Passed the ICND2!! Tips from a new CCNA.

jbriggyjbriggy Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
Final Score: 945/1000 I'm a CCNA!!

Configure Verify and Troubleshoot a switch......93%
Implement an IP addressing scheme...............88%
Configure and troubleshoot basic routing.........86%
Implement, verify, troubleshoot NAT & ACLs....100%
Implement and verify WAN links.....................100%

A very tough test, below are the materials I used in a two-month span, as well as my thoughts about them for those of you who havent taken the test yet.

CBT Nuggets INCD2 w/Jeremy Cioara
Train Signal ICND2 w/ Chris Bryant
Transcender 640-816
Cisco Press ICND2 by Wendell Odom
Sybex CCNA 6th Edition by Todd Lammle
over 1000 practice questions
Packet Tracer v5.0

CBT NUGGETS: Well of course, the tried and true has to be on the list, but be warned test takers; "YOU CANNOT PASS ON NUGGETS ALONE!" Giving credit where credit is due, Jeremy does a good job introducing you to new concepts and technologies, but unfortunately that's where it stops. Jeremy is very good at stratching the surface, but it's nowhere near the level of aptitude needed to pass this monster of a test. If you've studied Nuggets before, you know Jeremy goes off on tangents, and has a tendency to spend a lot of time talking about nothing. In the CCENT it wasnt bad because it was relative a lot of the time, but i got frustrated with the OSPF video, since he spent about 25 minutes on off-topic stuff, and only had about 15 minutes worth of content. A second and third source is no longer optional with the ICND2, is it required if you want to pass the first time.

TRAIN SIGNAL: Again, Chris Bryant puts us to sleep with with his impossibly long videos and monotone voice. But you still MUST watch these. Break it up into sections if you have to. I actually took notes while I was watching. But albeit slow as molasses, it is a PERFECT companion to the Nuggets, since Jeremy does miss out on quite a bit this time around. Chris is very complete, and if you've watched Trainsignal before, you'll know he likes to use the phrase "Make sure you know this stuff cold." In many cases from my exam, he is correct. Know what he tells you to know.

TRANSCENDER: I studied this after I was about 90% done studying everything I had. My Gut reaction was that this was a bit too easy. The in-scope questions were very simplistic, the out-of-scope questions are still impossible, and in the middle you have your bevy of bad grammar, words spelled incorrectly, and answers that are just plain wrong. I dont recommend this, but if you have it, a score of about 80% on the practice tests should be sufficient.

CISCO PRESS: Personally, I found this book PAINFUL to read, granted I dont read often, more or less just to brush up on a topic that I didnt understand or wasnt explained well in the videos. But its not the easiest to digest. Some may love it, but it's just not for me.

SYBEX 6th Edition: This was my first venture with Mr. Todd Lammle and i must say, FINALLY a book thats written that can be understood by humans! Much easier to handle than Cisco Press, and to cite a personal example; I was having problems grasping Frame Relay. Cisco Press had close to 80 or so pages about it, whereas SYBEX had 14. And Suprisingly both of them said about the same thing (that i was able to understand anyway).

I took every sample and demo and practice test I could find on the internet, repetition helps tremendously. And of course, since I dont have any equipment, I know I couldn't have come close to passing without Packet Tracer 5.

ADVICE:
1.) The FIRST thing I would do, is budget to take this test twice. Simply because there is a lot of material to know, and not a lot of time to do it in.
2.) Use Time Management skills, you only have 75 minutes, which can definately creep up on you if you're unsure about a question. Your best option is to use your best judgement. Lets say for example the test has 100 questions. If you have a SIM as question 3, dont spend a ton of time on it since you dont know what the remaining questions will be like, however, if you have a SIM as question 97, and you have 20 minutes left, take your time, there's no reward for finishing quickly.
3.) DONT STRESS ABOUT THE SIMS. Yes the sims can be tricky, but I guarantee you that the multiple choice questions arent.
4.) Use reverse logic. Sometimes its easier to determine why an option is incorrect, versus why an option is correct. This can be very helpful if you're unsure about an answer.
5.) Dont Cram! The day before a test is not the proper time to still be learning material. Reschedule if you need to. The rule i typically go by, is to schedule a test AFTER i've studied all the material I have. That way i'm in no way stressed that I didnt have time to study subject X.

