Cisco CCNA v2.0 120-200 Certification Exam Changes

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Certification Kits President and CCNA Study Guide author Bob Bello discusses the changes to the CCNA Certification Exam.

There has a been a lot of discussion and confusion surrounding what the Cisco CCNA exam changes will mean to students who are currently studying for their CCNA certification. So hopefully this can make it very easy for readers to understand while assisting in obtaining the CCNA certification.

The first thing one may notice is that the name of the certification has changed from simply Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) to CCNA Routing & Switching to signify a switch in Cisco’s new certification structure. What do they mean by this? Well specifying the particular discipline one has their Cisco certification in marries up with the structure that was first put in place at the CCIE level. There one will note they offered CCIEs in different disciplines such as Routing & Switching, Voice, Security, Wireless, Service Provider and Data Center. This then filtered down to the CCNP certification with the same designations of Routing & Switching, Voice, Security, etc. These have been in place the past few years. Now after 5 plus years Cisco has updated the CCNA certification and the new name is CCNA Routing & Switching. This also compliments the CCNA Voice, Wireless, Security, etc certifications that have been in place for the past year or two. So now exam takers can see why it is not a surprise that the name was changed as it makes total sense!

What has stayed the same is that exam takers can either take two separate exams that break the material up to obtain their CCNA R&S certification or they can take the single composite exam covering all the material in one exam.

What has changed is the exam numbers and the content on each exam. If one goes with the two exam option they will take the new ICND1 exam number 100-101. Upon passing this exam, they will obtain their CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) certification. Previously there was not much prestige in this certification as it was viewed as nothing more than a stepping stone to the CCNA certification. But Cisco has really changed that now! Why is that? Well Cisco has made the CCNA certification process much harder now! They did this by taking approximately 75% of the historical ICND2 exam content and put it in the new ICND1 exam. So now to get the CCENT and pass the ICND1 exam it is required to know almost all the material from the ICND1 and ICND2 exam. So what changed?

Removed from the new ICND1 exam are RIP, SDM, Shared LANs, Wireless and Security as the latter two are now fully covered in the CCNA Wireless and CCNA Security exams.

Added to the ICND1 exam is a TON of IPv6 questions. Know the IPv6 basics, theory and how to properly configure a router to support IPv6. Also moved over to the ICND1 exam is VLSM, VLANs, Inter-VLAN Routing, Trunking, ACLs, NAT, and OSPF Area topics.

So why did Cisco cram all this information into the ICND1 exam? Simply because it is now the new prerequisite for the second level CCNA certifications discussed before such as CCNA Routing & Switching, CCNA Voice, CCNA Security, and CCNA Data Center. See how it is all starting to fall into place? But don’t worry, as stated before, Cisco has retained the option to obtain the CCNA Routing & Switching certification in a single composite exam number 200-120. But more on that in a minute.

So what were the changed to the ICND2 200-101 exam? Well Cisco moved NAT, VLSM and Inter-VLAN Routing into the ICND2 exam. Cisco also removed the Security concepts that are now covered in the CCNA Security track. They also added a plethora of new topics such as OSPFv3 and Multi-Area OSPF, EtherChannel, Layer 3 Redundancy, Syslog, Cisco NetFlow, Cisco Licensing, and Troubleshooting of VLANS, EIGRP, IPv4 and IPv6. This is very similar to the TSHOOT troubleshooting exam in the CCNP track, just condensed at the CCNA level.

So it should go without saying if exam takers go with the single composite 200-120 exam option it will include all the changes to the exam noted above. Hopefully this overview was able to provide great insight on the changes to the Cisco CCNA certification exam!

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Bob Bello
since: 05/2012
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