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Cisco Press CCNA ICND 2004 - Cisco Press.pdf
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Format of the CCNA Exams

The INTRO, ICND, and CCNA exams all follow the same general format. As soon as you get to the testing center and check in, the proctor will give you some general instructions and then take you to a quiet room with a PC. After you sit down at the PC, you have a few things to do before the timer starts on your exam. For instance, you can take a sample quiz to get accustomed to the PC and the testing engine. Anyone who has user-level skills in getting around a PC will have no problems with the testing environment.

As soon as you start the exam, you will be asked a series of questions. You answer the question and then move on to the next one. The exam engine does not let you go back and change your answer. As soon as you move on to the next question, that’s it for the preceding question.

The exam questions can be in the following format:

Multiple choice


Drag and drop

Simulated lab

The multiple-choice format requires that you click a circle beside the correct answer(s). If more than one answer is required, the question probably will tell you how many answers to choose. Fill-in-the-blank questions require that you enter the answer, so you must get the answer exactly right.

Drag-and-drop questions require you to click and drag a button or icon to another area and then release the mouse button to place the object—typically in a list. For some questions, you might need to put a list of five things in the proper order.

The type of question that gives most people a scare before the exam is the simulated lab question. The exam engine gives you an interface into a network with several routers, and you must log in and troubleshoot a scenario. To solve the problem, you need to be able to navigate through the user interface, know several commands, and possibly configure something that has been misconfigured. You should also save your configurations, unless the question tells you not to, just in case.

The best way to prepare for simulated lab questions is to practice with real gear. You can use the Internet to find sites that offer free CCNA lab access. I searched for “free CCNA labs,” and the first three hits were (seemingly) legitimate offers for free lab access for CCNA study. You can also use a simulator product, such as Cisco Press’s CCNA Router and Switch eSIM. A special version of Boson’s Netsim product, compiled specifically for this book, is also included on the CD that comes with this book.