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How to Become a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

As a professional certifications add value to your CV from the point of view of potential employers. Not only do they demonstrate that you have a certain level of knowledge in a given area but they also demonstrate that you can apply yourself to a project or task and are able to see it through to a successful completion. This article explains how to go about becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

To become a CCNA you will need to pass either:

Exam - 640-821 INTRO and Exam - 640-811 ICND or Exam - 640-801 CCNA (a composite of the above two exams).

In order to sit the exams you will need to register with an authorised test centre and a fee is involved (currently around 84 plus VAT). You can do this at Pearson VUE or Thomson Prometric. You should be able to find a location and date that suits you. (If you are attending the below courses your training provider should help you with this.)

In order to gain the necessary knowledge to pass these exams Cisco recommends the following courses:

INTRO - Introduction to Cisco Networking Technologies ( ICND - Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (

Self study is also an option and is cheaper than sitting the courses. Self study guides can be bought at online bookstores such as

Either way whether you are attending courses or doing the self study it is advisable to spend time reading up from your course notes or books and doing some of the practice exams which can be found at various websites to build your knowledge and gain confidence before sitting the exams.

About the Author: David Carrier has nearly ten years experience working in the IT Education and Training field. He founded Inventio Consulting (web: in 2003 to serve clients throughout the UK by acting as a vendor neutral training reseller, finding courses and services that best suit their individual needs.