Study method ideas

CrunchyhippoCrunchyhippo Member Posts: 389
I'm just curious as to how others implement their study methods. Outside of lab time (which is best), what methodology do you use to prepare for your certification tests?
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949


  • Options
    lildeezullildeezul Member Posts: 404
    I like to read the information... over and over, until i know the concepts very well.. then i like to watch jeremy Ciaroa (spelling) explain it on my tv screen...

    once i got the concepts down, i like to explain what i learned to my parents or girlfriend, or someone who will just listen, about why and how such and such is implemented and what is the benefits of such and such..

    idk it just works for me.. and once i move on the the next section, i always have a recap of everything, by watching the videos, or making flash cards..

    NHSCA National All-American Wrestler 135lb
  • Options
    gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    offtopic @ lildeezul

    Notice your from Weston Salem - isn't that where Ben Folds grew up? I love the guy and his music!
  • Options
    redwarriorredwarrior Member Posts: 285
    I find it works best if I get the same information in as many different ways as possible to make it "stick."

    For example, I will first read through material on an exam objective, then watch the CBT Nuggets that pertain to it, then lab it, then look up more info online. It seems like the more different ways I'm exposed to the information, the more likely it is that it will stick with me. I think hands-on labs are the most efficient, though. I only use practice exams towards the very end of my studies and then I used them to pinpoint where I need to spend more time, going back over the subject areas I'm weakest on and doing more of the above. Then, I take another practice exam and do the same until I'm acing them. Then it's time to schedule the exam and be nervous as hell. :D

    CCNP Progress


    BSCI - In Progress

    http://www.redwarriornet.com/ <--My Cisco Blog
  • Options
    JohnDouglasJohnDouglas Member Posts: 186
    Well, my prep for CCNA was less than ideal due to a number of miserable situations i found myself in.

    Anyway, for BSCI i'm being a lot more organised. My long-term aim is CCIE so I want to learn the stuff properly rather than just blagging it like I did for CCNA.

    So, FWIW as I'm only on chapter 3, here's my method.

    1. CBT & Trainsignal vids for a particular topic.

    2. Read chapter making notes as I go along. Go over notes made the previous day.

    3. Create Q & A (using the free MNemosyne Project software) to test myself. Not actually done this yet! But used to use Supermemo for learning vocab at University. Questions will be both ones I've come up with to learn the notes I've made. Also I'll use the questions from the book.

    4. Relevant Lab Portfolio chapter on the home rack. Will also do the labs from the self-study guide i think. Not quite sure whether to set them up in GNS3, reconfigure the home lab for them or buy/borrow some more kit to set up the topology.

    5. Toying with the idea of leaving the tcp/ip col 1 & 2 and/or wendell's ccie r&s book downstairs to flick through when watching the tv. just as light revision and to see how much deeper the topics go for ccie.

    6. Once i've got through the self study guide i'll go back through my notes and will go through the exam cert guide.

    Seems to me like labbing is the key to all the exams really especially ccie lab (hence the cunning name ccie lab!). so i'll be concentrating on that. which is good as it's the bit i actually err "enjoy" in a loose sense of the word.
  • Options
    cisco_troopercisco_trooper Member Posts: 1,441 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I tend to make up my own questions as I read. I have to answer them later on with an actual explanation. If I can't do that, then I don't know it. The multiple choice questions in the books are great, but identifying correct answers from a list of options is much easier than recalling information cold. You may be able to pass the test without doing this, but I'm personally uncomfortable with doing so.
  • Options
    r_durantr_durant Member Posts: 486 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I kinda do it JohnD's way...
    1. CBT & Trainsignal vids
    2. Read relevant chapters from both texts I have
    3. Try to lab up some of the scenarios or all and create my own until I get it down
    4. Q&A...and I'm sure we all come to the forum every now and then
    5. Take notes throughout 1-4 above
    6. Go over my weak or unsure areas

    I just checked out the free MNemosyne Project software and I think it's cool, good find JohnD...i think I will use this from now onwards, enter questions and answers as I go along....
    CCNA (Expired...), MCSE, CWNA, BSc Computer Science
    Working on renewing CCNA!
  • Options
    6stitches6stitches Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Portable Command Guide

    I didn't own one until I was in a local book store. I finished reading the BSCI cert guide, and I did all of the portfolio lab. Currently I am touching up with the self study guide.

    Problem with BSCI is that there is so much material, and when studying these routing protocols, your brain gets convoluted. So when I flip through the portable command guide it was like WOW! what a great review book, and it is very concise/compact, yet theres tons of material inside.

    I ended up buying them all. I don't believe the command guide is for everyone, but for me it puts many topics into perspective.
Sign In or Register to comment.