CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?

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I'm wonder what the general pass/fail is for general CCNA exam takers
on the first, second and third tries (or even higher). Is this
information available anywhere?

I just took 640-801 today for the second time and failed with an 809.
Before that I got a 745. It's pretty discouraging failing this test
twice, but after looking around it looks like a lot of people fail it
at least once. I'm just wondering where I fall in relation to the
majority of exam takers.

Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
17% pass rate for the CCNA?  Sounds more like the pass rate for a CCIE
written or CCIE lab!  That is 1 pass in 6 attempts!

Out of all of the people I have worked with in recent years that have taken
Cisco certification tests, we have had better than 50%+ pass rate for any
professional level exams and more like 75%+ pass rate for first time CCNA.
Perhaps either times are changing or average knowledge going into the exam
has dropped.  Who knows why this is a different rate?

I will say this:  No matter what a statistic says the pass rate is, if you
prepare properly, you will pass that exam.  Maybe not 17% but better at 50%
where you fail the first try but definately get it on the second try.

Did your instructor tell you 17% pass rate to scare you all into studying or
was this instructor's previous class pass rate 17%?  If it is the latter,
change instructors or consider dropping the program.  I am kind of serious
there because I have substituted for CCNA instructors who only cared about
getting paid, not how many students passed the exam.  When I taught CCNA, my
student pass rate was more like 80%.  Ever hear that phrase that a student
is only as good as their teacher?  Perhaps some students can surpass their
teacher, but the point is to go where your instructor is very fluent AND can
pass that on to others.

Best of luck, and do not stop after your first certification!


     Scott Perry
Indianapolis, Indiana

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Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?

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And how do/did  you measure your success rate?
When was this ?

Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
How do I  measure my success?
I measure my success in how well I do my job with ease.  Knowing subnets off
of the top of my head without calculators and not having to look up commands
makes my job easier.  Knowing how to design the networks to work the first
time makes my job better.  That is what is beyond the exam, and I still have
many more exams to help benchmark further learning for myself.

How long ago was this? (guessing the reference to the student pass rate
better than 17%)?

Getting back to the topic:
If the CCIE has a high fail rate around the point where a person takes 6
attempts to pass, that is roughly 17% pass rate.
Why should the CCNA be so difficult as well?

My point is, and I have to end on this, that if anyone really reads and
learns the material, and not just memorize from braindumps and TestKings,
that they can pass within 2 tries if not just 1.


     Scott Perry
Indianapolis, Indiana
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Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
Been there.  I took the CCNA the first time with a 759 and then got a
809 the next time 2 to 3 weeks later, trying to beat the Nov 6th
change.  I'm curious what text and hands-on materials you used.
Myself, while trying to decide between Odom and Lammle, I came across
Chris Bryant's Ultimate CCNA Study Package.  It sounded great, in
addition to his text it came with 3 free days rack rental, and a lab
workbook.  Bryant's name appeared on forum's here and there as an
active participant, and although I couldn't find many comments about
his product, I couldn't find anything negative either.  So after
studying his materials thoroughly until I had his text down cold, and
after acquiring a 2-router and 1-switch kit and hammering away at it
with his labs (as thoroughly as I could with a limited kit), I went to
the test.  I already knew what to expect as far as the format of the
test goes, so that was not upsetting at all.  I was shocked though, at
how the test differed from what I had expected, given the "Ultimate
CCNA Study Package".  Apparently "Ultimate" isn't synonomous with
"Comprehensive".  Bryant's package didn't cover extended access lists
in enough depth, nor did it cover STP in enough depth.  He breezed
past Ethernet, and BGP wasn't even mentioned, so I was very surprised
to see those repeatedly on the exam.  That only names a few topics
that were neglected by his text.  In a race to beat Nov 6th, I grabbed
Odom's 640-801, a set thats worth its price for the exam CD alone.  I
crammed the material but it wasn't enough, like I said I only got
Like other people here have said, I believe success on the exam is
dependent on a combination of text-book smarts and hands-on practice
(and lots of it).  Consequently you can only be as smart as the text
you bought and the hands-on work you did.  I was lacking in the "text"
area, you could say.  There are 3 days left, but I'm deciding to
forego the 801, in order to give the Odom set a thorough study.  Then
I'm taking the 2 test option in a month or two.  Long story short, I
don't know what your study plan was, but your not the only one who had
problems.  Come to think of it, I remember several sad faces filing
out of the test facility when I was there and I could tell from their
computer screens they were taking the same exam.  The way I see it,
the tougher the test is, the more the certification is worth.  So take
it with a grain of salt.  It's still a career worth pursuing.  Hang in

Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
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The test itself isn't hard. If you pass it with a good score (not
border-line), you are ready to enter a networking job at a basic level. You
have to learn the concepts, then apply them.

