CCNA 2013: Your Concerns Answered

We've received lots of questions concerning the changes Cisco is making to the CCNA exam and syllabus, so we thought we'd post answers to the most common queries.

What changes are Cisco making to the CCNA?

Cisco has made some changes to Associate-level certifications and also renamed the CCNA certification to CCNA Routing and Switching certification. 
The CCNA certification has changed from a foundation certification to a concentration certification.

How is the CCNA Routing and Switching different from the current CCNA?
CCNA Routing and Switching is the same certification as the CCNA, however the syllabuses for ICND1, ICND2 and CCNA Composite have been changed to keep up with technology advancements and job roles.

Are the CCNA Routing and Switching exams changing?
Yes, the exams are changing due to the new syllabuses. The current CCNA/CCENT/ICND2 exams will be retired on September 30, 2013.

 

How are the new exams harder than the current versions?
Yes, Cisco has taken topics from the ICND2 and included them in the ICND1 exam, such as OSPF, NAT, IPv6 and VLSM subnetting, making the CCENT certification a much tougher assignment.
The new ICND2 exam will include some topics from the CCNP such as multi-area OSPF, OSPF3, Sysylog, Netflow and EtherChannel. This really makes the CCNA Routing and Switching certificate a hard-to-get cert.

Can I mix and match the current exams with newer exams to achieve CCNA Routing and Switching?
Yes, you can mix current ICND1 exam with newer ICND2 exam or vice versa. However, note that several topics have been added to the new ICND1 and ICND2 syllabus. So if you take the new versions of these exams then you need to be prepared to answer questions on the new topics.

What has changed between the current ICND1, ICND2, and CCNA Composite exams and the newer versions of these exams?
To ensure the certifications are up-to-date with current technology, some older topics have been removed from the syllabus and several new topics have been added.
If you take the new versions of these exams then you need to be prepared to answer questions on the new topics.

What new topics are in the new CCNA Routing and Switching exam?

 

  • SNMP v1 and V2
  • NTP (Network Time Protocol)
  • More emphasis on IPv6
  • High availability via FHRP
  • Be able to troubleshooting everything!

Have I wasted my time learning the current CCNA?
No, the fundamentals of networking do not change, the new exams include some new topics and some have been removed, but the bulk of the syllabus will remain unchanged.

I bought a training package from your company recently, is it up-to-date?
Yes. So as long as you take your exams by 30 September 2013 and pass you will be CCNA certified. Your goal should be to pass by 30 September 2013, which gives you 6 months. We will update our training materials for the new syllabus in due course should you need to sit the new exam.

Should I stop my studies and wait to study the new version?
We advise you to continue studying and aim to take the exam before 30 September 2013. If you wait for the new version you will only delay your career. You'll probably have to start studying from the beginning again, and the new exam will be tougher than the current version.

Is the ICND2 exam required to achieve the CCNA Wireless, CCNA Voice, or CCNA Security certifications?
No. From March 26, 2013, you will only need to pass the ICND2 exam to achieve the CCNA Routing and Switching. You will only need to have a valid CCENT as a prerequisite for CCNA Wireless, CCNA Voice, or CCNA Security certifications.

Is the ICND2 exam required to achieve the CCDA certification?
No. From October 1, 2013, you will only need to have a valid CCENT, or CCNA Routing and Switching or any CCIE certification as a prerequisite.

My CCNA expires within 12 months, what should I do?
We strongly recommend you to recertify before the end of September 2013 before the current exams are retired, otherwise you will need to learn the new syllabus and take the new CCNA Routing and Switching exam.

What are the recertification requirements for the new CCNA Routing and Switching?
The CCNA Routing and Switching certification is valid for three years, then you will need to recertify just like the current CCNA.

Should I Get ICND2 Before Oct 2013?

Ever since Cisco announced the news of the changes to CCNA/ICND exams in October 2013 lots of people who have already passed, or looking to sit the current CCENT (640-822 ICND1) exam are wondering what these changes mean to them.

Well don't worry, your current CCENT certification will still be valid after September 2013, but the date you sit the ICND2 exam will determine what version of the ICND2 exam you are required to take.

If you are ready to take the ICND2 before 30th September 2013 then you should take the current (640-816 ICND2) exam, otherwise you will need to take the new ICND2 exam (200-101 ICND2) from 1st October 2013 onward.

Please understand that because the 200-101 ICND2 exam is so new, there will be very little in the way of study materials on the market, so it would be advisable to get your ICND2 exam before the 30th September 2013 deadline so that you can work toward the current ICND2 syllabus.

At the end of the day a CCNA is a CCNA no matter which exams you passed to get there, new or old.

New CCNA Exams for 2013

Cisco have announced that they will be retiring the current version of CCNA and CCENT/ICND2 exams at the end of September 2013. Read more about the 2013 CCNA changes.

