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."

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.

Networking Exams

Networking Exams

There are a range of networking and computer network related certifications that will enable you to learn and validate your knowledge in the field of networking.

If you are looking to learn about computer networking basics then you should start with a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or CompTIA A+ or Network+ certifications, these will put you in a good position to move up to intermediate networking qualifications such as Cisco's Certified Network Professional (CCNP).

However you might like to consider specializing in an area of networking, such as security, voice or wireless. There are specialized certifications for these areas of expertise including Cisco's CCNA wireless, CCNA voice or CCNA security. CompTIA also provide specialized certification paths including Security+ certification.

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.

Is the CCNA Hard?

Studying for the CCNA exam The answer to this question depends on the extent of your existing knowledge of computer networking and Cisco device configuration.

If you are a seasoned network administrator who works in a company with Cisco infrastructure (switches and routers) and you are able to configure these devices using Cisco IOS commands, then with a little revision you should be able to pass the CCNA exam.

For all the rest of us, the CCNA course will require extensive training in order to master the concepts and learn how to design and configure LANs and WANs.

The CCNA syllabus requires understanding of basic mathematics, information technology (IT) and electronic principles, but don't let that put you off! The CCNA course is highly rewarding and can be of huge benefit to your career in the IT industry.

Start a free trial of our CCNA Video Training to determine if the CCNA is for you.

CCNA Academy

CCNA Academy Our online CCNA Academy is the perfect place for you to study and train for your CCNA certificate. Not only are our video lessons of equal quality to that of a classroom-based course, but you can watch them over and over again, you'll also benefit from being able to study anywhere that has an internet connection!

There are over 10 hours of CCNA video lessons which will teach you the CCNA syllabus, and lots of interactive CCNA games to help make your study periods enjoyable.

We'll show you how to create your own CCNA lab, so that you can configure the 30 labs included in the course.

When you're ready to book the exam, you'll be able to use our extensive suite of practice CCNA questions and answers, flashcards and cram sheets to help you revise and pass the CCNA exam.

You can try our CCNA Academy today for free!

CCNA Exam Guide

CCNA exam guide We specialize in getting our members CCNA certified here at Internetwork Training.
Everything we do is geared up towards getting you your CCNA certificate.

Trust in us to guide you towards your goal of passing the CCNA exam.

To get you started we've put together a bunch of free stuff, Videos, a CCNA study guide, plus lots of free practice questions and flash cards.

To get access to all this valuable information all you need to do is sign-up for a free account and ensure you sign-up to our newsletter.

We'll then send you the free videos plus lots of other useful information to guide you through your training and up to the exam.

Good luck in your training!

CCNA Simulation Questions

Before you spend your hard earned cash paying to sit the Cisco CCNA exam we advise you to test your knowledge using some CCNA simulation questions beforehand.
You'll quickly be able to spot the weakest areas of your networking knowledge so you can improve in those areas.


Our database has over 650 CCNA simulation questions as well as over 300 CCNA flashcards to help you prep from the CCNA exam.


You can take a free trial quiz now!

You'll get 10 CCNA simulation questions per quiz or 50 questions if you sign-up to our free account.

CCNA simulation questions

Good luck in your exam!