Suggestions on getting restarted please

TenisuBakaTenisuBaka Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone,

Couple of background details before I get into the main question. I used to be a data tech 10 years ago, where I specialized in fiber, atm, dsl, and basic phone service. I did this work for 4 years during which time I got A+, Network+, and CCNA.

Then I came to Japan and basically had to start life all over again. I didn't work for the first few years, just studying Japanese. Then decided to give translation a try. Didn't really work out, so got back into IT from 2005, but my job now is not network-specific, more systems admin.

Anyway, in 2007, I went Cisco crazy because I wanted to get back into networking. I redid CCNA, then did CCDA, then wanted to do CCNP and CCVP at the same time, so I finished BSCI, BCMSN, and CVOICE.

I was ready to start QOS next, but then the economy got bad, problems at work and home. I don't really get to work with the Cisco stuff much at my current job, so I lost motivation to continue studying when I realized I wasn't likely to be changing jobs at that point.

But now it's 2010, all that work I did in 2007 will expire in 6 months and I think I am more interested in that TSHOOT than ONT and ISCW anyway. So, I ordered and received the 2 cisco press books for that exam.

So, here is the question. How would you guys suggest I actually prepare for this exam/get reacquainted?? I really don't want to reread all the CCNA books, plus BSCI and BCMSN books, plus whatever extra materials I would need to study for whatever new stuff is in ROUTE and SWITCH. I will if that is the only feasible gameplan, but hoping it wasn't, thus this thread.

Just curious to see what any of you guys have to say about it.
Thanks

Comments

  • peanutnogginpeanutnoggin Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would suggest you start with a simulator to see just how much you remember (GNS3)! Once you decide that you are completely focused and ready to jump back into networking... I would then suggest you look into purchasing your lab. After purchasing your lab, I would next say... look into taking either the BCMSN (to keep your 2007 CCNA current) and also give you a chance to complete your CCNP. That's just a suggestion so you can take it with a grain of salt. Best of luck to you and welcome back... BTW... What area of Japan are you in??? I'm in Oki...

    V/r

    ~Peanut
    We cannot have a superior democracy with an inferior education system!

    -Mayor Cory Booker
  • TenisuBakaTenisuBaka Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the quick response. My fault for the post being so long, but u missed that I already passed bcmsn. Onlybthing left is tshoot, which is daunting coming back into this as it seems I need to be fresh in all the material from both route and switch.

    I am in Nagoya, I work at the airport that opened a few years ago.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Honestly, I am kind of in the same boat as you except not as extreme. I got my CCNA 2 years ago and never looked at the material again. I still remember some basic things involved in the CCNA but if I had to take the test tomorrow I would get destroyed by it. Maybe get some training videos or take some practice exams from the respective tests to see what you remember and what you need to brush up on. Before taking either the CCDA or CCNA:S this summer, I am going to review the CCNA CBTNuggets that I have to try and remember the stuff I learned and see if I still grasp the concepts. I think using GNS3 to lab some of the stuff that you may not remember might be a good idea too.
  • mensmens Member Posts: 69 ■■■□□□□□□□
    is it possible to retake bcmsn only? that way buy some time to finish tshoot and continue ccvp?
  • yebo2010yebo2010 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Why would you retake BCMSN? if you took the exam in 2009, it will be valid until 2011. However after July 31, you wont be able to take BCMSN exam! After that you just need to write TSHOOT(If you have BSCI+BCMSN passed).

    So I dont think there is need to buy time, just start preparing for TSHOOT and write it any time before your passed exams get out of their expiration(3yrs)!
  • yebo2010yebo2010 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Though I am not a CCNP my self, I would suggest that you get yourself GNS 3 and Lab portfolios. The TSHOOT exam test troubleshooting skills built from ROUTE+SWITCH! So I would suggest you buy some exams from Boson and test yourself to see if you still got the concepts right!

    If you are able to pass them say two to three times, then you dont need to touch the passed courses books. Just work on the TSHOOT Books.

    If you passed the BSCI and BCMSN in the past 2 years then I think you are still ok!

    Good luck as you venture into books again!
  • TenisuBakaTenisuBaka Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yeah, without lab work I would never have passed bsci and bcmsn in the first place. I got some 2500, 2600, and 2950 switches. No L3 switch though.

    I tried but never really figured out how to use dynamips.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Start reading Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT) Foundation Learning Guide: Foundation learning for the CCNP TSHOOT 642-832

    If the material in the TSHOOT book makes sense, dust off the hardware you have and load Dynagen or GNS3.

    If you need a refresher, the ROUTE self study book is out in June and the SWITCH self stud book is out in May -- so you may have get the Exam Certification Guides instead and hope for the best. You'll have to check the new exam blueprints and cover any of the topics not covered in the Exam Cert Guides using the Cisco Docs & White Papers.

    Have you checked out the TSHOOT Topology and demo? That may give you an idea what you're up against -- but don't let it scare you off. Try it a few times at least -- I think it shuffles the demo problems around.
    https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-6738

    You may want to target your first TSHOOT attempt in about 4 months. You either get to celebrate 2 months sooner or you at least have a better idea how close you are and what you need to work on -- and have time to work on your weak areas.

    Good Luck!!
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • mensmens Member Posts: 69 ■■■□□□□□□□
    yebo2010 wrote: »
    Why would you retake BCMSN? if you took the exam in 2009, it will be valid until 2011. However after July 31, you wont be able to take BCMSN exam! After that you just need to write TSHOOT(If you have BSCI+BCMSN passed).

