What I did to pass CCNA(n' hopefully what you won't have to)

michael_knightmichael_knight Member Posts: 136
I'm posting what I did to pass the ccna so hopefully it can help the next person, or at least help you get it sooner than it took me (about 12-14 months)


first i read the lammle books. the books obviously are the most important thing you need to pass any test. In my opinion before you buy the first book you need to figure out if you want to do the two test approach or the one test. I started off with the one test approach because I didn't know about the two test approach. After failing about 4 times with the one test approach I went and got the Cisco books which are geared for the two test approach. Splitting the exams up really helped me grasp the material
The books I used (I forget the titles so I'm using abbreviations and crap)
Lammle's Sybex book
Cisco's Intro and ICND Books
Cisco Flash cards
Kaplan CCNA Study book

Router Vs Sim
Everyone says that routers are the best way to go and about halfway into my studies I was able to move over to our networking team so I was able to log into the switches (they wouldn't let me touch the routers until I got my ccna) I on the other hand, didn't have enough money to buy a bunch of routers and switches, so I went with a router sim. (Lammle's to be exact) The router sim to me was way better because I could use different types of routers and switches and as many of each as I wanted as opposed to the real stuff. The drawback to the sims however is that they cost a whole hell of a lot too (I got my copy as a gift) and they don't support all commands (but 99% of what you need)

Practice Exams
I read somewhere that you shouldn't attempt a cisco exam until you got a 100% on a practice test in one sitting. I used the Boson testing apps that came with the cisco books. I took the practice test and would retake everything I failed until there was nothing else to take. Then if I failed a test ( real test that is)I would go back and just do all the questions they had in a particular area. I must say that I did up until I got about 90% or so before taking Intro (second time) and passed. When I did ICND I notice that engine had some wrong answers (I would pick c on the question part and then on the answer part the same answer would be G)

I'm probably leaving some things out but overall the main thing to remember is to never give up. I failed a mcse exam once and gave up and it set my life back ten years because if I would have taken it until I passed I may have been at a higher level in my career now (not to say where I am is bad though) another thing is not to go into the testing center nervous. When I was failing I would always be nervous and someone on the site told me to cut that crap out and it worked. I would also say don't try to cram the night before, if you look over some notes thats fine but the day before you take a test you either know the stuff or you don't there's nothing that you can do a few hours before the test if you've been studying for a few months and still don't know it. Say your prayers and go in prepared to do battle.

I hope this helps those of you who are preparing to study and/or take your ccna for the first time...or 8th time like me. Hopefully the good people at techexams can save this post so when I become a 5 time CCIE in about 10 years so we can look back on it LOL J/k


  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congratulations! icon_thumright.gif

    A lot of times it just comes down to motivation and dedication. Others times it's perseverance. :D
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • MetallicA44MetallicA44 Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm going for CCNA soon and your topic motivated me :)
  • mobri09mobri09 Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 723
    nice post! I am going after the ICND part now and the difficulty level definitly has increased from the intro
  • calaverasgrandescalaverasgrandes Member Posts: 67 ■■□□□□□□□□
    funny I scheduled the all in one test a few months ago. Then I read up more and figured I wasnt nearly ready for it so now I have it rescheduled again to late july.
    About routers vs sims.
    I got 3 2500 series routers and a catalyst switch for less than $20 each on ebay.
    I also scored some rollover cables and serial to rj45 adapters at a jobsite. (they were installing a bunch of 9500 series that all came with power cords and console cables. They had a huge pile at the end of the day that went into the dumpster! So I grabbed a few.)
    It's ironic that I started studying for the CCNA 5 years ago. Got sidetracked, then startedup again a few months ago. Apparently if I had stuck it out the first time the older test was much easier!
    studying on 70-290, 70-291 and CCNA.
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