ccna requirements

CCNA Requirements: The Key to Unlocking a Successful Networking Career

Get all the information you need to know about CCNA requirements and how to prepare for the certification exam. In this comprehensive guide, IT Exams covers the exam and education requirements, tips for beginners, and the benefits of obtaining a CCNA certification for your networking career. What Is  CCNA and Why Is It Important? Cisco […]

May 11, 2023

Get all the information you need to know about CCNA requirements and how to prepare for the certification exam. In this comprehensive guide, IT Exams covers the exam and education requirements, tips for beginners, and the benefits of obtaining a CCNA certification for your networking career.

What Is  CCNA and Why Is It Important?

ccna requirements

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a common entry-level networking certification for IT workers. It certifies the basic knowledge and abilities needed to build, manage, operate, and troubleshoot small to medium-sized corporate networks.

Network basics, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, automation and programmability, and wireless fundamentals are all covered in the CCNA certification. It also contains hands-on experiments and simulations that put your knowledge of configuring and troubleshooting network devices to the test.

Employers, vendors, and other networking professionals across the world recognize and value the CCNA qualification. It may help you advance your profession, earn more money, and build credibility and confidence in your networking talents.

In this post, we will go over the CCNA certification in depth, including its advantages, prerequisites, test specifics, study resources, and exam day suggestions. In addition, we will address some commonly asked questions (FAQs) concerning the CCNA certification. This article will help you understand what it takes to achieve the CCNA certification and thrive in your networking job, whether you are a novice or an experienced expert.

CCNA Exam Details

ccna requirements

CCNA exam format

The CCNA exam is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE testing facilities. The exam consists of multiple-choice and simulation questions that assess your networking knowledge and abilities.

CCNA Exam Details

The exam is identified by the code 200-301, and it requires a duration of 120 minutes to complete. The cost of the exam is $300, and the format consists of both multiple-choice and simulation questions. The exam can be taken in either English or Japanese.

CCNA Exam Objectives

The CCNA exam assesses your proficiency in the following areas:

  • Describing network basics and constructing basic LANs
  • Setting up internet connectivityManaging network devices and securing network access
  • Understanding the fundamentals of IPv6
  • Diagnosing basic connectivity problems
  • Implementing VLANs and trunking
  • Configuring and addressing wireless networks issues
  • Configuring and diagnosing routing protocols
  • Implementing elementary network security measures and automation techniques.

CCNA Exam Topics

The CCNA exam covers the following topics:

Network Fundamentals
  • Analyze and highlight the similarities and differences between the OSI and TCP/IP models
  • Evaluate the effects of infrastructure components on an enterprise network
  • Draw a comparison between the IPv4 and IPv6 addressing schemes
  • Emphasize the significance of VLANs in the design of computer networks
  • Clarify the objectives and characteristics of routing and switching in networking
Network Access
  • Set up and confirm VLAN configurations
  • Establish and confirm inter-switch connections
  • Configure and validate Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) protocols
  • Configure and verify EtherChannel.
IP Connectivity
  • Analyze the elements found in the routing table
  • Explain the function of gateways
  • Discuss the influence of routing protocols on network connectivity
  • Set up and confirm static routing for both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses
IP Services
  • Set up and validate DHCP on an IOS Router
  • Explain the kinds, qualities, and uses of ACLs.
  • Set up and verify NAT
  • Set up and verify NTP operating as a client or server
Security Fundamentals
  • Elucidate the principles of securing a network
  • Explain the fundamental principles of cryptography
  • Detail the elements of a security program
  • Configure and validate security features for a switch.
Automation and Programmability
  • Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental Python elements and scripts.
  • Explain the features and functionalities of configuration management protocols.
  • Describe the fundamental principles of network programmability.
Wireless Fundamentals
  • Elucidating the ideas, constituents, and interactions related to wireless networks
  • Setting up and validating wireless local area networks (WLANs).

CCNA Requirements

ccna requirements

The CCNA test is the starting point for all Cisco certification pathways. This implies that you do not require any qualifications or to have completed any examinations before taking the CCNA exam.

