Transcender Corporation , already known for its Microsoft test simulation software, is extending its product line with the introduction of the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam simulation software. With so few good self-study materials available for the CCNA exam (640-407), Transcender’s CCNA-CERT product is a welcome addition.

The tests
The CCNA-CERT test engine is similar to the one used for the Microsoft exam simulations. The CCNA-CERT contains three exams, each consisting of 78 questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. The exams cover the exam objectives outlined by Cisco .

The CCNA-CERT software also features a “randomized exam” and a “customized exam.” The randomized exam selects 78 test questions from the pool of three exams, and the customized exam allows the tester to determine the type and number of questions contained in a single exam.

The CCNA-CERT is not just another test engine that presents questions and then displays the correct answer with little or no explanation. Rather, every question provides valuable information about the topic being quizzed. Each answer contains a detailed explanation of the correct answers and lists reference materials for the topic. The reference materials used for the questions include:

CCNA Exam Certification Guide, by Wendell Odom, (ISBN 0-7357-0073-7), Cisco Press, Macmillan Technical Publishing

CCNA Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide, by Todd Lammle, Donald Porter with James Chellis, (ISBN 0-7821-2381-3), Network Press (Sybex)

ICRC—Introduction to Cisco Router Configuration, Laura Chappell, Editor, (ISBN 1-57870-076-0), Cisco Press, Macmillan Technical Publishing

Teaching the test
Many companies have been criticized for creating materials that simply teach the test. The CCNA-CERT software is not one of these products. While the CCNA-CERT product covers all of the exam objectives, you can’t simply memorize the CCNA-CERT questions and then pass the CCNA (640-407) exam. What the CCNA-CERT can do is point out areas where additional study is needed and direct you to the appropriate study materials.

An update
Cisco is currently updating the Cisco Certification program. As part of this update, the CCNA (640-407) exam is scheduled for retirement on July 31, 2000. However, Cisco has stated that anyone who takes the exam before July 31 will not be required to take the new exam, CCNA 2.0 (640-507). Additionally, there will be an update to CCNA-CERT 1.0 to cover the new exam, CCNA 2.0 (640-507).

The CCNA-CERT 1.0 already covers most of the content that will be on the 640-507 exam, but Transcender products contain an update feature that allows the customer to download and install update files from Transcender’s Web site. This ensures that test-takers will always have the most up-to-date set of questions and features available.

Warren Heaton CCDA, CCNA, MCSE+I is the Cisco program manager for A Technological Advantage in Louisville, KY.

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