ICND1 100-105 Exam Topics, Part 1: New Topics, Moved Topics
Yes, Cisco announced new #ICND1, #ICND2, and #CCNA R&S exams in May 2016. The new exams – 100-105, 200-105, and 200-125, respectively – have plenty of interesting new topics and new performance levels.
This post is part 1 of two posts that take a deeper look at the ICND1 100-105 exam topics versus the now-old ICND1 100-101 exam topics.
Exam Topics – What They Are
First, just to be clear: this post discusses the exam topics. The exam topics give us general guidelines as to what is on the exam. And honestly, we can only discuss the exam topics, rather than what we each see on any particular occurrence of the actual exam because of the non-disclosure agreement that is asked of each exam taker just before taking the exam.
You can find the exam topics for all the new exams starting at this page. Here’s an excerpt of standard wording from the top of the pages with some good reminders and perspective:
“The following topics are general guidelines for the content likely to be included on the exam. However, other related topics may also appear on any specific delivery of the exam. In order to better reflect the contents of the exam and for clarity purposes, the guidelines below may change at any time without notice.”
So with this post and others like it, I am reading the publicly posted exam topics and giving my personal opinion as to what those words mean. Note that the analysis in this and other blog posts represents my opinion of Cisco System’s publicly available exam topics for the old and new exams. I do not represent Cisco, and these opinions are my own.
Cisco’s Own Analysis and Wendell’s Analysis
Cisco has posted useful information, in fairly large volume, about the new exams. (Kudos to Cisco!) In particular, Cisco has broken down the content of the new exams as well. You should read their content as well, because:
- Cisco does own the exam, so any insights directly from Cisco are very valuable
- Their materials give much more of the context of what the exam changes mean to networkers compared to what I have written here
- They do get into some detail about what has changed in the exam topics, with different emphasis than what I have written
This post and three other upcoming posts are an analysis of the literal exam topic documents, old and new. As you might guess, when writing the books, I have to get into the minutia of the exam topics and what they mean, so these posts take those observations at that few get to (or have to) think about. But do not make the mistake of thinking that just because you’re reading this post, I’ve covered every point Cisco makes in their material about the exams – make sure and read their pages.
Note that www.cisco.com/go/ccna is a great place to start.
This Post Organized for Those Transitioning from the Old Exams
This post analyzes the new ICND1 100-105 exam topics in a way that should be helpful for folks who have been working towards the old exam. I may come back in a few months with a post about the exam on the whole, for those who did not care about the old exam. But everything I write here is focused on the changes, and not on what has not changed.
For context, keep in mind that Cisco has provided two paths to CCNA R&S certification since 2003: A two exam path and a one exam path. Using current terminology, to become CCNA R&S certified, you can either take and pass the ICND1 and ICND2 exams or the CCNA exam. Then, from a content perspective:
ICND1 + ICND2 = CCNA
In this post and the Part 2 post, I will focus on the transition to the new exam topics, with the following main points:
- Totally New to ICND1: Topics not in the old CCNA R&S exam topics (that is, topics in neither ICND1 nor ICND2), but are now in the exam topics for the ICND1 100-105 exam.
- Moved from ICND2: Topics formerly in the old ICND2 200-101 exam topics, but now moved to the new ICND1 100-105 exam.
- Troubleshooting Performance Levels: Cisco bumped the performance level of the verbs for several subject areas up to “troubleshoot”; this section details those topics.
- Topics Removed from CCNA and ICND1: Topics that were listed in the old ICND1 100-101 exam topics and appear to be completely removed from the new exams.
This part 1 blog post looks at the first two bullets, and the part 2 blog post looks at the last two.
Be Thinking about Your Favorites!
From a content perspective, CCNA R&S = ICND1 + ICND2. For the ICND1 half of the new content, what are your favorite and least favorite additions to the ICND1 100-105 exam? Or which is least favorite? I’ve set up a couple of polls so ask. Circle back here when you are ready to answer. FYI, I collected Cisco’s literal exam topics into a kind of general subject area in some cases, just to make the poll work a little better.
Poll 3: Most Favorite New ICND1 Subject
Poll 4: Least Favorite New ICND1 Subject
New Topics for ICND1 100-105
ICND1 has one glaring large new topic: RIP Version 2 (RIPv2). All the other individual topics are noticeably smaller, but add up given the larger number of them.
Adding RIP to ICND1
If you step back and look at the history of IPv4 routing protocols in the CCNA R&S exam topics, RIP has an interesting history. RIP, either version 1, 2, or both, had been part of CCNA dating back to the first version of the CCNA in 1998. For the CCNA R&S exam topics published in 2013, Cisco completely removed RIP. Now it’s back, with version 2 only (at least as stated overtly in the exam topics).