Folk like you keep funding these fools who steal material or simplky
re-write it and reiterate, for $50 a time.

I passed my CCNA with full marks, first attempt, and spent $0 on tuition. My
university course was paid by the Scottish government, so I had easy access
to lab equipment. The fact is, without access to lab equipment I'd still
have passed, because I haven't touched equipment in many months, but I've
got a good memory, and simulators work well for CCNA.

The reason CCNA is pretty shit these days is because anybody can get it with
a bit of memory, which is why CCNP seperates the people with no chance in
networking from people who are genuine and talented.

Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
I have material from both Todd Lammle and long-time CCIE Wendel Odom.  I
prefer Wendel's material for those who want to really learn the material.

If you are having a hard time grasping the concepts, take Todd's material.
If I might say, he presents the material starting from a lower level and his
teachings are not very complicated and are filled with analogies.  Even
though I do not like his work, I do have to admit that they guy has been
making a living as a traininer, primarily CCNA, for quite a while.  Then
again, if the CCNA is too harsh for you and you need it presented in a more
gentle way, you probably are not grasping this topic.

To get all of the information you need, I recommend Wendel Odom's writings.
They cover everything.  That seems to be the complaint common in these
postings about the books - that they did not cover what was on the test.  An
comparison of how Wendel writes is how a segment of data goes from one host
to another from birth to death with all of the events in between described
in detail while other books spend only a single paragraph simply stating
that it happens.

I am biased towards Wendel's book rather than Lammle's books because by the
time you are attempting to take a CCNA, you should be an intelligent learned
person who can take the total description of the topic and be able to learn
from it.  If you bought CCNA for Dummies, then you shouldn't be doing this.


     Scott Perry
Indianapolis, Indiana
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Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
I passed the CCNA exam in 2001 and the four CCNP exams 2002-2003, all on
the first try. But don't be discouraged, I had about 5 years job
experience with Cisco routers and switches before.

IMHO it is hard to pass the tests without any practise, but not impossible.

Don't give up!

Best regards,

tedium schrieb:
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Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
you are not alone.....

i think it relates to your background, learning method's
you are/have used and probably how old you are too....
(old dog , new tricks etc...) as to how quick you pick it
up and run.

<tedium> wrote in message
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Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
Passing the CCNA on the first try involves some more factors:
 * how much experience do you have taking Prometric and Vue certification
 * how comfortable are you working with Cisco routers and switches
 * how many practice tests have you taken

I would love to believe that pure "street knowledge" of the equipment and
technology is enough to get by, but it is not true.  In a CCNA exam you will
be asked questions like what category a dynamic rouing protocols would be
identified with.  These are book terms which would not be obvious from
someone who is more equipment savy and not as book smart.  Other questions
would ask which protocol is better for a particular situation which seem
more like a relative point of view than a factual direct question.

You should begin with your books and material - the exam guides.  After
learning what commands and concepts they describe, take it further.  Do not
just memorize the single command to save the configuration, learn the
command and all of its possibilites totally, then move on to the next page.
Also, stay within the book topics when fully learning a command or concept.
It is a waste to read about dynamic routing and go further by reading the
BGP configuaration guide while studying for the CCNA.  Just take something
like a mention of "show run" and learn what you can really do with a "show
run" command.  Through this you will fully understand the concepts that the
CCNA guide and CCNA exam covers, not just memorizing a single answer for a
single question and then failing when the question is worded slightly
differently.  This also allows you to confidently eliminate wrong multiple
choice answers which can be very important when confused and doubting
yourself during the test.

After learning what you think you need to know, take practice exams, either
paper versions or computer based tests.  This will train you to what kinds
of questions you will get.  After doing poorly initially, return to your
books to build up on the sections that you did not know as well.  If you
really do fail on your first attempt, this method will assure that you can
see which section on the real CCNA you did poorly in and be able to return
and supplement your original success with the remaining knowledge.

Good luck, and do not lie to yourself.  When you honestly test yourself
before the exam and see that you are comfortable with the knowledge, you
will know that your test fee will return something for your monetary


     Scott Perry
Indianapolis, Indiana
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Re: CCNA 640-801 pass rate for 1st, 2nd, 3rd tries?
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According to my Cisco Academy instructor the pass rate is 17%

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