Afraid CCNA is too hard for me

johnnyqt25johnnyqt25 Posts: 51Banned ■■□□□□□□□□
So I just got my A+, N+, and S+ certs and now just started on the CCENT book by Wendell Odom. I'm on the 3rd chapter now, and must say it's pretty god damn confusing so far. There seems to be so much to know and it's quite complicated. I'm afraid CCENT/CCNA might be too hard for me. Does it get any easier?


  • johnnyqt25johnnyqt25 Posts: 51Banned ■■□□□□□□□□
    Are you applying what you are learning to a lab? Either via packet tracer or actual equipment?

    Haven't gotten that far to lab yet. And the book seems really intimidating.
  • cisco-usercisco-user Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Do not read the book first. Go watch a course on Udemy or YouTube first. It really helps to understand the book.

    Never give up.
  • pevangelpevangel Posts: 342Member
    If one book doesn't work for you, then try something else. Watch a video, try a different book, try taking classes, get a tutor, get packet tracer or gns3 and lab things up. The way the material is delivered in that book may just not work for you. Try to find something that works.

    Also, you can always ask this forum on any topics that you're confused about.
  • MicronewbMicronewb Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Good info from everyone, I too suggest watching a video first and then doing a lab. I am using Packet Tracer and I enjoy it so far.
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Posts: 1,403Member
    johnnyqt25 wrote: »
    So I just got my A+, N+, and S+ certs and now just started on the CCENT book by Wendell Odom. I'm on the 3rd chapter now, and must say it's pretty god damn confusing so far. There seems to be so much to know and it's quite complicated. I'm afraid CCENT/CCNA might be too hard for me. Does it get any easier?

    I just want you to know what everyone was there in your situation. I studied and passed CCNA after studying it in 6 months WITHOUT any real world networking experience. So if I can do it, then you can too!
  • johnnyqt25johnnyqt25 Posts: 51Banned ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks all. I guess I'm just gonna keep reading and watching videos and hopefully it'll all make sense someday.
  • mistabrumley89mistabrumley89 Posts: 356Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    You'll be fine. I kept psyching myself out when I was going for my CCENT. Finally took it and passed. Couple years later, and now I'm studying for my CCIE. I now look back at how easy CCENT/CCNA was. You will hit the same brick wall with each level up, but in the end it makes you realize how much you have grown. It all comes with studying and practicing. Dealing with it for your job helps astronomically.

    By the way, I had a very hard time with every book by Wendell Odom. He explains stuff well, but it's just too dry for me.
    Goals: WGU BS: IT-Sec (DONE) | CCIE Written: In Progress
  • Jamm1nJamm1n Posts: 106Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    The first 100 some pages is all Network + like ... I read through the book once but that was after watching CBTnuggets.
  • MooseboostMooseboost Senior Member Posts: 773Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    You will get it, it will just take some time. I have to echo the video suggestion. Odom can tend to be a bit dry in my opinion anyways. Todd Lammle was a much easier read for me. Chris Bryant on youtube and CBT Nuggets made a lot more sense to me. Once I watched them and then went back to the book, I understand the concepts a lot more.
    2019 Certification Goals: OSCE OSWE
  • SyliceSylice Posts: 100Member
    You're already starting off on the wrong foot, never think like that.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    It doesn't get easier. So you're right. The CCNA is too hard for you.

    It's too hard for you as you are now. So keep studying. Enjoy the experience. Each and every one of us before you were in your place. And we got through it :)
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • dazl1212dazl1212 Posts: 377Member
    I felt like that when I started on my Cisco journey with barely any real networking journey. I couldn't read odors book and l ended up reading CCENT for Dummies. You can do it, it just takes practice and patience with yourself, more than anything. I passed my CCENT with a score in the late 900s.

    Funny story about that, the test centres computer crashed after I had done mine. Which meant I had a 15 minute wait after passing to find out my score! Felt like hours!

    I'm doing my icnd2 with Lammles book. He's much easier to read.

