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Cisco exams and how to prepare

Popular exams

100-105 ICND1

Pass this exam to achieve Cisco Certified Entry Networking (CCENT) certification.

200-125 CCNA

Pass this exam to achieve CCNA Routing and Switching certification.

210-255 SECOPS

Pass this exam to achieve CCNA Cyber Ops certification.

200-150 DCICN

Pass this exam to achieve CCNA Data Center certification.

Exam topics

Every exam covers a defined set of topics. To get ready for an exam, use these exam topics as your guide. Just study and practice topic by topic.

Exam preparation

Classroom training

Our authorized Learning Partners teach instructor-led classes around the world.

Go to Cisco Learning Locator

Study group

Make new connections and study together by joining a study group.

E-learning

Cisco Learning Network Store offers online, self-paced courses and exam preparation materials.

Self-study materials

Design your own study plan using our self-study materials, library and Cisco press books.

Exam Practice

Labs & simulators

Use labs and simulators to practice configuration and troubleshooting.

Practice exams

Take a practice exam to avoid surprises at your exam.

Practice exams

Cisco Learning Network Store

Buy individual e-learning courses, virtual labs, and practice exams.

How much do exams cost?

Prices for exams vary by level and by currency. Choose your country to find the cost of your exam.
Visit the CCIE Lab Exam page to learn about prices and locations.

How do I pay for an exam?

Cisco written exams

Pearson VUE administers all Cisco exams except CCIE lab exams.

Pearson VUE offers two ways to pay for an exam:

CCIE lab exams

CCIE Lab exam payment, cost and registration information is found on our CCIE Book Your Exam resource page.

Exam vouchers - Learning Credits

Cisco customers and learning partners can redeem their Cisco Learning Credits for certification exam vouchers.

How do I schedule an exam?

You can usually schedule an exam up to six weeks in advance and as late as the same day.

  • For exams other than CCIE lab exams, schedule your exam at Pearson VUE. Visit the Exam Registration Information page for details.
  • For CCIE Lab Exams, visit the CCIE website.
  • Candidates who fail an exam must wait a period of 5 calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before they may retest for the same exam.
  • Candidates who fail any CCIE or CCDE written exam must wait for a period of 15 calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before retaking the same exam.

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. Lab exams are Pass/Fail and results are available online (using login) within 48 hours.

Pearson VUE

  • Candidates must acknowledge the Cisco Certifications and Confidentiality Agreement online at the authorized testing center prior to taking any Cisco Certification exam. Candidates who do not agree will not be able to proceed with the exam and a refund will not be provided. Signing this legal agreement is required.
  • An Exam Tutorial is available to demonstrate the various question formats.
  • Candidates will be provided with an erasable note board and marker for notes and calculations to assist them as they answer the questions.
  • At the completion of the testing session, candidates will receive a score report that includes a score breakout by exam section and the passing score for the given exam. 

What happens after I pass the exam?

  • Please allow 3-5 business days to receive your electronic certificate and 6-8 weeks from the mailing date for a printed certificate. Your certificate will show your Cisco Certification ID and the date range your certification is valid.
  • The Cisco Certification Tracking System records exam and certification status. Keep your contact information up to date to receive notifications about your certification.
  • After you’re certified, you will be authorized to use the Cisco Certification logo that identifies your status. Before using a logo, you must read and acknowledge the Cisco Certifications Logo Agreement. You can download logos through the Certifications Tracking System.

Do certification exams expire?

  • Yes. Exam expiration dates help us make sure that candidates complete multi-exam certifications within a given time frame.
  • Exams for associate and professional level certifications are valid for three years from the date you pass. Exams for specialist certifications are valid for two years from the date passed.
  • For CCIE written exam expiration information, visit the CCIE Exam Information page.

Retired exams

After we retire an exam, all its active certifications remain valid until their individual expiration dates, but the exam is no longer available for new certifications or to recertify.