When it comes to Cisco certification, there are three different exams, or Levels, which can be taken in order to achieve your CCNA or CCNP certifications. The first one, the written exam, is what most people choose to take. It is not as expensive as you might think, though. It typically costs twenty dollars to take the entire exam, and recertification is usually at no more than ten percent extra cost. If you prefer to work at your own pace and don’t have a lot of time to devote to studying, then the written exam may be a better fit for you. With a hundred dollars or less, you can get your first Cisco Certified Network Associate certification.
The second type of Cisco exams is the lab-based exams. They do not cost as much as the written tests, but they do take longer to complete. You will typically spend about four hours answering questions about the CCNA or CCNP. This lab course must be passed before you will receive your certificate, so you should plan to study for it early. If you have enough time, then you can review all of the questions once or twice before passing. However, with no free time, you may have to get the study materials from your employer, your library, or a book buyback service.
The third type of Cisco certification exams is the exam simulator. These simulators are free to obtain through Cisco. You can find them online, through Cisco’s site, or some of the larger training centers. You will typically use the exam simulator to familiarize yourself with the types of questions that will appear on the actual exam. As long as you get a fair amount of practice, you should do well on this type of exam.
Once you have learned the basic information and passed the CCNA exam, you can move on to the other two Cisco exams. The third type of exam is the specialized exam. This is available through Cisco’s Partner Services division. If you have previously trained with a company that offered Cisco certification exams, they may be able to help you pay for these specialized exams through Partner Services.
However, keep in mind that these exams are administered at different times. If you have already obtained your Cisco certifications, then you can get the free exam, which covers the exam vendor’s basic information. You will still need to obtain specialized exams, such as the CCNA or CCNP, before you are able to pass these exams. The CCNP is much more complex and expensive than the other two exams. If you cannot afford the cost, it is probably best to wait until you have more money.
Once you have paid your fee, the next step is to sign up. There are many different schools that offer Cisco training, so it pays to shop around. Be sure to do a thorough search of each school and read their student reviews. Also, ask for a detailed list of what types of courses are being offered, such as lab classes, networking courses and so on. The price you pay for your Cisco training can also depend on the number of courses you need.
Remember that all of these courses are not offered at the same prices. Different Cisco certification fees are based on the number of credit hours required, as well as the length of the course. If you are planning on taking more than one course, you will likely pay a higher fee, but it is well worth it to be a top priority in your job application. With a combination of a high salary and good career advancement, you should be able to find a way to pay off your certification fees in a reasonably short period of time.