CCNA Renewal: How to Keep Your Cisco Certification Active

As a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), you know how important it is to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. But did you know that your certification also has an expiration date? In this article, IT Exams will discuss what you need to know about CCNA renewal which means how to renew CCNA, how to […]

March 28, 2023

As a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), you know how important it is to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. But did you know that your certification also has an expiration date? In this article, IT Exams will discuss what you need to know about CCNA renewal which means how to renew CCNA, how to keep your certification active, as well as what happens if you let it expire.

Understanding CCNA Certification


Before we dive into CCNA renewal, let’s review what CCNA certification is and why it matters.

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is a well-known certification that demonstrates to employers and clients that an individual is educated in the field of networking. The CCNA certification validates a person’s competence to build, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routes and switched networks.

Your CCNA certification is valid for three years from the day you pass the exam. You are not required to do anything to maintain your CCNA certification. Cisco is known for often changing its certification program. If the CCNA is changed, your certification will remain valid until its expiration date. Before your certificate expires, you must recertify it by satisfying the appropriate recertification requirements.

7 Benefits Of CCNA Certification

1. Learn New and Current Skills

CCNA classes and programs will offer you up-to-date knowledge and talents in the fast-paced field of information technology. At an IT college, you will get new skills through hands-on experience and skilled specialists, allowing you to easily succeed in job interviews with top organizations.

2. Earn a Higher Salary

The CCNA certification is widely accepted in the IT industry; with this certificate, you will be able to easily negotiate your CCNA salaries.

3. Avoid Entry-Level Positions

Many graduates must work for years as entry-level employees at a smaller organization to “gain experience” before going on to a higher level of employment. With a Cisco certification, you may avoid entry-level jobs and rise to higher-level ones.

4. Simple Job Search

Because there is a considerable skills scarcity in the IT industry, having CCNA credentials on your cover letter or résumé will not only make your job search easier, but it will also place you ahead of the line with recruiters.

5. Get a Promotion

Working professionals who have been in the same business and worked for years without being promoted might considerably benefit from the CCNA certification. Your employers will almost certainly give you a well-deserved promotion with improved compensation once you have acquired your CCNA certification.

6. Endless Career Possibilities

A CCNA certification will open many doors and boost your professional opportunities in the networking area. This certification can aid you in taking your career to the next level!

7. Personal Contentment

Is there any reason you wouldn’t be happy if you have one of the most prestigious IT certifications, you’re well ahead of your competition, and your colleagues look up to you?

Preparing For CCNA Certification

Preparing for the CCNA certification exam requires a combination of knowledge, skills, and preparation. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the exam:

Have a lot of practice and hands-on experience: To pass the CCNA test, you’ll need both practical and theoretical understanding. As you study for the test, you should be able to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world troubleshooting and networking problems. For example, it is good knowledge that IP is unreliable—but the primary issue is determining alternate communication options between nodes via IP.

Obtain Appropriate Study Materials: Choosing the correct study materials is an important part of CCNA preparation. The most recent editions of Cisco’s books are the best for studying for the CCNA exam: Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND 1 and CCNA Routing and Switching ICND2. We highly recommend the “31 Days Before” series, which is also available through Cisco Press. Include all of the practice questions and lab exercises. However, before you begin reading the books described above, study binary mathematics—you should be able to calculate in your sleep. Having this knowledge will help you pass the CCNA exam.

Schedule Practice Exams: Perform well on CCNA practice exams just one month before your scheduled exam date. Set a deadline for yourself and compare what you’ve learned in the interim. You may discover your weak points and devote extra attention to them. You’ll find the areas where you need to learn the most.

Revitalize Your Knowledge Just Before the Exam: We recommend that you review the Cisco Press books before your test date. This can help you refresh your memory and recognize anything you may have jumped for the first time.

The final few weeks before the certification test should be devoted solely to answering CCNA questions on As you can see, you might try to locate new information by scouring internet forums and other online mock test websites. However, for your final CCNA test preparation, NWExam may be the finest option.

Have a Break: Allow yourself some time off in the final few days before the tests. Try to relax and take things easy. A good night’s sleep is required the night before a test.

Benefits Of CCNA Renewal


Renewing your CCNA certification has many benefits, including:

  • Renewing your CCNA certification helps you to stay current with the newest networking technologies and trends, as well as maintain your skills and knowledge up to date.
  • Renewing your CCNA certification guarantees that you keep industry recognition as a qualified networking specialist, which may boost your reputation and credibility.
  • Renewing your CCNA certification might boost your earning potential because many businesses pay greater rates and bonuses to qualified networking specialists.
  • Renewing your CCNA certification allows you continuing access to a variety of resources, including networking events, online forums, and training materials, that can assist you in staying current with the newest networking technologies and trends.