I'm not really sure where to go next. I dont have any equipment and really cant afford any with the current bills, and the mortgage and car payments and such. I'd like to find a cisco job, since I do enjoy it much more than my MCSE, which isnt really taking me anywhere. Maybe CCNP? maybe CCNA: Security? I'll just have to weigh my options and see which one bites first i guess icon_smile.gif

Comments

  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Member Posts: 1,186 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Nice job on the test and great score. Congrats on that. One question though I thought that you had 90 min. on the tst not 75? Thanks for the info as I will be using alot of the same resources.
  • human151human151 Member Posts: 208
    Nice score and thanks for the nice descriptive run down of your learning process, I may take a few pointers from it. I will be taking my ICND2 either end of next month or in December.

    Im studying Lammles CCNA Study guide, as well as ODoms Cisco press book. If these two books had to battle it out in the gladiator ring, Lammle would be my champion. I am not dying of boredom everytime I read lammle. But Wendell does go more in depth on certain topics, which is why I read both. I also have the CBT nuggets, which I love. Jeremys great, but of course as ypu said, cant pass by just watching vids. I also have some CCNA training vids I got from preplogic by Michael Storm, which are really good. I have my own equipment, 3 routers, 2 switches, as well as the Sybex Virtual router Program, which is actually Lammles routersim products from routersim.com, only in a different package. I find a get more out of the router program than I do from my equipment, at least for now.


    Why do you think your M$ certs arent getting you anywhere? Your not the first person I've heard that from either. We have a some new guys where I work that are MCSA but have decided to start anew Studying cisco. Why? I do not know much about OS sys Admin, but I find it interesting, why do you feel there is no future in it?
    Welcome to the desert of the real.

    BSCI in Progress...

    Cisco LAB: 1x 2509
    1X2621
    1x1721
    2x2950
    1x3550 EMI
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Nice write-up and congratulations!

    You need to adjust your play speed on the Train Signal CBTs; Chris is just fine at 1.8x ;)
  • jbriggyjbriggy Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Nice job on the test and great score. Congrats on that. One question though I thought that you had 90 min. on the tst not 75? Thanks for the info as I will be using alot of the same resources.

    Thanks Kris. Unfortunately you do only have 75 minutes for the test. I had 5:29 left when I finished. So be sure you're ready and aptly prepared when test day comes. Also, here's the link to cisco's 640-816 outline-->http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/current_exams/640-816.html Only 75 minutes icon_eek.gif
    human151 wrote:
    Why do you think your M$ certs arent getting you anywhere? Your not the first person I've heard that from either. We have a some new guys where I work that are MCSA but have decided to start anew Studying cisco. Why? I do not know much about OS sys Admin, but I find it interesting, why do you feel there is no future in it?

    Hi human151, everyone has thier own reasons for wanting to start anew, as an MCSE, I can tell you that I dont use 70% of the knowledge that I got from taking that track. Simply because Microsoft tests are not representative of real world scenarios. They test you on Microsoft theory, Microsoft products, and Microsoft solutions, in a Microsoft environment... Most companies these days use hybrid-technologies, and if all you know is the windows world, it can be very limiting to your future. The BIGGEST reason i can tell you though, is that MS has been oozing out MCSEs left and right, making them a dime a dozen; that being said, with so many to choose from, employers dont have to pay them as much anymore. icon_mad.gif
    dynamik wrote:
    Nice write-up and congratulations!

    You need to adjust your play speed on the Train Signal CBTs; Chris is just fine at 1.8x

    I swear 1.8x was the only way I could get through it without a cup of coffee! But still, i'm glad I did, probably wouldnt have passed otherwise! and thanks for the congrats :)
  • wat08wat08 Member Posts: 128
    Congratulations
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    Congratulations! icon_thumright.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • examseekerexamseeker Member Posts: 118
    Congrats -- great score!

    icon_lol.gif
  • shednikshednik Member Posts: 2,005
    Congrats on the pass!!
  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    Congrats!!! I hope to be taking this exam in about 3 months or so.
    B.S.B.A. (Management Information Systems)
    M.B.A. (Technology Management)
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    Congratulations on the pass. Sounds like you did some thorough studying with the resources at hand, that's an excellent overview of your study materials. As for what to do about continuing on the Cisco-path without equipment, try to land yourself a job with a Cisco partner. The Partner Education Connection (PEC) is a lifesaver for anyone wanting to push for any Cisco certification.

