Important Things You Need to do Before Opting for CCNA Certification

With exams like CCNA, the best way to approach preparation is to divide it into smaller sections. Sometimes we can get so caught up with the idea of success that we take huge and unrealistic steps. Initially, it may seem like the most ingenious idea, but eventually, one regrets such decisions. Always climb one step at a time. It not only prevents burnout but also increases one’s chances of success. The first step is to gather all the important information about a CCNA course that can help you solidify your foundation. 

Here’s a post that will share everything you need to know before opting for Cisco CCNA Certification. 

Learn a basic Networking course

Computer Networking (usually called networking) refers to interconnected devices that are able to exchange information and data, following the communication protocols. There are 2 types of Computer Network Architecture – Client-Server Architecture and Peer-to-Peer Architecture.

Although this is included in the official CCNA course curriculum, many choose to skip this part. This is not a wise approach. The smartest decision to prepare for an exam is by strengthening the foundation. In the case of CCNA certification, this can be done by staying crystal clear about networking basics. 

Learning the basics of networking is especially important while preparing for the CCNA. The basics also identify a candidate’s interest and ability in a subject. This leads to better exam preparation by helping candidates understand the process inside out and improves their critical skills.

Considering taking CompTIA

Cisco CCNA and CompTIA are similar in many ways. Many candidates find it easier to crack CCNA once they clear CompTIA because of the similar curriculum. However, the time and effort required to study for CompTIA Network+ are less. Other reasons to first opt for CompTIA Network+ are as follows:

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CompTIA Network+CCNA
CompTIA Network+ requires less in-depth knowledgeCCNA requires more in-depth knowledge
CompTIA requires less preparation timeCCNA requires more preparation time 
Performance-Based Questions are easierPerformance-Based questions are harder.
Experience is not mandatoryExperience is mandatory

Use Packet Tracer

Cisco Packet Tracer is a tool designed to provide network simulation which helps people practice simple and complicated networks. Cisco developed and built this tool to help students practice networking as proficiency can only be acquired with practice.

Most instructors in the CCNA course use packet tracers to train the students for CCNA. The software is recommended for students who prefer self-study. The tool can be downloaded from Though the tool is limited in nature, the commands and configurations are similar to those asked on the exam.

Install a WiFi

Knowledge is useless unless it is put to good use. This concept stands true for the CCNA  Certification Exam as well. So, install WiFi and practice working with it. Modern WiFi is cheap and has many networking protocols, making it the perfect device to implement newly gained knowledge. This practice will help one score well in the exam, but it will also strengthen networking skills.

Complete Multiple Labs

Once the Packet Tracer is downloaded, the next step is to start completing the Labs. Students enrolled in the CCNA course online would have access to dozens of labs and the step-by-step guide. In addition, hundreds of online labs are available for students to prepare independently. Proper research will land the right resources within minutes. 

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Watching subject experts’ videos for a number of configurations on tricky and complex networking questions will also be beneficial in completing the labs. Try working on the maximum number of labs possible to build networking skills to tackle the variety of situations that a candidate may face during the actual CCNA exam.

Work with real-life equipment

This is not a mandatory step as many colleges don’t provide real-life equipment to prepare for the CCNA exam. Moreover, this is not possible for students who study on their own. However, circumstances permitting, it is best to work with real-life equipment as this will reinforce one’s knowledge and boost confidence too.

About CCNA

CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. This networking certification helps candidates enter IT fields such as – network administrator, network engineer, and network specialist. In addition, Cisco offers an online course called ‘Implementing and Administering Solutions,’ which helps students clear the exam. This CCNA course fees is $800.

Candidates can land both entry-level and higher-level jobs in networking roles. The CCNA certification exam is offered in two languages – English and Japanese. It is 120 minutes long and covers the following topics:

  • Automation and programmability (10%)
  • IP services (10%)
  • Security fundamentals (15%)
  • Network fundamentals (20%)
  • Network access (20%)
  • IP connectivity (25%)

There are no specific prerequisites to appear for the certification, but CCNA training is recommended. According to Cisco reports, aspirants generally have the following:

  • Basic knowledge of IP addressing
  • Knowledge of network fundamentals
  • 1 year of experience using and implementing Cisco products and solutions
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CCNA certification cost is $300 inclusive of taxes. In addition, students can take advantage of both free, easily accessible configuration videos as well as paid resources to maximize their test performance. 


The CCNA certification not only opens the door to networking success; it also allows you to advertise yourself as a networking expert—with a global reputation. In addition, the certification validates your knowledge of your non-certified colleagues.

The CCNA courses give you access to high-quality, self-paced learning content produced by industry professionals, as well as industry-related projects and simulation examinations. The course aims to provide you with everything you need to pass the exam by assisting you in understanding concepts such as LAN, VLAN, IP addressing, and routing. 

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