Needs some advice... studying tips.

sub-zerosub-zero Posts: 23Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi Guys,

I was wondering if anyone can help or has been through the same., when studying for their first Cisco cert.?

I am currently going through Odoms book and find as being quite new to the field of Networking, I need to really spend some time on most chapters.

By doing this I find that I seem to forget some topics I learnt in earlier chapter, such as CLI commands etc.

I am keeping notes as I go along, so i do keep referring back to them, but was wanting to know how other kept info from previous chapters fresh?

Also is there any book I can buy which will help me practising labs, as in it asks you to configure switches etc, i feel that this maybe the best way for me to memorise the commands especially?

Thanks in advance

Comments

  • rob42rob42 Posts: 423Member
    I'm sure everyone has there own ways, but for me, I find Anki url=http://ankisrs.net/]Anki - powerful, intelligent flashcards[/url very useful for formulating my own Q&As, based on what I've been reading and what the Key Topics are. It's cross-platform, so I use the Android App for when I'm out-and-about and off-line, syncing it when I get home.

    For CLI practice, I reproduce the network examples in the books (using CPT), configuring the equipment using the CLI, rather than 'cheating' and using the config Tab. I'd also recommend this site Constructing CCNA Config Drills for Troubleshooting Practice | Wendell's CCNA Skills Blog

    For 'note taking', I use KeepNote KeepNote: Note taking and organization having tried many other apps.
    No longer an active member
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 566Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hey Sub-zero,

    I'm currently going through the same process myself. I've been reading through the book and found that note taking is actually really time consuming and actually hurting my flow when reading. I think I'm going to move my note taking to after reading the chapter and limiting how many notes I do take. The only things I'll be writing down verbatim will be the commands and syntax in a journal for reference. I'll also try to make the notes more concise and focus on the really important key things for the exam (the trivia).

    I get a really strong feeling that the hardest part of the exam is going to be understanding the questions about how things work or are expected to work (hypothetical questions). Which I assume will require a lot of time and experience on the CLI and just getting for a feel for how things work in a lab environment.

    I believe a key to nailing these will be:
    • Labbing (Boson, Cisco Press Lab, ITPro.tv ... etc)
    • Helping others solve problems (Like those posted on the forums)
    • Setting up your own complex networks in Packet tracer or in your home lab
    • Trying concepts very soon after you read about them (end of chapter)
    That's my plan anyway!icon_study.gif
  • sub-zerosub-zero Posts: 23Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    rob42 wrote: »
    I'm sure everyone has there own ways, but for me, I find Anki URL="http://ankisrs.net/"]Anki - powerful, intelligent flashcards[/URL very useful for formulating my own Q&As, based on what I've been reading and what the Key Topics are. It's cross-platform, so I use the Android App for when I'm out-and-about and off-line, syncing it when I get home.

    For CLI practice, I reproduce the network examples in the books (using CPT), configuring the equipment using the CLI, rather than 'cheating' and using the config Tab. I'd also recommend this site Constructing CCNA Config Drills for Troubleshooting Practice | Wendell's CCNA Skills Blog

    For 'note taking', I use KeepNote KeepNote: Note taking and organization having tried many other apps.

    Hi Rob,

    I mainly use Cram to make some flashcards, with key topics, so I can test myself to see if I have retained the knowledge.

    Also from the wendells blog website, unless I am missing it I can't find where there are test labs which ask you to configure certain network scenarios?

    Cheers
  • sub-zerosub-zero Posts: 23Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    dontstop wrote: »
    Hey Sub-zero,

    I'm currently going through the same process myself. I've been reading through the book and found that note taking is actually really time consuming and actually hurting my flow when reading. I think I'm going to move my note taking to after reading the chapter and limiting how many notes I do take. The only things I'll be writing down verbatim will be the commands and syntax in a journal for reference. I'll also try to make the notes more concise and focus on the really important key things for the exam (the trivia).

    I get a really strong feeling that the hardest part of the exam is going to be understanding the questions about how things work or are expected to work (hypothetical questions). Which I assume will require a lot of time and experience on the CLI and just getting for a feel for how things work in a lab environment.

    I believe a key to nailing these will be:
    • Labbing (Boson, Cisco Press Lab, ITPro.tv ... etc)
    • Helping others solve problems (Like those posted on the forums)
    • Setting up your own complex networks in Packet tracer or in your home lab
    • Trying concepts very soon after you read about them (end of chapter)
    That's my plan anyway!icon_study.gif


    Hi Dontstop,

    Thanks for the advice.

