Numerous individuals take the globally recognized Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification to become accomplished networking professionals. This certification helps them meet the increased business demands and gives their career an edge. If you are someone who wants to take this exam, then do read on. As here we have curated a list of 10 ways in which you can ace the Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification.
- Get an Understanding of the Basics
To become CCNA Routing and Switching certified, one must have a proper understanding of the basics. Even though there is no official eligibility criteria for taking this certification exam, it goes without saying that an individual must possess basic computer skills and should know about networking.
He or she will have to get accustomed to a plethora of networking terms and will also have to practice on real Cisco devices to be able to handle things in the real environment. The ones with a strong foundation of networking can easily opt for self-study, while others can take help from the training programs. You can check some CCNA Security programs as well because you can find secure network infrastructure topics intersections there.
- Focus on Important Topics
All the 60-70 questions asked in the CCNA Routing and Switching certification exams are based on the fundamentals of networking. And, since networking is a vast topic, there are a lot of things that you will have to learn to be able to clear this CCNA exam in your first attempt.
Some of the important topics that you should pay extra attention to are WAN technologies, routing protocols, LAN switching technologies, OCI and TCP/IP models, installing, operating as well as troubleshooting branch network, IP addressing, IP routes and traffic, frame relay connections and few others. It is crucial to have proper knowledge of all of these topics to be able to become CCNA certified in your first attempt.
- Decide Which Exams to Pass
Primarily, there are two ways to earn this highly-acclaimed certification. You can either take 200-125 CCNA exam or, alternatively take 2 exams namely 100-105 ICND1 and 200-105 ICND2. Whether you want to pass the entire exam in one go or pass 2 composite exams, the choice is all yours to make. Few people prefer giving the 2 exams while others opt for just 1. Evaluate your knowledge base and skill set prior to deciding which exam to opt for achieving the certification.
- Practice Mock Tests
Mock tests are essential as they give you an idea about the quality of questions that get asked in this certification exam. They not just test your grasp on the network fundamentals but also help you recognize the problem areas. Practicing can help you discover your strong and weak points. Select the top-reviewed question database that not just share the answer but also provide an explanation. This will further help you expand your knowledge base.
- Time Yourself
Finishing the CCNA Routing and Switching exam on time is extremely important, as you will just get 90 minutes to answer all the questions. Even if you know all the answers but are not able to do it in a timely manner, then you will end up failing. That is the reason why it is imperative to time yourself while taking the practice tests.
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- Use Practice Labs
In order to master the skill set required to pass CCNA Routing and Switching exam(s), one must practice on real devices, but if you are unable to do so then it is wise to use practice labs. These labs have tutorials that help you get accustomed to the design of a device and how to use or fix it. Using practice labs can help you get the simulation questions right in the certification exam.
- Training Programs
While a few skilled networkers prefer preparing for the exam by themselves, many like to sign up for training programs that can help an individual not just prepare for this globally recognized exam but also ace it. There are free as well as paid training programs that one can go for. These programs have segregated tutorials that target the key topics often asked in the CCNA Routing and Switching certification exams.
The paid programs provide updated study materials, reference guides, and simulations. If you are not confident with your knowledge base and skill set, then you can opt for these programs to hone your skills and acquire the required knowledge to earn this certification and advance your career further.
- Dedicate Yourself Completely
It is no secret that Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching exams are difficult as they comprise of various types of questions that test the candidate’s networking knowledge and skills. To be able to earn this certification, you would have to completely dedicate yourself. Get reading materials, prepare note cards, practice mock tests online, get real Cisco devices and practice on them to be able to correctly answer the simulation questions.
There are innumerable CCNA reference guides and study materials available online. Equip yourself with proper knowledge and also get hands-on experience on the devices to pass this certification exam(s) easily.
- Set a Date
Be careful while scheduling the exam to make sure that you have enough time for preparation. If you are a networking engineer, then you would already know a lot about the fundamentals in the domain of networking and a week or so would be enough for you to get ready for this associate-level certification exam. However, if your basics in the field are not strong, then you might need extra time for preparation. So, decide how much time you would require for studying and select the date accordingly.
- Stay Calm and Do Your Best
Lastly, your mental state can play a vital role on the day of the exam. It is crucial to stay calm to be able to answer all the 60-70 questions correctly and in a timely fashion. Being nervous and restless can only prove to be harmful. So, get a good night sleep the night before to be able to give your best to this highly-valued certification exam.
Keep all these points in mind and follow the tips to be able to earn your certification in the first attempt itself. With this certification, you will be able to stand out in your profession and broaden your networking knowledge and skill set.