How to Use My CCNA 200-301 Books if You Used My 200-125 Books

 In News

You studied hard for CCNA 200-125, but you know you won’t finish it before the Feb 23rd deadline. Now you’ve moved on to CCNA 200-301. Did you use my CCNA 200-125 books? Are you now using my new CCNA 200-301? Want a little help? Well, it some cases its easy to figure out which chapters you could skip in the new books because you read the same material in the old books – but sometimes not. This post clears up the details so you can make good choices.

Where are You with CCNA?

I’ll keep this poll active for a few more weeks as we run up towards Feb 24th. When did you make the move to 200-301?

Diffs in the New Exam that Impacted the New Books

Before showing all the detail about the chapters, a little context about some of the choices of how I built the new books might help. First, the old CCNA Routing and Switching certification had a two-exam path (the ICND1 and ICND2 exams) and a one-exam path (the CCNA exam.) The new CCNA has only a single-exam path. So we considered making a single book, but it just wouldn’t fit size-wise.

We planned for two volumes, but there was no longer a need to match Cisco’s two-exam path – because there’s not one. So I re-arranged some of the topics versus the old books to put them in what I think is a more sensical order. Volume 1 has all the core features related to layer 2 switching and layer 3 routing. Volume 2 moves on to security, IP services, architecture, and automation. To make all that happen, I moved topics from each of the old books to each of the new books.

The size of the exam topics list shrunk for CCNA 200-301 vs. the old CCNA 200-125. As a result, the new two-book set has also shrunk. That means that the new books do not include some entire chapters from the old book, as well as losing some portions of old chapters. To give you a sense of scale, by my estimates, the new CCNA 200-301 exam keeps roughly half the content/topics from the soon-to-retire CCNA R&S 200-125 exam, and adds back about 25% worth of topics compared to the old – making the new exam roughly 75% the size of the old CCNA R&S exam.

Third, the new CCNA exam has zero mentions of the verb “troubleshooting”. Normally, of the common exam topic verbs that require CLI skills, the verbs “configure”, “verify”, and “troubleshoot” follow a progression from least skill to most skill required. The CCNA 200-125 Exam Topic list mentioned “troubleshoot” 28 times and “config” or “verify” 11 times. The CCNA 200-301 Exam Topic list has a few more config/verify topics by comparison (17), but zero troubleshoot topics.

Choosing Which Chapters You Might Skip in the New Books

More than half of the topics in the new CCNA were in the old CCNA. If you’ve already read big parts of the old books, it would be nice to skip or only review those chapters in the new books. The tables in the rest of this post break it down by chapter from the old books, suggesting what (if any) chapters you might skip in the new books.

  • Some new chapters are substantively identical to the old books. If you read the chapter in the old book, you don’t need to read the matching new chapter.
  • Some new chapters have a little new content, and some have some useful re-writes. For those, you might want to re-read the chapter. It is sometimes difficult to identify the specific pages that are new. You will have to make your own choice whether to read the new chapter or not
  • Some chapters are totally new and easy to identify (so you can make sure and read them.)

To help you figure that out, I’ve listed tables for both of the old books, by chapter, with a cross reference to the new books. For every chapter you’ve already read and understood in the old ICND1 and ICND2 books you can find if the new book has an obvious matching chapter, and if so, whether it is mostly unchanged or has enough changes so that you might want to read the chapter.

For example, based on the next table (for the ICND1 100-105 book), imagine you have already read the ICND1 100-105 book chapters 1 through 10. You can skip CCNA 200-301 Vol 1 chapters 1 through 7. Or, if you have read through ICND1 chapter 18, skip CCNA 200-301 Vol 1 Chapters 1 through 8 and 11 through 16 – but make sure to read chapters 9 and 10.

ICND1 100-105 Cert Guide Cross Reference to the New Books

ICND1 Chapter Vol 1 Chapter? Vol 2 Chapter? Notes
1 1 No significant new info.
2 2 No significant new info.
3 3 Old ICND1 3 & 4 became Vol 1 Chap. 3, but no significant new info.
4 3 Ditto
5 1 No significant new info.
6 4 No significant new info.
7 5 No significant new info.
8 6 No significant new info.
9 7 No significant new info.
10 Split, reused, removed… no way to skip any specific new chapter.
11 8 No significant new info.
12 Split, reused, removed… no way to skip any specific new chapter.
13 11 No significant new info.
14 12 No significant new info.
15 13 No significant new info.
16 14 No significant new info.
17 15 No significant new info.
18 16 No significant new info.
19 Not in new books.
20 7 Some re-work, removals, additions; worth reading.
21 Not in new books.
22 Not in new books.
23 18 No significant new info.
24 Not in new books.
25 2 No significant new info.
26 3 No significant new info.
27 10 No significant new info.
28 22 No significant new info.
29 23 No significant new info.
30 24 No significant new info.
31 25 Old ICND1 31 & 32 became Vol 1 Chap. 25 with some removals. No significant new info.
32 25 Ditto
33 9 No significant new info.
34 5 Major changes; read the new chapter.
35 Not in new books.
36 Not in new books.

