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CCNA Curriculum

The CCNA curriculum covers the basics of computer networking, with a slant towards Cisco devices and proprietary standards.

There are two paths to obtain a CCNA certification:

  1. Take the composite CCNA exam
  2. Take two exams (the ICND1 and ICDN2)
You can choose which option is preferable to you. Either study for longer and pay to sit one exam (CCNA) or split your studies into two and pay to sit two exams (ICND1 and ICND2).

The ICND1 curriculum (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1) lays the foundations for the ICND2 curriculum.

CCNA Certification Pathway

On passing the ICND1 exam you obtain the CCENT certification, which is an entry-level Cisco certification.

Once you pass the ICND2 exam you then become a CCNA certified engineer. The CCNA is an associate-level certification.

Read more about the CCNA or CCENT.

Sign-up to get access to our free CCNA exam guide, plus 3 free training videos and advice on everything CCNA!

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CCNA Syllabus

The CCNA syllabus is comprised of both the ICND1 (CCENT) syllabus and the ICND2 syllabus.

These are the topics you will need to master to pass Cisco's CCNA exam.

To learn the all the theory and configurations required to pass the CCNA exam, enroll in our online CCNA video bootcamp.

You will enjoy learning by watching videos, playing games, configuring Cisco equipment in your own lab.

When you're ready to take the exam, you can use our extensive suite of CCNA practice questions, flashcards and cheatsheet revision notes to ensure you pass first time!

Try our online CCNA video training today!

ICND1 Syllabus

Theses exam topics are guidelines for the content likely to be included on the Cisco Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) exam.

Operation of computer networks

  • Describe the functions and uses of network devices
  • Select the components required to design a specific network
  • Explain how data flows in a network using the OSI and TCP/IP models and their protocols
  • Describe common networking applications
  • Understand the purpose of protocols in the OSI and TCP models
  • Describe how applications such as VoIP might impact a network
  • Interpret and understand network diagrams
  • Determine the path between two hosts across a network
  • Describe the devices and software required for network and Internet communication
  • Identify and troubleshoot common network problems at OSI layers 1, 2, 3 and 7
  • Distinguish between LAN/WAN features

Build a small switched network

  • Determine the best media, cables, ports, and connectors to interconnect switches to other network devices and hosts
  • Understand media access control method for Ethernet technologies
  • Explain network segmentation concepts
  • Understand basic switching concepts
  • Explain the operation of Cisco switches
  • Perform initial switch configuration, verify the configuration and save to NVRAM
  • Verify network status using ping, traceroute, telnet, SSH, arp, ipconfig, SHOW & DEBUG commands
  • Implement and verify port security on a switch
  • Identify and troubleshoot common switched network cabling issues, configuration issues, and switch hardware failures

Implement an IP addressing scheme for a small branch office

  • Design and apply an addressing scheme to a network
  • Assign valid IP addresses to networking devices in a LAN
  • Explain the operation of NAT in a small network connecting to one ISP
  • Describe and verify DNS operation
  • Describe the benefits of using private and public IP addressing and its operation
  • Enable NAT for a small network with a single ISP and connection using SDM and verify operation
  • Configure, verify and troubleshoot the operation of DHCP and DNS
  • Implement static and dynamic addressing for hosts in a LAN
  • Troubleshoot IP addressing issues

Implement a small routed network

  • Describe basic routing concepts
  • Describe the operation of Cisco routers and router components
  • Select the appropriate media, cables, ports, and connectors to connect routers to other network devices
  • Configure, verify, and troubleshoot RIPv2
  • Use the router CLI to configure basic parameters
  • Connect, configure, and verify operation status of an interface
  • Verify configuration and network connectivity using ping, traceroute, telnet, SSH
  • Create and verify static or default routes given specific requirements
  • Manage IOS configuration files such as save, edit, upgrade, and restore
  • Manage Cisco IOS
  • Implement password and physical security on devices
  • Verify network status and router operation using ping, traceroute, telnet, SSH, arp, ipconfig, SHOW & DEBUG commands

WLAN

  • Describe standards associated with wireless media
  • Describe the purpose of the components in a wireless network
  • Ensure that devices can connect to the correct access point
  • Compare and contrast wireless security features and capabilities of WPA security
  • Identify common issues with implementing wireless networks

Identify security threats to a network and describe how to mitigate those threats

  • Explain various network security threats and the need to for a comprehensive security policy
  • Explain methods to mitigate common security threats to network devices, hosts, and applications
  • Describe the functions of common security appliances and applications
  • Describe the recommended security practices to secure network devices

Implement and verify WAN links

  • Describe the different methods for connecting to a WAN
  • Configure and verify a basic WAN serial connection

CCENT or CCNA?

CCENT stands for Cisco Certified Entry level Network Technician.  Cisco launched the CCENT is 2008 to help make gaining a networking certification easier.  Before the CCENT existed the CCNA was Cisco’s entry level qualification.

As a networking student, you now have two routes to gaining the popular CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certification.  You can either take one exam or take two exams (ICND1 and ICND2).  When you pass the ICND1 you get the CCENT certification, then when you pass the second exam (ICND2) you will be CCNA certified.

Certification Exams
CCENT Pass one exam - ICND1
CCNA

Two options:
Pass one CCNA exam or pass ICND1 and ICND2 exam

Each ICND exam is approximately half the CCNA syllabus giving you the time and flexibility to gain a certification (CCENT) and learn the subject matter in more depth while working towards your CCNA.

If you are fairly new to networking it would be preferable to take earn the CCENT certification first (by taking the ICND1 exam) rather than trying to learn all the knowledge required to pass the CCNA in one go.    On the other hand if you have been working in IT for some time and already have a good understanding of networking you may prefer to take the CCNA exam straight away.  Take a look at the pros and cons of obtaining your CCNA via the CCENT route below.

Pros and Cons for CCENT

 

Pros Cons
Less to study and memorise You will pay for two exams (ICND1 and 2)
Less pressure/commitment on yourself Takes longer to pass the CCNA
Learn the subjects in more depth CCENT is not as well known as CCNA
Get a CCENT qualification when you pass You won’t be able to apply for CCNA jobs
  Your knowledge will be tested to a greater depth over two exams because its roughly twice as many questions than CCNA exam