Planning to take your IT networking career to the next level? Both educational background and work experience are not enough to make you a standout. You need something that will make your profile attractive to the recruiters, like the ever-popular Cisco CCNA R&S.
But first, what is Cisco CCNA R&S?
This certification is known to be a gateway for associate-level professionals to build their knowledge about routing and switching tracks and technology. Generally, it acts as your foundation in networking, which is highly important for those who are eyeing to step into any network security career. Moreover, now that most enterprises are drifting towards controller-based style and IT world is continuously evolving, IT professionals like core network engineers need an instrument to keep them abreast with the network transition. And with the Cisco CCNA Security Certifications , it helps establish professionals by equipping them with knowledge about configuration, management, and troubleshooting switching and routed networks.
So, it’s time to get going and take on the preparation journey that will aid you to pass this in-demand certification in just one take.
Know the certification exam/s to be passed
To pass Cisco CCNA R&S, you are given the chance to choose either the single CCNA (200-125) exam or both ICND1 (100-105) and ICND2 (200-105) exams.
Let’s start with the single exam―the CCNA (200-125) exam. This 90-minutes exam, featuring 60-70 questions, covers areas about network foundation, infrastructure services, management, and security. Also, it tackles topics about different routing and switching technologies such as LAN, WAN, IPv4, and IPv6.
The ICND1 and ICND2 exams, on the other hand, furnish all topics in the single exam but represents a two-stage process. ICND1 (100-105) outlines the basics, including technologies and infrastructures, while the ICND2 (200-105) also features infrastructure service, together with other technologies, IPv4 and IPv6 routing, and LAN switching.
Create your own study plan
Now that you know the certification exams offered, outline your study plan and create a master list of the things you need to accomplish. This is the best way to cover all topics of the exam. And with the help of the provided study material by Cisco, it ensures that you are studying the right materials.
Take the recommended training
Though there are no prerequisites before taking the exam, best that you take the recommended training resources for either test – Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (CCNAX) for 200-125 and Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 and 2 for 100-105 and ICND2 200-105.
Go through different courses
Aside from the recommended courses, Cisco offers a range of valuable courses to ensure that you ace the exam. For 200-125 exam, some of the important study resources include ICND1 v3.0 Part 1 and 2, Cisco Learning Labs for v3.0 ICND1 and ICND2, and CCNAX, and more. For ICND1 (100-105) and ICND2 (200-105), you can try the endorsed courses such as the classroom training guided by an authorized instructor and the E-learning for self-paced courses. Both training courses tackles about Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices v3.0 Part 1 and 2.
Answer some practice tests
To check your test readiness, take advantage of practice tests online. From free trials to paid tests, these are valuable study materials to make sure that your knowledge and skills are all set for the exam. Aside from practice tests, utilize different hands-on lab courses that will give you the chance to assess your skills and know the areas that need improvement.
Practice with some exam dumps
Upon fully covering the topics through a variety of study materials and answering some practice tests, it’s high time to check your total preparedness through Cisco exam dumps. Offering some real-test questions and answers, these are very helpful to give you a hint of what will appear during the exam. Take note that the dumps should be utilized once you have comprehensively understood all important areas. Do not depend your luck solely on these files because every set of exam is different. Make sure that you know the topics by heart.
Join some study groups
If you prefer to study in a group, Cisco also provides you with a way to connect with professionals who are preparing for the exam. By studying together, you can exchange ideas, as well as learn new concepts from others. Sometimes, learning is best done by communicating with people. It allows you to get into useful discussions, which you can use during the exam and further when you battle the real world. Study groups also expand your reach so that it would be easier to market yourself in the future.
Equip yourself with practical experience
Whilst all of the above tips can be done months before the scheduled exam, equipping yourself with in-depth work background is the most important. With this practical experience, you are geared with theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills you can apply during test preparation. Since you are already armed with facts beforehand, it will be easier for you to choose the best reference materials and training courses when you study.
CCNA R&S certification prepares you for what the IT world has in store for you―from foundational technologies to next-generation advancements. If you’re still in having thoughts what specific certification exam/s to take to achieve your CCNA R& S dream, remember it’s up to your preferences. Technically, the cost for both exams is the same, with CCNA 200-125 at $325 and the other two for a total of $650. If you want to delve deeper into each topic, then take the two exams. But if want a composite exam that covers all topics with lesser questions, then the single test is for you.
Hence, whatever your choice, CCNA Routing and Switching gives you the chance to prepare for a successful IT networking career.