Here are the current exam codes along with new exam codes that replace them:

The CCNA composite exam 200-120 is replacing the 640-802 CCNA composite exam from 1st October 2013.

The CCENT/ICND1 exam 100-101 is replacing the 640-822 ICND1 from 1st October 2013.

The ICND2 exam 200-101 ICND2 is replacing the 640-816 ICND2 from 1st October 2013.

CCNA Exam Changes from Oct 2013

Cisco have just announced that they will be retiring the current version of CCNA and CCENT/ICND2 exams at the end of September 2013.  Read the full press release over on the Cisco website.

The new exams will be A LOT harder than the current versions, and this means you only have until 30th September 2013 to study and pass your CCNA before the exam syllabus changes, your CCNA certification will then last you 3 years as usual.

Here are a few things that will be included in the new exam...

  • IOS v15 commands
  • IPv6 configuration
  • 802.1x security
  • Advanced troubleshooting scenarios

Devices that run Cisco IOS v15 are very expensive at the moment so setting up a home lab probably won't be an option from October 2013 until the foreseeable future.

Also, no study guides or study materials will exist for the new exams for quite a while yet, so if you've been thinking about getting your CCNA, this is really your LAST OPPORTUNITY before things become a whole lot harder and more expensive for you. 

Over the next few weeks and months we will be updating our training ready for the new exam, but we strongly advise you to begin your CCNA studies as soon as possible.

CCNA Exam Advice

Our latest CCNA graduate, Michael Tyler from Ontario, used our website to cram for his CCNA exam after enrolling in Cisco's Networking Academy at a local college. We asked him a few questions about his experience that we get asked all the time here at Internetwork Training HQ.


1.) A lot of people never know if they are ready to sit the exam, what advice would you give them?
You only get out what you put in. I'm 42 years old and it has taken me over one year studying in class. It's a lot of work but it's worth it.
I did a lot of practice tests online for free, I went over them again and again, I also played the commands in my mind over and over.
I have been told, and it's true, you will know when you are ready, you'll have that feeling when it happens and it's good.

2.) Revising for the CCNA exam can be daunting due to the amount of knowledge you need to be able to recall, how did you overcome this?
Keep going back to old labs and re-doing them. Practice, practice, practice, if you realy want this you can make it happen.

3.) What kept you motivated towards your goal of becoming CCNA certified?

My job. I don't work in IT just yet, I'm a die polisher and there is no moving up or moving on unless I make something happen and I like networking.

4.) How did you ensure you had studied enough on specific topics?
Be honest, the practice tests will give you a good idea of where to study more. Try to explain to a friend the process of what your doing at the time, by teaching someone else you will reinforce the information you know. You can not do enough sub-netting practice.

5.) What methods did you use to study for the CCNA?
I enrolled in the Cisco Networking Academy at Humber College in Toronto, so I studied in class and online and with the Cisco Press books ICND1 and ICND2. I created a home lab with two switches at layer 2 and two layer 3 switches and five routers, one being a frame relay router.

6.) If you were to begin studying again, what would you do differently?
I would not go through the Cisco Networking Academy. This was not because of the course itself, but because the course teachers and pricing changed during the course which had a detrimental effect.

7.) What difference did our site have on your overall success?
The practice tests, flash cards and videos were indispensable.

Michael Tyler
CCNA Certified Engineer
Brampton Ontario, Canada

Tips From Our Latest CCENT Success

"There really is nothing like seeing your name on something you worked hard to achieve" ~ Kyle Kuhn

We asked our latest CCENT certified student, Kyle Kuhn about his studies, the ICND1 exam, and any tips he could provide to fellow CCENT and CCNA students.


1.) What books and materials did you read or use to study?

"In order to pass my ICND1 exam I used Todd Lammle's CCENT Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician Study Guide as my only printed book. I read this book cover to cover and used it as my primary source of information. It's dry and boring material with many typos but Todd does a great job of getting the information across. His book has many multiple choice sample questions that to my surprise, mimicked the ICND1 questions very closely."

Aside from the printed book I also utilized many different online resources. My goal was to pass the ICND1 for the price of a book and exam cost. I did quite a bit of searching to find as many resources as possible.

2.) What do you think helped you pass?

"Two things helped me by FAR the most:"

  1. Motivation: You will not pass if you cannot be disciplined and study. Working full time and studying wore me down. This was not easy for me, and without staying motivated I would have failed.
  2. Practice tests: Take as many as you can. Take a test until you consistently score 95%+, then move on to another one. The questions on your site were a god send. I recommend taking the Mixed Topic 50 question test until you can get your certificate at least 3x in a row. I used about 4 different sites for practice test questions and all of them had some new question I had not been asked before. Take as many tests as you can, and then take them again.

3.) If you were to give some tips to a friend what would you tell them?

"I would recommend enrolling in a class if you have the time and money. Computer books are dry and I was easily distracted. Having someone speak to you would make a world of difference."

