Recommended Training Paths for CCNA

Cisco recommends that you take two courses before you take the CCNA exam. The first, CCNA Basics (CCNAB), is a Web-based introductory course that you can order directly from most any learning partner, my company included. This course covers the basic protocol information needed for CCNA, with an emphasis on the OSI reference model.

The other suggested course is the instructor-led Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) course, which is available from almost every Cisco training partner (for a list of training partners, go to

So, if you have taken or will take the ICND, that's the best way to prepare for the CCNA exam. But what if you took the Cisco Networking Academy curriculum? Or what if you simply choose not to spend the money on an introductory course? The final section of this chapter suggests a strategy for people from each background.

First, an outline of the ICND course, shown in Table 1-6, should be helpful. Remember, although the CCNA exam is not a test on the ICND course, the ICND is the course that most closely matches the CCNA topics.

Table 1-6 ICND Course Summary

Module Title

Topics in This Module

Interconnecting Cisco

Typical administrative details.

Networking Devices


Internetworking Concepts

OSI model details; common physical and data-link specifications;


MAC address definition; description of Ethernet, Token Ring, and

FDDI operation; a brief explanation of WAN data links.

Assembling and Cabling

Basic physical setup and cabling.

Cisco Devices

Operating and Configuring a

Logging in, initialization, modes of operation, passwords, help,

Cisco IOS Device

command editing, and various show commands.

Managing Your Network

Telnet, CDP, and managing the IOS and config files.


Catalyst 1900 Switch

LAN switching concepts, spanning tree, and 1900 switch



Extending Switched

Virtual LANs, VLAN trunking, and VLAN configuration on 1900

Networks with Virtual LANs


Interconnecting Networks

Protocol stack versus OSI; application layer examples; TCP error

with TCP/IP

recovery; TCP and UDP ports; TCP, UDP, and IP headers; and ICMP.

For Class A, B, and C networks: IP addresses, mask subnetting, and

planning; configuring IP addresses; configuring host names; configuring

DNS; and verifying operation with ping, trace, and show commands.

Determining IP Routes

Configuring static routes, configuring default routes, interior versus

exterior routing protocols, configuring RIP, debugging RIP, IGRP

configuration, and IGRP debug and show commands.

Basic IP Traffic

The purpose of using access lists, logic diagrams, standard and

Management with

extended access lists, and TCP/IP access lists; wildcard masks;

Access Lists

configuring standard IP access lists; configuring extended access lists;

monitoring IP access lists.

Configuring Novell IPX

Protocol versus OSI, IPX addresses, Novell encapsulation options, RIP,

SAP, GNS, configuring IPX, displaying IPX, debugging IPX, and IPX

access lists.

Establishing Serial Point-to-

Telephone company service basics, survey of data-link protocols for

Point Connections

WANs, SDLC/HDLC/PPP/LAPB framing, PPP functions, PAP and

CHAP authentication, and PAP and CHAP configuration.

Completing an ISDN

ISDN protocol basics and dial-on-demand routing (DDR).

BRI Call

Establishing a Frame Relay

Terminology, LMI messages, Inverse ARP, addressing, configuration,

PVC Connection

monitoring, configuration using subinterfaces, NBMA, and full and

partial mesh issues.

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