    Good luck!
    Goals for 2013 Network+ [x] ICND1 [x] ICND2 [ ]
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,799Mod Mod
    First, I agree with others that maybe watching some videos first may help as they will explain the information in a different manner than the book. Second, I'd recommend Todd Lammle's CCENT book. It reads so easily and I think it's perfect for someone who needs to have the material explained in a very easy to understand manner.
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • v1ralv1ral Posts: 116Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Don't read the book, cover to cover. Use like an encyclopedia/dictionary for topics that you don't understand and the videos do not elaborate on.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    johnnyqt25 wrote: »
    Does it get any easier?

    Yes. This is one of the nice things about going down this path of learning, you get to look back and see how far you've come. Stuff that seems hard now, will one day be easy. Stuff that you are just scratching the surface of, you might get to know in depth. There's stuff you don't even know you don't know now. And one day, you'll be able to look back and really feel that you've mastered the CCNA level.

    Cisco Networking is a massive area, which is why they have all the different streams and levels. CCENT is just the beginning and tries to give a taste of everything, so it is quite broad. There's a lot of stuff that is introduced for the first time. There's stuff that you might never really need in practice, and there's other stuff which will be fundamental to all the networking you ever do. There's things that are complicated, that you'll learn inside out eventually. And there's stuff which once you get your head around will seem obvious.

    When I did my CCNA studies, there were topics that were "we'll cover this in CCNP". Now I'm doing the CCNP and it's "you don't need to know this stuff in detail, or this stuff is covered in SP or DC or CCIE or whatever". So even when you get fairly deep into it, there is still a lot more to learn. BUT, you also get to look back and remember when you didn't have the first idea about how the internet works or how it might take you an hour to run through a lab which you now do in 10 minutes. Or stuff you didn't even know existed, you can now talk about for hours.

    So, stick in there. If this book isn't working, try something else - videos, audio, labbing, different books, net academy. One of the nice things about CCNA is that there are lots of resources, including free and very cheap resources, so you have some options available.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 273Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    cisco-user wrote: »
    Do not read the book first. Go watch a course on Udemy or YouTube first. It really helps to understand the book.

    I disagree with the first statement, although this is only an opinion as I've not yet taken or passed a CCENT or CCNA exam.

    I started with the Todd Lammle book ISBN 978-1118789704 which I've still not worked my way through even though I've been studying for many months as I spent ages looking for work, then settling into a new job, and have a wife and 2-year old that keep distracting me as they don't seem to understand I need study time.

    Pretty early on I bought some lab equipment and I have to say that getting hands on really helps both with understanding things, and with motivation. You also get to do factory/password resets which you won't have to with simulation software. The process is similar but different between different pieces of kit, but I think it's really important to know how to do should you ever come across (or buy) kit that you can't access because you don't have the passwords.

    I then purchased the Chris Bryant video course on Udemy and have used it to revise topics I've already covered in the book. It helped to go over topics I'd already studied again, and on a few occasions I've had moments of clarity where suddenly I understand something I'd struggled with.

    Somebody linked to - Free Subnetting Questions and Answers Randomly Generated Online in another thread and this has been really useful too. While the Udemy videos finally helped me understand subnetting (which is mega important for this exam) I'm still struggling to remember to subtract 2 when dealing with number of hosts, and I struggle with the 'how many subnets and how many hosts will a given network give you' type questions, but I'll keep practicing.
  • Codeman6669Codeman6669 Posts: 227Member
    *spits on the floor*

    Look here sir. You can, and will pass the CCNA. If you WANT it, you will get it. I had that thought at one time as well. I'm a few months out from getting the CCNP.

    Go fourth and make the ccna your *****.
  • pinkiaiiipinkiaiii Posts: 216Member
    To OP ,i was still am in your shoes ,have to say got todd lammle book and barely touched it,but having other resources and sites such as did help.

    Just to start - once came into a lab i had no idea nor difference between switch,router or patch panel :)

    anyway fast forward semster one in course seemed like wth im in for all these terms protocols different technologies -seemed i was in a wrong place,now i look back and it was just introduction to whats coming,if there was way to turn time back id crush that semester in 2 days with pass of 100.

    Then came second semester which seemed even harder,then third and last one doing now,all they have in common -it seems every last before it was easier,and every new chapter gets harder.But also every time you start new chapter you revisit topics ,concepts ,routing protocols you did before.

