What People are Thinking About the New #CCENT and #CCNA (Polls)

 In 200-301 V1 CCC No Category on Purpose, News

Now that we’ve had a month to let things sink in, today’s post comes back around to some opinion. Whose opinion? Mine, other people’s I’ve seen with some repetition, and collective opinions from some polls. This post sprinkles some individual opinions with some polls that I posted right at announcement. Some of those polls I’ve mentioned within some blog post or another, but some I’ve not yet asked anyone directly, so it’s time to ask and let you answer.

Opinion: Who Should Pursue the Old Exams, and Who Should Pursue the New Exams?

This first opinion is from Wendell, with lots of smatterings of opinions from other people online. If you had already begun studying for the old exams before the 3/26/13 announcement, you ought to consider pushing harder and finishing with the old exams. On announcement day, those that had already begun studying were a little more frantic. That’s expected. Cisco gave us some great options, and you had to make a simple choice, which was indeed simple: either keep studying for the old, or cut over and study for the new exams, which Cisco made available on announcement day.

No one should plan to pass the old ICND1 and then pass the new ICND2. Cisco allows that option, and frankly, it is kind of Cisco to make that option available. However, that option has many negatives related to what you study and how you get from the old ICND1, which has fewer topics and older topics, to meet the prerequisites for the new ICND2 exam. The path of passing the old ICND1 exam, and then the new ICND2 exam, should only be a backup plan; instead, make the choice now to pursue only the old exams, or only the new exams.

(This post goes into a little more detail on some of these topics.)

What New Topics Do You See as the Biggest Challenges?

Breaking down CCNA R&S into the two halves – the new ICND1 and ICND2 – anyone can look at the posted exam topics and get a sense for what’s on the exam. Just from the list, what appears to be the most challenging? What has you worried? What do you think will require the most to figure out? If it’s all just Greek to you at this point, it may all seem like a challenge.

Wendell’s opinion: I already picked a top 5 for both ICND1 and ICND2 as implied by what I put in the following two polls. I won’t pick my top #1 out loud here (yet), but instead, I’ll kick it over to you for some more opinions. If you didn’t happen to weigh in yet, what one of these topics is the most worrying to you?

And by the way… here’s an earlier post about what’s changed in the ICND1 exam, and another about what’s changed in the ICND2 exam.



Which is Harder – Old or New?

What makes an exam hard, difficult, challenging? The number of different topics? The depth to which a topic is covered? How much you have to apply what you learned, versus parrot back memorized facts? How much you have to do math? How much you have to configure stuff and make it work on a simulator? All of the above, and more?

The only thing we truly know about the old and new exams are the posted exam topics and what we hear from other that comment about how hard they thought the test was. So it’s difficult to sit here today and decide whether the old or new exams will be harder. But hey, anyone can have an opinion! So it’s time to make yours. For both the ICND1 exam (which gets you a CCENT certification), and for the CCNA composite exam, which do you think is harder: old, new, or are they the same?



What Will You Personally Do Now?

Before March 26, 2013, Cisco used CCNA Routing and Switching as the prerequisite to the most popular cert tracks other than routing and switching. With the announcements, Cisco changed that stance, with CCENT as the prerequisite, not CCNA R&S.

Wendell’s Opinion: Long term, this is a great move by Cisco, but with a price: it sets the bar pretty high on the first exam most people will now take, the ICND1 100-101 exam. Cisco moved many old ICND2 exam topics to the new ICND1 exam. That makes ICND1 more legit as a prereq for other certs. But it makes ICND1 a pretty hard task as a first cert.

Figure 1 shows some of those popular Cisco certs, with the CCENT prerequisite. 

Figure 1: Most Common Cisco Certification Tracks, with CCENT Prerequisite

Now you have an opinion, and a choice! When will you personally choose to break away from routing and switching, and start studying for other Cisco technologies? You can do it after getting CCENT, or after CCNA R&S, or after CCNP R&S, or even later. Here’s the latest poll, and post more if you like!?!

Oh Yeah – the New Books are Out, Too!
#CCENT and #CCNA Fast Start: Router on a Stick (ROAS) Overview
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