Cisco Entry-Level Certifications and Exams

Cisco has announced changes to the CCNA certification and exams in June 2007. Before these changes are announced, the first entry-level Cisco certification was Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. In 2003, Cisco continued with a single certification (CCNA) but offered two certification options; a single exam option and a two-exam option.

Cisco has created a new entry-level certification named Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and has introduced the ICND1 (640-822), ICND2 (640-816), and CCNA (640-802) exams. The 640-802 exam is a single exam option for becoming a CCNA. You can also opt for the ICND1 and ICND2 exams to be certified as a CCNA. However, the ICND1 exam can be taken to achieve the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT).

You can choose either of the two paths for becoming CCNA:

  • Single Exam Option > Pass Exam 640-802 > CCNA
  • Two-Exam Option > Pass 640-822 (ICND1) > CCENT > Pass 640-816 (ICND2) > CCNA

The CCNA certification exhibits you have a firm foundation in the Cisco switches and routers. It also exhibits that you have broad knowledge of protocols and networking technologies.

Cisco Entry-Level Certifications and Exams

The CCENT/CCNA is a foundation and a beginning-level certification of networking. Possession of CCNA certification shows your ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN.

In order to pass the Cisco CCNA certification exam you are required to study hard and work on each and every objective set by CISCO. You should follow the tips given below:

  • Relax: Arrive early in the examination center and relax before the exam. No need to stress out yourself before taking the exam. A whole night sleep is very much required on previous night of the exam day. This will help you to concentrate and focus on your actual objective, exam.
  • Familiarize with exam software: If this is your first chance to appear in an online exam, make use of option to familiarize yourself with the exam interface. Alternatively, there are lots of vendors providing exam simulation software, you can pick any of them and get the feel of actual exam. You can download free exam sample from
  • Be Careful: Cisco tests no longer allow a candidate to mark questions for later review. So be sure of your actions before you move to the next question.
  • Manage Your Time: Divide total time with total number of questions. Keep in mind that this is the maximum time you can spend on a question. Remember, some of the question will come across that will be lengthy and will eat most of your time. Simulations also require a good amount of time. Try to save time in each question. Be careful! You will get no second chance to review the question after jumping to the next question.
  • Attempt All: Here is a plus point for you. There is no negative marking in Cisco exams. So, attempt all the questions even if you don’t know. Use your guessing power but do some intelligent guessing. You should try to eliminate wrong answers before guessing. This will increase the probability of answering the question correctly.

Believe in yourself, if you have good attitude and a lot of studying, you will pass it in one go! Cheers!