Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT)
This new certification is aimed at IT professionals who previously would have felt that CCNA was a higher level than they needed or would have considered other certifications such as CompTIA A+ or Net+. This is also ideally suited for those looking to enter IT or networking fields. CCENT validates entry level job skills, such as the ability to install and verify basic network configurations, a requirement for most entry level network support positions. CCENT is also a first step to CCNA certification, by testing a variety of relevant practical skills with Cisco products, securing some CCNA certifications will in fact only require one additional exam. To identify which additional exams would be required you can use Cisco's Exam-Logic tool.
The Certification Process
In order to obtain CCENT certification candidates are required to pass one exam only, this exam is arranged separately from any training courses offered, further information on this exam can be seen by clicking on the title.
100-101 ICND1 Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1
Note that this certification requires re-certification every three years, this can be done by performing any of the following:
- Pass the current ICND1 exam, or
- Pass any current Associate-level exam or
- Pass any current 642-XXX professional level exam, or
- Pass any current Cisco Specialist exam (excluding Sales Specialist exams or MeetingPlace Specialist exams or Implementing Cisco
- Telepresence Installations [ITI] exams), or
- Pass any current CCIE Written Exam, or
- Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
- Pass the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview AND the CCAr board review to extend lower certifications
Preparing for the Exam
The ICND1 exam lasts 90 minutes, containing somewhere between 40 to 50 questions. The questions are drawn in different proportions from the topics included in the exam. Further details can be seen on the individual exam page. We would recommend erring on the side of over preparation so as to ensure a mark high enough to provide a pass.
For more information on Cisco exam policies in general, take a look at this page.
GBdirect offer the Cisco approved course aimed to provide the skills and knowledge required to earn this certification. The course offered is:
While this course will help prepare you for the exam it may not provide you with everything you need to pass it. To ensure this we would recommend hands on experience with the products concerned, along with additional reading from Cisco certification texts. It is advisable to look up the content of the exam, while performing practice labs and taking advantage of the practice exams available on the Cisco website should also prove beneficial. We welcome any reviews of your Cisco Certification experience, if you feel that you know of an improved learning method then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Official Cisco Materials
Cisco provides a large amount of online materials, some of which is available through the certification page itself. An excellent starting point is to look at the exam content available on the exam page as well as a PDF that provides the exam guidelines.
For a fee Cisco also offers a programme of learning labs suited to practical learning, focusing on managing Cisco's IOS software, IPv6 and troubleshooting. This is available through their learning network store.
Free training videos are also available from members of Cisco's learning community. These can be found on the Member-Led Recorded Study Sessions page and will serve as a highly recommended learning tool.
Cisco also hosts forums in the form of Study Groups, allowing for the discussion of any areas within CCENT or indeed CCNA certification. This is naturally very useful for finding information on specific areas, but also for finding overviews of certification as a whole.
A small number of practice questions are available from Cisco themselves, these can be found here.
An entire list of training materials available from Cisco can be found here.
There are two excellent texts available to help those studying for this certification:
Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101 Official Cert Guide This is the official print from Cisco, providing highly in depth information on the majority of areas within this particular exam. Reviews seem to point out that the information is presented in such a manner that is suitable for those new to Cisco technologies and IT in general. This also comes with a DVD providing practice tips as well as training exercises.
CCENT Study Guide: Exam 100-101 This book also receives very favourable reviews, again due to an easy to understand style, along with a format that breaks the exam down into more manageable parts. The book also features detailed diagrams that accompany practical exercises in each chapter. Despite the high level of detail and exam coverage reviewers also suggest that this book is still fairly easy to read for beginners.
We welcome reviews and views of any text you have personal experience with, likewise if you feel we have missed off a more valuable study aid please do get in touch.
The Techexams.net forum is one of the most active covering Cisco and other certifications, there is a great deal of detailed information related to either specific technical details or the certification as a whole.
Pluralsight offers a four part course covering the ICND1 exam. These training videos receive good reviews and contain approximately 19 hours of learning material, as such they could be a valuable study aid.
CBT Nuggets also offers their programme of instructional videos, with 23 hours of material. This course comes highly recommended and helps to cover the key components of the CCENT certification. It should be noted that this course also comes with Transcender practice exams.
Two useful blogs are also available:
Wendell's CCENT Skills While the most recent posts are primarily focused on CCNA, the overlap of these two certifications along with a wide range of archived content should render this site useful.
Internetwork Training The blog posts on this page contain some useful information regarding exam tips and preparation, however the remainder of the site is not necessarily of as a high a quality as the materials provided by Cisco or the other sources listed previously.
Practice tests are available for purchase from:
What if I fail?
Don't panic. You will be able to see and your test result and the areas you felt weakest in, focus on content areas where your performance was weakest and areas with a high percentage of questions. Once you feel ready you can reschedule your exam. Cisco's exam retake policy is listed below:
The policies for retaking exams are as follows:
- Candidates who fail an exam must wait a period of five (5) calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before they may retest for the same exam.
- Once passed, a candidate must wait a minimum of 180 days before taking the same exam with an identical exam number.
- Candidates who violate these policies are in violation of the agreement. Such conduct is strictly prohibited as described in the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement.
Excellent, you've passed
Upon passing you will receive a score report complete with your photo; this can be used to share with employers or other third parties. This will also grant you access to the Cisco Certifications Tracking System, allowing you to see certification progress, access logos for valid certifications, allow third parties/employers to see your certifications and to sign any necessary agreements.
Completing the CCENT is the first step to a whole host of different Cisco certification, with many only requiring one further exam. The most popular qualification, CCNA Routing and Switching, can be achieved by taking only ICND2. For more information on how to proceed to further certification, use the Cisco Exam-Logic tool or take a look at their certification map.