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Overview of Cisco Routing and Switching Certifications

To obtain the associate-level CCNA R&S certification, you should be able to pass its required exams. There are two options for you to take – you can either take the one – exam option or the two – exam option.

The one-exam option, 200-125 CCNA R&S, is more widespread since it is a blend of two exams. Meaning, it includes a wider range of areas and can be prolix. The exam has 60 – 70 questions and can be taken for 90 minutes. In opposition, the two-exam option is composed of the 100-101 ICND1 and 200-101 ICND2 exam. Although both exams are still a 90 – minute exam, the ICND1 and ICND2 are just comprised of 45-55 and 55-65 questions, respectively.

As an entering individual, you may notice it simpler to take the two-exam option. With that, you will have more time to concentrate on the areas covered in one exam than the other after. This will help you not to be confounded with the exam contents and be able to study one at a time. But if you consider that you can be certified in just one take, then you can always have the option to choose 200-125 CCNA R&S exam. The choice is totally up to you. Just be sure to study and prepare completely for the associate-level R&S certification.

Nevertheless, regardless of which option you choose, CCNA R&S certification will evaluate your expertise in operating, configuring, installing, and troubleshooting various networks. There are no prerequisites required for you to be eligible to take the exam.

CCNP Routing and Switching
There are three certification exams you require to take for you to climb to a higher level, which is the professional-level CCNP R&S certification. The first exam is the ROUTE exam (300-101), also known as the Implementing Cisco IP Routing. The ROUTE exam is a 2-hour exam consist of 45-65 questions. Consequently, the second exam is the SWITCH exam (300-115), which is the Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks. It is still a 2-hour exam but now comprised of 30-40 questions. Finally, the third exam, TSHOOT exam (300-135), it consists of only 15-25 questions. This 2-hour exam is known as the Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks.

These three exams for CCNP R&S certification evaluates your knowledge and skills in implementing, planning, verifying, and troubleshooting networks, may it be a local or broad range of domains. Moreover, this certification proves your ability in advanced security solutions while collaborating with fellow professionals.

Prerequisites for CCNP Routing and Switching certification is either a Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching certification or a Cisco CCIE certification.

CCIE Routing and Switching
CCIE is designed for expert-level professionals, including network managers, managers and other relevant professionals who can implement, configure and troubleshoot complicated network infrastructures. To acquire the certification, you must pass two exams: 400-101 Routing and Switching written exam and CCIE R&S lab exam. The great thing, the certification does not require any formal requirements or other training courses and professional certifications.

The written exam is a 120-minute test comprising 90 – 110 questions. It emphasizes the ‘evolving technologies’ that applicants should be able to fill the gap between their proficiency and technologies such as network programmability and cloud. The exam verifies that you are qualified with the knowledge about infrastructure and its operational function.

Aside from the written exam, you must also pass an 8 – hour lab test to measure your hands-on experience regarding configuring and troubleshooting various complex networks in diverse situations. Through this, your expertise to distinguish and execute a series of problems will be put into an analysis.


Cisco remains to be the leading association that awards various IT certifications across the globe. The Cisco Certification Program proposes several certifications that befit your expertise and ability as an IT expert. For the three levels of Routing and Switching certifications, the Cisco Learning Network offers several guides and exam preparation tools. You can take from many learning opportunities – from books to practice tests, training courses, video lectures, classroom training, and online courses.

Having gained all three Cisco R&S certifications makes you the most adequate IT professional in the domain of networking. You are more than worthy to be an engineer for several IT perspectives such as systems, network, and support as well as in becoming a network professional.

As you climb the certification tiers, you are not just promised a career progression but with a salary increase. From the average salary of around $53,000 – $91,000 of IT professionals with Cisco CCNA R&S, it can go higher as you earn the professional-level certification to about $65,000 – $151,000. The salary for the expert-level certification is all the more attractive, which is around $90,000 – $160,000.

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