Cisco adds simulation to CCNA exam

Prospective Cisco Certified Network Associates hitting the books to prepare for the certification exam better devote some time to practicing with routing and switching gear. As of March 12, the vendor introduced a new simulation-based exam that assesses candidates' hands-on knowledge.

Designed to be a better barometer of networking skills, the new CCNA exam borrows a page from the testing methodology of the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert lab exam. The new exam models real-life scenarios by requiring test takers to apply troubleshooting and problem-solving skills to address realistic network problems. In addition to multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, candidates must perform tasks on simulated Cisco network devices.

"Cisco certified professionals are already considered among the 'best of the best' in networking technologies in the industry.

Adding simulations to our career certification program will give individuals, employers and the industry as a whole greater confidence in the competence of certified individuals," says Tom Kelly, vice president of Cisco's Internet Learning Solutions Group.

The vendor plans to add simulation exams to other Cisco certification tracks over time, but wouldn't discuss specific details.

Virtual University Enterprises and Prometric offer the new CCNA exam at locations worldwide. You can find an exam description at get an idea of what the new CCNA 640-607 exam is like, try the practice simulation tutorial and simulation preview available at more information about Cisco's certification programs, go to