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Validate your ability to install and operate a small enterprise network and your experience with basic network security. Discount exam vouchers available for successful Networking Academy students. View career pathways.

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Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching

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Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching

Verify your hands-on skills working with routed and switched networks and wide-area networks (WANs). Discount exam vouchers available for successful Networking Academy students. career pathways.

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Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching

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Cisco CCNA Security

Verify your hands-on skills working with routed and switched networks and wide-area networks (WANs). Discount exam vouchers available for successful Networking Academy students. career pathways.

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CCNA Security

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Cisco CCNP Routing and Switching

Validate your ability to install, configure, and troubleshoot converged local and wide area networks, and to manage routers, switches, and edge applications. View career pathways.

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CCNP Routing and Switching

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Clearing CCNA Certification – Top Study Tips for the Exam

The CCNA is one of the most respected certifications in the world. An associated level certificate for IT networking, it helps candidates boost their professional career with better jobs and higher pay. A candidate with a CCNA certification is thorough with networking technologies. For those looking to prepare for CCNA certification, this article provides some tips, tricks and important notes to focus on.

In between that here is a video that takes you through introduction to CCNA Certification Training:

It doesn’t take continuous hours of rigorous preparation to pass a CCNA exam. However, as with any discipline, you need to set aside regular house everyday for going though the course material and update yourself with the latest in networking technology. There are a variety of books that you can refer to. Online books and other electronic options also make the learning easier.

Things to Keep In Mind before Studying

One should understand the core concept of a CCNA certification to be able to study right.

CCNA is Comprehensive

The CCNA exam offered by CISCO includes a variety of topics based on TCP/IP studies to the most comprehensive routing protocols with spanning trees. With so much to study, the exams may look tough to crack. However, it is understood that one should mainly focus on ICDN which serves the base for all types of CISCO CCNA exams. This requires candidates to go through the length and breadth of the topics.

Practical Experience

One requires both theoretical and practical knowledge in order to crack CCNA. The study requires practical knowledge and the candidate should be able to use theoretical information in real world troubleshooting and networking issues. As an example, it is common to know that IP is unreliable but the main issue is being able to come up with alternative communication troubleshooting between nodes over IP.

CCNA Exam is a Quick One

The CCNA exam requires you to handle about 50-60 question in 90 odd minutes. Regular practice is required to excel in the exams. Even if you are a knowledgeable candidate, being able to put answers together when it matters is a stressful situation. CCNA exams also cover real world issues that need to be understood and solved right at the moment. This requires, time, patience and strategy.

CCNA is Marketable

The CCNA certification doesn’t just open the doors to networking success. It allows your profile to be marketed as a networking expert with global recognition. You are more knowledgeable than non-certified peers. This needs you to stretch your skills and recognize opportunities.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

It is important to ask why do you want to be CCNA certified and what advantages will the certificate bring you. This will help you mentally prepare for the exams. Make sure you have a target to crack the exams – maybe within the next 6 months. Budget your study time accordingly. If you have an active social life, the next six months are probably going to be tough. Your family members and friends should understand and stand by. Once the certificate is achieved, you have all the time in the world!

Getting the Proper Material

There is a lot of misunderstanding and controversy with regards to the appropriate study materials. Going overboard with simulators, books and study guides isn’t recommended either. The best material includes CISCO’s own press books including ICND 1 and ICND 2 in the most updated editions. These books are easy to follow and define the topics comprehensively. Another useful publication would be “31 Days before Your CCNA Exams” – another reference guide from CISCO. It will help you easily remember the IOS commands and concepts. This one is probably your Bible for the CCNA exams. If you can devote more time without harming your regular professional activities, there are some impressive simulators that will help build up confidence. It is advisable to register as a member of the Cisco Certification Forum for all the discussions, topics and advises.

Approaching the Study Material

Before you actually start with the aforementioned books, learn to work with Binary Mathematics. You should be able to calculate in your sleep!

  • For a good overview of the topics, scan casually through the entire book at first including the covers and practice questions.
  • Go through the CD’s that came with the book.
  • Practice as many questions as possible and the lab exercises. It is just not enough to be able to solve questions but solve them within time

Schedule Practice Tests

Schedule practice tests well in advance of the final exam date. Present yourself a deadline and check what you have been able to do. There is always scope to improve and the rest of the days should be befitting.

Time to Refresh

Try to go though the CISCO CCNA guide books once again before the exam dates. This will help you refresh anything that might have skipped your attention.


This is in the last part of your study period and there is no turning back. The last couple of weeks before the exams should be completely devoted to solving questions. Try to get fresh questions, look in forums and other online mock test platforms for as many problems. This should be the point when you have effectively grasped the concepts of networking coming under your CCNA certification.

Give yourself some time off the book the last couple of days before the exams. Task yourself less and try to relax. A good night’s sleep is very important before you sit in the examination hall. If you have been following the above steps honestly, there should be nothing that stops you from getting certified.


The best thing about preparing for CCNA exams is being able to explore and discover new theories and concepts. The final job that you land up with your CCNA certifications would want you to be an expert and have thorough practical knowledge of all networking topics. It is not without reason that CCNA is a globally recognized certification and attracts better jobs and salary. One must study hard and be patient. The rewards will follow themselves.

