If you’re trying to become a household name in the IT world, more precisely if you’ve set your eyes on becoming a leading expert in the networking sphere, then you know what you must do. You must take and pass Cisco’s certification program exam. As you might already know, there are several different exams and certifications Cisco provides you with, and recently they’ve made some major changes.

The biggest change came at the CCNA level. Prior to early 2024, CCNA levels were divided into seven different paths. However, at the moment, there’s only one CCNA certification exam you can take. Considering we now have a new CCNA exam, the one to rule them all, we thought we’d dive in, discover some differences, see what other significant changes were made, and answer some questions like whether the new exam is easier or harder than the previous ones and also how high should you score to pass the new CCNA exam. So, without further ado – let’s get started.

Understanding The Changes

Source: youtube.com

As we mentioned before, the biggest change that happens was with the CCNA certification. Prior to early 2024, if you wanted to take a CCNA exam, these were your options.

  • CCNA Cloud
  • CCNA Collaboration
  • CCNA Data Center
  • CCNA Industrial
  • CCNA Routing & Switching
  • CCNA Service Provider
  • CCNA Wireless

Before we were introduced to the new CCNA exam, you had to take at least two of the aforementioned exams to get certified. In some instances, you even had to take more than two. Also, if you decided mid-way through to change things up, it wasn’t really easy to do so. Nowadays, since you only have to worry about a single exam, things are a lot less complicated than they were. You get to take one exam that covers all the important subjects and topics and if you wish – you can specialize later on.

Now, the fact that we have a new, all-in-one CCNA exam, makes us wonder – how does this one stack up against the old ones? Is it harder or easier? Are there any additional changes? Do you still have to score over 84% to pass the exam? Let’s find out!

Is The New CCNA Exam Harder Or Easier Compared To The Old Ones?

Source: freepik.com

If you were to judge the new CCNA exam by the pass rates you’d probably guess that it’s not that hard, but that’s just because people are taking this test seriously and are working very hard prior to taking it.

Now, if we follow the basic logic – the new exam should be harder than the previous ones, simply based on the fact that it covers more ground. Back in the day, you had specialized exams that you can take one by one as you progress. Nowadays, all of them are put into one, so you will need a broader knowledge base to pass the test – which does make it more difficult.

What Score Do You Need To Pass The New CCNA Exam?

Source: freepik.com

The new 200-301 CCNA exam, which is the full name of the new certification exam, is a 120-minute long written exam that covers a wide array of networking topics. The format of the questions is also varied and you can expect to see the following.

  • Multiple choice
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Fill-in-the-blanks
  • Simulation
  • Simlet
  • Testlet

Most of the questions are multiple-choice questions, which is reasonable considering that you have 120 minutes to answer anywhere between 100 and 120 questions. But, most of them take even less time to answer, so, don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of time.

Now, the main question here is – how many of those do you need to get right in order to pass the exam? Well, you’re not going to like the answer. There’s no exact passing score you should aim to hit and the testing scale isn’t your average one. You can score anywhere from 300 to 1000 points. You start with 300 and if you get your questions right – you move up. In general, you need anywhere between 800 and 850 points to pass the exam. If we were you – we’d aim for 850, just to be certain. So, a B+ is a passing grade for the new CCNA exam.

How Can You Prepare For The Exam?

Source: freepik.com

The great thing about this exam is the questions are pretty much almost identical every time. Now, we don’t mean that you get to take the exact same test every single time in case you fail, but the questions are remarkably similar and that is what makes this one slightly easier to study for. You could greatly benefit from the practice tests and CCNA dumps like the ones on the Spoto website. Going through all these questions will give you a great idea of what you’ll need to learn and what kind of questions you’ll be having to answer once you sit down to take the certification exam.

Also, training programs and courses can be very beneficial. If you do decide to attend one, you can expect to work and study with certified experts, the ones that have already passed the exam, which can also greatly improve your chances of passing the test.

One thing to remember is that there are no shortcuts to passing this exam. You’ll greatly benefit from the dumps and training courses, but you’ll still have to work very hard. Expect to study for a few hours every single day for at least a month or two before you take the exam. Naturally, pre-existing knowledge of networking technologies is a must-have if you wish to have any chance of passing the certification test.

How Much Does It Cost And How Many Times Can You Take It?

Source: freepik.com

Luckily, there are no restrictions on how many times you can take the test in case you fail. However, the price tag of $300 per exam might put some limitations on how many times you’d allow yourself to mess up.

Also, you’ll have to take a small break between the two tries, in case you fail, so keep that in mind as well.

Final Thoughts

In the end, we can only wish you good luck. The new CCNA exam is definitely harder than the old one, but not as much as one might think. Hopefully, we answered your questions in this article and you’re now a step closer to becoming a Cisco-certified networking expert.