My CCNA Journey Officially Commences



  • SpiegelSpiegel Taco Tuesday FLMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited October 2019
    OzanGuner said:
    Hey man,

    First of all i found this topic to be very helpful and motivating for those who want to start or to continue their prep for the CCNA Exam.

    I saw that you passed your CCENT already and going for the CCNA in 4 days. Best of luck on the exam, I hope you nail it down :)
    Thank you very much and I'm glad others are get something out of my experiences with this certification. It was a long road to walk on but I'm glad to be near the end. Just one final push to get to my goal.

    I was also preparing for the CCNA Exam but i lacked the infrastructure you created and modified along the way which was the study plan.

    I was going with Chris Bryant's videos from Udemy and Cisco Packet Tracer only. I felt that as i progressed further, i was having a hard time remembering everything that i studied a while ago.

    I know for a fact that i do so much better if i have questions after finishing up a chapter to solidify my knowledge about that chapter. However i was unable to find a resource that had questions after every chapter. All i found was CCENT & CCNA practice exams which included every topic there is. 

    Do you happen to know a study resource that have questions about each chapter specifically ?
    If you have the official cert guide for either the ICND1 or ICND2 books and were purchased brand new they generally include some discounts on stuff like practice questions. You can purchase them through the Pearson certification store link. The link provided will take you to the page to purchase the premium edition of the book which is an electronic version of the OCG book and also comes with a huge bank of practice questions straight from the book. The practice test software can be customized to take questions only from a specific chapter, which is what you were asking.

    Also, those Chris Bryant videos are gold. I also love CBT Nuggets with Jeremy Cioara. Both men really make you understand what you've been reading. Jeremy does great going over the key areas to focus on while giving you really great sample scenarios and labs that you can easily re-create and follow along. Chris is, in my opinion, better at delving deeper and breaking up the content point-by-point. Additionally, his section on subnetting, combined with the subnetting threads on this follow (links provided in previous pages of this thread) really was a huge factor in my ICND1 success. Another great investment to make are is Boson Exam Environment. That will give you the closest experience to taking the real exam from anything that I've seen. It even has simlets that are as good the virtual labs I've been working on with a near replica of the Cisco ISO CLI at your disposal to sift through commands for troubleshooting and configuration. This will be especially helpful for the ICND2.

    And for someone who is starting over, in your opinion what would be the most efficient way to go about it ? What resources should i use , and what resources would be enough ? As  i said previously, i was only watching videos from Udemy and using Cisco Packet Tracer, and at some point i was unable to follow the labs in there because in most labs there were pre configurations on the devices that did not appear on the video so i couldn't follow.

    Also another question as you are at the end of your prep now, approximately how much hours have you put in to prepare for CCNA ? Would you say its more than 300 hours, or 500 hours ?

    Again, thank you for this topic and i wish you the best of luck on the upcoming exam.



    All of the resources I mentioned earlier in this thread are the only things I've been using. For the ICND1 I didn't really use a physical lab as everything could be done via packet tracer, pearson sim, or boson netsim. ICND1 is roughly 60% subnetting which is why I HIGHLY recommend that your subnetting skills are thoroughly polished. I started using my physical equipment for the ICND2 more as this exam focuses more on configuration, verification, and troubleshooting. Having a physical lab is a huge plus but not 100% necessary. Good replacements are packet tracer, GNS3 (if you can figure how to set that up), and Boson NetSim. To be honest I mostly used Boson NetSim due to time constraints but their labs are very thorough and walk you through a slew of various scenarios for each topic covered in the objectives. So not having a physical lab doesn't mean you don't have a chance to pass. You can save your money and buy some equipment later if you plan to take the CCNP where having a physical lab is much more essential.

