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What's the difference between the two CCNA certification tracks?

I'm a networking student with more theoretical knowledge than practical application. I've been studying CCNA but am confused about the two types of CCNA exams:
  1. CCNA 640-802 composite
  2. CCNA (ICND 640-821 and ICND 640-811)
What's the difference between them and what would you suggest for someone in my position?

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The 640-802 exam is a combined exam covering all the objectives for the CCNA certification. I typically recommend that one for those who have a substantial foundation in Cisco technologies and networking.

Given that you admittedly are weak in the practical, I recommend the ICND 1 and ICND 2 exams to achieve your CCNA. You will be able to learn and practice smaller chunks of information and test them. In addition, you will get two certifications when you pass both exams (CCENT and CCNA.)

This was first published in October 2008

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