I recently passed the JNCIA-Junos certification exam. It is my first Juniper certification and might be the last. However, I haven’t completely ruled out pursuing a higher-
The JNCIA-Junos exam I took has an exam code of JN0-102. This exam is one of Juniper’s entry-level certifications. In the Cisco world, this will be the CCENT equivalent. Though, in February 2020, Cisco will release its new entry-level certification called Cisco Certified Technician (CCT).
Here are some details about the exam:
- 65 multiple-choice questions
- 90 minutes to finish the exam
- Take the exam at an authorized testing center or in your own home
- Can skip and go back to the questions
- Can flag questions for review
- The passing score is quite low, so it’s easy to pass the exam
Both Cisco and Juniper expect you to know networking fundamentals, so be sure you know it by heart. The fundamentals will include topics like subnetting, IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, binary to decimal conversion, etc.
For obvious reasons, Juniper wants you to know your way around the Junos OS. That said, you will also need to learn the OS fundamentals. Junos OS is quite different compared to Cisco IOS or NX-OS. It may take some time for someone who is a Cisco user to get used to it.
To view the exam objectives, then click here.
I attended a three-day IJOS virtual class to spend our Juniper training credits since it was almost expiring. I also signed up for the JIR virtual class. Before these classes, we also attended a customized ADCX class for our organization.
On top of all these classes, we manage QFX and EX switches, and different models of MX routers. In short, I’m familiar with Junos OS but lack the fundamentals.
To practice Junos OS commands, I spun up some vSRX and vMX virtual machines on my ESXi server. Both of my ESXi servers are old, but they still serve my needs thus far. If you are interested in a small server, then you may want to check my newest ESXi build. Otherwise, any used decent server on eBay will do the job.
|Related: Deploying vQFX on VMware ESXi|
Additionally, I used
Junos Genius Juniper Open Learning before taking the exam. There are two available JNCIA-Junos practice exams. I took both of them and passed on each attempt.
If you are unable to attend the IJOS class, I suggest you sign up for the free JNCIA-Junos class via the Juniper Open Learning program. It fills up quickly, so make sure to check often. The program also includes a free exam voucher ($200 value) if you complete the class and pass a practice exam.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to attend the class. If you missed the registration period, then you can wait for another schedule to come up. If you’re on a tight schedule, then read some old books like Junos Enterprise Routing and Junos Enterprise Switching.
Alternatively, you can download these two-part old study guides. Juniper Networks published these study guides for learners who were in the defunct Fast Track Program. Both the study guides cover the majority of the JNCIA-Junos exam, except for IPv6 fundamentals.
It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to skip, go back, and review questions during the exam. It has been a while since I’ve seen that in a certification exam. Though, I didn’t use it since I felt confident with my answers, for the most part.
The Junos Genius practice tests were helpful to gauge my exam readiness. I will admit that, psychologically, it made me feel confident that I will pass the exam on my first attempt. In fact, I rescheduled my exam a week earlier than the original date.
|Related: Passed JNCDA|
I originally scheduled my exam on September 27th. On the week of September 16th, I decided to reschedule it to September 20th. I would’ve rescheduled it earlier, but there weren’t many available slots left. I was hesitant to try the online proctored exam option, where you can take the exam in the comfort of your home or office.
The exam wasn’t hard in my opinion. I finished it in less than 35 minutes if I recall correctly. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a certification exam that quick!
I’ve had a slight interest in the Juniper certification program in the past. However, I felt that it would’ve been a waste of time and money since my former employers didn’t have a single Juniper device.
If I hadn’t received a free exam voucher, there is a high probability that I wouldn’t have taken the exam. Having the voucher was a good enough excuse for me to take the exam and make a comparison to Cisco.
Overall, I think the JNCIA-Junos certification has some room for improvement. To me, JNCIA-Junos certification is quite easy to achieve. With a low passing score of around 60%, it’s almost as if they’re giving it away. Is it possible it was designed to lure networking professionals to Juniper’s product and service offerings?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.
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