    So yeah, go over the list of resources I posted earlier in this thread and if you have any questions about them ask away here :) As for how much time I spent. I'd say I easily spent 300+ hours study. I try to do about 3 to 4 hours per day after work and if possible about 5 to 8 hours (usually 8 hours) over the weekends. Make sure you have a proper balance of breaks, otherwise, you'll burn out quickly. But that's just me. I did 300+ over a period of 3 months but if you need more time do so. Everyone learns at different paces. Put in the effort is most effective for you. These exams are very involving and does require that you're familiar and used to navigating the CLI, are efficient at subnetting quickly, understand the different requirement for different technologies, their pros and cons, how the equipment and their features work together, and understand the nature of a connectivity issue. Sorry for the long replies but I hope I was able to answer your questions.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Network Operations and Security [In-Progress]
    Current Certs: A+ | N+ | S+ | MTA: OSF | CIW: SDA | ITIL: F | CCENT | CCNA R&S | CCNA
    Currently Working On: MD-100 Windows 10

    2020 Goals: MDAA [ ], LPI Linux Essentials [ ], Project+ [ ], Cloud Essentials+ [ ],
    Future Certs: CCNP Enterprise | CCNP Security
  • SpiegelSpiegel Taco Tuesday FLMember Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Final Progress Report:
    As some have seen already I have acquired the CCNA Routing and Switching certification!

    Spent collectively over 8 months studying, this includes time spent studying for both ICND1 and ICND2. Just wanted to share my study experiences.

    Note taking: This was one of the biggest factors in my success. I was able to collectively fill 5 notebooks full of notes for both the ICND1 and 2 exams. It helped me remember better the topics I read or watched. The act of writing over and over what you learned exercised my brain to retain a lot of the information.

    Video resources: I primarily used CBTNuggets as my main video resource. Jeremy Cioara is amazing at what he does and has a gift in keeping you engaged and interested. Additionally, I also used Chris Bryant I have to HIGHLY recommend. He takes things a few levels deeper than Jeremy and keeps each specific topic separate as shorter videos than Jeremy. But yeah, both video series where definitely crucial in my success in their own ways.

    Labs: Boson Net Sim, nuff said. I loved the way they laid out each topic and presented a wide array of scenarios to work through. I heavily relied on Boson for my lab experience towards the end due to time constraints. However, the little that I did spend on my physical lab was also important because it allows you to actually see your configuration working and also how issues will surface and how your devices react to those issue, like switch loop issues. If time is not a factor then I advise spending more time on physical equipment if you can.

    Thanks!: I'd like to thank the folks in this community that chimed on on this thread with advice and encouraging words. This forum is a wealth of information and found myself diving in to old threads to find answers to my questions. And speaking of encouragement, if some of you don't know of Network Chuck check him out. He definitely provided a lot of motivation when it came to obtaining my CCNA and simply made it sound realistic for someone like me to pursue a career in networking. Aside from motivation he does a great job in giving you an in-depth look into the network field, break down certification info, and provides many resources for you to research.

    Bonus: Even though I just obtained my CCNA I plan on getting the books for the new CCNA when they come out. Giving my timing of obtaining my cert, I also qualify for the new CCNA certification so I'm sure I'll see that show up on my Cisco cert page. I'd like to read over the new materials being introduce and study for them as I would if I were going for the new cert. I just want to make sure that I also feel qualified of having experience in the new material, especially since they have a whole section now dedicated for wireless and new network improbability topics that wasn't present in the current CCNA. 

    I hope this thread will be useful for anyone else trying to pursue this cert and if anyone else have questions or require guidance I'll definitely monitor this thread and provide assistance where I can. Thanks again everyone!
    Degree: WGU B.S. Network Operations and Security [In-Progress]
    Current Certs: A+ | N+ | S+ | MTA: OSF | CIW: SDA | ITIL: F | CCENT | CCNA R&S | CCNA
    Currently Working On: MD-100 Windows 10

    2020 Goals: MDAA [ ], LPI Linux Essentials [ ], Project+ [ ], Cloud Essentials+ [ ],
    Future Certs: CCNP Enterprise | CCNP Security
  • LunchbocksLunchbocks Senior Member FloridaMember Posts: 319 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats and thanks for the advice. My studies seem to follow yours very close.
    Degree: Liberty University - B.S Computer Science (In Progress)
    Current Certs: CCENT | MCTS | Network+
    Currently Working On: Security+
    2020 Goals: CCNA, CCNP Security, Linux+

Sign In or Register to comment.