    So I dont think there is need to buy time, just start preparing for TSHOOT and write it any time before your passed exams get out of their expiration(3yrs)!
    yea, well he did the exams in 2007 so they're valid a few more months. Atleast that's how I understood the man.
  • TenisuBakaTenisuBaka Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yeah, the last test I did was BCMSN in October of 2007.

    I am definitely not going to do that again. I always found the routing stuff easier than the switching, maybe because of my telco experience, but anyway, if just taking ROUTE would give me more time to prepare for TSHOOT properly, I might be interested in that.

    Mike, is that a possibility?

    Oh, and is getting L3 switches an absolute necessity now?
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    When did you do you BSCI? You've got 3 years from your first exam to finish TSHOOT to earn the CCNP.

    If you take and pass ROUTE, then you'd have to pass TSHOOT by October 2010 (the day or so before your BCMSN test date plus 3 years -- not sure how leap year affects it icon_scratch.gif but I'd guess you get that extra day).

    There are a couple of layer 3 topics that you'd need a 3560 or 3750 for -- but if you just learn those configurations you could probably do the rest of the SWITCH stuff with a 3550. Private VLANs and the QoS differences are the major things that pop into my head. They've also added the supervisor redundancy tasks to SWITCH -- plus troubleshooting supervisor redundancy is a task in TSHOOT, but you don't need to go out and buy (or rent) a "big boy" switch just for that.

    As for TSHOOT, check the TSHOOT exam topics on the Cisco Learning Networ Web Site. You'll need to login -- or create a free account if you don't already have at least a Cisco guest level account.

    You'd need to figure out how comfortable you feel with the switch troubleshooting tasks from your BCMSN days. You might get by without a layer 3 switch if you don't have one by using a couple of rack rental sessions. Just make sure you study the new 3560 specific items so your ready to rock when your rack time is scheduled.

    You'll should have a better idea as to where you stand after you start reading the TSHOOT books.

    I should mention that my viewpoint may be skewed by my CCIE Lab preparation. :D
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • TenisuBakaTenisuBaka Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I don't remember exactly when I took BSCI. Maybe June. I did that, then CVOICE, then BCMSN.

    I have three years from BCMSN, not BCSI right? If it's 3 years from BSCI, I am pretty sure I will not make it in time.
  • miller811miller811 Member Posts: 897
    TenisuBaka wrote: »
    I don't remember exactly when I took BSCI. Maybe June. I did that, then CVOICE, then BCMSN.

    I have three years from BCMSN, not BCSI right? If it's 3 years from BSCI, I am pretty sure I will not make it in time.

    Each individual exam will expire three years from the date you took it.
    When the exams add up to a NP level certification, they would extend NA for three years. If you achieve NP and then pass another professional level exam, it extends the NP, and NA another three years.

    It does not however extend the avialability of the individual exams to be used to achieve a greater goal. They have a shelf life, and that shelf life is the three years for the date you passed them.

    Hit the cisco web site, to see exact dates on all of your exams.

    https://i7lp.integral7.com/durango/do/login?ownername=cisco&channel=cisco&basechannel=cisco&usertype=candidate

    Pick your target and get moving, time is running out.
    I don't claim to be an expert, but I sure would like to become one someday.

    Quest for 11K pages read in 2011
    Page Count total to date - 1283
  • trackittrackit Member Posts: 224
    too bad you didnt complete your CCNP in those 3 years, as BSCI and BCMSN are the "core" exams anyway and the other two you didnt do are said to be easy stuff which i guess you could pass without too much trouble...

    EDIT: but looking at the bright side, its good at least that you will have a motivation to brush up on networking stuff before looking for new job... :) maybe, if you where already a CCNP you wouldnt have that motivation.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    TenisuBaka wrote: »
    I don't remember exactly when I took BSCI. Maybe June.
    You should be able to find the date on Cisco Certification Tracking/Management website. The link should be on the main Cisco Certification web page.

    Ah -- here it is: Certification Tracking System

    If you haven't been on the cert tracking site lately, it's changed from being hosted by prometric to integral7 -- but you do now get the option to link your login with your Cisco web site login.

    Unless you want to do a routing refresher (and the new ROUTE exam) you'll want to check the cert tracking system quick, find your BSCI exam date, and decide if you have enough time to try TSHOOT before your BSCI exam "expires." If you've got 2 months or so -- and can "read like the wind" -- it may be worth a TSHOOT attempt.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • TenisuBakaTenisuBaka Member Posts: 46 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Wow, I guess the good news I got this cleared up before I really get started. Bad news is I passed BSCI on June 12, 2007, so I have basically 6 weeks to refresh/relearn old material and prepare for TSHOOT (gotta have a few weeks cushion in case I fail the first time). I will surely give it a try.

    What a calculation error on my part! Last year when I was thinking about this stuff, I actually decided to get started after the first of the year, but then I heard about the changes and TSHOOT, so then decided to wait for the TSHOOT materials to come out before getting back into studying. Oh well.

    Anyway, does anybody know of any GOOD iphone apps or something I can access from iphone`s browser to have something to study during my long commutes to work everyday?? Reading a book during this time is not an option. I was thinking a flash card app or something, but after a quick look on Itunes App store, there wasn't anything (at least here in Japan, US Itunes is probably different).

    I read the first 3 chapters of the exam guide last night through safari access as I left the 2 books at work, and so far it doesn't seem like I will be expected to remember all the details about the theory and logic of how all the technologies work, I can just focus and getting reacquainted with CLI. Do you guys agree?
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