Is doing CCNA Certification really worth for Networking Professionals?

CCNA has grown to become the most popular IT certification in the world. The certification main focus lies on developing relevant role-based modules to match the rapid deployment of technologies in the current sophisticated networking environment. Companies whether big or small are investing in new tools including infrastructure to ensure they keep up with the pace.

As the sophisticated network process increases, there will also be need to increase the level of skills such as security, voice and wireless. A CCNA certification would mean that you will have the capacity to build on the core networking skills thanks to the highly specialized concentration paths to springboard your career in both current and developing technologies. This certification will benefit the employee as well as the employer thanks to the valuable process provided by the available modules in networking system.

Here is a video that takes you through introduction to CCNA Certification Training:

CCNA certification concentration paths

CCNA certification concentration paths consist of three distinctive paths that will equip you – the learner - with tools and resources to help you work with ease for more money. Namely:

  • CCNA Security
  • CCNA Voice
  • CCNA Wireless

CCNA Security certification involves troubleshooting as well as monitoring network devices to ensure the availability, integrity and confidentiality of data. A CCNA Security expert qualifies to work as a security administrator, network security specialist or a network support engineer.

CCNA Voice certification is a course that equips networking professionals with skills in VoIP, which includes IP telephony, IP PBX, handset, voicemail solutions and call control. Available roles could be that of a voice manager, voice administrator and voice engineer.

CCNA Voice certification is a course that equips networking professionals with skills in VoIP, which includes IP telephony, IP PBX, handset, voicemail solutions and call control. Available roles could be that of a voice manager, voice administrator and voice engineer.

CCNA Wireless involves using Cisco equipment in configuring, implementing and supporting wireless LANs. A wireless expert is qualified to work as a WLAN project manager and also as a wireless support specialist.

All the above CCNA concentration paths require that you have the basic CCNA certification together with an additional paper in area of expertise. Is doing CCNA Certification really worth for networking professionals? The following are reasons why the answer to this question is a definite Yes!


Separate the chaff from the wheat

A recent survey done by Cisco through Forrester Consultants showed that training and certification programs are critical part in recruiting and hiring people for specialized roles in a company’s networking system. It was later noted that professional certifications come in a close second after four-year degree as requirement for job qualification. Certifications were 49% whereas degree 51%, which makes CCNA certifications one of the determinants that bosses all over use to separate the chaff from the wheat.

Experience a unique learning network

Cisco Learning Network is the first of its kind where social network as a widely explored platform is used for learning. This is a Web 2.0 community featuring wikis, blogs, collaboration and document sharing. The network provides a wealth of services and the best part is that it is open to anyone looking for training and certification, simulation labs, roadmaps, corporate internships, job listings, employee recruiting and referral, mentorship, and much more. Cisco Learning Network was developed for people at all levels of knowledge and experience interested in having a career in networking.

Knowledge and Experience

It is obvious that in the process of acquiring your certification, you will increase your knowledge and level of experience. It doesn’t matter the number of years you’ve been in the field, one thing for sure is that you will learn new stuff that will help catapult your career to the next level. It is through the certification process that you will notice several advancements in the industry.

Career Advancement

Adding the extra paper in your CV can increase your chances of moving up the hierarchy depending on where you are working. The best part is that CCN certification is recognized globally; meaning that in almost every place you go, your work will remain relevant. Who knows, there can be a salary increment once the certificate is handed to you.

The basis for other certifications

Having a CCNA certificate would qualify you for several other Cisco certifications, for example CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CCNA Wireless including other expert level certificates. You will also come across some higher learning institutions offering up to six credits for students holding valid CCNA certificates who want to apply for a course. Although the basic CCNA certification might be tricky for some, once you complete it you’ll get on the right track. You will now be able to go for more Cisco certificates.

Benefits the employer

Ask any employer out there and he/she would confirm that certified professionals have the capacity to work in the competitive field of Information Technology. This is why many employers prefer to bear the important cost of hiring Cisco Trainers to inject the much needed networking knowledge in their companies. You can call it; using less money to make more money.

Certification proof – alphabets behind your name

Once you are Cisco certified, you will have the authority of using CCNA in your resume for the next three years. You will be ethically and legally allowed to use the four certification letters in your CV including business card. To add on this, upon successful completion of the course, you will receive CCNA certificate, card and letter from Cisco to validate your achievement.


Getting a CCNA certificate will make the rest of your mates together with the employer respect you for the achievement? May be some of your workmates including your boss tried getting certified but for some reason did not manage to do so; they will have to admire the fact that you got your certification. This will also give you a sense of satisfaction, gratification and relief.

The increasing sophistication in networking technologies forecast a worldwide shortage of qualified networking professionals, which is enough reason for you to kick-start your networking career. Cisco is most certainly the better option compared to Microsoft as it does not require any extensive preparation to qualify. Avoid the trouble of actually not-working, but instead sharpen your networking skills so that you’ll be counted among those who remain relevant in the new competitive networking epoch. Start by registering today for a CCNA course.