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What Are the Advantages of New Cisco CCNA 200-301 Exam and How to Prepare for It?

Earning a certification might not look profitable in the short term but it is definitely going to pay in the long run. During recruitment, employers are more likely to choose professionals with certifications then non-certified candidates. And if you’re looking for a credential that can help you build a career in networking, then any of Cisco’s options is a great choice.

Cisco latest exams and badges meet all the modern industry requirements preparing professionals to access the benefits resulting from the continued expansion of the tech field. One of them is exam 200-301 that leads to the CCNA certification. This post brings you a preparation guide you can use in passing it. Let’s begin with a short overview.

Cisco CCNA: What’s New?

Previously, candidates could pursue any of the numerous badges in the associate category. But recently, lots of the former CCNA accreditations such as CCDA, CCNA Wireless, CCNA Routing and Switching, CCNA Cloud, CCNA Data Center, and some others were collapsed into one. This has made the current CCNA badge more accessible and less complex compared to what was there before.

Also, now you shouldn’t choose a specialization at this level as long as CCNA is the same for all the candidates and requires only passing 200-301 exam. Its holders can follow different professional paths taking one specific way when earning the professional-level credentials. This means career focus starts once you have more experience in the field.

200-301 exam went live on the 24th of February 2020 when the new certification program was started. It represents the initial step required for a networking career as it lets one achieve the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) badge whose purpose is to get you accepted in an associate-level position. With the latest additional topics on automation and programmability as well as security, this should be the right choice for anyone yearning to get into the networking field.

Skills You’ll Prove through Passing 200-301 Test

The CCNA 200-301 exam is a 120-minute long assessment that costs $300 and can be taken in English and Japanese. Candidates for the test need to focus on learning networking concepts as well as train to manage different question types. These include multiple choice, drag-and-drop, testlet, and fill-in-the-blank formats.

The objectives listed below offer general guidelines on what might be included in the test. However, it is possible to find other topics related to the ones mentioned, so to ensure you do not miss out on the content likely to appear in the test, you need to go deep during prep.

  • Network fundamentals

Areas covered by the network fundamentals domain include understanding the role of network components, various network topology infrastructures, physical interface as well as cabling types, and TCP and UDP. Applicants also need to be conversant with the IPv4 and IPv6, wireless principles, virtualization fundamentals, and switching concepts.

  • Network access

For network access, knowledge in VLANs, interswitch connectivity, Layer 2 and Layer 3 technologies, and the Rapid PVST+ Spanning Tree protocol is critical. Also, Cisco Wireless Architectures and WLAN technologies are other areas requiring your attention.

  • IP connectivity

The IP connectivity topic is also essential in preparing for exam 200-301. It includes studying about routing table, static routing for IPv4 and IPv6, OSPFv2, and more.

  • IP services

In this area, you will learn how to use static as well as pools in configuring and verifying the NAT inside source. You will also be studying the role of NTP, DHCP, and SNMP in the operations of a network among other topics.

  • Security fundamentals

Security fundamentals domain of the Cisco 200-301 test includes questions about core security concepts, ensuring access control for devices using passwords, elements of security program, remote access, and site-to-site VPNs. Learners also get to know about security features for Layer 2, WLAN, and protocols for wireless security.

  • Automation and programmability

In this part of the CCNA exam, candidates cover the impact of automation on network management, traditional Vs Controller-based networks, and Cisco DNA center device management. Other areas to cover include qualities of REST-related APIs and interpreting JSON encoded information.

Exam 200-301 Preparation Guide

Since the amount of 200-301 registration fee is quite high and the number of domains you need to cover is vast, you should put all the dedication to the preparation process to pass this exam on the first try. And with the training facilities offered by Cisco, this should be possible.

Utilizing the preparation resources we are covering next, you should be in a position to tackle whatever question that will come.

  • Cisco official CCNA training

Cisco’s expert-led course aimed at the CCNA test furnishes you with the skills and understanding to implement and administer Cisco solutions. It assists you by covering the exam topics in a broad and deep manner. This is to fully prepare you to not only ace the assessment but also provide competency in your networking role.

  • Cisco CCNA official cert guide

This study guide available at Cisco Press is for learning, preparing, and practicing for success in the exam. Its objective is to give you an opportunity to grasp all the topics and assess your knowledge to become ready for 200-301 test. The book is available in Volume 1 and Volume 2. They also include practical exercises to enable applicants to master configuration activities based on the expectations of the real world.


Cisco’s modernization of the certification program tells a lot about their aim in ensuring there is real talent in the labour market. Due to these changes, employers and professionals alike are going to benefit immensely. So, it is a win-win for both groups.

If you were still pondering on what to do to excel in networking, then you have the solution already. Taking the Cisco 200-301 exam should be one of the goals to achieve soon. With the CCNA credential, you develop competency and the ability to land a good job. Start planning today and begin your career journey immediately!

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