The Ultimate Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Study Guide

The Ultimate Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Study Guide

Well-respected and renowned, there’s no doubt that obtaining the Cisco Certified Network Associate Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA) certification can give you an edge over other candidates.

Unfortunately, as evidenced by the many posts about failing the exam, it’s also not a test to be undertaken lightly or where you can get away with cramming. To help out with this difficult (but still obtainable) certification, we’ve prepared an all-inclusive study guide to get you on the right path.

We’ll start out going over the exam’s format and objectives and then dive into study materials. If you’re just here for the study guides, jump ahead here. For the rest of you, welcome! This is the ultimate guide to the CCNA exam.

Jump to study guides, supplemental materials, flashcards/apps, or textbooks.

Why Take the CCNA?

It’s true that there are a number of other reputable networking certification such as CompTIA’s Network+. However, while this could be a good choice depending on your career goals, Cisco certifications are notoriously hard and held in high regard by recruiters and hiring managers.

If you’ve had some experience in IT and want to take your networking career to the next level, the CCNA is the way to get there. As for your career outlook with a CCNA, here’s the rundown:

  • Mean salary: $80,873
  • Most common job titles:

With the demand for network and computer systems administrators expected to grow as much as 28 percent by 2020, it’s clear this is a career that’s not going anywhere soon. To learn more about our CCNA program, contact us at the link below.

Contact Us Here!

Exam Delivery & Overview

While there used to be a few different CCNA exams, there’s now just one exam to take to get this certification: 200-301 CCNA.

Simply put, the CCNA exam is no small feat. Read on for more info on the exam and lots of resources.

Exam Overview

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Exam Quick Facts

  • Exam Number: 200-301 CCNA
  • Associated Certifications: Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA)
  • Duration: 120 minutes
  • Cost: $300

The focus of the exam will be testing skills and knowledge relating to network fundamentals, LAN switching technologies, routing technologies, infrastructure services, and infrastructure maintenance, LAN switching technologies and expand to IPv4 and IPv6 routing technologies, WAN technologies, infrastructure services, and infrastructure maintenance.

The following are general guidelines for the content likely to be included on the exam.

Cisco CCNA Exam Study GuidesStudy Guides, Labs, and Other Resources

The Cisco website provides a robust amount of study materials, both free and paid, that you can use to prepare for the exam. You can find study materials for the CCNA exam here. Overall, the materials include training videos with industry experts, an up-to-date community with networking basics, practice questions, virtual labs, and more.

Supplementary Study Materials

If you’re interested in a specific topic, you can find more in-depth materials like this companion document on transitioning to IPv6. You can also find videos/seminars on specific concepts, and study groups. For more supplementary materials to keep in mind while you’re preparing for the exam, check out the Cisco blog here.

Flashcards & Apps


Study with an Expert

As you can see from this list, the amount of information out there about the CCNA can be overwhelming. While self-study works great for some, it’s nice to have some assurance when you’re about to take these exams.

At LeaderQuest, we provide quick, comprehensive training that can help you get certified, prepare for a new career, and get hired in a snap.

Looking to dive into a full schedule of classes? Or are you trying to work around a full-time job? We offer classes during the day, at night, online, and on campus to accommodate every schedule and learning style.

With live-virtual labs, a wealth of extra study materials, and industry-expert instructors, we provide you with everything you need to pass your exam. Afterwards, our dedicated Employment Relations Manager will work with you to improve your resume, LinkedIn profile and interviewing skills to help you get hired.

Looking for a chance to pass your CCNA exam, get your Cisco certification, and start a career in networking? Sign up at the link below!

Pass Your CCNA Exam!

Is it the Right Time to Get CCNA Security Training & Certification?

Is it the Right Time to Get CCNA Security Training & Certification?

With the way Cisco structures it’s certifications, after you’ve done your base-level certifications and completed two to four years actually working in IT, you’re ready to move up to the next level.

You’ve already learned the basics via either a CCT certification, a CCENT certification, or both, and you’ve got a solid foundation of work experience putting that knowledge into practice.

And now… you want something more.

Yes, you love your job and you know you’re good at what you do, but you want to advance your career to the next level.

You’re ready to move up from Cisco’s entry level certifications to their associate level.

You might have been inspired to get more certifications after seeing your HR department post a new job description that you don’t quite fit the requirements for, a job listing from your dream company, or you might have loftier career goals in mind that are even beyond this next step you want to take.

You want to advance from a general engineer to a specialist. To advance from simply fixing problems to proactively planning strategy and preventing problems.

You’ve learned a lot on the job, sure. But right now, there’s only a limited scope that your current position has to offer, and to advance to the next level, you need to spend some time getting your hands dirty experimenting in a classroom lab setting.

You need the learning time so you can prove to yourself (and any potential employer) that you’re ready and more than qualified to take on more advanced responsibilities.

And the easiest way to prove yourself? Get a few new IT certifications that show off exactly how well you know the things you’ve just learned!

Enter: CCNA Routing & Switching and CCNA Cisco Security Certifications

The CCNA Routing & Switching certification proves to employers that you’re capable of installing, configuring, operating, and trouble-shooting medium-sized routed and switched networks in a company setting.

The CCNA Security certification, on the other hand, is a network security cert that shows HR managers and your potential bosses that you know how to troubleshoot and monitor networks as a whole to maintain the confidentiality of the precious, sensitive data they’ve got living in their computer systems. It tells them that you’ll be able to instantly recognize and mitigate security threats, keeping their businesses safe from hackers.

These two certifications together, especially when studied for simultaneously, let you focus on the design, implementation, and monitoring of a holistic business network infrastructure.

In fact, these two work so well together that we’ve put together a custom-designed program for professionals like you to earn them quickly and efficiently.

And as a bonus, you also learn the required security policies and procedures using Cisco’s IOS technologies.

How We Structure Our Network Security Specialist Course to Learn Everything in Just Two Weeks

The base training period our students go through is 15 days of study from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, with four short breaks throughout the day. (You can see our upcoming schedules and locations here.)

It’s intensive, yes, but by putting everything back-to-back-to-back and following absolutely everything up with a hands-on lab to make sure you know how to practically implement the theory you’ve just learned, it’s hard to find a course structure that can beat it.

Plus, that dreaded stress of “I need to study so I can pass these tests” doesn’t drag on for months.

Our instructors who give lectures and lead lab discussions all have years of experience in the field and make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest of everything in network security and Cisco IOS, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not what you’re learning was outdated by some new technology update that actually released a year and a half ago.

Here’s the basic structure:

  • 5 days: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Level 1
  • 5 days: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Level 2 (CCNA R&S Certification)
  • 5 days: Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security (CCNA Security Certification)

Convincing HR to Pay Your Course Fees (Or Getting Other Financial Help)

Since this course is especially designed for IT employees looking for promotions, if your company has an open position, is expanding, or your boss had put in his notice, you may very well have a great chance at getting your HR department to cover your tuition fees for you. (Because no one likes to go through the hiring process.)

After all, they already know you fit in well with the company culture, and they’re happy with your commitment to your work and the company itself.

But, if you’re moving companies, there’s also plenty of payment options and/or government-based student aid if you qualify for it. (And if you want some help with it, just ask!)

Really, you’ve nothing to lose by getting in touch. Request some more information about the course today, or get in touch if you’d like us to answer any questions.