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Cisco CCNA Wireless 200-355 Exam Profile

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Jerome Henry, author of CCNA Wireless 200-355 Complete Video Course, shares details to help you prepare for and pass Cisco CCNA Wireless exam 200-355.
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This article profiles the Cisco CCNA Wireless 200-355 exam, "Implementing Cisco Wireless Network Fundamentals." Pearson IT Certification provides a variety of exam preparation tools to help our customers in their quest for certification. As part of our service to you, we have developed this Exam Profile series. Each profile is developed based on the testing experience of one of our trainers or authors. You won't get exact questions or answers, but you will get a real feel for the exam. Each profile describes question forms, trouble spots, hints for exam preparation, and recommendations for additional study resources. Find out what you can expect to see on the exam and how you can better prepare for it.

You need to take the Cisco exam 200-355 to obtain the Cisco Wireless Network Associate certification (CCNA Wireless). The official course associated with the CCNA Wireless exam is "Implementing Cisco Wireless Network Fundamentals" (WiFUND). To obtain the CCNA Wireless title, you also need to have a valid Cisco CCENT or higher certification.

Prerequisites and Exam Details

Because CCNA Wireless focuses on the Wi-Fi part of the network, and because Wi-Fi access points and controllers connect to the wired network, you need to have some knowledge of LAN concepts in order to understand the concepts developed in the Wireless curriculum. This is why a CCENT is required in order to get the CCNA Wireless certification. For your study path, you should also have a basic understanding of networking (VLANs, IP addresses, standard subnetting, basic routing) in order to be able to focus on what matters (Wi-Fi) without being stopped by concepts that are implied but not explained.

The CCENT prerequisite is common to most "specialized" CCNAs, as Figure 1 shows.

Figure 1 CCENT is a requirement in most CCNA certifications.

Of course, a great way to make sure that you have the prerequisite is to take the CCENT exam and read the associated book. Then you can jump into the core of the wireless knowledge you need to acquire before taking the WiFUND exam, and obtain the CCNA Wireless certification.

Exam Number

200-355

Associated Certifications

CCNA Wireless

Duration

90 minutes (60–70 questions)

Available Languages

English

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Exam Objectives and Topics

The exam tests your knowledge of Wi-Fi in general, and specifically of Wi-Fi implementation in Cisco networks. The exam includes configuration, maintenance, and limited troubleshooting. (If you need more than the graphical interface or show commands to understand an issue, you fall into the Professional level.) The exam also assumes that you know enough of the site survey process to be able to participate actively in a site survey. The Cisco Learning Network provides a complete list of all the specific exam topics.

Preparation Hints and Trouble Spots

The later section "Where to Go from There" discusses how CCNP Wireless expands the knowledge built on CCNA. This is what makes CCNA Wireless challenging. You don't need to be an expert in any field, but you need to know about a lot of different fields. One difficulty is knowing where to stop in each of these fields. You can separate the fields of knowledge into two groups:

  • Wi-Fi fundamentals: RF propagation, 802.11 frames, and protocols
  • Cisco Wi-Fi implementation: Topologies, autonomous, IOS XE, AireOS, and Meraki configurations

Each group has roughly equal weight, which means that you spend almost as much time in Wi-Fi fundamentals as in practical implementation. The logic is that you cannot simply check boxes randomly if you don't understand fundamentally what these boxes do—well, you can check these boxes, but you won't be able to troubleshoot or handle issues. Therefore, don't hesitate to spend time reviewing (and reviewing again) how 802.11 frames are crafted and exchanged over the air, and be sure to include RF propagation.

Once these fields of knowledge are covered, you still need to know many interfaces, and you may not be able to train on all of them. If you can access a lab (or a live network) where you can actually experiment with configuring parameters and clients, you'll be even more comfortable facing the exam. If you don't have access to all the interfaces (autonomous, AireOS, Meraki, IOS XE), be sure to work with at least one. Then make sure you've also seen the others, so you have a good idea of how to compare the interface you know against those that are less familiar to you.

It's also important that you understand concepts specific to Cisco: mobility groups, RF groups, RRM, PoP/PoA, MA/MC, etc. Cisco Wi-Fi is very powerful and efficient at automating large network optimization because of all these features that were added to the controllers. Knowing Cisco Wi-Fi is knowing Wi-Fi (802.11), but also knowing what Cisco added to make Wi-Fi even better.

Recommended Study Resources

The following products can help you to prepare for the CCNA Wireless exam:

  • CCNA Wireless 200-355 Complete Video Course. This unique video product includes coverage of the CCNA Wireless 200-355 objective and provides all the elements you need to know to pass the WiFUND exam. The course uses screencasts, CLI demos, live-action video, and more to help you understand how waves are formed, move through the air, are affected by the environment, as well as how frames are built and exchanged. The video lessons include configuration steps for each of the interfaces in the exam (Meraki, autonomous, AireOS, IOS-XE), allowing you to see how each interface is configured.
  • This video course includes more than 21 hours of video training, covering all of the objectives in the CCNA Wireless WiFUND 200-355 exam. This title also comes with 240 interactive practice quizzes, 12 glossary quizzes, and 24 dynamic hands-on exercises and multi-step simulations so you can practice what you learn and assess your skills.

  • CCNA Wireless 200-355 Official Cert Guide. This guide touches on all the topics you need to know to take the exam, focusing on the technology included in the WiFUND exam, and providing a variety of exam preparation tools. Each chapter and major part of the book ends with review activities. The book notes the most important topics to study for the exam (key topics). It also includes a DVD question bank with exam software.
  • You may also want to use the Premium Edition of the book in addition to the print book, or instead of the print book. The CCNA Wireless 200-355 Official Cert Guide, Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test is the typical Cisco Press Premium eBook product. With this product, you get the book in many eBook formats, appropriate for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, PDF, and other formats. The Premium Edition includes the DVD content from the printed book, in a downloadable format. Finally, the Premium Edition includes additional practice questions not found in the print book. With the substantial discount offered in the back of the print book, many people use the eBook in addition to the print book, to get access to the extra questions, and for the convenience of the eBooks.

Where to Go from There

In a Cisco Wireless certification journey, the CCNA Wireless certification is your first stop. You can then extend your knowledge to CCNP Wireless. If you go even higher, you can take the CCIE written exam and then the CCIE lab exam to become a wireless expert.

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