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CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate, which is a certification you can earn after taking the 120-minute exam administered by Cisco.
Why Take the Cisco CCNA (200-301) Exam?
Acquiring a Cisco Certified Network Associate certification is the very first step in the making of a career in IT technologies. In the process of achieving this certification, Cisco Certified Network Associate exam covers a vast spectrum of fundamentals of IT careers. This will generate myriad opportunities for the successors. Plus, Cisco has a history of working endlessly with a spirit to provide the best and timely solutions for networks since 1984. It was built by Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner, the pioneers of LAN(Local Area Networking). This makes it all the more reasonable and also reliable to choose them.
Who Should take the Cisco CCNA (200-301) Exam?
First thing first, the Cisco Certified Network Associate CCNA (200-301) certification exam is primarily for Engineers (network, telecommunications), technicians (network, network operations), and also, analysts (network, network operations center). Furthermore, this certification is also for educators, teachers, content makers, or anyone with the required skills. These skills are; viz, common key skills, like communication skills, troubleshooting skills, organizational skills, customer service skills, analytical skills, soft skills revolving Microsoft Office Suite and Cisco equilibrium, and also the knowledge of industry-specific tools. This certification is also recommended for candidates wanting to improve their predictability stats and career growth. Finally, the candidates who want to appear for the CCNP exam are also required to pass this exam.
With this, you are now well aware of the exam and its target audience. It’s now time to see what prior knowledge and experience is recommended to take the Cisco exam, and hence acquire the certification.
Recommend Knowledge and Prerequisite for Cisco CCNA (200-301) Exam
There are no formal prerequisites for CCNA certification, but you should have an understanding of the exam topics before taking the exam.
CCNA candidates often also have:
- One or more years of experience implementing and administering Cisco solutions
- Knowledge of basic IP addressing
- A good understanding of network fundamentals
Cisco Certified Network Associate exam requires no particular degree. However, we suggest you have one in Computer Science or Information Science. Though, if you plan to work directly after completing the certification, a degree in the respected fields mentioned above is required by the organizations. Therefore, a basic understanding of all the topics in the exam is also required.
Now let’s have a look at the basic structure of the Cisco CCNA (200-301) certification exam. Moreover, having a thorough knowledge of the exam pattern and the kind of questions asked, will certainly smoothen your exam preparation. So let’s check it out.
CCNA Practice Exam v1.0 (CCNA 200-301) is a 60-minute exam associated with the CCNA certification. This exam tests a candidate’s knowledge and skills related to network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability. The course, Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA), helps candidates prepare for this exam.
The Cisco Certified Network Associate CCNA (200-301) certification exam covers the following domains –
Domain 1: Network Fundamentals (20%)
- Firstly, explain the role and function of network components
- Describe characteristics of network topology architectures
- Compare physical interface and cabling types
- Identify interface and cable issues (collisions, errors, mismatch duplex, and/or speed)
- Compare TCP to UDP
- Configure and verify IPv4 addressing and subnetting
- Describe the need for private IPv4 addressing
- Configure and verify IPv6 addressing and prefix
- Also, compare IPv6 address types
- Verify IP parameters for Client OS (Windows, Mac OS, Linux)
- Describe wireless principles
- Explain virtualization fundamentals (virtual machines)
- Finally, describe switching concepts
Domain 2: Network Access (20%)
- Firstly, configure and verify VLANs (normal range) spanning multiple switches
- Configure and verify Interswitch connectivity
- Configure and verify Layer 2 discovery protocols (Cisco Discovery Protocol and LLDP)
- Then, configure and verify (Layer 2/Layer 3) EtherChannel (LACP)
- Describe the need for and basic operations of Rapid PVST+ Spanning Tree Protocol and identify basic operations
- Compare Cisco Wireless Architectures and AP modes
- Also, describe physical infrastructure connections of WLAN components (AP, WLC, access/trunk ports, and LAG)
- Describe AP and WLC management access connections (Telnet, SSH, HTTP, HTTPS, console, and TACACS+/RADIUS)
- Configure the components of a wireless LAN access for client connectivity using GUI only such as WLAN creation, security settings, QoS profiles, and advanced WLAN settings
Domain 3: IP Connectivity (25%)
- Firstly, interpret the components of the routing table
- Determine how a router makes a forwarding decision by default
- Configure and verify IPv4 and IPv6 static routing
- Then, configure and verify single area OSPFv2
- Finally, describe the purpose of first-hop redundancy protocol
Domain 4: IP Services (10%)
- Firstly, configure and verify inside source NAT using static and pools 2019 Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Configure and verify NTP operating in a client and server mode
- Explain the role of DHCP and DNS within the network
- Then, explain the function of SNMP in network operations
- Describe the use of Syslog features including facilities and levels
- Also, configure and verify DHCP client and relay
- Explain the forwarding per-hop behavior (PHB) for QoS such as classification, marking, queuing, congestion, policing, shaping
- Configure network devices for remote access using SSH
- Finally, describe the capabilities and function of TFTP/FTP in the network
Domain 5: Security Fundamentals (15%)
- Firstly, define key security concepts (threats, vulnerabilities, exploits, and mitigation techniques)
- Describe security program elements (user awareness, training, and physical access control)
- Configure device access control using local passwords
- Describe security password policies elements, such as management, complexity, and password alternatives (multifactor authentication, certificates, and biometrics)
- Then, describe remote access and site-to-site VPNs
- Configure and verify access control lists
- Configure Layer 2 security features (DHCP snooping, dynamic ARP inspection, and port security)
- Also, differentiate authentication, authorization, and accounting concepts
- Describe wireless security protocols (WPA, WPA2, and WPA3)
- Finally, configure WLAN using WPA2 PSK using the GUI
Domain 6: Automation and Programmability (10%)
- Firstly, explain how automation impacts network management
- Compare traditional networks with controller-based networking
- Describe controller-based and software-defined architectures (overlay, underlay, and fabric)
- Then, compare traditional campus device management with Cisco DNA Center enabled device management
- Also, describe characteristics of REST-based APIs (CRUD, HTTP verbs, and data encoding)
- Recognize the capabilities of configuration management mechanisms Puppet, Chef, and Ansible
- Finally, interpret JSON encoded data
Preparation Guide for the Cisco CCNA (200-301) Exam
After covering the exam details and course outline, we shall now move onto the most important path in your journey towards your destination. You are going to take an exam, that took you long stretches of persistent hard work and constant motivation. So, you must know what field you need to work upon harder to achieve success. Moreover, framing a proper study plan will help you a lot in acquiring the certification.
We’d suggest you to first revise your Cisco Website
Following are the resources to be found on the Cisco website –
- CCNA At-a-glance (in a PDF format – 68 KB) – This will provide you with all the basic information of the course. Further, it showcases how the certification beneficial to you.
- Frequently asked questions (in a PDF format 405 KB) – This document will guide you through the journey. Hence, all your doubts regarding the exam will be solved here.
Taking a practice test is a great way to diversify your study strategy and ensure the best possible results for the real thing. Analyzing your answers will help you identify the areas where you need to give special attention to, and will also let you know your alignment with the exam objectives.
So start practicing for the Cisco Certified Network Associate CCNA (200-301) exam Now!