Cisco certification exams are becoming more popular as technology becomes more prevalent in the workplace. This is a particularly significant requirement for senior level managers who typically operate smaller teams of network administrators. As a result, Cisco exam costs have soared over the past few years. To keep the cost of getting through your Cisco exams at an acceptable level, consider these six ways to save.

First, be sure to try to take the exam for which you’re certified. Some vendors will discount a qualifying examination by up to 40 percent. However, even if you’re not affiliated with one of these vendors, it’s still possible to take the exam for free. There are numerous websites that will allow you to download practice exams or answer basic questions for free. In this way, you can gauge your Cisco knowledge before investing any money in the examination.

Second, review your budget. By choosing to purchase study materials or pay for a lab instructor, you may incur expenses beyond your immediate ability to cover the cost of the exam. Reviewing your exam prices ahead of time and choosing the best study method will help you save both money and time when it comes time to pay for the class.

Third, do not wait until you see a great price to register. The cost of taking an exam can vary depending on the difficulty level you choose. If you don’t need to be an IT professional with a passing score in the high thousands, do not register until you are certain that you can pass the exam without assistance. For those of us who know we can get to the point of passing the exam without much effort, there are plenty of discounted Cisco training programs to choose from online. These programs will help you stay focused as you study for the exam prices scheduled by Cisco.

Fourth, if you need to purchase lab materials, keep in mind that the cost of study materials can also be affected by the cost of lab fees. Cisco offers discounts on lab fees, so take advantage of them if you are required to pay for a lab. The exam prices for the Cisco CCNA Exam do not include lab fees, which can be an added expense and could push the cost of the CCNA Exam significantly higher than what you are able to afford.

Fifth, find out if there are any hidden costs. You should ask about any extra costs you may not have considered before, such as paper, printer ink, and other equipment. Many people believe that buying the right materials for the CCNA Exam is simply a matter of buying the right product at the right price. Cisco has recognized that many individuals cannot spend the hundreds of dollars required to buy the necessary Cisco products. With this in mind, Cisco offers discounts and special pricing for their products, including Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) materials.

Sixth, do not put off getting started. If you have an important exam date coming up, and many of you do, don’t put it off. Get started as soon as possible, and don’t worry about having to schedule your studies around anything else. Some people will wait until their study period is near the end of the semester before they start studying but by skipping a few weeks you could find yourself behind the eight ball faster than you ever imagined possible.

Seventh, consider the number of exams you need to pass and how many sets of books and materials you need. Cisco offers different pricing on its exam prices and study materials, so make sure you get a fair assessment of your needs by reviewing the prices for the CCNA Exam. Understand as much as possible about your needs for passing the CCNA Exam, and find resources to meet those needs without breaking the bank. Take the time to review all the material in this article, and then consult the information found there about Cisco exam prices. When you understand the true costs of taking the CCNA Exam, you will have more confidence in your ability to negotiate for discounted prices on Cisco equipment and services.