ICND1 and ICND2 were two parts of the CCNA exam that were recently retired as of February 24, 2020. When I studied for my CCNA certification, I took 4 courses at the Cisco Network Academy. The first two corresponded to ICND1 topics and the last two courses focused on ICND2 topics. As a result of passing the ICND1 exam, I earned the CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) certificate. Passing ICND2 gave me the complete CCNA certificate.
The two exam option is no longer available and the CCNA exam must now be taken in one shot and it covers multiple areas of networking. Previously, the CCNA exam covered general routing & switching.
I felt that it was much easier to tackle this exam in two parts rather than trying to tackle so many topics that are covered in the 1 full exam. Don't be discouraged. Study hard and get plenty of lab practice and you can be successful at earning your CCNA too.
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ICND1 and ICND2 exams have been discontinued from February 2020. Earlier, completing both these exams could earn you a CCNA but now you have to appear for CCNA exams only to get the certification.
Not to beat a dead horse but you have two options when trying to acquire the CCNA.
1. Complete the full CCNA exam consisting of questions from both ICND1 and 2
2. Complete the exam in two phases ICND1 will give you your CCENT upon successful completion and ICND2 will grant you your CCNA
I chose to complete ICND1 and then 2 so I could focus on studying one half and then the other allowing me to brain dump the first half. I think this method is probably the route to the highest probability of success.
I see you are interested in a certification with CISCO - good idea!
ICND 1 and ICND 2 are essentially practice exams for the certification exam CCNA. Any time you are preparing for a certification exam you want to take the practice tests over and over with the goal of each score being better than the last. The best way to improve your score is to study the rationale for the correct answer if that is provided. If the rationale is not provided you can try to do an open book test be sure you understand and learn the rational for the answers. Understanding why the answer is correct is vital to understanding how to use the CISCO network.
Pros and Cons of ICND1 & ICND2
By taking ICND1 and ICND2 individually, expect a narrow topical focus. One can encounter questions that require more knowledge or acquaintance about the given topic. The only difference between CCNA and ICND is about the number of questions, time, and topics.
Going the route of taking both ICND1/ICND2 will comprise an estimate of 80 to 100 questions. The main networking concepts are embedded in ICND1/ICND2. Taking two ICND exams individually will let you split the total budget of certification over time, but it will require your time to sit and prepare for two separate exams. After more study and upon completion of ICND1, you can choose the ICND2 exam to earn the CCNA certificate. You can obtain a certificate preferably sooner for ICND than with CCNA.
Pros and Cons of CCNA
CCNA is a shorter voyage to accomplish networking goals, although it can be more expensive. It is a broader range in study instead of taking two ICND exams. You have to deliver one single CCNA (200-125) exam.
There are no prerequisites for CCNA. CCNA covers everything; it is more likely to require general knowledge about that wide range of topics to get a passing score on the CCNA. Candidates should know all the topics of both the ICND1 and ICND2 exams. The CCNA composite exam comprises approximately about 45 to 55 questions.
Many people that rushed through the CCNA exam failed it numerous times, finally passed, but their understanding level of the material is low. Even if you study hard and you know the material well, the CCNA exam is not a game or a joke. It has become increasingly more difficult throughout the years. For those who are already familiar with networking concepts, or have been employed as entry-level techs for at least a year, then jumping straight into CCNA is undoubtedly a good idea.
There is no hard and fast rule. You are the only one who understands better in terms of security related to course knowledge, budget and time constraint which can lead you towards your goals and can create a difference.
If you are already certain of your skills or there is a need to recertify, taking the single exam path might be a better choice. If your purpose is to obtain a certification and demonstrate that you are motivated to go further, take the two-exam path.