Cisco have recently unveiled their latest support for Network Professionals looking to earn their CCNA: the CCNA Exam Safeguard and the CCNA Exam Safeguard Plus. But if you’re looking to take advantage of this new offer then you may want to move fast, as the CCNA Exam Safeguard isn’t around forever…
What is the CCNA Exam Safeguard?
The CCNA Exam Safeguard is a safety net for your CCNA exam. If you pay for the CCNA Exam Safeguard instead of opting for the usual CCNA Exam, you can retake your CCNA exam at no extra cost.
In short, it’s a failsafe for if your CCNA exam doesn’t go according to plan.
The CCNA Exam Safeguard costs $375 (£312) + VAT compared to the usual CCNA exam cost of $300 (£250) + VAT. So with a price-tag of an extra $75 (£62), it’s not as “no extra cost” as Cisco says. But it does mean that should you fail, you won’t be footing the entire $300 cost all over again. And while no one plans to fail their CCNA exam, it’s not uncommon for IT Professionals to take more than one attempt to earn Cisco certifications.
So in essence, you’re paying an extra $75 not just for the second attempt of the exam, (should you need it) but you’re also paying for the peace of mind that the second attempt is there should you need it.
How Does the CCNA Exam Safeguard Work?
The CCNA Exam Safeguard acts as a safety net, in that if you fail your CCNA, you can take your second attempt at no extra cost. This means you don’t have to go through the process of buying it again, and instead your second attempt is there waiting for you.
The bundle only lasts for 90 days after purchase, so it’s best to only buy it when you’re ready to take your exam. Especially as the second attempt must be taken within this 90 day period.
However, this offer from Cisco isn’t around forever. You only have until April 25th of 2023 to make the most of the Exam Safeguard from
So, is it Worth it?
We would argue, yes, yes it is worth the extra $75.
Despite being the least senior certification offered by Cisco, the CCNA is no joke. Some statistics give the first time failure rate of the CCNA as high as 95%. And while Cisco doesn’t release statistics on this, if the truth is anywhere close to these statistics, the CCNA Exam Safeguard may be well worth the extra $75.
Not only is it a quarter of the cost of actually paying for the CCNA exam again, you now have the safety net of a second attempt. Knowing you have this failsafe may actually help to reduce the pressure you have, and allow you to perform better in the exam. Ironically meaning, you may not need that second attempt after all.
Of course, if you don’t need the second exam attempt, it may make the extra $75 you paid feel like a waste. But given how difficult the CCNA exam is for IT Professionals beginning their career it’s a small price for the insurance.
Additionally, $75 is a small amount compared to the increased earning potential that having your CCNA can give you. If you do pass your CCNA first time, with the increased salaries you can earn, you’ll quickly forget about the $75 you spent. And given the time and money you spend training for your CCNA exam, the actual cost of your exam is a small part of the overall financial cost of earning your CCNA.
What About the CCNA Exam Safeguard Plus?
The second level of the CCNA Exam Safeguard is the CCNA Exam Safeguard Plus, which costs $450 (£375). For the extra $75, you also get an additional Cisco Exam Review: CCNA.
The Cisco Exam Review is essentially a mock-exam of a sample of the nearly 300 questions you can face on the CCNA, including 15 lab exercises. Unlike the actual CCNA, the CCNA exam review gives you feedback on the questions you got wrong, giving you information on areas you can improve.
As part of the Safeguard Plus bundle, the Cisco Exam Review: CCNA costs $75 (£62). Standalone, the Cisco Exam Review: CCNA costs $79 (£66). In our eyes? For a saving of $4/ £4, it’s not really worth it unless you were planning on buying the exam review anyway.
If you’re taking your CCNA Exam in the next few months of 2023, we think that the CCNA Exam Safeguard is absolutely worth the investment. Not only does it give you a second attempt at a quarter of the price, it gives you the peace of mind and confidence to perform better on your first attempt.
If you’re looking for more information on the CCNA and trying to decide whether it’s worth it, we’ve put together a guide that should give you all the information you need, here. But for more information about Cisco qualifications overall and the benefits they can give to your career, you can read our comprehensive guide on Cisco qualifications here.