At the same time, Cisco has been keeping another routing protocol, OSPF, as a split topic between ICND1 and ICND2. These latest announcements put OSPF squarely into ICND2, with no mention of OSPF in the ICND1 100-105 exam topics.
I am sure the inclusion of RIPv2 in ICND1 100-105 will receive some criticism. Frankly, I’d probably leave it out if I had full control of the topics in these exams. However, RIP has one big advantage: it is a great routing protocol to learn as your first routing protocol. OSPF is a bit more complicated, making it a more difficult starting point.
Figure 1: Summary of ICND1 100-105 Additions
Small Changes to ICND1
The second big change to ICND1 for the 100-105 exam is actually a bunch of small changes. If you were to compare the new ICND1 100-105 exam topics vs the old ICND1 100-101 exam topics you would find a variety of mentions of terms found in the new but not found in the old. Together, they add up to some study effort, but individually, not a lot for any one topic.
The following list summarizes the exam topics, with shortened wording to reduce them to their essentials.
1.2 Compare and Contrast TCP and UDP
1.3 Describe components: Firewall, Wireless LAN Controller, Access Points
1.4 Compare and contrast LAN designs and architectures
1.5 Compare and contrast topologies
1.7 Apply Troubleshooting methods
1.9.c Compare and contrast IPv4 addresses… multicast
1.14.g Compare and contrast IPv6 addresses… anycast
3.6.c Configure, verify, and troubleshoot static IPv4/IPv6 routes (host routes)
3.7 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot RIPv2
2.6.b, 5.2.b Configure and verify LLDP
It is my opinion that the items in the above list are small rather than large (other than the re-statement of the RIPv2 exam topic, which is a large topic). So let me fill in a few reasons for that opinion, other than the fact that I’ve been living with the exam topics and the revision of the books for close to the last year.
Take the exam topic about configuring, verifying, and troubleshooting static IPv4 and IPv6 routes. The old exams included static IPv4 and IPv6 routes. The new exam topics include the mention of “host routes”, which are routes to an individual IPv4 or IPv6 address. So, once you understand static routes (which was already in the old exam topics), adding an understanding of host routes requires almost no time to learn. For instance, adding material about IPv4 host routes probably took a page of the new ICND1 Cert Guide, while RIPv2 got its own new chapter.
Of the rest of the items in the list, most took just a page or two in the book. The longer topics in terms of book space were the LAN design and architecture topic and the material on topologies.
Finally, note that the above list does not attempt to list every single new topic, but to hit the highlights. The next section mentions a few more new topics in context, namely: configuration restore, timezone, SCP, and MD5 verify. Stay tuned!
Moved from (Old) ICND2 to (New) ICND1
The topics discussed so far are topics not found in any of the old exams (ICND1 100-101, ICND2 200-101, or CCNA 200-120) – or at least the nouns are not listed in the exam topics. This next section discusses topics that did exist in the old exams, specifically in the old ICND2 200-101 exam topics, but that are now in the new ICND1 100-105 exam. But there are a few twists.
The theme for these topics is Device Management. For the exams introduced in 2013, Cisco moved these Device Management topics from ICND1 over to ICND2. Here in 2016, Cisco moves them back over to ICND1.
Additionally, Cisco has also added new topics and interesting wording to the device management exam topics that now sit in the new ICND1 100-105 exam topics. Those details include mention of a few additions subjects not formerly listed for the old exams. So I decided to keep that handful of new terms/subjects here in the context of the discussion about these exam topics related to device management.
Per the new ICND1 Exam Topics, these are the topics that have moved from the old ICND2 to the new ICND1, at least in my opinion:
5.1 Configure and verify Syslog
5.2 Configure and verify device management
5.2.a Backup and restore device configuration
5.2.b Using Cisco Discovery Protocol and LLDP for device discovery
5.5 Perform device maintenance
5.5.a Cisco IOS upgrades and recovery (SCP, FTP, TFTP, and MD5 verify)
5.5.b Password recovery and configuration register
5.5.c File system management
Figure 2: Device Management Topics Moved or Related to Old ICND2 200-101
As for those terms in the above list that are not found in any of the old exams (which are in white text in the figure), here are a few comments about what those are:
SCP: A another protocol and method to copy files in and out of a router or switch.
MD5 verify: A method with commands/options in IOS to ensure that the IOS files you loaded into the device has not been changed since Cisco posted the file for download, helping to prevent some types of attacks.
LLDP: An IETF standard for device discovery similar to CDP.
Restore device configuration: This turn of phrase could refer to the configuration archive feature of IOS (so I added that topic to the book, by the way.)
Part 2: Performance Levels and Removed Topics
In the next post in the series, I’ll stick with the ICND1 exam, and talk about two more ideas. First, that post will talk about performance levels based on the verbs used in the exam topics. That post then looks at topics that appear to be removed from ICND1, that is, topics that were in the old ICND1 exam and are no longer specifically mentioned.