Sit the CCNA Exam

CCNA exam centerWe often get emails thanking us for helping them learn networking, but they go on to explain, for one reason or another, they aren't going to sit the exam.

I think this is a big shame, and most people will regret this decision. I know most people hate sitting exams, Cisco exams are also expensive. However having the CCNA certificate and being able to put it on your CV/resumé, and business card proves that you know your stuff to potential employers and clients.

You've already done the hard part, which is learning networking fundamentals, Cisco equipment, you've probably configured routers and switches and done your fair share of troubleshooting, so why not sit the exam and be rewarded for all that hard work?CCNA Certificate

Once you get that CCNA you need to show it off, advertise the fact that you are a computer networking guru! Add it to your LinkedIn, SkillPage, Elance pages so that potential employers and clients can find you and hire you.

Go tell the world you're a CCNA!

(Exam center image courtesy of mocvdleung)

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

CCNA Study Advice


"Studying the CCNA itself is more conceptual and requires your complete attention to develop your skills about networks."
~ Jamshaid Riaz

We asked one of our biggest fans Jamshaid Riaz, CCNA graduate and Network Support Engineer at an ISP in Melbourne, Australia some questions about how he achieved success at the CCNA.

1.) A lot of people never know if they are ready to sit the exam, what advice would you give them?
"Finish reading your CCNA book first before attempting any papers etc as studying the CCNA itself is more conceptual and requires your complete attention to develop your skills about networks. Continuous practice is the key to be successful in this exam. Also, If you are good at sub-netting and can resolve the hardest sub-netting problems within 20 seconds then you are ready for the exams."

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?
"Best to do the quizzes and labs practice off and on, on regular basis after you clear the exams that will keep your knowledge fresh all times. Like I have many smart phone software downloaded on my phone, even books, so its always in my hand whenever I need them."

3.) What kept you motivated towards your goal of becoming CCNA certified?
"My regular self study, consistency and commitment were the key elements which motivated me toward my goal of becoming CCNA certified."

4.) How did you ensure you had studied enough on specific topics?
"I had done thorough studies and gone through Internetworktraining website for quizzes, games, Flash Cards, Cheat Sheet and videos and CCNA Book. Last but not the least, Cisco Packet tracer, GNS3 and internetworktraining Labs for router are great help to get your hands dirty with network practice."

5.) What methods did you use to study for the CCNA?
"I made a plan for 8 - 12 Weeks of self-study, finished the basic concepts and made the list of the hard topics from each chapter or topic and start practicing the hardest parts on regular basis. Mind you it's not easy, it is a full brain drain, but it is achievable if your concepts are clear about each topic."

6.) If you were to begin studying again, what would you do differently?
"I passed the CCNA exam in Feb 2012 and continuously visiting the Internetwork Training website since then. My advice about studying again, read all the topics and practice labs and do quizzes will be enough to pass in the exams. Main thing is the fundamental concepts about each topic."   

7.) What difference did our site have on your overall success?
"Basically, other than the books study, I found this website helped me in retaining the quick fundamental concepts about the topics covered in CCNA, like small definitions, Keywords, flash cards, Games, Labs and quizzes. This site was a complete help overall to cover what comes in CCNA exams. But also we need more switch labs if possible."

Jamshaid Riaz (CCNA)
Network Support Engineer
Melbourne, Australia

The Secret to CCNA Success


"The free videos you sent gave me a good head start in the learning process. I took the CCNA exam on 8th January 2013 and passed with a score of 986, it is feels real great to be CCNA."
~ Oluwapelumi Ogundijo

We asked our latest CCNA graduate Oluwapelumi Ogundijo his secret to successfully passing his CCNA exam...

1.) What methods did you use to study for the CCNA?

"I had a two-weeks instructor led training program followed by an intensive self study."

2.) What skills did you find most useful during the exam?

"Analytical, quick reasoning and good problem solving skills as the questions were framed in real life scenarios."

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

"To combine self study with some kind of instructor-led program because there are some aspects of the course where the need arises for someone who has gone through it successfully to put you through."

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

"The CCNA exam is not difficult if well prepared for."

5.) What are you hoping the CCNA will help you achieve?

"I hope the CCNA will give me a good career start in the Information Technology field."

6.) If you were to begin studying again, what would you do differently?

"I would have done nothing differently because everything I did contributed in a way to my overall success."

Oluwapelumi Ogundijo
CCNA Certified Engineer


CCNA Re-Certification Tips

"I've found throughout my career that the Cisco framework applies really well when you are trying to learn another vendor" ~ David Sheddan

We asked David Sheddan a few questions about how he went about preparing to get his CCNA re-certification which he passed a few months back.

1.) What books, materials did you use to refresh your memory?

