Unpacking The 200-301 CCNA Exam: Your Ultimate Guide To The 200-301 CCNA Course - ITU Online
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Unpacking the 200-301 CCNA Exam: Your Ultimate Guide to the 200-301 CCNA Course

Unpacking the 200-301 CCNA Exam: Your Ultimate Guide to the 200-301 CCNA Course

200-301 CCAN Objectives


If you’re looking to take the Cisco 200-301 CCNA exam, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will delve into each of the six domains covered in the 200-301 CCNA exam, the exam’s structure, and the career opportunities that come with a CCNA certification. Whether you’re looking for a CCNA course online or in-person, this blog has got you covered.

The Six Objectives Covered for the 200-301 CCNA Exam

1. Network Fundamentals in the 200-301 CCNA Course

Description: This domain serves as the cornerstone of your networking knowledge, offering a comprehensive understanding of the role and function of various network components, topology architectures, interface types, and much more.

Within this objective, you’ll explore:

  • Role and Function of Network Components: Gain insights into the workings of routers, Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches, next-generation firewalls and IPS, access points, controllers like Cisco DNA Center and WLC, endpoints, servers, and Power over Ethernet (PoE).
  • Characteristics of Network Topology Architectures: Learn about the different network architectures, including two-tier, three-tier, spine-leaf, WAN, SOHO, as well as on-premise and cloud solutions.
  • Physical Interface and Cabling Types: Understand the differences between single-mode fiber, multimode fiber, and copper cabling. You’ll also learn about Ethernet shared media and point-to-point connections.
  • Identifying Interface and Cable Issues: Master the skills to identify issues like collisions, errors, mismatched duplex, and speed discrepancies in network interfaces and cables.
  • TCP vs. UDP: Understand the key differences between TCP and UDP protocols and their applications in networking.
  • IPv4 and IPv6 Addressing: Learn how to configure and verify IPv4 addressing and subnetting, and understand the need for private IPv4 addresses. You’ll also delve into IPv6 addressing, including how to configure and verify IPv6 addresses and prefixes.
  • IPv6 Address Types: Explore the different types of IPv6 addresses, including unicast (global, unique local, and link local), anycast, multicast, and Modified EUI 64.
  • IP Parameters for Client OS: Learn how to verify IP parameters for different client operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
  • Wireless Principles: Understand the fundamentals of wireless networking, including non-overlapping Wi-Fi channels, SSID, RF, and encryption methods.
  • Virtualization Fundamentals: Get acquainted with server virtualization, containers, and Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRFs).
  • Switching Concepts: Dive into MAC learning and aging, frame switching, frame flooding, and the MAC address table to understand how switches operate.

2. Network Access

Description: This domain delves into the intricacies of network access, focusing on VLAN configurations, interswitch connectivity, Layer 2 discovery protocols, EtherChannel, and wireless network components, among other topics.

Within this objective, you’ll explore:

  • Configuring and Verifying VLANs: Learn how to set up VLANs spanning multiple switches, including configuring access ports for data and voice, setting the default VLAN, and establishing InterVLAN connectivity.
  • Interswitch Connectivity: Master the skills needed to configure and verify trunk ports, understand the 802.1Q protocol, and set the Native VLAN for interswitch communication.
  • Layer 2 Discovery Protocols: Get hands-on experience with configuring and verifying Layer 2 discovery protocols like Cisco Discovery Protocol and Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP).
  • EtherChannel Configuration: Understand how to configure and verify Layer 2 and Layer 3 EtherChannel using Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP).
  • Rapid PVST+ Spanning Tree Protocol: Learn why Rapid PVST+ is essential and how it operates. You’ll also identify its basic operations, including root port, root bridge (primary/secondary), other port names, port states (forwarding/blocking), and the benefits of PortFast.
  • Cisco Wireless Architectures and AP Modes: Compare the different architectures and Access Point (AP) modes available in Cisco’s wireless solutions.
  • Physical Infrastructure of WLAN Components: Understand how WLAN components like AP, Wireless LAN Controller (WLC), access/trunk ports, and Link Aggregation Group (LAG) are physically connected.
  • AP and WLC Management Access Connections: Learn the various methods to access AP and WLC management, including Telnet, SSH, HTTP, HTTPS, console, and authentication methods like TACACS+ and RADIUS.
  • Wireless LAN Access for Client Connectivity: Get hands-on experience with configuring the components of a wireless LAN access for client connectivity using GUI. This includes WLAN creation, security settings, Quality of Service (QoS) profiles, and advanced WLAN settings.

3. IP Connectivity

Description: This domain is designed to deepen your understanding of IP connectivity, focusing on routing table components, forwarding decisions, static routing, OSPFv2, and first-hop redundancy protocols.

