In a new extremely important update, Cisco makes an official further push away from simulator learning by only recommending the use of real hardware for CCNA and CCNP level certifications in their new performance based lab exam configuration questions.

A piece of very exciting news from Cisco was released in one of their recent blog posts. Cisco is implementing new performance based lab configuration questions on their exams, including CCNA and CCNP. This is a great move to preserve the integrity of Cisco certifications and once again demonstrate that, if you are Cisco certified, you know your stuff!  As we have been preaching for decades, Cisco is also ONLY recommending that you use REAL Cisco hardware to learn and complete prepare for these questions. This is the correct way and is going to produce the best, top notch network engineers.

Here is a snippet from the blog post in Cisco’s own words:

“Just as someone must get behind the wheel of a car and navigate through traffic to demonstrate driving skills for their driving test, Cisco candidates should use real routers, actual Cisco gear, and products to demonstrate their skills and abilities to perform specific tasks. Like in real-life situations, when candidates work with devices, they are often free to use their preferred configuration options, as long as they produce the expected outcome. For example, candidates can enter the prompts they prefer if the device is configured correctly at the end. This goes far beyond their respective “running configuration” since, in the workplace, the focus is on achieving the desired result that aligns with the given requirements.”

You can read the full post from Cisco here:  New Performance-Based Lab Exam Items Build Opportunities

If you are not familiar with this style of question, these are not simple drag and drop or multiple choice style questions.  The exam will pull up a UI with a topology on a window on one side and the terminal emulator window where you enter commands on the second window.  You will have to manually enter the commands to perform whatever task or tasks are asked of you, just like you would in a real world hands-on network environment.  The only way to prepare for this (and even better, for the real world)  is to practice labs on real equipment and then practice some more.  

Cisco considers these questions an enhancement to their exams and we couldn’t agree more.  They state that the goal of this update is to increase a candidate’s opportunities after passing the exam by reaffirming that Cisco certification holders are especially competent and capable in their networking skills and knowledge, beyond any other certification.  Companies hiring Cisco certified network engineers recognize this and especially seek out CCNA, CCNP and CCIE holders because of the prestige these certifications hold, for a reason.

CertificationKits is the original and premiere lab kits provider of Cisco Lab Kits, using only genuine Cisco hardware.  We have remained the top source for lab building, from the home lab to large educational classrooms, because we are dedicated to offering the highest quality product, paired with exceptional customer service, provided by a team that is passionate about Cisco certification .  Additionally our training materials, which come included with every lab kit, have been a time proven and refined resource for a path to success for 1000s of certified individuals over the many years we have been in business.  We provide all the labs you need paired with the equipment to learn them the right way, which will leave you well armed to tackle these new performance based questions without skipping a beat.       

Take a look at our recommended lab kits for CCNA, CCNP, Network Security 1.0, etc. at our shop page here.

We are very responsive to any questions you may have, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions on anything at all.  We are always happy to help and provide direction to find the best lab that will match your goals and budget.  We can even customize a solution if none of the standard offerings seem to be a perfect fit!