CCNA Renewal Requirements

The CCNA certification is valid for three years after passing the exam. You must renew your certification before it expires in order to keep it active. As a result, Cisco provides numerous CCNA renewal options:

Option 1: Pass a CCNA-level Exam

Passing a CCNA-level test is the simplest method to renew your CCNA certification. This indicates that you have kept up with the most recent networking technologies and techniques, as well as your knowledge and abilities in a wide variety of ideas and advances.

Exams at the CCNA level include a wide range of networking subjects, including:

  • Fundamentals of the network
  • LAN switching methods
  • WAN technologies Routing technologies
  • Services for Infrastructure
  • Infrastructure protection
  • Infrastructure administration

You must study and prepare for a CCNA-level test utilizing Cisco’s approved study resources and practice examinations. These resources cover all of the exam’s networking topics and include thorough explanations and examples to help you understand and implement the concepts.

The following are the procedures you must take to pass a CCNA-level test and renew your CCNA certification:

Step 1: Choose a CCNA-level Exam

There are several CCNA-level exams that you can take for CCNA renewal, including:

  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • CCNA Security
  • CCNA Wireless
  • CCNA Cloud
  • CCNA Cyber Ops

Select the test that is most relevant to your networking career objectives and interests, as well as the skills and information you wish to exhibit to employers.

Step 2: Study and Prepare


Once you’ve decided on a test, you’ll need to study and practice with Cisco’s approved study materials and practice examinations. These resources give a thorough review of the networking ideas and technologies covered in the test, as well as assistance in developing the skills and knowledge required to pass the exam.

Cisco provides a variety of study resources for CCNA-level examinations, including:

  • Official study guides, online courses, and practice examinations are examples of self-study products.
  • Classroom-based training programs that give hands-on experience and assistance from licensed instructors are known as instructor-led training.
  • Online training programs that feature virtual laboratories and real-time interactions with teachers and other students are known as virtual training.

Choose the study method that best suits your learning style and preferences, and be sure to set up an adequate time for study and practice before the test.

Step 3: Schedule and Take The Exam

After preparing for the exam, you must schedule and take it at a Pearson VUE website, Pearson VUE is Cisco’s official testing partner, and it has a worldwide network of testing locations where you may take the exam.

To schedule the exam, first, establish an account on the Pearson VUE website, then choose your exam and a testing facility and date that works for you. On exam day, make sure to come on time, present a valid ID, and observe the testing center’s regulations and procedures.

Step 4: Pass The Exam

To pass a CCNA-level test, you must get at least 825 out of 1000 points. The test is two hours long and includes of multiple-choice questions, drag-and-drop questions, and simulations.

Make sure to read the questions attentively, use the relevant resources and tools, and manage your time properly during the test. If you come across any tough questions, mark them for review and return to them later.

If you pass the test, Cisco will send you a confirmation email within a few days, and your CCNA certification will be renewed for another three years.

Read more >> How Hard is CCNA?

Option 2: Pass a Specialist Exam

Cisco provides a variety of specialty examinations in addition to CCNA-level exams that may be used to renew your CCNA certification. Because specialized tests are focused on certain technologies, solutions, or job responsibilities, this choice allows candidates to achieve knowledge in a specific area within the field of networking.

Cisco provides a number of expert tests that are aligned with current market trends and technological improvements. These tests cover a variety of subjects, including network programmability, wireless, security, data centers, and collaboration.

Candidates must complete one specialist test before the expiration date of their CCNA certification to renew it through this route. The level of the specialist test must be the same or higher than the level of the CCNA exam that the candidate initially passed. For example, if a candidate completed the CCNA Routing and Switching exam, they would need to pass a CCNA-level or above specialist test.

The following are some of the specialty examinations that may be utilized for CCNA renewal:

  • Cisco Solutions Implementation and Administration (CCNA)
  • Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies Implementation (350-401 ENCOR)
  • Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services Implementation (300-410 ENARSI)

Passing a specialist test not only renews the CCNA certification but also grants the candidate a specialist certification in the area of specialization. This may be an important addition to a candidate’s CV since it shows a high level of competence in a certain technology or solution.

Remember that specialized tests have expiration dates that may differ from the CCNA certification expiration date. Candidates should be aware of the expiration date of their selected expert test and prepare appropriately to keep their certification current.

Option 3: Complete Continuing Education (CE) Credits


Continuing Education (CE) credits are the final option for CCNA renewal. CE credits enable you to renew your certification by completing recognized courses and training programs that improve your networking knowledge and abilities. Here are some options for earning CE credits for CCNA renewal:

  • Participate in Cisco Live events and sessions.
  • Finish all Cisco Digital Learning courses
  • Attend Cisco Networking Academy classes.
  • Attend Cisco Learning Partners-approved training courses.