ICND1 200-105 Cert Guide Cross Reference to the New Books

ICND2 Chapter Vol 1 Chapter? Vol 2 Chapter? Notes
1 8 * ICND2 Chapter 1 duplicated ICND1 Chapter 8.
2 9 Medium re-writes; worth reading.
3 10 New info included; worth reading.
4 Not in new books.
5 Split, reused, removed… no way to skip any specific new chapter.
6 Split, reused, removed… no way to skip any specific new chapter.
7 19 No significant new info.
8 20 Some re-writes; No significant new info.
9 Not in new books.
10 Not in new books.
11 Not in new books.
12 Not in new books.
13 Not in new books.
14 14 Old ICND2 14 & 15 became Vol 2 Chap. 14 with some removals. No significant new info.
15 14 Ditto
16 2 * ICND2 Chapter 16 duplicated ICND1 Chapter 25.
17 3 * ICND2 Chapter 17 duplicated ICND1 Chapter 26.
18 11 No significant new info.
19 17 Some re-writes and new info; may be worth re-reading.
20 12 Some removals, several new topics. Worth reading.
21 * ICND2 Chapter 21 duplicated ICND1 Chapter 24; Not in new books.
22 Not in new books.
23 Not in new books.
24 Not in new books.
25 Not in new books.
26 12 Many removals; No significant new info.
27 15 No significant new info.
28 16 Some removals, several new topics. Worth reading.

Chapters that are NOT Mentioned in the First Two Tables

I would suggest that you read the chapters in the new Volume 1 and 2 books sequentially, while skipping the chapters you identified with the above tables. You might want to do a little review on each of the skipped chapters – maybe look at all the key topics for instance – but otherwise keep moving to the next chapter in the new books.

However, I want to make sure you don’t skip too many chapters! The above tables focus on how to identify old book chapters and where that content lands in the new books. But the new books have some totally new content as well. You get to these chapters if you just read sequentially, but just so you know what’s coming, here’s one more table to close the post.


Vol 1 Chapter? Vol 2 Chapter? Notes
10 New info related to layer 2 EtherChannels
21 New info on OSPF network types
26-29 Four new chapters on wireless LANs
5 New “Security Architectures” Chapter
6 Revised “Securing Network Devices” Chapter
8 New DHCP Snooping content and new DAI topic
9 Revised NTP section
12 New TFTP/FTP section
16 Revised “Controller Based Networking” vs. old chapter
17 New chapter on Software-Defined Access (SDA)
18 New chapter on REST and JSON
19 New chapter on configuration management tools
When Will (Did) You Move on to CCNA 200-301?
New CCNA Deep Dive (Live) Courses from Wendell on O'Reilly (Safari)
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Great info Mr Odom, now we have a complete understanding for all the changes. Thank you.

inoman man

Useful information. Thank you Wendell/Certskills


I finished my course August 2019 for Mic/Server 2016 and Cisco Router. Got caught up studying for the Microsoft Certifications first. Heard about the new Cisco test coming in Feb 2020 decided to wait for it. Now, should I buy the new books when they become available? Are there any free practice sites online I can use to help me?

sameeer saifi

hello respected Sir.
my name is SAMEER. i live in village & there is not useful resources that i can get study more. only graduation study is available here. & i have only internet access. so i need some your valuable advice
i am beginner in networking i want to be successful engineer in my life. so please advise me.
in new ccna 200-301 some topics are removed.
so Is your book Volume 1&2 enough for New CCNA certification.

Jeffery Johnson

I have recently purchased and just started reading the first chapter. I love how you detail how to study, the DIKTY questions, etc. Brilliant!!! I’m sure it will prove very useful.
I’m having some trouble accessing the downloadable spreadsheet and other online content. I’ve contacted the ones I purchased the book from but they have not found an answer.
Do you know of an issue?

Aya Ahmad

thank you mister wemdel for your effort
I bought your ICND 1 and ICND2 books
my question is after reading this article is
can I pass the 200-301 ccna exam by studying
ICND1,ICND2 books and the added new topics to the ccna curriculum that are listed in “Chapters that are NOT Mentioned in the First Two Tables” section

Musa Ashfaq

Do i need both books or can i just study vol 1 and gtg


Hello I have the books of 200-301 and also the 200-125, my question is: is it worth reading the chapters included in 200-125 that are not in 200-301?
thank you very much

Fred K

This is so helpful, thanks for providing this!


Hello Wendell,
I’m a bit confused. For lots of chapters the notes in your tables on this blog say “Not in new books.”, but in the new books there are chapters with the name “Topics from Previous Editions.” So where do these chapters in the books fit in your table on this blog? Aren’t they the ones with the notes “Not in new books.”? Thanks. Attila

Wendell Odom

Ignore the “Topics from Previous Editions” appendix for the next paragraph.

This post compares the 100-105 and 200-105 OCGs with the 200-301 Vol 1 and 200-301 Vol 2 OCGs. It ignores that appendix. So, a table row that lists “not in new books” means that that chapter in the 100-105 or 200-105 book is not a numbered chapter in the 200-301 Vol 1 or Vol 2 book, so it’s not printed in the book. It says nothing about content that might or might not be in that appendix you mention. Simply put, when I made the 200-301 books, I chose to not include those chapters in the books.

Separate from anything stated in this post, I make a habit of make *some* content from the old books available as online appendixes. This post makes not mention and implies nothing about them. I’m being a bit pedantic to make sure it’s clear – my apologies. But yes, some of the content from the old editions happen to be in that appendix you mention, or even in other appendices. You can find them on the companion website. I do that by choice for several reasons, including that some schools teach with the books and they like having the content available while they transition to use the new editions.

Hope this helps…

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x