CCNA Exam -- Must pass all simulations?

Unanswered Question
Jan 15th, 2009

Hi. I've read on the Net that you can pass all of the other questions on the exam but if you miss even a single simulation question, you'll fail the exam? Is that true?

Similarly, I've read that you've got to pass ALL simulation questions in order to pass the CCNA exam. Also true?

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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
compsolv Thu, 01/15/2009 - 10:42

This is NOT TRUE.

The simulations are worth more points than a single multiple choice question - and they do offer partial credit.

Anthony Sequeira Fri, 01/16/2009 - 01:44

Hi There

This will probably be an unpopular answer but IMHO if it is not true that a candidate needs to pass all the simulations questions to pass the CCNA certification exam, then it should be.

On the CCNA exam, a candidate should expect to be faced with simulation tasks that a CCNA should be able to answer and which they should have studied in their texts and had some practice on either a simulator program or real equipment.

If a candidate can not perform these tasks then they should not be awarded CCNA certification as it is just a worthless piece opf paper for that candidate.

I would personally like to see the CCNA exam have much more emphasis on hands on (simulation) questions and less on multiple choice. I think this would produce much stornger and more benificial CCNA's to the industry.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Best Regards & Good Luck woth your exam.


marikakis Fri, 01/16/2009 - 02:59


1. The CCNA is just an entry level certification, it is not like running for the President of the USA.

2. Mistakes happen in the real world the same way they can happen on the exam. The exams themselves are not perfect (neither the questions, nor the simulations), test marking needs to adjust to possibility of error of its own.

3. The simulations are generally easy, I think they are being discussed too much. No exam can evaluate the true capabilities of a candidate (there is not enough time). In the real world, the real routers actually help you out with many available commands and command help. In the real world, you can search the documentation in a couple of minutes when in doubt. In the real world, nobody cares if I remember by heart the exact command syntax to adjust timers that remain consistent to their defaults across the OSPF network.

4. Less weight on the concepts results in ISP engineers who only know how to copy-paste commands and when they see the OSPF neighbor going down, they think it's OSPF's fault that the corresponding link physical layer also went down. Without the concepts, troubleshooting becomes a trial-and-error task with negative effects on the network (shut/no shut, clear OSPF, clear the BGP, reboot the router, debugs, etc.).

Kind Regards,


Rob Huffman Fri, 01/16/2009 - 07:19

Hi Maria,

First off, Congrats on your recent achievements, good stuff! I wanted to add my +5 point vote for this post as well. I make mistakes on a daily basis (probably hourly:) so I have to agree with your assessment here.

Even the best Techs that I have ever worked with make mistakes from time to time, so given the added pressure that an exam brings I think the odd mistake is to be expected.



"Good-nature and good-sense must ever join; To err is human, to forgive, divine." -Alexander Pope.

marikakis Mon, 01/19/2009 - 02:49

Thank you Rob.

One week before an exam I usually find myself incapable of understanding anything I try to read, and it's me who puts myself to the test (not some employer). Many people can get very stressed with exams. Especially experienced ones. In less than 2 hours, if not careful, you could have the test engine tell you that all these years you learnt nothing. Many questions actually need to "not think on them too much". If you put a lot of effort, in the end it seems you have more to lose than to gain from the exam. If you pass you might hear something like "well, it was expected". If you fail you might hear something like "well, it seems you do not know that much after all" :-) It seems to me that the less stressing period to take tests is after 2-3 years of work experience.


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