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Cisco Certification Exams

The main requirement for obtaining Cisco Career Certifications such as CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching, CCDP and CCIE and Cisco Specialist Certifications such as Cisco Firewall Security Specialist is to take and pass one or more certification exams and sign the Cisco Certifications and Confidentiality Agreement. Passing exams give network professionals the chance to prove their networking knowledge and expertise.

What Are the Exams Like?

  • Exams are proctored, timed, and delivered in a secure environment. Most exams last approximately one to two hours. Lab exams typically last eight hours.
  • Candidates must acknowledge the Cisco Certifications and Confidentiality Agreement online at the authorized testing center prior to taking any Cisco Certification exam. Candidates will not be able to proceed with the exam and a refund will not be provided. Signing this legal agreement is required to be officially certified.
  • Exams can be very challenging, going beyond simple recall and requiring candidates to engage in on the job types of problem solving. Questions include multiple-choice single answer, multiple-choice multiple answers, drag and drop, fill in the blank and simulations. An Exam Tutorial is available to demonstrate the various question formats.
  • Exams other than CCIE lab exams are delivered online, with questions in sequence, and do not allow a candidate to "mark" and return to an exam question.
  • Candidates will be provided with an erasable note board and marker for notes and calculations to assist them as they answer the questions.
  • Exams may contain non-scored items to collect performance data on new items. Non-scored items are not used in determining the passing score nor are reported in a subsection of the score report. All non-scored items are randomly placed in the exam with sufficient time calculated and given to complete the entire exam.
  • At the completion of computer-based exams, candidates receive a score report along with a score breakout by exam section and the passing score for the given exam. Lab exams are Pass/Fail and results are available online (using login) within 48 hours.
  • Cisco does not publish exam passing scores because exam questions and passing scores are subject to change without notice.

What Do They Cost?

Prices vary by level and by currency. Find cost information here by choosing your country and exam.

How Do I Schedule Exams?

  • For CCIE Lab Exams, visit the CCIE website for more information.
  • For all other exams, contact an authorized test delivery partner in your area to register for an exam.
  • In the U.S. and Canada, exams usually can be scheduled up to six weeks in advance, and as late as the same day. Scheduling policies vary at international locations.
  • Candidates who fail an exam must wait a period of five (5) calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before they may retest for the same exam.

What Do I Get When I Pass My Exams?

  • After a candidate passes all exams required for a certification and signs the required agreements, Cisco will send a Cisco Certifications certificate identifying the candidate's Cisco Certification ID and valid certification dates. Allow 3-5 business days for electronic certificates and 6-8 weeks from the date the certificate was mailed for printed certificates.
  • Certified candidates are authorized to use the appropriate Cisco Certifications logos indicating certification status. Prior to use, they must read and acknowledge the Cisco Certifications Logo Agreement. Logos can be ordered through the Cisco Certifications Tracking System.
  • The Cisco Certifications Tracking System provides a record of both exam and certification status. Candidates and certification holders are expected to keep contact information up to date for receiving notifications from Cisco.

Do certification exams expire?

  • Exams required for CCENT, Associate, and Professional certifications are valid for three years from the date the exam was passed. Exams for the Specialist certifications are valid for two years from the date the exam was passed.
  • Placing expiration dates on exams ensures that candidates starting a multi-exam certification such as CCENT, CCNA Routing and Switching, or CCDP, for example, complete the program within a specified time frame. By passing all of the required exams within the specified time period as noted above, candidates demonstrate that they are tested on current content. In situations where the period exceeds three years, candidates will need to retake those exams that expire.
  • For CCIE written exam expiration information, visit the CCIE Exam Information page.

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