"I used the Cisco Press training pack, and the command line reference guide - I've also built up a A5 book of command references throughout my career.  I work with Aruba / Alcatel Data / Riverbed & HP gear a lot (including Cisco), so I tend to ensure I have a quick script for all common tasks for each vendor - example Configure basic OSPF or Password Reset. I've found throughout my career that the Cisco framework applies really well when you are trying to learn another vendor : example, I taught myself a lot of the Alcatel ACFE Omniswitch knowledge by referencing CCNA and then hunting out the relevant knowledge from that vendors documents."

2.) Did you consider taking another Cisco exam (such as CCNA security) to automatically get a CCNA re-certification?

"I had let my CCNA & CCNP lapse.  I sat CCNA when it was in its previous incarnation (CCNA1/2/3/4), and my CCNP was version 4 (BSCI/BCMSN/IC....etc)... I felt that to effectively bring my skills up to date I wanted to start afresh and have firm foundation."

3.) What preparation did you do leading up to your CCNA re-certification? 

"I have a lab in my house, with Frame Relay simulator, 6 routers (2611xm and a couple of 28xx) 4 switches (2 x 3550 and 2 x 3560) plus a few other bits of gear.  Spent quite a bit of time on this. I read through the new books, made a ton of notes and gradually refined these down to a few sheets of paper.  I also created some brain dumps of all my knowledge and gradually distilled this down.  Ahead of the exam I hit sites like yours to keep battering loads of questions at myself, and got my collegues in my team to keep firing me questions out of books."

4.) Has the CCNA exam changed much since you last sat the exam?

"Quite a lot - but mainly for the better.  When I sat it previously there was a lot of legacy crap - ISDN and the like.  Seemed a lot more relevant and a lot more logical than last time.  I like the idea that Cisco have done to add specic add-ons at CCNA level for VOICE/WIRELESS etc.... this makes more sense and allows the CCNA itself to concetrate on the core skills: switching and routing.  I'm planning to do my CCNP then circle back round and maybe do CCNA Wireless (my Aruba background should make this quite easy I think)."
 
5.) Do you think having a Cisco certification on your CV or resume had boosted your job opportunities or salary?

"I'm already certified by quite a few vendors, so it wasn't really about enhancing my earnings per say, but the CCNA is useful to me as it opens up my CCNP again (which I'm aiming to get completed between now and July).  It's useful for any technical engineer to have, as most vendors rely on this as a benchmark: example: Huwaei who will let me skip the initial HCDA exam and bootcamp straight through to their Professional level exam- same for Riverbed etc."

Failed CCNA because of Subnetting?

Occasionally we get an email at Internetwork Training HQ that reads something like this...

"I just failed my ccna exam today. I'm weak at subnetting and these questions cost me the exam! Can you help??"


Our advice is, don't walk into the CCNA exam without being prepared! Subnetting is a vital skill to the network engineer and you WILL be tested on it, so make sure you understand how to subnet before you take your CCNA exam.

You need to be able to solve subnetting problems quickly under test conditions, that means no calculators or subnetting tools!

If you are struggling with subnetting, we have a great subnetting eBook that you can purchase. It comes included with our popular CCNA cheat sheet, and has plenty of examples to help you learn.

Click here to purchase the CCNA cheat sheet and subnetting eBooks.

Why a Career in Networking?

Here at Internetwork Training HQ, We often get asked why students should pursue a career in networking?

If you are a technology-minded individual who enjoys using computers and the internet, you will probably find networking a rewarding career choice.

Networking is a vital tool in information technology, without it we would not be able to connect devices together to share and communicate, we also would not have the internet! This would be like computing was in the 1970's and 1980's!

There are many jobs you can do with a networking certification such as the Cisco CCNA, many of which may also lead to management or other senior roles in IT should you be interested later in your career.

Once you get into networking and have a few years experience you can then specialize in an area of networking, such as VoIP, security or wireless, this will give you more sought after skills that will earn you higher incomes in the marketplace.

To see the variety of jobs you can do with a CCNA certification, plus the kinds of salaries for jobs in your local area please check out our CCNA job board.

CCNA CBT

CCNA CBT

Computer-Based Training (CBT) has become a growing trend with the penetration of high-speed broadband internet connectivity over the last few years. It allows students anywhere in the world to learn a multitude of courses via their computer, which often work out much cheaper than equivalent classroom-based courses.

Our CCNA CBT is one such distance learning course, which allows our CCNA Bootcamp students to learn about computer networking and earn their Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. Our CCNA CBT uses different multimedia to effectively teach the subject matter in an interesting and engaging way to ensure learning is fun and rewarding.

When you enroll in our CCNA CBT, you'll get access to our CCNA video training, CCNA lab workbooks, CCNA games, CCNA questions and answers, and CCNA flash cards, plus our popular CCNA cheat sheet and subnetting eBooks.



Get a free trial of our CCNA CBT here.


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.