The New 200-101 ICND2 Examination: Changes and Thoughts

By James Hanback After spending weeks studying for the Cisco 640-816 ICND2 test, you discover that there is a new track called Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). The Cisco 200-101 exam and its 100-101 ICND1 prerequisite were announced by Cisco on March 26. They are now available for candidates pursuing CCNA certification. Cisco also released version 2.0 of its composite exam, which is number 200-120. As you consider tossing your old 640-816 study book in the trash, one of the many questions you might have is “Have my time been wasted studying for 640-816?”
You haven’t wasted any time, which is the good news. Candidates who wish to continue their CCNA certification pursuits on the old version 1.1 track (640-822 or 640-816, respectively) have until September 30, 2013, to complete those exams. You can now grab that old study guide out of the trash, clean up the coffee grounds and fire up your NetSim labs or your Boson Exam Environment. You will have access to the old exams for five more months.
Even better is the fact that you can mix and match exam revisions to earn CCNA certification. If you have been certified as Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician, (CCENT), you can recertify as CCNA by either taking the 200-101 ICND2 or the old 640-816 ICND2 exam prior to Sept. 30. Cisco recommends that candidates who want to keep up-to-date on the changing roles of technology in the future choose the newer track. The topics covered in the old track have been significantly rearranged and updated in version 2.0.
Cisco has simplified the newer track to some degree, but made it more difficult by moving some topics that can be considered basic networking skills (VLSM and IPv6) to the ICND1 test. You will still need to have a basic understanding of these topics before you can sit for the ICND2 test. You can’t expect to be able troubleshoot common network problems and solve them if you don’t know how to subnet.
Other topics that have migrated completely from ICND2 into ICND1 are Network Address Translation, Port Address Translation and Access Control Lists (ACLs). If you’re only studying for the new ICND2, it might not be as important to practice ACL and NAT configuration as if you were studying for the older version.
Cisco has added new topics to ICND2 in order not to give the impression that you can skip studying certain topics by taking the updated exam. You need to be familiar with the characteristics and differences between first-hop redundancy protocol (FHRPs), that are available on Cisco equipment such as Hot Standby Router Protocol, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, and Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol. You will also need to know how to configure Syslog and distinguish between Simple Network Management Protocol version 2 and version 3.
Cisco has dedicated an entire topic to the new ICND2 exam on network management. This includes troubleshooting NetFlow, which is Cisco’s IP traffic monitoring protocol. You might be asked to troubleshoot older ICND2 topics such as routing protocol issues or wide area network (WAN), issues. However, you may also need to be able to understand NetFlow output. The ICND2 exam still includes topics such as Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), and all variations thereof. You will need to be able to identify the differences and how to configure them. You may also need to be familiar with switch technologies that aren’t included in the ol