5 Reasons Why You Won’t Get Your CCNA Certification
- January 13, 2021
- Posted by: Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
- Category: CCNA 200-301 V2.0
I still remember the day I took my first CCNA exam 20 years ago, and since then I have taken over 20 Cisco exams or one exam a year on average. Ok, we all want to achieve every goal we set. We all want to pass every exam we take. So, why don’t we pass every exam, let’s find out why?
There is no doubt that learning is more important than grades and we want to learn to be educated and not just to pass an exam. Today, I want to discuss the reasons why you won’t pass your CCNA exam despite enough learning.
SO, the number one reason why you won’t get your CCNA or another professional certification is that that you love learning so much that you forgot about the actual exam topics aka domains or bodies of knowledge. Let’s pull up the CCNA exam topics so I can make my point. As you can see, each exam area is weighted on the exam. So firstly, you want to ensure that you right-size your learning goal to the weights published by the exam host, in this case, Cisco. There is virtually no limit to how much you can spend learning IP Connectivity or Network and Security Fundamentals topics, but since they are only up to 1/5th of the exam each, you need to consider that fact when putting together your CCNA study plan.
Secondly, you must look at the weight math here. We’re engineers and we take pride in our STEM abilities so hear me out. For example, since the passing score for CCNA is 825 or 82.5%, there is no way to mathematically pass the exam if you didn’t do well on IP Connectivity, Network Fundamentals, or Network Access sections, that is if you screw up an area worth 20% or more weight on the exam, you’re done as you are not going to make it.
NOW, there is another reason why you won’t get your CCNA and that is if learning easy stuff isn’t your thing. Let me explain what I mean by that. Allow me to pull up the Network Fundamentals section from the CCNA exam. As you can see, there are tons of super simple topics here, like what is a router or a switch or even a firewall. So, before you deep dive into more difficult topics such as the OSPF DR BDR election or HTTP verbs and data encoding formats, be sure to take time to start with the most fundamentals aspects of OSPF and HTTP protocols. I have been taking Cisco exams for the past 20 years and let me assure you that Cisco exams contain tripwires that toy around with the too-easy stuff. So, before you try to figure out why OSPF uses the Bellman-Ford algorithm for inter-area routing, you want to make sure that you have covered your bases.
Now, if you are as sensible as I am, you look ahead and plan out a picture-perfect trajectory of your career with several contingency plans. Having alternatives is a great thing unless you use it as a way to get out of worthy goals or milestones. So, every time you make a backup plan, it comes with a few catches. Firstly, it can make you less excited about your plan A. Some studies have shown that having a fallback, or even thinking through one, might make you less motivated to achieve your primary goal and thus end up impeding your career.
OK THERE is yet another reason why you will surely not going to make it and that is you forgot to practice for the exam. So, learning is important, learning with a laser focus on exam topics even better, but you can’t afford to not focus on passing so be sure to know the exam format and spend some time assessing your exam readiness. The new CCNA exam contains 100 plus questions and is 2-hour long. If you are going to spend months learning, it behooves you to also set aside some time to go through the practice exam questions. If that didn’t sound convincing, remember each take on the new CCNA exam would set you back by 300 dollars.
FINALLY, there is yet another way I have seen people not making it, we can call them professional learners. Have you ever gone to seminars or courses where some folks are taking pages and pages of notes, but when life happens, they fail to back that knowledge up with some action? What am I talking about? You don’t want to be a professional learner. You want to start with a goal, a target date when you will sit for your exam. Sure, you can adjust your target date based on how your prep is going, but you don’t want to be the person who failed to schedule the exam.
Drop your comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Author:Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
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