The New 100-101 ICND1 Examination: Changes and Thoughts

By Michael AldridgeHave any of you ever felt like the cartoon character that tries to kick a football but the ball is jerked away at the last second, causing him to flip in the air and land flat on the back? Cisco recently announced new ICND1, ICND2, or CCNA certifications. This may be the case for some of you who are studying to become Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT), or Cisco Certified Network Associate(CCNA) certifications. Don’t worry! You are in a better place than your cartoon counterpart.
Cisco announced that the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA 2.0) track was now available and released on March 26, 2013. There is a two-exam track that consists, as with the previous version, of the 100-101 ICND1 and 200-101 ICND2 exams. For the brave souls, there is a single-exam track that consists only of the 200–120 CCNA composite exam.
But wait! But wait! What about all the time you spent studying? Cisco snatched that football just as you were about kick it? It’s not yet. Cisco is giving you plenty to think about, as the old exams will still be available until September 30, 2013. Whew! That’s a relief!
Don’t delay if you have already begun studying for the older version. Although half a year may seem like a lot, September will soon be here before you know it. Don’t panic if Murphy’s Law strikes and you fail to pass the ICND1 exam by Sept. 30. The new version of ICND1 will not be required. To complete the two-exam CCNA track, all you have to do is take the new ICND2 test.
What if you have not yet begun studying for the ICND1 exam? Cisco recommends that candidates who plan to keep up-to-date in the evolving role of technology take the newer track. The topics covered in the old version have been significantly rearranged and updated in version 2.0.
What has changed? A few topics were removed from the ICND1 exam. These include Routing Information Protocol (RIP), wireless network concepts (WLAN) and the Security Device Manager interface (SDM). Cisco isn’t going to remove any concepts and not add any in. Several concepts were moved from ICND2 to ICND1, including variable-length subnet masque (VLSM), IPv6 addressing, trunking, network address translation (NAT), port address translation (PAT), access control lists (ACLs), and network address translation (NAT). James discusses how moving concepts from ICND2 to ICND1 allows for new content in ICND2.
Another significant change is that Cisco has reorganized their associate-level certifications so the CCENT certification, which you will obtain after passing the ICND1 examination, can be used as a prerequisite to the CCNA Security and CCNA Voice certifications. The Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA), will require the CCENT certification starting Oct. 1, 2013.
You’ll soon discover that there are no study tools available for the new ICND1 exam. They are however on the horizon. You can use the version 1.1 exam study tools, but you should focus on the new concepts. IPv4 Subnetting is still IPv4subnetting, no matter which version of the exam you take.
Boson’s ExSim-Max is a great practice exam product that can help you gain confidence if you fear taking exams. Additionally, I recommend that you practice as much as possible with Cisco routers or switches. Boson’s NetSim simulator is a cost-effective alternative if you don’t have any Cisco gear.