To renew your CCNA certification using CE credits, you must acquire 30 CE credits within three years after the expiration date of your certification. CE credits can be obtained through a combination of the ways listed above and must be submitted to Cisco for approval before your certification expires.

How Much Does It Cost To Take The CCNA Exam For Recertification?

The CCNA 200-301 exam costs $300. The actual amount you pay may vary depending on your area and relevant taxes, but $300 is a good starting point. The CCNA test is not inexpensive! Prepare thoroughly to prevent an unwanted second try, which will cost you an extra $300.

CCNA necessitates a major investment of your time, effort, and money. When you earn it, you keep it for three years without having to do anything else. While you may recertify by passing the 200-301 CCNA test again, passing an advanced professional-level exam will award you extra abilities and, in many circumstances, an additional certification. The CCNA test costs $300, and being well-prepared would be beneficial.

What Happens If You Let Your CCNA Certification Expire?

Allowing a CCNA certification to lapse might have serious ramifications for networking professionals. If a candidate does not renew their Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification before it expires, they will lose their active status.

This implies you won’t be allowed to use the CCNA logo or title on your résumé or business cards anymore. You will also lose access to the Cisco Certification Tracking System and its associated perks, such as reduced exam vouchers and access to career-building tools and services.

A networking expert who does not have a current certification may miss out on employment prospects or be at a disadvantage in the job market. Many businesses demand or prefer individuals with current and active CCNA certificates because they indicate a high degree of networking knowledge and skill.

Furthermore, an expired CCNA certification might lead to a loss of trust and reputation. If a candidate’s certification has expired, clients, coworkers, and employers may doubt their knowledge and skills.

To reactivate an expired CCNA certification, a candidate must retake and pass the appropriate exam(s). This may be a time-consuming and costly procedure because the candidate must study and prepare for the exam(s) as if it were their first time.

Read more >> CCNA vs CCNP: Understanding the Key Differences

Tips For CCNA Renewal


Renewal of a CCNA certification may appear to be a challenging task, but with the right approach and preparation, it can be a quick and uncomplicated operation. Here are some recommendations to help candidates successfully renew their CCNA certification:

Prepare ahead of time

Candidates should begin arranging for renewal well in advance of the expiration date because CCNA credentials are good for three years. This will provide them ample time to study, take any required examinations, and finish the renewal procedure before their certification expires.

Maintain your current status.

Because the world of networking is always expanding, it is critical to keep current on the newest trends, technologies, and best practices. To keep current and educated, candidates should read industry publications, attend conferences and training sessions, and network with other experts.

Exam subject review

If a candidate decides to renew their CCNA certification by passing a CCNA-level test or a specialist exam, they should familiarize themselves with the exam themes and goals. Cisco offers test blueprints and study resources to candidates to assist them prepare for their examinations.

Make use of study materials.

To assist applicants prepare for CCNA tests, a variety of study tools are accessible, including online courses, study guides, practice exams, and virtual laboratories. Candidates should use these resources to ensure they are properly prepared for their examinations.

Practice your hands-on abilities.

Because networking is a hands-on discipline, applicants should practice their abilities in a lab setting. Cisco provides virtual laboratories that mirror real-world networking settings, giving candidates the opportunity to practice their skills and acquire hands-on experience.

Keep track of your deadlines.

Candidates should maintain track of their CCNA certification expiration date as well as any renewal requirements. This will prevent them from missing any critical deadlines and losing their certification.

Candidates may effectively renew their CCNA certification and preserve their reputation as qualified and informed networking experts by following these suggestions.



When should I start planning for CCNA renewal?

It is recommended to start planning for CCNA renewal at least a year in advance to give yourself enough time to study and prepare for the exam or complete CE credits.

What are the options for CCNA renewal?

The options for CCNA renewal include passing a CCNA-level or specialist exam or completing Continuing Education (CE) credits.

How many CE credits do I need to earn for CCNA renewal?

You need to earn a total of 30 CE credits within three years of passing the CCNA exam to renew your certification using CE credits.

What happens if I let my CCNA certification expire?

If you let your CCNA certification expire, you will no longer be recognized as a Cisco Certified Network Associate and will lose access to the benefits that come with it.

Can I regain my CCNA certification after it has expired?

Yes, you can regain your CCNA certification by retaking and passing the CCNA exam.


Renewing your CCNA certification is an important step in maintaining your professional credentials as a networking expert. By understanding the CCNA renewal requirements, staying up-to-date with the latest networking technologies, and choosing the best renewal option for your career goals, you can keep your certification active and reap the benefits that come with it.