The CCNA certification is considered to be at the foundational level of Cisco’s hierarchy of certifications, so there would be no technical prerequisites for the CCNA exam. This means that you don’t have to take any previous exams before you would be able to qualify as CCNA-certified. However, there are some age restrictions for any Cisco certification:
- For Under 13 years — Cannot sit for the exam even with parental consent
- For 13-17 years — Can sit for the exam with parental consent
- For 18 years and above — No age restrictions
Even though there would be no prerequisites from Cisco’s end, the CCNA exam (200-125) might be better suited to those with one to two years of networking experience. This should not discourage those who do not have any hands-on experience and still want to take the exam; you will only need to work harder and use the tools available to you, such as GNS3 and Packet Tracer. Along with the preparation materials, you would also require a good and reliable training provider like the SPOTO Club.
What Study Materials Would You Need to Get Started?
- Start with self-paced videos so that you can cover a lot of ground quickly. This is especially useful if you are new to networking. Seeing concepts explained visually does a lot to aid in the understanding of such concepts. However, do not rely solely on these training videos because it is easy to miss important concepts when watching videos. This is because training videos would be generally focused on more practical aspects of an exam as well as can gloss over the theoretical topics which would be required to pass the exam.
- Get the Official Certification Guide (OCG) for the CCNA exam. If you would be only reading one guide, this should be it because it is the only self-study guide that Cisco would be approving. These guides are usually considered to be quite bulky but are worth the effort. They would be available in various formats (ebook, hardcover) from Cisco Press and other bookstores, like Amazon.
- Labs. Videos, as well as study guides, couldn’t replace hands-on experience. This would be used to be tricky because it meant you would be needed access to expensive devices like routers and switches. Thankfully, simulator/emulator tools such as GNS3, Packet Tracer, and Cisco VIRL would have changed the game. As an estimate, about 90% of the CCNA exam content could be practiced with a combination of these tools.
- Practice tests. Unless you would be using dumps, no practice test could ever show you the exact questions that would come out on the real exam. The best you could gain from practice tests would be to know what kinds of questions to expect on the real exam. You could check out the training courses offered at the SPOTO Club.
How Should I Prepare for the CCNA?
There would be generally two ways you could prepare for the CCNA exam; these methods aren’t mutually exclusive:
- Self-study by utilizing the OCG, watching videos, etc.
- Training which would be including boot camps and live training sessions
External training options would cost more than self-study, as well as they might not be available in your location. However, they generally do well in the area of time as well as increase your chance of success in the exam. Hence, if you wish to obtain good and guaranteed results, you should opt for the training courses which are being offered at the SPOTO Club. They have a team of experts, who have about 16 years of experience, who provides the training so as to help the candidates to clear their certification in a single attempt.