Hello everyone! Wanted to begin a thread detailing my journey in my studies and processes towards obtaining my first Cisco certification. I've seen similar posts as this from prominent members of this community and I have found them to be inspiring and motivational. My hope is that by continuing posting regularly it'll help me stay on track. My goal is to obtain my CCENT before the end of the year and my full CCNA certification sometime early next year. For those experienced with the exam or already in the process of obtaining this cert I welcome any and all advises, study methods, and other approaches.
I begin my studies September 1st and I'd like to break them up into phases.
Phase 1 - Observation
I'd like to simply read my book through once. I won't be taking intense notes initially. I kinda want to gauge where I should place most of my focus. My notes will consist of the areas I'd like to place extra effort on and how I'd like to study for it (i.e.; labs, flashcards, etc...)
Phase 2- Development
I'll go back to the areas of major focus and develop unique study methods for each one. I'll post on the areas I'd like to focus on and how I'll approach them and assess myself.
Phase 3 - Assessment
This is where I'll really be assessing my knowledge and create mock exam scenarios and labbing.
Phase 4 - Reinforcement
This portion is where I'd like to dedicate a few weeks by continuing my assessments of Phase 3 and reinforcing my acknowledging by watching training videos. I'd like to place this phase near my exam date so as to have this information fresh in my mind.
Phase 5 - Examination
The week of the exam I'll be keeping my studies light by re-watching videos or labbing in areas I feel the weakest. I'm aiming for a mid-morning exam so the day before the exam I'm just going to relax.
Study Materials I'll be using:
- CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Official Cert Guide (Book)
- CCNA Routing and Switching Portable Command Guide (Book)
- CBT Nuggets and Lynda.com (Videos)
- Packet Tracer and my recently purchased physical lab consisting of
- 1x Cisco 1841 Router
- 2x Cisco 2610XM Router
- 2x WS-C2950-24 Layer 2 Switch
- 1x WS-C3550-24 SMI Layer 3 Switch
I purchased my physical lab on eBay and based on my findings for physical labs this is apparently a decent setup. Some of the routers and switches come with different IOS verions installed; 12.1, 12.4, and 15.1. Will having these different versions matter much when attempting to have the devices talk to each other and will it also matter for the exam?
For me personally, this will be my first real IT cert. I know the way you're tested in this exam is different from CompTIA where you can go back and look at previous questions. I only have one shot at the questions so this adds another layer of difficulty I've yet to experience. I'm hoping with the way I laid out my preparation it will be enough for me to pass. This will also be my first step into the networking world I've desired to be a part of since beginning my IT career. The company I work for has a real need for network analysts at the moment. My old boss from my service desk days is now the manager of the networking department and he'd like me to be a part of his team but I'll need to get this cert first.