"Make sure you find the quickest method of subnetting that works for you. Preferably be able to subnet in your head. I developed a method that worked best for me using my fingers as the 8 bits. This method cut my subnetting question time down significantly and I feel it was very helpful to me. I'm sure there are guides out there on some type of a fingering method if you search. I plan to place a video guide on Youtube at some point showing my version if there's not already a good video." 

4.) How did you find the CCENT exam? Was it hard, or was it as you expected?

"For me staying calm and keeping a clear head was actually harder than the exam. I failed my first attempt by 1 question and was devastated. I recommend leaving yourself double the amount of time you think it will take to get to the testing center. Believe me, if you can't find your exam center because it's buried deep inside a college campus and spend an hour wandering the campus stressing before hand, you will go into the test flustered and fail. My second attempt I came in 5 days later, cool, calm, and collected and very nearly aced it. I was shocked that it had been possible for me to fail the test previously because the exam seemed too easy. Also, ask the moderators for a pair of ear pugs before starting the test. The campus was doing construction work on my first try and you would be amazed how hard it is to concentrate with a jack hammer going outside your window. It took about 20 minutes before the moderators brought us all a pair."

5.) Do you think getting the CCENT was worth it?

"I can't answer this question yet because I only took the CCENT with the intent of using it as a stepping-stone towards my CCNA.  Right now I am working full time as a County Deputy in a Sheriff's office and love my job. I decided to get my CCNA because I took a CCNA class in high school and never pursued it. It always bothered me that I chose not to become certified and I wanted "revenge" if you will. I plan to find a part time job after I am certified, and possibly change careers or keep the CCNA active as a backup plan."

Please keep up the good work because I will be using the site very much again in the near future.

Kyle Kuhn
CCENT Certified Network Engineer

CCENT Video Training Boot Camp

We offer an online CCNA video course that contains all the training and exam preparation materials you need to study for the CCNA exam, however some students prefer to take the two exam pathway to gain their CCNA certification. This involves studying and passing the ICND1 and ICND2 exams. When you pass the ICND1 exam you become CCENT certified, this allows you to study for the ICND2 exam which will make you CCNA certified.

While our CCNA Bootcamp is designed to train you up to the CCNA level you can also use it to train for the ICND1 (CCENT) and ICND2 exams, enroll in the course and watch the appropriate videos of our course below.

CCENT (ICND1)

1.    Introduction to Networking
2.    Five Ways to Learn Cisco IOS
3.    How to Build a CCNA Lab
4.    The OSI Model
5.    The TCP/IP Model
6.    Binary and Hexadecimal
7.    Local Area Networks (LANs)
8.    Introduction to Wide Area Networks (WANs)
9.    The Cisco Hierarchical Model
10.    Cisco Hardware and Software
11.    TCP/IP Protocols
12.    IP Addressing
13.    Subnetting
15.    Introduction to Switching
16.    Layer 2 Switching
20.    Routing
21.    Routing Information Protocol (RIP)
24.    Wireless LAN (WLAN)
25.    Introduction to Network Security
33.    Router Troubleshooting

CCNA (ICND2)

14.    IP Version 6
17.    Virtual LANs (VLANs)
18.    The Spanning Tree Protocol
19.    Voice Over IP (VoIP)
22.    Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP)
23.    Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
26.    IP Access Lists
27.    Network Address Translation (NAT)
28.    Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
29.    WAN Basics
30.    High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC)
31.    Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
32.    Frame Relay ...[34 minutes]
34.    How to Install a TFTP Server
35.    How to Upgrade Cisco IOS
36.    Terminating RJ45 Ethernet Cables

Enroll or request a demo of our CCNA Video Training Bootcamp.

What is ICND?

What is ICND?

ICND is the acronym for "Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices" which refers to a set of IT exams issued by Cisco Systems.

There are two Cisco exams called ICND1 and ICND2 which are geared towards achieving the CCNA "Cisco Certified Network Associate" certification.

When you pass the ICND1 you become CCENT "Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician" certified, this is Cisco's entry-level computer networking certification.

You then go on to study the ICND2 syllabus, which will earn you the CCNA cert when you pass the ICND2 exam.

Alternatively...

You could study the whole CCNA syllabus and take one composite CCNA exam.

To help you decide which pathway is best for you read our blog post "CCNA or CCENT".

(Image courtesy of James Almond)

CCNA Exploration

Cisco's CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification can be attained by either taking one composite CCNA exam or two separate exams referred to as ICND1 and ICND2.

Cisco refer to part 1 of their CCNA Academy as Exploration and part 2 as Discovery. Once you pass the ICND1 exam you'll be CCENT certified, then you'll need to take the ICND2 exam to become CCNA certified.

Cisco Certification Levels

Read more about whether you should get the CCENT or go straight for the CCNA.