Before attempting to take the test, one needs to be aware of a few fundamental limits and qualifications. The first constraint is related to age:

  • Even with parental permission, children under the age of 13 are not permitted to take the exam.
  • Persons aged 13 to 17 can take the test and receive the certification if they pass with parental permission.
  • Individuals over the age of 18 (inclusive) are eligible to take the test.

The second requirement is that the test facility demands a digital photo and signature, as well as two pieces of personal identity, and failure to provide any of these two items will preclude the applicant from taking the exam.

Although Cisco does not impose any such requirements, taking the test after one year of networking experience makes it logical. Studying mixed with hands-on experience in a real-world setting raises the odds of passing the exam.

CCNA Registration Process

ccna requirements

Individuals register for the CCNA test using the internet. Registration for the CCNA Exam is simple; it may be completed online, just like reserving a train ticket. Pearson VUE is an exam provider that offers a variety of IT-related exams.

There are several physical examination centers for the CCNA Exam 200-301. Person Vue has been mapped to all exam centers. You can choose an exam center from the Person Vue interface. Certification tests are available in locations all around the world.

Person VUE for CCNA Exam Registration

To register for an exam, you must first register with Pearson VUE, a Cisco-authorized test delivery partner. Cisco and Pearson VUE continue to set the standard for safeguarding the value of your certification. Cisco and other large organizations that give certification are all linked to Person Vue.

Person VUE is the only option to register for the CCNA Exam. Cisco certification tests are administered jointly by Cisco and Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE protects your personal information. Exam fees can be paid online using any means.

How to Register for the CCNA Exam

  1. To begin, determine the CCNA test you need to register for: CCNA 200-125 OR ICND1 (100-105) and ICND2 (200-105). You may also choose the needed test from the Cisco website.
  2. Visit to obtain your Cisco ID. The Cisco ID (CSCO number) is the testing ID that identifies you in the CiscoCertification program. It will appear something like “CSCO00000001.”
  3. Maintain a record of your personal information. Never provide incorrect information on Pearson VUE. When registering, always offer accurate information.
  4. Legal name (as it appears on government-issued identification), company name, valid address, email address, and so on.
  5. Pearson VUE is a Cisco-approved testing partner. You can register online, over the phone, or in person (where accessible).

How To Earn A CCNA Certification

ccna requirements

Here’s a step-by-step guide to earning your CCNA certification:

1. Gain experience

Before pursuing this certification, you should obtain computer networking expertise. Some people pursue a degree in computer science or information technology first. If you do not wish to pursue a degree, several organizations may provide basic courses in computer networking and IT-related topics. Because technology-related degrees frequently provide students with some core understanding of their subjects, your academic experience may assist you prepare for the exam.

You can also obtain practical experience by working in the computer networking industry. Working as a technical support professional, computer systems analyst, or network administrator is one example. Internships also provide students and new graduates with hands-on experience in the field. Consider inquiring with your university counselors about prospective internship or employment options. Online job boards, social media, local community groups, and career fairs can also assist you locate work.

2. Review exam topics

Consider studying test subjects before training for this certification to obtain a better grasp of what to learn. Though exam subjects vary, each exam covers six core ideas. Here is a list of the ideas included in the CCNA certification examinations, as well as the percentage of each topic covered in the exam:

  • Network fundamentals account for 20%

  • Network access accounts for 20%

  • IP connectivity accounts for 25%

  • IP services account for 10%

  • Security fundamentals account for 15%

  • Automation and programmability account for 10%.

3. Study for the test

You may prepare for the CCNA test by pursuing online training classes. Cisco provides a variety of training programs, courses, and tools to assist you in preparing for this test. The Cisco Digital Learning subscription, for example, comprises a year’s worth of online lectures, labs, webinars, and assignments. In addition, the organization provides guided study groups as well as access to a community network where students may connect with one another and train teachers. If you prefer to study in person, look into community colleges or technical institutions in your area. You might be able to take classes offered by these organizations.

4. Take a practice exam

One of the final steps in preparing for the actual certification exam is to take a practice exam. After completing previous training courses, many people prefer to take practice examinations. Because you may answer similar questions under the same time constraints, taking many practice examinations may help you prepare for the actual test. They may also assist you in identifying areas where you may need further practice or revision. Cisco charges a fee for a practice exam package that includes 300 sample questions and lab exercises. Other internet organizations may provide free practice exams.

