CCAr Application and Board Exam Information

    CCAr® Certification Application & Board Exam Information


    NOTE: You must be a CCDE Certified individual to begin the application process.


    Step 1 – Application and Interview


    1. Begin process by submitting non-refundable Application (Step 1) payment - $3,750 USD  — Submit Application Payment NowCLN Store Content
    2. After payment has been processed, candidate will be contacted via email (using the address provided during the CCDE Practical Exam Registration) with information about how to submit resume, summary of a finalized architecture, and supporting information. Candidates shall not submit project summary information related to any classified projects. Submission of classified project summary information will be cause for immediate disqualification.
    3. Once the resume, project summary, and supporting information have been submitted, candidate will be contacted to schedule a telephone interview.
    4. Cisco Certified Architect team and candidate will conduct telephone interview to discuss background and project submission.
    5. Candidate will be scored based on submission and interview.
    6. Judges will determine if candidate is accepted into the program. Judges will consider the following criteria when evaluating an application for the CCAr exam:
      • Level of interaction with executive management
      • Level of involvement in translating business requirements to functional requirements and resolving conflicting requirements
      • Level of awareness and control of project budget, and the impact of budget constraints on architectural decisions
      • Breadth and complexity of the projects in which the applicant has been involved
      • Ability of applicant to articulate (written and verbal) rationale for architectural decisions in the project
      • Congruence between applicant’s application materials and phone interview performance
      • Ability to respond to technical questions related to the projects
    7. Candidate will be notified of the results within 14 calendar days following the Application Interview. If candidate is accepted, a date and location for the Board Exam will be scheduled, and candidate will receive approval to proceed to Step 2; if candidate is not accepted, the board will provide guidelines for when candidate may re-apply.


    Step 2 – Architectural Challenge and Board Exam


    Candidate can schedule the board exam anytime after he/she has completed Step 1 and has paid in full. Board exams will be administered once per quarter based upon limited availability.


    1. Begin process by submitting non-refundable Board Exam (Step 2) payment - $11,250 USD — Submit Board Exam Payment NowCLN Store Content
    2. Candidate will receive Architectural Challenge documents. The documents contain a scenario in which the candidate will need to develop and defend a network architecture that can effectively support a given set of business requirements.
    3. Candidate will prepare and submit a solution to the Architectural Challenge within 21 calendar days of receipt of materials. During this period the candidate can interact with the board (i.e., request further documents and/or information). If the board feels the request is appropriate, they will provide the additional information to the candidate.
    4. Once the board receives the submission, the response will be scored according to defined rubrics and will be used for preparation for the in-person board exam.
    5. Candidate will appear before the board (panel of three judges). The board exam will consist of the following steps:
          a. Candidate will present and defend the Architectural Challenge solution
          b. Candidate will respond to questions from the board
          c. Candidate will receive a scope change to the original Architectural Challenge
          d. Candidate will create solution based on new requirements
          e. Candidate will present and defend new solution
    6. Judges will consider the following criteria when evaluating the scenario solution and board presentation and defense:
      • Architecture to meet business needs, goals and directions, in an elegant solution
      • Ability to recognize stated and implied requirements, and elicit any missing yet required information
      • Ability to use knowledge of the business to prioritize requirements and resolve conflicting or unrealistic requirements
      • Complete understanding of the existing network and how it supports the business
      • Ability to consider all aspects of a problem and produce sound rough estimates
      • Understanding of risks involved on the architecture
      • Familiarity with budgetary constraints and its impact on the business
      • Ability to identify impact of proposed changes on the business, from a business requirements, budgetary, technical design, technology decisions, and feasibility stand points
      • Functional specifications meet scalability, performance, manageability, complexity and cost requirements in an elegant fashion
      • Ability to create a roadmap which will successfully migrate from the current to the desired state
      • Ability to identify risk and impacts on the migration plan, and risk abatement strategies
      • Ability to identify and compensate for points at the migration plan which are difficult to implement and make correct assignments
      • Ability to influence business and technical audiences, responding to challenges and criticisms, through presentation and rationale, on business problems, requirements, constraints, and risks
      • Ability to describe tradeoffs for a wide array of technologies and design options
    7. Candidate will be notified of the results within 21 calendar days following the Board Exam.



    Additional CCAr® Exam information


    Register for Board ExamThe CCAr® Board Exam is offered exclusively by Cisco.  A testing provider is not used to administer the exam.


    • Gather personal information prior to exam registration

        - Legal name (from government issued ID)

        - Cisco Certification ID (i.e. CSCO00000001) or Test ID number

        - Company name

        - Valid email address

        - Method of payment

    • Cancellation Policy: The Application and Board Exam payments are non-refundable.

    • Please refer to the Cisco Learning Network Store frequently ask questions for more information.
    • Confidentiality:
      The questions and answers of the certification exams are the exclusive and confidential property  of Cisco and are protected by Cisco's intellectual property rights. Candidates taking Cisco exams  must agree they have read and will abide by the terms and conditions of the  Cisco Career Certifications and Confidentiality Agreement before beginning each exam.
    • Exam Violations:
      Disclosure of test content is strictly prohibited. Please report any suspicious activity as  described in Cisco's Exam  Violation Rules.
    • ID Verification:  ID will be required and verified multiple times within the application and board exam process.


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