    Good luck with your future studies, whichever path you decide to take.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • jerrydurdenjerrydurden Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have taken it twice and failed it both times. I got a 739 and most recently an 807. What I find difficult are the simulations. Also, budgeting my time is very difficult. I will attempt it again in a couple weeks and sooner or later I will pass it. But, what I am concerned about is how many times is one allowed to take it? :)

    I also appreciate the in-depthness of your post. It has given me some insight on what else I can use to study. This test wouldn't be half as bad without the time constraints.
    Home is 127.0.0.1
  • dwtherockdwtherock Member Posts: 40 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Jbriggy, congrats and well said.

    I am using Chris Bryant and Odom's books. Yes Cisco press is very long and boring about frame relay. I just got Sybex and will dive into that. I did buy Chris's ultimate study guide and going thru 550 questions not 1000. We'll see what happens.

    Yes don't cram and stay up late. I am going for it again later in Nov.
  • jerrydurdenjerrydurden Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I got my hands on the Sybex book and it seemed very straight-forward. I think it helped be better grasp EIGRP and OSPF. So, thanks for your post! I am sooooooo glad that that is behind me now. I beleive that I will shoot for the CCNA Security Cert. next because I have been working with ASA5505's recently and I think it will help give me a solid foundation before I move to the CCNP level of exams. Let me end this so that I can go update my resume!


    PS This is what I used to pass the ICND2 exam: CBT Nuggets, Packet Tracer 5, a home Lab of 2950's and some 3640's, Cisco Press ICNDI and ICNDII book-set with Boson Netsim/Exam Environment with many difficult questions and the subnettingquestions.com site.
    Home is 127.0.0.1
  • Eric CEric C Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Jbriggy, I have a question for you.

    I've just purchased the cbtnuggets CCNA package. Is this a good starting point? Once I finish this video series, would you recommend the same trail you took?

    Also, which lab kit would you recommend I buy for use with the cbt nuggets package?

    Thanks,
    Eric
  • 640-801640-801 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats for the pass and well done for the information..
    Take care
    CCENT in progress
  • devushkadevushka Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm using Cisco press and O'Reilly Network Warrior. The last one explains some concepts behind CCNA that actually help you understand the material covered on the exam better. Going to take my ICND2 in 3 days, just reading Cisco book for the fifth time, doing practice tests and set up a small lab at work with a couple of routers and switches.

    I work for a local internet provider, so if you are looking for a job where you could use your network knowledge, look for the list of local providers.

    And by the way, when you guys pass or fail the exam, they should give you a list with the score, and it specifies on the list how many tries you have before you have to wait. I believe you can pass for the second time whenever you want, but if you fail twice, you would need to wait for three months before the third try.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    devushka wrote:
    I'm using Cisco press and O'Reilly Network Warrior. The last one explains some concepts behind CCNA that actually help you understand the material covered on the exam better.
    That is actually a great idea. I didn't really discover Network Warrior until after I'd taken the CCNA exam. I've looked at it at my local bookstore, and I think it looks like an excellent "additional study guide" to help nail down some of the concepts on the exam(s). It helps that Dohanue explains each topic from a different perspective that the usual fare of Cisco Press, for example, to give the reader a broader view of what they're studying.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • mjonesmjones Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    How would you rate the Packet Tracer 5.0 that you used. I am also studying for the CCENT/CCNA with no equip. icon_confused.gif
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,164 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I found packet tracer perfect for the exam, but as others have stated getting hands on is a must. On a side note I applied for a job today and was so happy that under their cert section for Cisco CCENT was listed! The funny thing was Security+ was not...had to put it under other!
    WIP:
    PHP
    Kotlin
    Intro to Discrete Math
    Programming Languages
    Work stuff
Sign In or Register to comment.