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A closer look at the differences between the old and new CCNA plus CCNA 200-301 specifics

As we all know, several changes are coming to the CCNA as of February 24, 2020. Although CCNA certification has been standard for many years, the exams keep changing to keep up with industry needs and trends. This infographic from Cisco explains the changes that have taken place and how they can affect you. CCENT and CCNA are being consolidated into one single certification. 

You have to now know Cisco’s latest tools for building and managing networks. Those who are working for their ICND1 and ICND2 exams should try hard to complete them before February 24, as doing so is only to their advantage. We will discuss the new Cisco CCNA exam in this article and compare it to the old one. We will also talk about why it’s best to get your CCNA certification right away before the changes take place. 

Sharing Similar Topics: Someone who has only completed ICND1 will still benefit as several topics between ICND1 and the CCNA 200-301 will be identical. Almost 80% of the exam covers the topics of the previous generation, which means your prior studying won’t go to waste. We’ll discuss the similarities in detail in a later section.

You’ll Get The Same Certification: If you have any current CCNA certificates  (CCNA Routing and Switching, CCNA Industrial, etc.),  then you will automatically be receiving the new CCNA certificate.

Avoid Unnecessary Stress: It can be stressful to see topics you spent a lot of time learning are no longer relevant. Don’t stress. Just because something is no longer included in the new exam, doesn’t mean it isn’t applicable to the real world. Think of it as extra real-world knowledge!

CCNA Is Valid For Three Years: Exam Versions are rarely taken into consideration by hiring managers.  If you take your certification now, you’ll not have to do so for another three years. 

Similarities Between The Old CCNA And The New CCNA 

Core CCNA topics have traditionally included knowing OSI and its first four layers. The Cisco CCNA 200-301 is also no different:

  1. Physical Layer of OSI
  2. Data Link Layer
  3. Network Layer
  4. Transport Layer

Networks 15 years ago were assembled in a similar way to modern ones. Understanding cabling types, uses, Ethernet operation, TCP, UDP, and IP routing is still essential. The new CCNA exam will be testing you on these exact topics. The other things which have changed are those that become different with almost every revision of the test. These are higher layer concepts and networking protocols.

How Are The Old CCNA And The New CCNA Exams Different? 

The CCNA 200-125 and the new CCNA 200-301 exam differ in importance given to different modules as well as in some other areas.  

Weightage Differences

CCNA 200-125CCNA 200-301
WAN Technologies (10%)
Infrastructure Service (10%)
Infrastructure Security (11%)
Infrastructure Management (10%) 
Network Fundamentals (15%)
LAN Switching Technologies (21%)
Routing Technologies (23%)
Network Fundamentals (20%) 
IP Services (10%)
Security Fundamentals (15%)
Network Access (20%)
IP Connectivity  (25%)
Automation & Programmability (10%)

Changes in Syllabus: Apart from the shift in weightage of specific modules, some topics have been scrapped for the new CCNA 200-301 exam. These following portions have been removed from the curriculum – 

  1. LAN Switching: Frame, VTP, Switch stack
  2. Routing: EIGRP, RIPv2, OSPFv3, multi-area OSPF
  3. WAN: PPP, MLPPP, PPPoE, GRE, BGP, WAN access 

Pricing Of The Exams: The pricing of the exam for CCNA 200-301 is $300, slightly less in comparison to the previous exam.

The current standing cost for ICND1 and ICND2 are $165 per exam (totaling $330 if you pass on your first attempts.)

Less To Study: CCNA 200-301 is estimated to be 25% smaller than the old CCNA 200-125 exam. 

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Features Of The CCNA 200-125 Examination

The CCNA 200-125 consists of two 90-minute exams, ICND 1 & ICND 2. These are meant to be scheduled at separate times. The CCNA 200-125 covers the following topics:

  • LAN Switching Technologies 
  • IPv4 and IPv6 routing technologies
  • WAN Technologies
  • Infrastructure Service
  • Infrastructure Security
  • Infrastructure Management 
  • Network Fundamentals

Features Of The CCNA 300-201 Exam

The new CCNA will be a single exam and will be 120 minutes long. It will start from February 24, 2020, and is more comprehensive. The new CCNA gives a base using which you can scale up with next-level certifications. It covers the following topics:

  • IP Connectivity: IP routing, OSPFv2
  • IP Services: NTP, DCHP, SNMP, QoS
  • Security Fundamentals: VPNs, wireless security, port security
  • Network Access: VLANs and trunking, EtherChannel
  • Automation and Programmability: REST APIs, Puppet, Chef, JSON, SDN, etc.
  • Network Fundamentals: Including routers, switches, cabling, TCP and UDP, IPv4 and IPv6

Related: FAQ about the new and old CCNA

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. We hope it was helpful in guiding you through your studies this month. We invite any questions or comments about this blog post and welcome you to visit our site www.nexgent.com