2020 has brought a new path into the world of Cisco credentials. For the professionals seeking to get certified through the Cisco certification program, it is critical to understand the options available to them now. The major change in the whole pathway is the fact that there is no longer the CCNA specialization. This means if you want to specialize, you have to focus on the CCNP track. We’ll talk more about all these shortly. Before this, let’s take a quick look at the old certification program regarding Cisco Certified Network Associate.
Cisco Certification Path Before February 24, 2020
Before the launch of the new certification path on February 24, 2020, the candidates can choose several CCNA options, such as CCNA Cloud; CCNA Collaboration; CCNA Data Center; CCNA Service Provider; CCNA ExamSnap Practice CCNA Security; CCNA Routing & Switching; CCNA Wireless; and Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA). The last testing date for any of these credentials was February 23, 2020. This means that the individuals who have passed the required exam(s) on or before this date have earned their certificate. However, those students who didn’t pass it/them should have been tested based on the new curriculum for the new CCNA credential.
In addition to this, before the launch of the new Cisco pathway, the applicants can opt to obtain the CCENT certification before they pursue CCNA. However, the CCENT option has been scrapped. This means that those individuals who are the CCENT holders should have taken the 100-105 exam to get their CCNA before February 2020. For those students who have not passed the test before, they will be unable to earn their Cisco Certified Network Associate if they don’t pursue the new CCNA option. The good news is that for the specialists who completed the exams before February 23, instead of getting the old CCNA certificate, they will be awarded the new associate-level credential. So, what does the new CCNA certificate look like?
Overview of New Cisco CCNA Certification and Exam
Instead of the different specialization areas available in the old CCNA certification path, new CCNA is just one, and you only have to pass one exam to earn it. The new test is Cisco 200-301. The new CCNA credential validates a wide range of skills and knowledge and its exam focuses on programmability and automation, as well as security and networking fundamentals.
The new certification exam, Cisco 200-301 CCNA, lasts about 120 minutes, covering a wide range of topics, including security, routing & switching, programming concepts, and wireless networking. Basically, the curriculum for this test has been changed, which means that if you were preparing for the old exam and were unable to pass it before its retirement date, you will have to ditch the content you have studied and focus on the new one to help you ace the new CCNA test. The syllabus for Cisco 200-301 includes:
- Networking Fundamentals: it covers cabling, IPv4 & IPv6, UDP and TCP, and of course, routers & switches.
- IP Services: it entails NP, SNMP, QoS, and DCHP.
- IP Connectivity: it covers OSPFv2 and IP routing.
- Network Access: it focuses on EtherChannel, trunking, and VLANs.
- Security Fundamentals: it includes wireless security, port security and VPNs.
- Automation & Programmability: it entails REST APIs, JSON, Puppet, SDN, and Chef.
If you were preparing for the old CCNA path, you would notice that a lot of topics have been removed from the curriculum. The old objectives that are not included in the new certification exam content include Network Fundamentals (OSI Model); Routing (Inter-VLAN routing), LAN Switching (Stack, VTP, and Frame); RIPv2, OSPFv3 and EIGRP); and WAN (WAN access, PPP, PPPoE, BGP, GRE, and MLPPP).
Cisco 200-301 CCNA Exam Details
Cisco 200-301 is a 120-minute exam. Cisco did not publish the number of questions to be expected in the delivery of this test but the types of questions can be the following: multiple choice (including single & multiple answers), testlets, and gimlets. The passing score for the test will be about 800-850 on a scale of 1000. The certification exam is available in English and Japanese. To register for this CCNA test, you should go through the Pearson VUE website. When you pass Cisco 200-301, you will be awarded the new CCNA credential. Essentially, there is no prerequisite to this associate-level certificate and you only should pass this exam in order to qualify for the certification.
After earning your CCNA, you can proceed to pursue CCNP. This professional-level certification path includes CCNP Enterprise (which is similar to the old CCNP Routing & Switching credential); CCNP Service Provider; CCNP Security; CCNP Collaboration; CCNP Data Center. So, instead of eight specializations in the old track, there are just five in the new one. It is important to mention that the CCNA certificate is no longer a prerequisite for earning CCNP in the new certification program. However, you still need to have sufficient skills and knowledge of the CCNA exam topics to achieve success in your CCNP test. This means that although you may not take the Cisco 200-301 exam before passing the CCNP certification test, you have to learn its topics to be able to pass the professional-level exam. This brings us to preparations for Cisco 200-301. So, how do you prepare for your test to ensure success at the first attempt?
Two Best Sources for Cisco 200-301 Exam Preparation
Before taking Cisco 200-301 CCNA, it is crucial that you take the appropriate steps to prepare for the exam so you don’t have to retake it. There are many sources that provide the students with great study materials, but they should choose the ones that are reliable. Such platforms are highlighted below:
- Cisco: The official website has a wide range of resources that you can use for your exam preparation, including video training, eBooks, study guides, instructor-led training courses, among others.
- Examsnap: You can find a lot of preparation tools to help you nail your Cisco 200-301 exam on the first try. The resources you will get include training courses, practice tests, study guides, exam simulator, video tutorials, and braindumps.
We hope this article helps you learn all the details regarding the Cisco 200-301 exam and the CCNA certification. If there are some things that are unclear, please visit the official website to get a full picture of the new CCNA certification path.