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CCNA Online Exam

How is CCNA Online Exam Conducted?

Jan 06, 20194 mins readAmit Masih
How is CCNA Online Exam Conducted?


CCNA is a globally-recognized certification and showcases your knowledge and skills to handle advanced IT networks. It is beneficial for help desk technicians, network administrators, entry-level network engineers, and network support technicians.

However, everyone cannot take an offline exam for various reasons. Hence, during the pandemic, Cisco partnered with Pearson VUE (online proctor) to offer most of its certification exams online. It means candidates can now take the exams safely from their homes or the place of their choice.

However, an online proctored exam has its set of challenges and requirements that you must meet to be allowed to take the test online.

Let us now look at what steps are involved in taking the Cisco CCNA certification exam online.

Online Testing Initiative by Cisco

In April 2020, Cisco became the certified provider of online exams by collaborating with Pearson VUE (online proctor). In online exams, candidates have the liberty to schedule exams at a time of their choice.

All written and proctored exams by Cisco are offered online except:

  • 100-110 ENU CCENT (by invitation only) 
  • 352-011 ENU Cisco Certified Design Professional Practice Exam
  • 352-001 ENU Cisco Certified Design Specialist Qualifying Exam

Other Exceptions:

  • Online proctored exams are conducted worldwide in most countries. However, a few countries have legal restrictions, including China, where the online exam is not conducted.
  • You can take the online exam in multiple languages. But proctors and support executives speak the English language only.

Steps to Take an Online Exam

Before Exam Day

Here are the key points you must focus on before the exam to avoid any last moment troubles.

  • You must run a system test to ensure your system is compatible with the OnVUE software.
  • Download the OnVUE software and run the OnVUE application.
  • You must have a functional webcam with a strong internet connection.
  • The testing area must be noise-free.
  • An up-to-date and valid government-issued ID.

On the Exam Day

  • Prepare your testing area. Clean your desk and ensure there are no physical items like paper, pen, calculator, notebook, and pencil on the table.
  • Check your computer. See if the webcam and internet connection are in working condition. Also, ensure that you use the same system to take the test on which you ran the system test before.
  • Your computer is locked, so you cannot run any other application simultaneously during the test.
  • All other laptops or monitors must be disconnected and covered.

Operating System Requirements:

  • Windows 10 (64-bit) (excluding “S Mode”)
  • Windows 8.1 (64-bit) (all versions except ‘RT’)
  • Mac OS 10.13 and above (excluding beta versions)

Prohibited Operating Systems for the Exam:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Linux/Unix-based operating systems 

Exam Check-in: Download the OnVUE software. You can start the check-in process 30 minutes before your appointment.

Step-by-Step on How to Check-in

  • Log in to your account on the PearsonVUE website’s homepage.
  • Select your test and click, begin the exam.
  • Do this activity 30 minutes before the exam appointment. If you cannot see the begin exam option, do not worry, as you have logged in earlier than the prescribed time.
  • Download and run the OnVUE software to begin the check-in process.
  • Follow the instructions like performing a system check to ensure your computer is ready and click a pic of your ID and your headshot photographs. 
  • The check-in process is completed upon reviewing your ID and photos, and now the exam begins.

The Final Words This article covers basic know-how about the Cisco CCNA online exam. The methodology followed by PearsonVUE for online proctored exams remains the same for all exams.

I have written a detailed guide on Online Proctored Exam requirements that you can read. It covers the pros and cons of online exams, laptop or computer needs, exam area requirements, prohibited items list, ID requirement, check-in process, during the exam rules, technical support information, and how to submit the test. 

If you still have doubts about how to apply for the CCNA exam online, do share your queries in the comments below.

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