These are my personal views.
Cisco exams have always been two shot exams for me. I never passed a single Cisco exam in one shot my whole life.
The reason why I got into CCNAS is because I originally thought it will almost exclusively deal with ASA Firewalls, which is something I use frequently. But it turned out that it is only 30%.
I do not know if I am getting stupider or just old, but I had to take time off from work for 3 weeks and study in order to get this cert done in order to renew my Cisco certification.
Cisco certification is getting worse, as the exam incorporates more and more sales material even you have no interest in it. I hope Cisco will change their qualification to product line based, like Microsoft is doing.
The official certification guide is worth nil. Omar Santos is probably the worst writer I ever had the displeasure of reading. His other books suck too. In the OCG entire sections such as Private VLAN is left out. there are different font size and screen shot from XP to Windows 7. If you are being paid to update a book, don't be a lazy **** and reuse old screenshots. If you look at the general trend of OCG Cisco books, most of the recent ones are very poorly reviewed.
The 31 days before your CCNAS book was helpful. Visit the links on Cisco website mentioned by the book. Study them.
The Boson exam sim taught me bunch of extra material that I focused on. Understand and learn fromt he explanations. They will be on the exam.
CBT nuggets Keith Barker might be very enthusiastic about his lessons, but he came off to me as a hippie that thinks there are unicorns that shits ice cream. I do not know if he is pretending or not but he comes off so cheerful it's to a point I can not stand. On his CBT nuggets he kept assigning "homework" which refer to his old CCNAS video and CCNPS videos. Sometimes 6 hours long in a single batch. That gets annoying real quick.
Take the exam once, remember the question you don't understand and after you leave the exam room, write down as much as possible on a piece of paper. Let this be your guidemap for correction. Go over those areas.
The exam itself is meant to trip you up. Out of 5 answers there are two wrong and 3 answer that could work. Your job is to use the skill you learned from 31 day and Boson to rule the best 2 answer.
the second time I took the exam, there is a question on the sim that I tried to double click but it did not work. Maybe there is another way to get to that screen but the way I am used to did not work.
Out of the 67 questions I have about 23 questions that I was not absolutely positive about and had to do an educated guess based on what i have learned. I did much better the second time around. But I was surprised that I passed the second time around.
If you are looking for way to renew your Cisco cert, this is not a easy way. You better off retake the ICND2 or try the CCNA CyOps, from what I heard it is about the same level with Security+.
The biggest complaint I have is that Cisco and others do not tell you which questions you got wrong and which one you got right. In life, you always get your test paper back to show where the error is made. There is no chance to learn or correct from Cisco and IT certs. That in general needs to change.