    Anyway point being its not the easiest course in any way 82.5 passing score is really tight compared to 70 and cisco has sort of their own way to questions and whole internet of cisco :] concept,that aside not sure are will you study yourself,but you need at least good weeks worth of time in labs-like 2-3h per week for two months,just to get used to equipment and setup,otherwise you can buy your own for fraction of cost-even on this forum if you cast access college labs or so.

    so pros to doing cisco ccna are -youll know stuff once completed course,whole side of networking and even how internet itself works in conjunction with every device even thou is seems everything is automated but reality is a lot further then concept of some AI :] ,also materials are cheap books labs ,even quipment can be gotten for fraction of college course fee or even free not counting equipment,also like with any other IT course there is no time limit you can study on your own time at home ant book exam in center if you pass that it you got your cert.

    cons:its tough course meaning a lot of trick questions and very steep passing score,as to say 70% on most IT average introduction courses,also its not as valued much as years before,thus meaning that if you have ccna its just cert-without experience its not much different as basic compTIA,thus no so much demand since a lot of people pass it on daily basis,so only option is either to up-skill and grind,or have previous IT qualifications where ccna can benefit you in getting better position.
  • xengorethxengoreth Posts: 117Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    The Odom book is very in-depth and probably more than enough as far as reading material goes. For the CCENT, the parts to really pay attention to are subnetting (if you don't already know it) the basics of how to configure Cisco devices, and the basics of routing and switching (the full blueprint is here). I'd keep reading but the key to any Cisco test is that you need to lab. I highly recommend the labbing with actual hardware, GNS3, and/or VIRL and using a workbook like the Free CCNA Workbook. Once you start labbing, the Odom book will begin to make sense.

    Don't be intimidated by the material. You'll find that it's an ocean of material, but it isn't really that deep (especially the CCENT). It's more focused than the Net+, however, and I think you'll find it to be refreshing that the CCENT/CCNA have application and value where the Net+ is just another CompTIA money-making scheme.
    2018 Goals: CCNP R/S, VCP6-NV
  • joemysteriojoemysterio Posts: 152Member
    I'll chime in here as well. My 2 cents and piece of advice, take your time to learn the concepts. Generally, when it comes to reading and studying with books and the like, I am a really slow learner. SO I did my CCENT and CCNA through WGU and passed. But because I had to rush through it then immediately started my next term, I didn't practice anymore. Now that I want to get back to it so I can go through CCNP, I've now discovered how much I've forgotten because I rushed. I honestly feel like I'm not CCNA level knowledge anymore, closer to CCENT. icon_sad.gif

    So, again, take your time to learn the concepts! Take your time to understand it, to practice in a simulator of your choice like Packet tracer or GNS3 and OFTEN! Don't be afraid or worry of the amount of time it will take you to complete! ESPECIALLY if you're serious about it! It is well worth it. And that's what I'm doing now, relearning what I've forgotten and fully assimilating it.
    Current goals: CCNA/CCNP
  • EotnakEotnak Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    OctalDump wrote: »
    So, stick in there. If this book isn't working, try something else - videos, audio, labbing, different books, net academy. One of the nice things about CCNA is that there are lots of resources, including free and very cheap resources, so you have some options available.

    This is really what it comes down to. We all learn differently. This site lead me back to community college where I spoke with an advisor and finished my Associate's Degree. The relevance being that when speaking to the advisor, he mentioned that they run Cisco Net Academy courses. I had a great professor and over 2 semesters (1 year) learned all CCNA material. It cost me a whopping $600 out of pocket. With 2 girls under 6 that is what worked best for me. Now I use Todd Lammle and Wendell Odom's books as reference materials. I don't need to learn from them.

    There's CBT Nuggets, other videos, everything listed above. Test try them all then find something that teaches you that you enjoy. You'll never get through it if it is confusing you. Once you've gone through that, try something else.
  • DB CooperDB Cooper Posts: 94Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Obsessing on a topic will get you there. Read, google, video's, labbing whatever it takes for you to learn the topic.

    Keep the mind right, success is in your hands. Every night before bed I watch some video's to keep me locked in.
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