How to Pass Cisco CCENT, CCNA, CCNP Routing or Security Certification Exams In 30 Days

A lot of networking engineers take certification exams to further expand their knowledge base and gain the required skill set to advance in their career. While there are numerous certification exams, there are very few as globally recognized and valued as Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification 200-125 or CCNA Security 210-260. This specific certification adds value and surely help push forward an IT professionals’ career. All over the world, a huge number of skilled networkers take this certification exam to meet the increased business demands in the always-changing IT industry.

Here we have discussed some of the things that you can do to pass Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification exam within a week’s time. That’s correct. At first, it may sound almost impossible to prepare for Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification exam(s) in just 7 days, but it is very much achievable with hard work, the right strategy, and complete dedication. A lot of professionals have been able to do so, and you can too.

Read More About Cisco Certifications

How To Pass Cisco CCENT Certification The First Step
If you too are someone who wants to get ahead of the curve by gaining this certification, then first thing you need to do is to study for CCENT Exam and then go for CCNA.

Get Study Materials from Reliable Sources

If you browse online, you will be able to spot a wide variety of study materials for CCNA Routing and Switching certification exams. However, not all those sources are reliable, authentic and up-to-date. And, any kind of wrong information can prove to be extremely harmful. That is why it is highly recommended to study from materials provided only by the reliable sources.

In this case, the most reliable source would be Cisco itself. Get the training materials from Cisco CCENT or CCNA Learning Partners. It comprises of approximately 20 chapters detailing the key topics for this certification exam. Alternatively, you can purchase Cisco Press books that contain all the must-know topics. Further, if you wish to expand your knowledge base and skill set, then you are free to do so, however, it is imperative to do proper research about a website or book before using it for studying.

Be Aware of the Exam Format

Having proper knowledge about the exam format can prove to be advantageous for the candidate. On the official site of ‘The Cisco Learning Site,” you will be able to get the exact and updated format of the CCNA Routing and Switching certification exam. There will be multiple-choice single answers and multiple answers along with simulations questions. The exam will also comprise of fill in the blanks type of questions and testlet. A testlet is more of a scenario in which you may be provided with 4 questions related to a particular scenario. As per the scenario, you will have to select the possible outcomes.

The simulation questions test your practical knowledge to check if you have the required skills to handle different networking problems in the real-world environment. Lastly, you will get simlet exam questions, these are based on practical knowledge and skills. The simulation questions and simlets are often considered to be the hardest. Thoroughly go through the reading materials and check the official sites for updates of any kind in the exam format.

Know About the Key Topics

To be able to successfully pass the CCENT or CCNA certification exams, one should be well aware of the key topics. Since this is an associate-level certification designed for network engineers and other professionals in the domain of networking, the key topics are related to the fundamentals of networking. However, you should be aware of the different topics to be able to prepare accordingly. Recognize the topics that you are good at and ones that are your weak points. Dedicate proper time to all the significant topics, especially to the ones that you are not confident with.

Pick Which Exam to Take for CCENT, CCNA or CCNP
Lastly, you will have to decide which exam you want to take for earning the CCNA routing and switching certification. Either take the examination 200-125 CCNA or take an exam which is divided into two parts namely CCENT 100-105 ICND1 and 200-105 ICND2. It is essential to clear either of these exams for getting this certification.

CCNA Routing & Switching

CCNA Composite Exam 200-125

CCNA Security 210-260 Exam
Some of these topics are subnetting, routing protocols, installation, operation and troubleshooting branch network layers, network types, security and media, TCI/IP models, OSI models, IP traffic, handling point-to-point connections and few more. It is crucial to becoming well-versed in all these topics as in the exam you will be tested for both, your theoretical as well as practical knowledge. There is a myriad of reading materials available on these topics that can help you gain the required knowledge.

The Professional Level Includes CCNP Certification which includes 3 exams. CCNP Route, CCNP Switch, CCNP Tshoot.

Read More About CCNP Certifications Here:

The 3 Exams Are Below:
CCNP Routing & Switching Route 300-101 Exam

CCNP Switch 300-115 Exam

CCNP Tshoot 300-135 Exam

Take Practice Tests
It is incredibly crucial to take practice tests to get an idea of the type of questions that get asked in this certification exam. Practice mock tests and simulations online for testing your theoretical and practical knowledge. To be able to get through simulation questions, you need to possess practical knowledge. For this, you should test your skills on equipment.

However, if you are not able to do so, you can check practice labs online that offer access to live equipment for gaining practical experience. Take numerous CCENT, CCNA & CCNP practice tests to be able to identify your weak points and work on them accordingly. Also, by practicing you will be able to gain confidence and will be able to give your best performance on the day of the certification exam.

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Manage Your Time

Time management is essential for cracking CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 or CCNA Security 210-260 or CCNP exams, CCNP Route, CCNP Switch & CCNP Tshoot. In this exam, you are required to answer around 60-70 questions within an hour and a half (90 minutes). And, as this exam is a difficult one to crack, a lot of people tend to miss out on questions due to a shortage of time.

Despite knowing the answers people end up not clearing this certification exam because of time problems. To avoid that from happening, you should manage your time while taking practice tests, so that on the day of the exam you do not end up tensing up or losing a track of time while answering the questions. Time yourself while practicing for the exams for getting the best results on the day of the exam.


Be mindful of the above-stated points to be able to make the most of the 90-minutes time that is provided during this certification exam. Prepare yourself by reading, practicing and managing the time to ensure that you give your best on the final day.

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About The Author


Danielle Holke is a long-time knitter, first taught by her beloved grandmother as a young girl growing up in Canada. In 2008 she launched KnitHacker, a lively blog and knitting community which has since grown to be a popular presence in contemporary knitting culture, reaching more than a million readers each year. As a marketing professional, Danielle advises and works with a motley squad of artists, yarn bombers, film makers, pattern designers, yarn companies and more. Learn more about her latest book, Knits & Pieces: A Knitting Miscellany.

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