My self-study strategy, few questions

Morningstar79Morningstar79 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

I have decided to get serious about my IT career so I passed my A+ (took me about 4 weeks for both parts) and I would like to tackle CCENT next. Reading around this forum (Very helpful, thank you) I came up with a following self-study plan, but I do have couple of questions.
  1. Book: Todd Lammle.
I was wondering though if I should get the complete study guide (Exam 100-105, Exam 200-105, Exam 200-125) or just CCENT (Exam 100-105). I plan on doing the ICND 2 immediately after ICND 1 but does anybody know if the combined book (much better price) is as detailed as the separate versions?

2. Simulator: This is where I am struggling the most, I heard that Packet Tracer is really good but since I am self-study it is my understanding that I would have no access to it?
Because of it I heard of Bosom (I am assuming I need NetSim 11) but Cisco Learning Labs appears a little more official to me (I don’t mind paying a little more for it if it is official but I don’t see it mentioned here as often). Any other suggestions perhaps?

3. Videos: CBTNuggets
From what I understand this is like Professor Messer videos for A+ but unfortunately 84$ a month for a subscription? Should I perhaps start by reading the book 1st to get a good idea and then purchase CBTNuggets for a month or so to really reinforce the topics (And save the money), or would you recommend doing it concurrently?

4. I also heard Packetlife mentioned here a couple of times, I am assuming it is these **** sheets that I should be consulting?****-sheets/

Thanks to everybody who responds, please let me know if I am missing anything, all suggestions are highly appreciated


  • hunterthuntert Banned Posts: 231
    you can go to and sign up for a free class for packettracer and then download it. after you do that you can watch videos from dansclasses on youtube and videos from ryan beney on youtube. all of these things are free but they will take more time. netsim helped me but it cost 99.00 for ccent. i just passed ccent and i used these things plus more. i don't know how far you want to go in your training but if you get a subscription for safari online you can get access online to many books but it costs 39.00 a month.
  • nitramdrawnitramdraw Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□

    You might want to take a look at Safari Books Online which is run by o'Reilly Publishing, it is a monthly subscription based service (about $35 a month which is about the cost of one of these books) but you get access to every book you could possibly want including all Cisco Press (Wendell Odam) and O'Reilly (Todd Lammle) and there is some really good video content too. I think they offer one months trial for free..

    As for a simulator, I'm a big fan of Cisco's VIRL, though it's certainly not the cheapest option out there it's a very powerful tool to help with your studies (and beyond)..

    Good luck..
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    The two lammle books are the same. I actually enjoyed the smaller size of each ICND book when I would carry it with me. Literally just split and turned into two books.
    2019 Goals
    CompTIA Linux+
    [ ] Bachelor's Degree
  • Morningstar79Morningstar79 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for your responses.

    I have purchased the combined Lammle book and I am using the Packet Tracer (awesome that it is now free for everybody). I have also purchased Chris Bryant videos on Udemy (figured it was only 10$) but haven't had the chance to start it yet.

    I am about 3 weeks in, covered about 70% of Lammle's CCENT and feel very comfortable with the material so far. I figure I should be ready to take the exam in about a month or so (to really review all the topics) but I was wondering if there are any Packet Tracer labs that go with Lammle's book?

    What I mean, initially I had a hard time setting up the network to practice Telnet and some other topics. I believe I have figured it out now for the most part, but it would be so much easier if the topography was already there and I could focus on configuring the network/IOS.

    Also, for those who took CBTNuggets, I know they come highly recommended, but Lammle's book seem pretty self-explanatory, would you say CBTNuggets were worth it (Especially since it is my understanding that Chris Bryant videos will do a similar thing, or am I wrong there?)

    Thank you,
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Look for a preview of Jeremy Cioara on youtube. He is the CBT instructor. He will blow your mind. Best teacher for any cert, period. imo.

    Also you will want to learn how to set up devices and to[pologies. Its a big part of ICND1 and learning things like console setting and vty settings are tested on.
    2019 Goals
    CompTIA Linux+
    [ ] Bachelor's Degree
  • Morningstar79Morningstar79 Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi guys,

    Just a quick update, I passed my CCENT (with 90%+ at that) thanks to everybody who helped!

    All I really ended up using was Lammle's book (30$) and I signed up for Chris Bryant Udemy course for another 10$. Lammle's book is good (except the infrastructure services part, I really felt unprepared at the actual exam when it came to that topic) but I highly recommend supplementing it with Chris Bryant's online course. It really summarized all CCENT topics well and made the whole material much easier to remember come test day. I used Packet Tracer (free) for my simulator, highly recommended but there are few things missing compared to the real thing, nothing critical though.

    It took me close to 3 months of studying to pass but to be honest I slacked for about 2 weeks so might have finished after 2.5 months if I tried really hard. (Then again, I like to think of my self as a quick learner, I was admitted to an Ivy School before things really went sideways in my life).

    In other words, I can assure everybody reading this thread it is definitely very doable with a few months of study time and 205$ (The exam itself costs 165$).

    Now time to start applying to NOC or Junior Admin positions around Boston area and on to the CCNA certification :)!
  • D2PD2P Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations. Good luck on your job search.
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