and how to sign up.
The Available Exams
To receive the CCNA certification, you must pass either:
- the ICND1 Exam (640-822) and the ICND2 (640-816)
- the combined CCNA Exam (640-802)
The Material Covered In Each Exam
The ICND1 covers "Network Types, Network Media, Switching Fundamentals, TCP/IP, IP Addressing and Routing, WAN Technologies, Operating and Configuring IOS Devices, and Managing Network Environments." More information about the ICND1 is available from Cisco.
The ICND2 covers "Extending Switched Networks with VLANS, Determining IP Routes, Managing IP traffic with Access Lists, Establishing Point-to-Point connections, and Establishing Frame Relay Connections." More information about the ICND2 is available from Cisco.
The combined CCNA covers all topics cover on the ICND1 and ICND2. More information about the CCNA is available from Cisco.
Which Should You Take?
The cost of taking the combined CCNA test is significantly lower (approximately $295 as on 20Mar2012) than taking the ICND1 and ICND2 Exams (approximately $150 as on 20Mar2012 each). The only disadvantage to taking the combined CCNA is that you will be tested on a larger amount of information. The ICND1 and ICND2 exams allow you to focus on smaller subsets of the entire course.
The Format of the Test
All tests are given on a PC at the testing center. Everyone who is comfortable using a computer should have no difficulties using the testing software. If you like, you can take a practice test to get the hang of the program.
All questions fall into one of the following categories:
- Multiple choice
- Simulated lab
The multiple choice questions requires you to select a circle next to the correct answer. Some questions will have multiple correct answers. In these cases, you will usually be told how many answers you should select.
The fill-in-the-blank questions require you to enter the word that missing from a sentence. You must type the answer exactly right to receive credit.
The drag-and-drop questions require you to click and drag a button or icon to another location on the screen. Often you will have to order multiple items into a list with the correct order.
The simulated lab will give you access to a theoretical network with multiple routers. You must be able to navigate the routers, find the cause of a malfunction, and fix it. To prepare for these questions, you should practice on a real lab set-up or on a network simulator until you feel comfortable. There are many software network simulators. One of these is available here.
Signing up for Exams
You can sign up to take the test with Pearson Vue. As of now, Pearson Vue is the only authorized testing center for CCNA certifications. You should be able to schedule the time of your test and will be able to select the location from a list of Testing Centers in your area.
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