In a bid to more accurately assess the practical skills of candidates for its IT certifications, Cisco Systems Inc. said it will augment the tests required for its popular CCNA certification to include questions based on simulations of real-world networking scenarios.
The new test questions were integrated into the Cisco Certified Network Associate exams on March 12. Cisco Marketing Programs Manager Nader Nanjiani said similar simulation-oriented questions will be added to tests required for other Cisco certifications over the next six months.
Historically, said Nanjiani, Cisco has attempted to test certification candidates on their skills as well as their knowledge of given networking technologies. Test questions geared to assessing skills—like those focused on knowledge--have taken multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank form. The new questions, however, will present candidates with a real-world scenario, then ask candidates how they would solve a problem related to that specific scenario. Nanjiani, in Dallas, said Cisco will occasionally refresh the scenarios in order to present test-takers with new problems.
Nanjiani said the simulation-oriented questions will carry greater weight than typical multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank test questions in calculating candidates final scores.
Changes to the Cisco certification tests, said Nanjiani, will provide a more accurate reflection of each candidates skill levels.