CCNA Certification/Appendix A - About the Exam

About the Exam


The purpose of this page is to make you more familiar with the test itself, what options you have, and how to sign up.

The Available Exams


The CCNA Routing and Switching certification test can be taken in one of two ways:

  • You can take the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 exam (100-105 ICND1) and the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 exam (200-105 ICND2).
  • You can take the combined Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (200-125 CCNA).

These exams replaced the former CCNA exams (640-822, 640-816, and 640-801) in 2013 and 100-101,200-101 and 200-120 in 2016.

The ICND1 exam tests for the ability to manage a small branch office network. The ICND2 exam tests for the ability to manage a small or middle-sized enterprise branch network. The combined CCNA tests all the material covered in the ICND1 and ICND2 exams. (For information about the exam and your options, see Appendix A.)

The Material Covered In Each Exam


The ICND1 covers "Network Types, Network Media, Switching Fundamentals, TCP/IP, IP Addressing and Routing, WAN Technologies, Operating and Configuring IOS Devices, and Managing Network Environments." More information about the ICND1 is available from Cisco.

The ICND2 covers "Extending Switched Networks with VLANS, Determining IP Routes, Managing IP traffic with Access Lists, Establishing Point-to-Point connections, and Establishing Frame Relay Connections." More information about the ICND2 is available from Cisco.

The combined CCNA covers all topics cover on the ICND1 and ICND2. More information about the CCNA is available from Cisco.

Which Should You Take?


The cost of taking the combined CCNA test is significantly lower (approximately $395 as on 20Mar2017) than taking the ICND1 and ICND2 Exams (approximately $200 as on 20Mar2017 each). The only disadvantage to taking the combined CCNA is that you will be tested on a larger amount of information. The ICND1 and ICND2 exams allow you to focus on smaller subsets of the entire course.

The Format of the Test


All tests are given on a PC at the testing center. Everyone who is comfortable using a computer should have no difficulties using the testing software. If you like, you can take a practice test to get the hang of the program.

All questions fall into one of the following categories:

  • Multiple choice
  • Fill-in-the-blank
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Simulated lab

The multiple choice questions requires you to select a circle next to the correct answer. Some questions will have multiple correct answers. In these cases, you will usually be told how many answers you should select.

The fill-in-the-blank questions require you to enter the word that missing from a sentence. You must type the answer exactly right to receive credit.

The drag-and-drop questions require you to click and drag a button or icon to another location on the screen. Often you will have to order multiple items into a list with the correct order.

The simulated lab will give you access to a theoretical network with multiple routers. You must be able to navigate the routers, find the cause of a malfunction, and fix it. To prepare for these questions, you should practice on a real lab set-up or on a network simulator until you feel comfortable. There are many software network simulators. One of these is available here.

Signing up for Exams


You can sign up to take the test with Pearson Vue. As of now, Pearson Vue is the only authorized testing center for CCNA certifications. You should be able to schedule the time of your test and will be able to select the location from a list of Testing Centers in your area.