    I originally bought a 3750 switch, used it for a bit, but then Imainly started using Packet Tracer for the convenience.

    I am just embarking on the IPv4 routing chapters in wendells book, so was wanting to use GNS3, but I all seems a but confusing on how to get it up and running, I have the images, but not sure what recommended model router to use ?

    Also, would sticking to Packet Tracer for ICND1 be sufficient, for all my labbing? and maybe leave GNS3 for now?, what are peoples thoughts on that.

    For notes, I mainly write them down as I go along, I do the labbing also like you mentioned, when I learn a new concept in one of the chapters, but as I mentioned, I just forget what commands are needed when moving away from the chapter or where to configure them icon_cry.gif

    I guess its just a case of keep practising to keep things freshicon_study.gif

    For my study, here it what I use

    Wendells book
    CBT Nuggets
    Packet Tracer
    Also, have Lammles book, which I intend to read through after finishing Odom's.

    I hope the above are sufficient.

    Cheers
  • rob42rob42 Posts: 423Member
    sub-zero wrote: »
    Hi Rob,

    I mainly use Cram to make some flashcards, with key topics, so I can test myself to see if I have retained the knowledge.

    Also from the wendells blog website, unless I am missing it I can't find where there are test labs which ask you to configure certain network scenarios?

    Cheers

    Hi.

    Flash Cards (IMHO) are a very good way of learning new stuff. If you've got a system that works for you, excellent, stick with it.

    I forgot to mention: I also go back to the DIKTA quizzes that are at the begging of each chapter in the books (for me, that's the ICDN1 and ICND2 W. Odom books), every two to three weeks, then re-read any sections that I'm weak on.

    The link that I posted (RE: W. Odom's Blog) should take you to the 1st 'Troubleshooting Practice' questions, so I'm not sure why you're not seeing that? Or, it could be that I'm not being clear about what's there, and what I take from it, which is my fault.

    To be clear; you'll find quite a few scenarios which are very easy to reconstruct with CPT, such as this one...

    Tshoot01_02_02.png

    For CLI practice, I reconstructed this, but I also added some Switches and a couple of Servers into the mix, as well as some redundant links, then configured the Network to work, first with RIP, then with OSPF, and then again with EIGRP, using CLI commands all the way. Then I 'knock-out' a link just to make sure that one of the redundant links would kick-in and keep the Network running.

    I'm not sure how much of a challenge you'd find this to be, but for me, it was a very interesting task, from which I learned a good deal.

    There are many more examples on that site that I find of use, but maybe you're way ahead of this? I don't know.

    For me, the only way I can remember the commands, is to keep using them, as often as I can. To that end, I have a 'clean copy' of the scenario, which I can reconfigure all over again, at any time. I'm not yet able to this without my notes, but one day...

    Hope this info is of use to you.

    All the best with your studies.
    No longer an active member
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 566Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    sub-zero wrote: »
    1. Also, would sticking to Packet Tracer for ICND1 be sufficient, for all my labbing? and maybe leave GNS3 for now?, what are peoples thoughts on that.

    2. For notes, I mainly write them down as I go along, I do the labbing also like you mentioned, when I learn a new concept in one of the chapters, but as I mentioned, I just forget what commands are needed when moving away from the chapter or where to configure them icon_cry.gif

    1. For sure! All ICND1 topics can easily be learnt and labbed using packet tracer alone. I'd recommend playing around with GNS3 as a side project getting it ready for ICND2 studies.

    2. It's just muscle memory and repetition. It's exactly like learning a new password, the first 10 times typing it in your a bit all over the shop, after doing it 100 times it just flows. The hardest part with self-study and labbing is having an extrinsic requirement to build stuff, at work you have a manager or boss telling you "configure x" or "build y". I'm currently learnig this myself, you need to start building complex packet tracer labs and see how things break. For example instead of just having a small network with with say 2 routers, build 4 or 6 all running RIPv2 with maybe DHCP and Port security to just mix it up. Then start to mess around with settings, what happens if I've got 2 routers with the same IP Subnet for instance. Or what happens if a link goes down, what path does it take, what's my reconvergence time etc etc.

    HTH
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