My CCNA Data Center certification experience

Today, I passed the Cisco 640-916 DCICT exam, achieving the CCNA Datacenter certification. This was my third attempt. I failed my first attempt by 4%. I failed my second attempt by 1% and wrote about my less-than-stellar customer service experience with Pearson Vue in this post.

I primarily studied with Anthony Sequiera‘s CBTNuggets series – if you have some hands-on experience with basic Nexus configuration tasks, his videos are enough to pass the exam with one caveat. The exam developers at Cisco have taken a step backward in exam quality compared to the CCNA Route & Switch. Most Cisco exams don’t expect you to memorize pages of technical specifications, but that’s not the case with this exam. It’s almost as if they hired a few Microsoft exam developers and had them write Microsoft-style “Under which menu option would you find X feature” questions. Then they mixed those nonsense questions in with the typically straightforward Cisco questions. The result is an annoyingly blended exam that bounces between fair questioning on concepts and worthless memorization. Unfortunately, the straightforward questions aren’t enough to balance out the straight memorization.

While using somebody else’s braindump is against the rules, using your own exam experience is not. If you do happen to fail, my suggestion is to write down all of the areas you were confused by immediately – don’t even wait for the drive home, do it in the parking lot of the testing center. You can then take this extremely valuable information home with you and focus your study. Doing this made me understand exactly what pieces I had to memorize and resulted in a pass.


  1. Raja

    Hello Patirck,

    Hope you are rocking…

    I have a query, is CCNA mandatory for attempting CCNA Data Center? Or can I attempt CCNA Data Center Directly as My CCNA is expired.


    1. pkremer

      Hi Raja – a CCNA is not mandatory to pursue a CCNA data center. The knowledge that a CCNA has is helpful, but you are not required to have an active CCNA to take the CCNA Data Center exams.

  2. CBT Nuggets

    Congrats on passing! We know we said it on Twitter, but we wanted to reiterate. And we couldn’t agree more with your conclusion. If you don’t pass an exam, writing down the areas you failed in is key to refocus your studies!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *