CCNA Certification – An Overview

IT professionals these days need periodic certifications from reputed Technology giants to survive and compete successfully in their company. One such Career Certification for an IT professional is from the Cisco System’s Career Certification list and is popularly known as CCNA.

CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate and is awarded to the person who successfully writes the CCNA exam. Cisco System usually has 5 certification levels and these certifications are administered to the students by Pearson VUE.  The five levels of Cisco Certifications include – Entry level, Associate level, Professional level, Expert level and finally, the Architect.

CCNA is considered generally as a foundation certificate course from the Cisco Systems, one that can make the person eligible to try out other related and higher certifications. Once a person is certified with CCNA, he or she will be able to install or configure, as well as troubleshoot networks in their companies.

The CCNA professional also will be able to operate the networks successfully along with verifying the connections in a WAN. The successful student also will get a good understanding of protocols such as Serial, IP, VLAN’s, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, access control lists, RIPv2 and Ethernet.

To write a CCNA exam, a person has to either take one big exam or take a combination of two smaller ones. The composite exam is known as 640-802 CCNA exam. This composite exam has about 65 questions which have to be solved in a time slot of one and a half hour.

This exam can be taken not only in English, but also in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, French and Spanish.  Writing this composite exam may cost you approximately USD 250.

Apart from this composite way, the student can also write two introductory level exams known as ICND1 (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1) and ICND2 (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2). Writing these exams separately will cost you approximately USD 125 per exam.

These exams are nearly one hour long and consist of nearly 50 or more questions each. Both the methods of writing the CCNA test are more or less the same with same type of subjects or topics covered.

If you select writing the composite exam, you can finish everything in one go. However if you write it in two parts, you will have to finish it within 3 years.