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Thursday, June 27, 2019

CCNA 2020, My summary of changes

Cisco recently announced major changes of certification programs and they all will take place on February 24, 2020. In this post, I am giving you my quick summary on CCNA alone.

CCNA Exam Changes (200-301)


The official new exam name for CCNA 2020 is “Cisco Certified Network Associate v2.0 (CCNA 200-301)”. I know it is quite confusing since CCNA exams has already been changed for a couple of times in recent years. I will call this 2020 CCNA by its exam code “200-301” instead.



Compared to current single 200-125 exam, more topics and questions would be tested in the new 200-301, such as Wireless LAN, Automation and Programming. The exam time is also increased. For short, the new CCNA exam would be more challenging to prepare over the current exams.

The good news is, we still have around 8 months to take current single 200-125 exam, before February 24, 2020 from today.

If you are in the middle of CCNA preparation, I recommend keep going, which is also what Cisco recommends. Eight months should be enough for you, no matter you plan to dedicate days to take a classroom training, online training, or use self-studying kits, as tools for exam preparations.

Let’s move on to impacts.

Impacts to CCENT holders


If you plan to achieve CCNA by passing 2 exams in 2 stages, the 2020 changes could impact you the most. This is because CCENT certification itself is also gone after February 24, 2020! Your CCENT passing status could not be re-certified after February 24.

To acquire your CCNA, you must pass both ICND1 (100-105) and ICND2 (200-105) in 8 months from today. Otherwise, you can only restart your whole CCNA certification process after February 24.

Impacts to specialized CCNA, e.g. CCNA Wireless


Specialized CCNA certifications, such as CCNA Wireless, would all be gone after February 24! They all will become the single certification: CCNA. No more individual specialized CCNA anymore. Here is the list of “specialized CCNA” I know would be gone:

  • CCNA Cloud
  • CCNA Collaboration
  • CCNA Cyber Ops
  • CCNA Data Center
  • CCDA
  • CCNA Industrial
  • CCNA Routing and Switching
  • CCNA Security
  • CCNA Service Provider
  • CCNA Wireless


Wait a minute, what about my passing status of these above certifications?

In fact, Cisco will send you a new CCNA certificate if you are still a valid specialized CCNA holder on February 24. Since you have paid extra efforts for specialized CCNA, Cisco would recognize and count them in credits. These credits would be counted for your future CCNA recertification. I will talk more on CCNA recertification soon in next topic.

For short, if you already are specialized CCNA certificate holder, you still preserve your extra efforts over plain CCNA. If you are in the middle of taking specialized CCNA exam, unless your exam costs are sponsored or requested to do it anyway, then I recommend wait until February 24.

I want to clarify that Cisco do also announce new Cisco Certified Specialist (or CCS for short) certifications. However, do not confuse them with specialized CCNA. Your specialized CCNA exam passing status would not help you to acquire the new CCS certifications. Although the tested topics might be overlapping with your specialized CCNA, you still must take new CCS exams after February 24 to acquire your new CCS certification.

Impacts on CCNA Recertification


After February 24, you have more paths to recertify your CCNA. Originally, you can only re-take the same CCNA exam every 3 years to recertify. After February 24, you have more options. You can take any training classes that Cisco recognizes with credits. If you have acquired more than 30 credits every 3 years, you recertify your CCNA without taking any exams.

Although up to this moment, I don’t find any “credit” assignment rules to training classes yet. I believe Cisco would announce them soon.

In my opinion, this is a more flexible approach because many people have completed many major training classes, and they just don’t have the time to pass the exams.

Shimen Red House (西門紅樓)
Taipei City, Taiwan

One more thing…


I like the new changes to CCNA certification. Although it would be more difficult to prepare for new exams, adding topics such as Automation and Programming is great because this is the trend for TCP/IP networking. I will talk more on automation and programming soon in future posts.

In addition to CCNA, Cisco also announced major changes to CCNP and CCIE, and they all take place on February 24, 2020. If you want to know more on CCNP and CCIE certification changes, please let me know by leaving your questions below.

This is my blog “Show IP Protocols”. I am Li-Ji Hong! Stay tuned!
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1 comment:

  1. This is a very nice one and gives in-depth information. I am really happy with the quality and presentation of the article. I’d really like to appreciate the efforts you get with writing this post. Thanks for sharing.
    CCNA course in pune

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