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CCNA stands for “Cisco Certified Network Associate” and is one of the mid-range certifications that Cisco offers those interested in the function and behavior of networks. It is intended to allow them to better understand the network architecture that Cisco installs on all of its servers and in all of its networking software. CCNA training classes are an essential part of any network administrator’s training, since almost all systems will incorporate Cisco hardware and software at some point.
CCNA Class Information
The objective of CCNA classes is to give an employee a level of understanding well beyond even advanced users. Students are expected to already be quite familiar with Cisco systems and other networking software and hardware, since the objective of CCNA certification is to ensure that anyone who can earn the certificate is particularly able to keep networks up and running no matter what happens. It is considered essential training for anyone employed in large-scale network management, and it would be highly advisable for large, IT based companies to ensure a large amount of their network staff has such certification and renews it every three years. By doing so, such companies can ensure that their networks remain up and undamaged by attacks from the outside, especially as CCNA training involves learning how to counter attacks from hackers and viruses.
CCNA classes are designed to be fun and engaging as well as a great source of learning. At the end of each series of classes, students are encouraged to give Cisco ideas for how the class can be better taught. The program is updated annually to reflect both these suggestions and advances in networking technology. This means that the program is far from the sort of bland, dry, question-and-quiz based programs which most companies use when certifying programmers in their technology. CCNA classes are more likely to involve games, group activities and programming puzzles than they are boring lectures, although there is of course a lot of reading. CCNA certification is more about theory than practice, since most of the students are persons who are already experienced when it comes to maintaining and using computer networks.
CCNA certification is obtained at the end of the course by passing a series of exams or the one exam option. There is some choice in which exam a student takes for certification, and a number of pre-tests are available for each exam. Regardless of which type of exam they choose, all students who pass the exam will receive CCNA certification, although they may receive a different grade and different type of certification depending on how well they do. CCNA classes are offered by Cisco itself as well as through some affiliated third-party programs and online universities. They are available during standard business hours, as well as during nights and weekends for working professionals.
The CCNA Exam Unveiled
Obtaining a certification to practice is important in any field to up one's viability and validity as a professional. Receiving a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is no different. Putting the time into preparing for and completing a CCNA certification demonstrates an aptitude for professionalism and success, which is exactly what is needed of a Cisco Certified Network Associate. Nonetheless, simply completing coursework to prepare is not enough. Successful completion of this examination requires forethought and planning, preparation and dedication.
As does any exam, the CCNA exam is constructed in a specific way with particular information to demonstrate each individual candidate's disposition toward certification. Understanding the composition of the exam as well as being aware of some of the specific topics covered will ensure greater success on an exam such as this.
Much like any other formal exam, the CCNA certification exam is constructed in a specific manner so as to render the most telling results of an individual's knowledge regarding Cisco systems. As such, the exam comprises a 90 minute testing period and is composed of approximately 45 to 55 questions, depending on the exam form. Each Cisco exam is constructed using a variety of text question formats including multiple choice single and multiple answer, drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, testlet, simulet, and simulations. (It is highly recommended that extra time be spent familiarizing oneself with the testlet, simulet, and simulations software utilized within the certification exam as these serve as an application form of assessment and are much different than other exam questions.)
In addition to inquiring about composition of the test, test-takers often question as to what the actual passing score is on a Cisco certification exam. While no set figure is available as Cisco basis scoring on a statistical analysis of the varying weighted test questions and responses, an approximate range of 80 to 85% is often suggested as a "target." Nonetheless, the most important aspect to focus on when preparing to test is simply knowing the material and systems. The CCNA certification exam is a comprehensive applications test, so being prepared is an absolute must.
In addition to looking at specific test structure, examining the various topics covered on the exam is also a beneficial study. To maintain the prestige of the Cisco program, the CCNA certification exam is frequently changed in content inclusion as well as question composition. However, to establish a relative certification process, the test itself is based largely on a set of core topics ranging from the OSI Reference Model to LAN Switching. Example topics include the purpose of each layer of the OSI Reference Model and understanding and articulating the difference between what devices create LANs and devices separate and connect them. When attempting to prepare in terms of content covered in the certification exam, reviewing the fundamental elements and their functions for each of the Cisco systems is crucial.
While the CCNA certification exam is quite comprehensive, adequate self-application and preparation can ensure success. Taking the time to not only know the information but also the test is a sure way to become the next Certified Cisco Network Assistant.
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