CCNA 200-301 certification is now only a single exam that is 120-minutes in duration and approximately 100 questions. There are significant changes to the new CCNA syllabus. Candidates have the option of either in-person or online testing.
Exam Topics Removed
The new CCNA syllabus is based on six knowledge domains and multiple topics per domain. There are no simulation labs on the new exam or any troubleshooting topics. Cisco has moved all troubleshooting, so that CCNA is really a foundational exam. The following is a list of topics removed and no longer tested. It should be noted that some unscored questions could appear from older topics.
OSI Model, Ethernet Frame, Switch Stacking, VTP
EIGRP, Inter-VLAN Routing, OSPFv3, BGP, RIPv2
PPP, MLPPP, PPPoE, GRE, APIC-EM, IOS, IP SLA
All Network Troubleshooting Topics
New CCNA Exam Topics!
Cisco CCNA 200-301 includes a significant number of new topics including wireless, automation, and cyber security. That is attributed to popularity of mobile devices, cloud, and SDN architecture. You will notice how words such as describe, explain, and compare are used in the syllabus. There are also configuration topics as well for traditional core topics. Refer to the red highlighted topics with the listed syllabus for new topics.
Cisco is aligning the new CCNA exam with a shift to monolithic IPonly connectivity and Cisco DNA Center automation. The management of network infrastructure is now based on SDN architecture. Cisco devices support programmable features and virtualization of network services.
It is important to dispel the marketing hype that often surrounds CCNA certification. OSPFv2 is the only routing protocol, however you should know administrative distance for EIGRP, RIP, BGP, and IS-IS routing protocols. It is part of route selection topic assigned to IP connectivity.
Cisco CCNA certification has become increasingly complex with questions from multiple knowledge domains and topics. The following are some recommendations to score your best on the new CCNA exam.
CCNA Practice Tests
Practice tests are essential and when designed properly should verify what you have learned and your exam readiness. They are well worth the cost. You should verify your skills before going into an exam that is $300 USD. The practice tests should have labs to practice operational commands and configuration. Each practice test should include the correct percentage of questions per topic. Practice until you score at least 85% and have honed your time management skills properly.
CCNA Question Types
Multiple Choice – Select the correct answer from multiple options.
Multiple Selection – Select more than one correct answer from multiple options.
Drag and Drop –Match a list of items such as protocols for example with the correct description.
Unscored – Cisco will ask questions on the CCNA exam that are not listed with the official syllabus. They are for research purposes only and do not count toward your final exam score.
Exam Day Recommendations
The testing center will give you double-sided laminated paper at the beginning of the exam. Request 3-5 of them so you are not interrupting your exam.
There is a 15-minute tutorial before the exam starts. Use that time to create your whiteboard notes. It is a collection of facts and figures that you have for quick reference. The online testing option provides a digital whiteboard.
Subnetting is a key aspect of the CCNA exam for a variety of questions. It is easy as well to make mistakes when converting between binary and decimal values. Write at least all class C subnets on paper when the exam starts. Include the subnetting table and binary table shown for quick conversions.
burn time with a question you could only guess on. Take your best guess and
move on to the next question.
Do not click Next until you are satisfied with your answer and ready for the next question. There is no review allowed or navigation permitted to a previous question.
Do not waste time considering your answers from previous questions. There is no back button or end of test question review with CCNA exam.
questions are sometimes comprised of convoluted wording, drawings and show
command listings. Consider fundamentally what the question is testing.
Read each question a couple of times carefully (to make a well worn point). Note the subtleties with each question that Cisco employs and what the question is really asking.
CCNA Sample Question
The following is an example of wording for a typical CCNA style question.
Q. What command will verify that a router interface is operational (up/up) and responding on a router?
A. show running-config
B. show ip interface brief
The key word responding is used here and that implies sending a packet to an interface and verifying that it is up.
The command show running-config is wrong. You are at the router and can only verify the interface is configured correctly. It is an administrative command that does not verify the interface is responding to arriving packets.
The command show ip interface brief is wrong. You are at the router so there is no send/return of packets and cannot confirm the interface is responding to arriving packets.
Telnet option is inconclusive. Device requires a Telnet configuration. You would not know if the problem was with the Telnet configuration (application layer), ACL filter (application layer) somewhere or the interface (Layer 1-Layer 3).
Ping is best answer. The ICMP packet is sent to the interface and returns with either destination unreachable or packets received to confirm the router interface is operational. You can ping any interface configured with an IPv4 address or IPv6 address.