CWNA Thoughts

pmalaisepmalaise Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
So.... I took the exam this afternoon, and passed with a satisfying 91%.

Found most of the questions to be fair, with very few being of the trick variety. I've been working with a 12 AP warehouse environment WLAN for about 2 years, and I think that really helped. I'd highly recommend using the CWNA online practice exams available from . These questions are great in identifying weak spots, and give a great short explanation for wrong answers. I'd recommend staying away from the Boson tests, I found too many errors and ended up having to go back to the official study guide to reassure myself I wasn't going mad every few questions.

Couple observations:

I really think that Wireless is going to be very big. With no one vendor having a stranglehold on the market, vendor based WLAN certs are going to be useless. Definately go the Vendor neut route. Planet3 really has to start pushing this hard.

I also think that Planet3 has to at least give some examples of Site Survey Reports. Even if they are really simple ones, it would begin to set some kind of standard of what is expected.

Not sure I like this 2 year re-cert plan I hear about. I think 3 or 4 year would be better.

Have to say that Ver2 is a LOT better than Ver1 of the exam. I tried that about 2 years ago (admittedly when I had very little experience), and it was extremely badly written, along with way to many "choose all the correct answer" type questions where they didn't tell you how many were correct. That test made me set CWNA aside for close to two years before I could drag myself to do it again.

One final though. This is the first IT related course/cert I've taken in a while where I actually enjoyed going through most of the material. This technology is truly fun to work/play with. Now if only I didn't have to explain what CWNA was to most of my IT associates :D

If anyone from Planet3 reads this, thanks for Ver2...... you guys really screwed up Ver1..... What's the difference in percent passing between the two?




  • kevinatorkevinator Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    First, congratulations on getting a 91. That is a very, very good score. Well done.

    Second, about v1 of the exam: we were extremely new to the market when we published the CWNA exam way back in July of 2001, and updated it numerous times before finally arriving at what is now v2 of the exam. It is not perfect, but I challenge anyone out there to find any - ANY - IT certification exam that is error free. We've taken most of them, and we find errors, misspellings, bad questions, and other things that distract you. Nobody in this space is perfect. We're not perfect, but we listen to our constituents and we make changes wherever necessary. For those of you who are preparing to take a CWNP exam, please remember that you can comment on each and every question DURING the exam. We actually read these comments and use them in updating our exams.

    Third, for site survey reports, we've been giving our official site survey report templates away for the better part of 6 months! Just join our newsletter (heck you can unsubscribe a minute later if that's your fancy) and you can download all 4 templates (AP, Bridge, Questionnaire, and WGB) as well as a Security Policy Template developed by one of Cisco's highest ranking wireless engineers, Joel Barrett, who also tech-edited the CWSP study guide. Again, these are free, have at 'em. :)

    On the issue of recertification policy, we chose 2 years because wireless is growing and changing so fast that a CWNA who got his/her cert 3 years ago may not know jack about what's going on today. The market is just changing too fast. We even toyed with ONE year, but thought better of it. Anyway, the recert is 2 years till you have to retake or move up to CWSP or the next higher level.

    Finally, the pass rate from v1 to v2 improved about 13 percentage points, mainly due to the item you noted: choose *all* that apply.

    Again, congrats, thanks for the kind words about the practice questions on, and good luck on CWSP!

  • tokhsstokhss Member Posts: 473
    pmalaise , congratz on the pass.. i too plan on taking this cert soon, prob by the end of the month or early feb.

    second, wifi rocks.. and i 2nd the two year retake.. wifi is chaning so quick.. heck, here comes 802.11 N @ 100mbits.. lets see when that gets rolling.. and you gotta love the OPEN AP's all over town.. heh

    anyhow.. kevin, my employer maybe buying the books for me.. cant complain about that now icon_wink.gif (sorry to thread jack)
  • Special_k21Special_k21 Member Posts: 155
    and you gotta love the OPEN AP's all over town.. heh
    You gotta love Newer technology. People don't know how to lock down their APs! haha. I have passwords to countless APs throughout town. Its sad when even the county or state government leaves everything wide open!
  • tokhsstokhss Member Posts: 473
    my point exactly..

    now with mobile computing, i am going to have a feild day around town..
  • Special_k21Special_k21 Member Posts: 155
    Well have fun with it! I certainly did! lol
  • pmalaisepmalaise Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the info Kevin. Are you guys going to have a presence at the Wi-fi expo's? Particularly the one in Toronto coming this March?? I'd love to go, have to see if the boss will let me :)

    Tokshh..... It's unbelievable how unaware of security issues even the best IT networking guys are when it comes to WLANs. They either don't care (or think) about it at all, or worse yet refuse to even consider WLANs due to a paranoid fear that every 12 year old with a laptop for miles around will be snooping around the network.

    As more and more trained wireless people get out there hopefully it will start getting better and people will start taking it more seriously.


  • tokhsstokhss Member Posts: 473
    indeed.. its retarded.. treat wifi with the same presence and security thats on LAN or WAN/ MAN's// i used to work for a small ISP setting up MAN's ..
    wireless connections from building to building about 1-3 miles apart.. used 3Com products, they worked real nice for our applications.. first thing i did was make sure SSID was not broadcasted and enabled the encyrption ... i dont understand either why alot of AP's are not secure..

    o well, their loss my gain, untill some valueble data is stolen from the network, they wont change.
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    Congrats on a great score and brand new cert pmalaise!
    tokhss wrote:
    their loss my gain
    Nice choice of words ;)
  • kevinatorkevinator Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Nope, we're not going to Wi-Fi Planet until the fall, I don't think. We're way too busy working on stuff...for which we'll be making a pretty major announcement here shortly. Stay tuned ;)

  • tokhsstokhss Member Posts: 473
    hurry with the announcement.. icon_cool.gif
  • viper75viper75 Member Posts: 726 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
    CCNP Security - DONE!
    CCNP R&S - In Progress...
    CCIE Security - Future...
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 12,876 Admin
    tokhss wrote:
    ... i dont understand either why alot of AP's are not secure..
    I blame this mostly on the it's gotta work outta-the-box, plug-n-play, toot-sweet or the consumer will think it's junk mentality that the marketing people have. You look at product reviews in periodicals like Info World ( and they always give higher marks for software and equipment that they got up and running the quickest. If you lock-down a product's features by giving it more secure default settings, then you risk the customer taking longer in getting the product up and running to their satisfaction.

    Telephone PBX systems have suffered from this for decades. Hundreds and hundreds of configuration options in a typical PBX (think of your computer's CMOS menu times twenty). The default settings are choosen by the PBX manufacturers largely based on what will get the PBX up and running the quickest. Unfortunetly, the "easiest to use" defaults are often the least secure.

    Of couse, the it's gotta work outta-the-box consumers who have no patience to first learn about a new products/technologies must fair much of the blame as well. (Who, me? icon_wink.gif)

    And to concur, I think Wi-Fi in all forms is totally cool and here to stay; I can't wait to jump into studying for the CWNA/CWSP!!
  • seekseek Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I used the Boson test for MSCE exams and found them pretty good. Gave you a good idea what the real test questions were.

    How are the official online CWNA questions? Close to the test questions or just abstract questions on generic content?


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