Because the CCNA certification has several concentrations, look for expert practice examinations that focus on your concentration. These CCNA practice tests often incorporate information that delves deeper into your area of concentration. Take practice examinations at least one to two weeks before your exam. This may offer you enough time to find areas where you may practice more, study more, and obtain passing grades.

5. Schedule and take the official exam

When you are certain that you are ready to take the official CCNA exam, schedule it on the Cisco or Pearson VUE websites. You may book your exam up to six weeks in advance. To finish the exam, take a proctored online test or go to a Pearson VUE testing center. Online exams need a steady internet connection and a calm environment. These exams also need the use of a computer equipped with a camera, Pearson VUE proctoring software, and government-issued identification. In-person examinations are administered at recognized testing centers around the country. To find the nearest Pearson VUE testing location, go to the Pearson VUE website.

The standard CCNA certification test has a time restriction of 120 minutes and a passing score of at least 80%. There aren’t any.

6. Renew your certification every three years

Your CCNA credentials are good for three years. After three years, you can recertify by taking a recertification test or submitting continuing education credits. By completing specified activities, such as extra training courses or Item Author tests, you can earn continuing education credits. Visit the Cisco website to find the comprehensive recertification catalog guide. You must keep track of your certification status and complete the CCNA renewal process on time. Sign in to your Cisco account to keep track of this information.

CCNA Exam Preparation

ccna requirements

Passing the Cisco 200-301 test necessitates extensive preparation. Given this, we’ve compiled a list of study tips to assist you earn a decent mark.

Gain Practical Experience

While this may not be a possibility for everyone, because the CCNA has no prerequisites, it is nevertheless recommended to have some practical networking experience. This will offer you an advantage over other students who have little to no understanding of the subject at hand, as well as assist keep your anxiety in check, as everyone feels apprehensive during exam circumstances!

As you prepare for the test, you should apply theoretical knowledge to real-world troubleshooting and networking situations. Many individuals are aware that IP is untrustworthy, but the real challenge is discovering alternate communication troubleshooting between nodes via IP.

Find Your Best Self-Study Technique

Professionals nowadays have hectic work schedules and may be unable to attend class in a traditional manner. This indicates that they are enthusiastic about self-study to prepare for the exam. This training strategy can either benefit or hurt you. Self-study alternatives include video courses, hands-on lab instruction, and practice examinations. Because you cannot implement them, you must select the optimal learning strategy for you. The right strategy will help you study the topics presented on the test and pass it.

Create a Study Schedule

Many people do not stick to a study routine, and as a result, they waste their time. You must guarantee that one is created as quickly as feasible. A suitable CCNA test preparation strategy for novices would include reading Cisco Press books on the subject as well as other study materials such as official Cisco webinars.

Understand the CCNA Exam Syllabus

The domains of the Cisco 200-301 test should serve as your study basis. As previously said, you should base your Cisco 200-301 test preparation on its domains. Go to the CCNA website and obtain the official test blueprint to get a sense of what to expect on the certification exam.

Study Materials

There are several online courses available to help you prepare for the CCNA test. There may also be in-person classes available at your local community college that will do the same thing.

Cisco provides an online course called Implementing and Administering Solutions to assist you pass the CCNA test. The cost of the course is $800.

You may study the Computer Communications specialty on Coursera for a comprehensive introduction to networking, or you can choose individual courses to specialize in specific skills such as TCP/IP or packet switching networks. Though the specialty will not expressly prepare you for the CCNA, you will learn a lot about computer networks.


ccna requirements

Final Words

In conclusion, meeting the CCNA requirements is a crucial step towards advancing your career in networking. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced professional, understanding the exam and education requirements, as well as the benefits of obtaining a CCNA certification, can help you achieve your goals. By following the tips and resources outlined in this guide on CCNA requirements, you’ll be well-prepared to take on the exam and succeed in the exciting field of networking. Best of luck in your CCNA journey!