The Exam

The Cisco Certified Network Associate exam is the only exam required to achieve a CCNA Routing and Switching certification. In March of 2002, exam version CCNA 640-507 was retired. That exam had 65 questions, a 75 minute time limit, and a passing score of 85%.

The current exam is CCNA 640-607. It has been redesigned to include skills tests based on simulations and "drag and drop" test items. Cisco's rationale for the change: "Simulation questions require candidates to apply troubleshooting and problem-solving skills to resolve networking problems on their written exams just as they would need to do while on the job.". Cisco has announced that tht 640-607exam will not be available to Academy students after March 2004.

Starting in March 2004, the exam will be 640-801. The CCNA Version 3 curriculum has been redesigned to better match the learning objectives and testing methods of the new exam. To get a feel for the new exam, check Cisco's description of exam 640-801.

Most students will want to take the CCNA exam soon after they complete all four courses at our academy. The exam covers topics from all four courses, and faculty will place special emphasis on CCNA exam preparation during Semesters 3 & 4.

The CCNA exam is administered at Prometric or Vue testing sites, and currently costs $125. Discounts of at least 50% are available to students who have successfully completed all four semesters of their Networking Academy curriculum. To be eligible for the discount, students must pass all final exams with a grade of 70% or better on their first attempt. Students' grades must be verifiable by the AAS or their instructors. See your Semester 4 instructor to arrange a discount voucher.


Cisco Academy online exams provide general preparation because they reflect both the content and question style for the text-based portions of the CCNA exam. However, additional resources are recommended:

Both Router e-Sim and the Cisco e-Labs provide practice with the technologies Cisco may use in the new simulation portions of the CCNA exam. These tools are available on our class pages in the gray links bar under the heading "e-Labs".

Many CCNA exam preparation books are available. The Sybex book by Todd Lammle is widely used, and offers clear, well-written chapters, a CD with practice exams, and router simulator software. Cisco Press offers a Certification Guidebook with extensive examples and practice exams on CD and a less costly Flash Card Practice Kit designed to drill you for the exams; it includes many study sheets and a CD with electronic flash cards and more than 550 practice exam questions.

Cram-session notes can be useful. Although they are not a substitute for rigorous study, they can provide a quick overview and a review of key highlights. Many are available on the Internet. Try this freely-available set of notes from

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