Within this objective, you’ll explore:

  • Interpreting the Components of a Routing Table: Learn how to read and interpret the various components of a routing table, including the routing protocol code, prefix, network mask, next hop, administrative distance, metric, and the gateway of last resort.
  • Router Forwarding Decisions: Understand the criteria a router uses by default to make forwarding decisions. This includes the longest match, administrative distance, and routing protocol metric.
  • IPv4 and IPv6 Static Routing: Master the skills needed to configure and verify IPv4 and IPv6 static routing. This includes setting up a default route, network route, host route, and floating static routes.
  • Single Area OSPFv2 Configuration: Get hands-on experience with configuring and verifying single area OSPFv2. This includes establishing neighbor adjacencies, setting up point-to-point connections, understanding broadcast and DR/BDR selection, and setting the Router ID.
  • First Hop Redundancy Protocols: Learn about the purpose, functions, and key concepts of first-hop redundancy protocols, which ensure that user traffic immediately and transparently recovers from first hop router failures while the routers are sharing an IP address and a MAC address.

4. IP Services

Description: This domain focuses on essential IP services that make a network functional and efficient. You’ll dive into topics like NAT, NTP, DHCP, DNS, SNMP, syslog, QoS, and remote access protocols.

Within this objective, you’ll explore:

  • Inside Source NAT Configuration: Learn how to configure and verify inside source Network Address Translation (NAT) using both static configurations and pools to facilitate IP address management.
  • NTP in Client and Server Mode: Understand how to configure and verify the Network Time Protocol (NTP) operating in both client and server modes to synchronize time across network devices.
  • Role of DHCP and DNS: Explore the essential roles that Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) play within the network for IP address allocation and domain name resolution, respectively.
  • Function of SNMP: Get acquainted with the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and its role in network operations, including monitoring and management tasks.
  • Syslog Features: Learn about the use of syslog in network operations, focusing on its features like facilities and levels for effective logging and monitoring.
  • DHCP Client and Relay Configuration: Master the skills needed to configure and verify DHCP clients and relay agents to facilitate IP address allocation and forwarding.
  • Forwarding Per-Hop Behavior (PHB) for QoS: Understand the Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms such as classification, marking, queuing, congestion management, policing, and shaping that affect per-hop behavior in packet forwarding.
  • Remote Access via SSH: Learn how to configure network devices for secure remote access using Secure Shell (SSH) to ensure encrypted and authenticated connections.
  • TFTP/FTP Capabilities and Functions: Explore the capabilities and functions of Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) in the network for file sharing and device configuration.

5. Security Fundamentals

Description: This domain is crucial for anyone looking to secure a network effectively. It covers a wide range of topics, from key security concepts and program elements to device access control and advanced security features.

Within this objective, you’ll explore:

  • Key Security Concepts: Understand the foundational concepts in network security, including threats, vulnerabilities, exploits, and various mitigation techniques to counteract them.
  • Security Program Elements: Learn about the essential elements of a security program, such as user awareness, training programs, and physical access control measures.
  • Device Access Control: Master the skills needed to configure and verify device access control using local passwords to secure your network devices.
  • Security Password Policies: Get to know the elements of robust security password policies, including management strategies, complexity requirements, and alternatives like multifactor authentication, certificates, and biometrics.
  • IPsec VPNs: Understand the workings of IPsec in both remote access and site-to-site Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for secure communications.
  • Access Control Lists: Learn how to configure and verify access control lists (ACLs) to manage network traffic effectively.
  • Layer 2 Security Features: Dive into Layer 2 security features like DHCP snooping, dynamic ARP inspection, and port security to protect against various network attacks.
  • AAA Concepts: Differentiate between the concepts of authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) to understand how they contribute to network security.
  • Wireless Security Protocols: Explore the security protocols used in wireless networking, including WPA, WPA2, and the latest WPA3 standards.
  • WLAN Configuration: Get hands-on experience with configuring a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) using WPA2 PSK through the Graphical User Interface (GUI).

6. Automation and Programmability

Description: This domain is designed to introduce you to the transformative impact of automation and programmability in network management. You’ll explore various architectures, management mechanisms, and data encoding methods.

Within this objective, you’ll explore:

  • Impact of Automation on Network Management: Understand how automation technologies streamline network management tasks, reduce manual errors, and enhance operational efficiency.
  • Traditional vs. Controller-Based Networking: Compare the characteristics and limitations of traditional networking with the agility and centralized control offered by controller-based networking.
  • Controller-Based and Software-Defined Architectures: Delve into the architectures that underpin modern networking, including overlay, underlay, and fabric designs. Learn about the separation of control and data planes, as well as north-bound and south-bound APIs.
  • Device Management with Cisco DNA Center: Compare traditional campus device management methods with the advanced, centralized capabilities offered by Cisco DNA Center.
  • REST-Based APIs: Understand the characteristics of REST-based APIs, including CRUD operations, HTTP verbs, and data encoding methods like JSON and XML.
  • Configuration Management Mechanisms: Recognize the capabilities of popular configuration management tools like Puppet, Chef, and Ansible in automating network device configurations.
  • Interpreting JSON-Encoded Data: Learn how to interpret data encoded in JSON format, a lightweight data interchange format that is easy to read and write.
Cisco CCNA 200-301

Cisco CCNA 200-301

The CCNA training is at the associate level, which is for junior network administrators. The 200-301 course validates Cisco skills and is thus valuable for both new IT professionals with some experience in networks as well as experienced network administrators.

