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02-05-2008, 11:05   #1
Static M.e.
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Cisco Exams

Summary of Cisco Certification & Resources

Cisco Certification and Career Paths

Cisco offer's three Levels of general IT certification: Associate, Professional, and Expert (CCIE representing the highest level of achievement).

They also offer six different paths—such as Routing and Switching, Network Security, and Service Provider—are available, so that you can match your certification path to your job role or industry.

The first step in general Cisco Career Certifications begins either with CCENT as an interim step to Associate level, or directly with CCNA for network operations or CCDA for network design. Think of the Associate level as the apprentice or foundation level of networking certification.


To achieve the CCDA you need to take and pass the following exam;

Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions (DESGN)
Exam Number: 640-863
Associated Certifications: CCDA
Duration: 90 minutes (65 questions)

To achieve CCNA status, you have two choices;

The first choice is to start with the CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) Course\Exam. This should be the starting point for anyone new to Cisco networking. It covers all the basics and allows you to break up the more difficult CCNA into two stages, you also get the CCENT qualification at the end in addition to your CCNA.

To achieve the CCENT you need to take and pass the following exam

Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
Exam Number: 640-822 ICND1
Associated Certifications: CCENT and CCNA
Duration: 90 Minutes (50-60 questions)

Once you complete your CCENT you are half way to achieving your CCNA, to finish you have to pass the following exam

Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2)
Exam Number: 640-816 ICND2
Associated Certifications: CCNA
Duration: 75 minutes (45-55 questions)

The second choice is go straight for the main CCNA exam which covers both ICND 1 and ICND 2 in one sitting.

Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam
Exam Number: 640-802 CCNA
Associated Certifications: CCNA
Duration: 90 Minutes (50-60 questions)

While on paper it seems like a no brainer to just go for the 802 Exam, its only 60 questions compared to a possible 115 questions with the two exam approach, however be warned the CCNA is a very tough entry level exam and has a high fail rate. You need 85% to pass!!

To book a Cisco exam you need to register with the following site

From here you can schedule your exam, locate a test center and should you need to, check the status of your exam.

Self Study Books

CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide: Exam 640-802, Deluxe, 5th Edition
Todd Lammle
ISBN: 978-0-470-11009-6
1008 pages
September 2007

Cisco Press CCNA Preparation Library, 7th Edition
Covers the CCNA Exam 640-802, ICND1 Exam 640-822 and ICND2 Exam 640-816
ISBN-10: 1-58705-464-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-464-8
Published: Mar 18, 2008

Other resources;

CBT Nuggets
Train Signal

A decent forum (Thanks to Accension!)

I will post more resouces as I find them, feel free to add any of your favourite links
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02-05-2008, 11:11   #2
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Might be worth adding that Sybex Todd Lammle series books on CCNA are renowned for coverage of all aspects of the CCNA. Basically if you understand everything in that book you will pass easily. Its the only book that has received that reputation..

A good source for CBT nuggets and CBT's in general is.

Have bought stuff from them in the past and recently and they are top notch with extremely fast delivery.
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02-05-2008, 13:55   #3
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Just a question about the Cisco books, I was looking at the INCA1 books and I see there are two of them. A self study and a exam certification guide. The price difference is double for the self study one.

Is there a major difference in them, i.e. would the self study one be more suited to people that don't have much access or experience to/with Cisco equipment?
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02-05-2008, 21:33   #4
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Supposed to be excellant for practice labs.

Will be getting it myself at a later stage.
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03-05-2008, 02:27   #5
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I haven't used the Bryant practice labs, but the video instruction is probably the best I've seen.
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03-05-2008, 17:44   #6
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I'd add as a free lab resource. It makes setting up a virtual Cisco network via Dynagen/Dynamips (which it includes in the full package) a doddle. They run real IOS images and are not just expensive/buggy emulators. You just need to get hold of the images yourself (you only need one as you can run multiple Routers from one image file).
Also you don't need expensive switches to cover the CCNA material. Old 2924XLs can be found very cheaply on Ebay and while they aren't fast enough for production networks they are capable of everything you need for CCNA level work.
With 2x2924XLs and GNS3/Dynagen/Dynamips you have everything you need for the CCNA lab work and can likely do it for under $100, cheaper than a Sim.
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06-05-2008, 09:43   #7
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Another Point to note.

When you register with VUE it can take up to 24 hours before they email you a Username + Password (Took me 18+ Hours).

The email comes in from "" incase your worried about it getting caught from a Spam filter. In the email you get a Username + Password, when you log into the VUE site, you can then change your Password and select your exam.

Exam Costs Ex VAT; (VAT @ 21%)
640-822 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 EUR 92.00
640-816 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 EUR 92.00
640-802 Cisco Certified Network Associate EUR 130.00

VAT is EUR 19.32 / 27.3

When you book your exam and choose your exam centre, you have the option of viewing a Map which DOES NOT reflect actually where your exam centre is, for instance I booked for New Horizons this time and showed them as located in Howth, when they are actually in Dublin1. Just be aware of it.

Another thing to note is, and this goes for all exams, it can take 2 or 3 weeks before you can get a place to sit your exam. In Dublin with 5 exam centres I still have to wait 21 days before I can get a place.
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15-05-2008, 11:32   #8
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anyone know a good place fro practice Exams Questions?

I used (shhhhhhhhhhhh) testking before for an mcp...Does anyone know of a test practice download/purchase? for CCNA?

im doing my exam soon
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15-05-2008, 13:38   #9
Static M.e.
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Have you checked out the CCNA Prep Center @ Cisco (Its free)


Self Test Software


Last edited by Static M.e.; 15-05-2008 at 21:21.
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15-05-2008, 17:31   #10
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thanks for these..

how accurate do you think those links are? i gave a couple a quick dmeo test, they seemed pretty easy !

plus i cant find the link on the cisco page - if you had that it would be great!
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15-05-2008, 21:23   #11
Static M.e.
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Added link above.

You should aim to get 90\100% on the above, the exam requires 85% to pass. Its a very tough exam, be prepared.. be very prepared.... (Sorry couldn't resist)
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15-05-2008, 23:16   #12
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I have sat the old CCNA exam before it changed last November.
I found it very very tricky with regards to timing.
A topology diagram is thrown up on front of you and you have to assimilate as much as you can about it in a very tight time frame.
Do as much practical (troubleshooting, configuration etc) as you can, until you are blue in the face.
Best of luck.
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16-05-2008, 10:40   #13
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this is going to sound funny

I thought it was lower than that...70 or something
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16-05-2008, 11:00   #14
Static M.e.
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Microsoft exams are 700/1000 of 70%

Cisco exams are 85%

One other thing to point out, is book your exam early. It can take up to three weeks to get an appointment to sit an exam.
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16-05-2008, 11:05   #15
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I have it booked already...
85% sheeeesh

although once u know the stuff you know thats the challenge..
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