What’s new in the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) the world’s most popular networking certification update? Jidaw notes that the old exams were discontinued on 1 October 2013; 640-802 is no longer available. It has been replaced by the 200-120 CCNA exam. What are the issues that matter?
For us at Jidaw the official description is still largely the same. The exam tests “the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks.”
Routing and Switching certification is a question, a statement, a challenge – prove that you can install, monitor, and troubleshoot networks. The focus is on foundational network expertise that adds value. During training at our Mastercomputers center we tell the trainee that the course is meant to challenge your grounding in the fundamentals of networking by validating your understanding of and ability to work with concepts and techniques such as IP, EIGRP, Serial Line Interface Protocol, Frame Relay, VLANs, OSPF, Ethernet, and access control lists. Your ability use IOS to manage Cisco devices is assessed, and of course it is expected that you have the ability to perform extensive troubleshooting.
Candidates still have the choice of achieving the certification through the one exam (combined) route or through the two exam route. Option 1 – pass both Exam 100-101 ICND1 and Exam 200-101 INCD2, while Option 2 – pass the composite Exam 200-120 CCNA.
Change in Title
The former CCNA is changed to a specialty and is now titled “CCNA Routing and Switching”. Exam codes have all changed – ICND 1 code from “640-822? to “100-101”, ICND 2 code from “640-816” to “200-101”, while the composite exam, code previously “640-802,” is now “200-120.” Exam duration remains the same for all exams, while the only change in number of questions is in ICND 2 which now has between 50 to 60 questions rather than the previous 40 to 60 questions. For the composite exam, the number of questions and the duration of the exam still remains the same – 90 minutes for 40 to 50 questions.
A strong, loud and clear message hears from Jidaw through this update is the need to provide a foundation for network specialization. This can be seen from an analysis of the ICND1 and ICND2 exams. Such an assessment covers the new composite exam since it is essentially a combination of the two ICND exams.
Jidaw notes that the process required to achieve a specialized CCNA (Voice, Wireless, Security) is now reduced. Previously, candidates had to pass both the ICND1 and ICND2 to achieve CCNA and then take the additional specialization exam to achieve the specialist CCNA certifications.ICND1, the first ICND exam (CCENT), is now the only exam required before embarking on a desired specialized exam. Specialization candidates don’t need to take the composite exam, ICND1 alone will do. The value of ICND1 has been enhanced by shifting a significant amount of material from ICND2 into ICND1.
For us at Jidaw, the objective is to reduce the steps required to achieve a specialty certification (two exams instead of three). Cisco aims to meet the growing market demand for foundational level specialized expertise in routing and switching, voice, wireless and security.
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Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT at Jidaw
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