Exam Makeup: CCNA How Many Questions?

  • Type of Exam: Multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and simulation questions.
  • Duration: 120 minutes.
  • Total Questions: Approximately 120 questions are included in the 200-301 CCNA exam.

Job Positions with a CCNA Certification

With a CCNA certification, you can aim for various roles in the networking field, each with its own set of responsibilities and required experience:

Network Administrator

  • Responsibilities: Managing and maintaining an organization’s network infrastructure, including switches, routers, and firewalls.
  • Experience: Entry-level roles may require 1-2 years of experience, while senior roles may require 5+ years and additional certifications.

Network Engineer

  • Responsibilities: Designing, implementing, and troubleshooting network systems to meet the organization’s needs.
  • Experience: Entry-level roles typically require 2-3 years of experience, while senior roles may require 5-7 years and specialized skills.

Network Support Technician

  • Responsibilities: Providing technical support for network issues, including troubleshooting and resolving connectivity problems.
  • Experience: Entry-level roles may require less than a year of experience, while senior roles may require 3+ years and additional technical skills.

Systems Administrator

  • Responsibilities: Overseeing the organization’s servers, databases, and network security protocols.
  • Experience: Entry-level roles may require 2-3 years of experience, while senior roles often require 5+ years and may involve management responsibilities.

Salary Ranges by City

CityLow RangeMid RangeHigh Range
San Francisco$70,000-$80,000$90,000-$110,000$120,000-$140,000
New York$65,000-$75,000$85,000-$95,000$105,000-$125,000
Los Angeles$65,000-$75,000$85,000-$95,000$105,000-$125,000
Cisco CCNA 200-301

Cisco CCNA 200-301

The CCNA training is at the associate level, which is for junior network administrators. The 200-301 course validates Cisco skills and is thus valuable for both new IT professionals with some experience in networks as well as experienced network administrators.

Tips for Preparing and Studying for the 200-301 CCNA Exam

If you’re wondering how to prepare for the Cisco CCNA 200-301 exam, here are some tips to guide you:

  1. Understand the Exam Objectives: Familiarize yourself with the six domains and what each covers. Our Cisco CCNA 200-301 training course provides in-depth coverage of these topics.
  2. Hands-On Practice: Theoretical knowledge is not enough. Make sure to get hands-on experience, which you can gain through our CCNA online course.
  3. Use Study Materials: Utilize study guides, practice exams, and other resources. Our Cisco CCNA 200-301 training course offers a wealth of materials to help you succeed.
  4. Join Study Groups: Engage with others who are preparing for the same exam. You can find forums and groups online that focus on the 200-301 CCNA course material.
  5. Take Practice Exams: This will not only test your knowledge but also prepare you for the format of the actual exam. Our CCNA course online includes practice exams to help you get ready.
  6. Review and Revise: Always go back and review what you’ve learned. Repetition is key to retaining information.

For a comprehensive and structured learning experience, consider enrolling in our Cisco CCNA 200-301 training course.

Frequently Asked Questions About the 200-301 CCNA Exam

What is the primary focus of the 200-301 CCNA Exam?

The 200-301 CCNA Exam has a duration of 120 minutes. It consists of approximately 120 questions, which may vary in format, including multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and simulation-based questions.

What types of questions can I expect on the 200-301 CCNA Exam?

The exam includes a mix of question types such as multiple-choice single answer, multiple-choice multiple answers, drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, and simulation-based questions like configuring routers and switches.

What are the prerequisites for taking the 200-301 CCNA Exam?

There are no formal prerequisites for the 200-301 CCNA Exam. However, it’s recommended that candidates have a good understanding of network fundamentals and basic IP addressing.

How should I prepare for the 200-301 CCNA Exam?

Preparation should include a mix of theoretical learning and practical experience. Cisco provides a range of study materials, including books and practice exams. Hands-on practice with networking hardware and simulation tools is also highly recommended. Many candidates also benefit from taking a structured CCNA course online or in-person.

How long is the 200-301 CCNA Exam, and how many questions does it contain?

The 200-301 CCNA Exam has a duration of 120 minutes. It consists of approximately 120 questions, which may vary in format, including multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and simulation-based questions.

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