Pace Me Please =)

sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
Hello, I recieved my Cisco Press study guide today for ICDN1-2, and wow.... CCNA is going to be a big mountain to climb, compared to CompTIA certs.. lol Me and my work associate were looking at some of the practice questions and we were both like icon_scratch.gificon_eek.gificon_scratch.gif

Nonetheless, I would like to hear from you guys on how to prepare for the CCNA, for I feel like I am going to need a little bit more of a structured study plan with the CCNA unlike I did with the CompTIA exams. With the CompTIA exams I would blast through 1-2 books and a CBT and do a bunch of practice test.., but I do not think thats my destiny with CCNA.

I will be doing 100% self study, and my plan so far carry s out like so starting with CHp 1 of the Cisco press book, then watching all of my CBTs first session videos, and so on all the way through the book. Easily put - Read a Chapter and then watch all the videos I own that correspond with that given ch. It may take me all week to do this per ch., but at least it may be better drilled into my head, and then again I may be waisting a bunch of time watching redundant videos.

Everybody's opinion/advice is greatly appreciated. - Thank you.
Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security

Comments

  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Member Posts: 1,501 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here was my plan for the CCNA (I took the two exam approach):

    1. CBT Nuggets CCENT and CCNA four months before spring semester of this year (August/September 2009).
    2. Took NW151 (Network fundementals; half semester) which was a part of the Cisco Network Academy curriculum at my school (Jan 2009).
    3. Took NW252 (Routing Protocols and Concepts; half sem) for the second half of the semester (March 2009).
    4. Re-watched CCENT videos and labbed with Packet Tracer (the course gave me more than enough labbing experience with real equipment but I wanted to feel 100% comfortable with configurations).
    5. Took CCENT in June 2010.
    6. Self-studied Cisco Network Academy LAN and Wireless and Accessing the WAN (CCNA; ICND2) using Packet tracer, online exercises, read Odom and Network Warrior (June 2010).
    7. Watched CBT Nuggets CCNA (ICND2), labbed more, took the exam a month later (July 2010).

    When it comes down to its the pacing is based on how fast you start to absorb the material and how comfortable you feel with the objectives. If you find yourself not understanding a concept, go back and drill through it. You have to know the objectives in depth in order to do well on these tests. My biggest piece of advice is to get as much labbing done as possible. You can never get enough labbing in. Cisco tests aren't anything like CompTIA tests. They are straightforward and as you'll see in other threads regarding Cisco exams, when you're sitting in front of the test machine, you'll find you either know it or you don't.

  • MosGuyMosGuy Member Posts: 195
    I can understand your feeling, CCNA is definitely not A+ or Net+. Although N+ gives you a firm starting point in network basics. My general study habit is: read through the chapter in Odom's book. Then watch the related CBT nuggets video. If something isn't clear in my head I'll repeat the process. Apart from that I spend the bulk of the time doing hands on labs with: packet tracer, GNS3 and/or ideally real equipment.

    With net+ I scored well by reading Mike Meyers book & from years of building/trouble shooting small/medium sized LANs. With CCENT/CCNA it's pretty difficult to pass without a lot of hands on with hardware. Other than labs you have to be a pro at subnetting. I found Jeremy's CBT videos by far the best for subnetting. So I just skimmed through the related chapter in Odom's book.

    I'd say the two key factors are: labs & subnetting. You can't spend enough hours doing both :)
    ---
    XPS 15: i7-6700HQ, 256 pcie ssd, 32 GB RAM, 2 GB Nvidia GTX 960m, windows 10 Pro

    Cert in progress: CCNA (2016 revision)
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370

    When it comes down to its the pacing is based on how fast you start to absorb the material and how comfortable you feel with the objectives. If you find yourself not understanding a concept, go back and drill through it. You have to know the objectives in depth in order to do well on these tests. My biggest piece of advice is to get as much labbing done as possible. You can never get enough labbing in. Cisco tests aren't anything like CompTIA tests. They are straightforward and as you'll see in other threads regarding Cisco exams, when you're sitting in front of the test machine, you'll find you either know it or you don't.

    SO you took a year to get ready for everything. I assume you were taking this along with a college course.

    In regards to Cisco tests being strait forward compared to CompTIA it seemed like alll of my Comptia questions all had questions that left me wondering whereeeee the heckk that came from, for I had never seen that subject before.
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    MosGuy wrote: »
    I can understand your feeling, CCNA is definitely not A+ or Net+. Although N+ gives you a firm starting point in network basics. My general study habit is: read through the chapter in Odom's book. Then watch the related CBT nuggets video. If something isn't clear in my head I'll repeat the process. Apart from that I spend the bulk of the time doing hands on labs with: packet tracer, GNS3 and/or ideally real equipment.

    With net+ I scored well by reading Mike Meyers book & from years of building/trouble shooting small/medium sized LANs. With CCENT/CCNA it's pretty difficult to pass without a lot of hands on with hardware. Other than labs you have to be a pro at subnetting. I found Jeremy's CBT videos by far the best for subnetting. So I just skimmed through the related chapter in Odom's book.

    I'd say the two key factors are: labs & subnetting. You can't spend enough hours doing both :)

    Great! The labs are fun, and I have got to freshen up my subnetting. What are these Jermey CBTs you speak of?

    Thanks ALL for the info.
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Member Posts: 1,501 ■■■■■■■■□□
    SO you took a year to get ready for everything. I assume you were taking this along with a college course.

    In regards to Cisco tests being strait forward compared to CompTIA it seemed like alll of my Comptia questions all had questions that left me wondering whereeeee the heckk that came from, for I had never seen that subject before.

    Just about. I definitely hear ya on what "where'd that come from" with some questions, but yea, with Cisco is pretty much "do this, if you dont know then you're SOL".

  • MosGuyMosGuy Member Posts: 195
    Great! The labs are fun, and I have got to freshen up my subnetting. What are these Jermey CBTs you speak of?

    Thanks ALL for the info.

    The CBT Nugget CCNA series: Cisco CCNA Certification Package , it's a popular study recommendation. Jeremy Cioara is highly regarded & a great teacher. He makes the material much easier to digest IMO. Regarding time frame, I started studying in July. Then got side tracked a few months. Recently got re-focused, I plan to take the CCENT exam in January. Depending on your schedule, I've known people do it within a month. I'd say anywhere between 2-6 months is a more realistic goal for most people.
    ---
    XPS 15: i7-6700HQ, 256 pcie ssd, 32 GB RAM, 2 GB Nvidia GTX 960m, windows 10 Pro

    Cert in progress: CCNA (2016 revision)
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    MosGuy wrote: »
    I'd say anywhere between 2-6 months is a more realistic goal for most people.

    I would say closer to 4-5 for me. I like to make sure and tripple check I know everything lol.
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • MosGuyMosGuy Member Posts: 195
    That's about average time frame. The only people I know who have done it within 1-2 months. Are the real hardcore: who apart from work/school. They spend no less then 8-10 hours a day with reading and labs. Lock themselves away from friends and family and literally eat, sleep and breath cisco. The majority aren't that extreme so it takes us slightly longer icon_lol.gif
    ---
    XPS 15: i7-6700HQ, 256 pcie ssd, 32 GB RAM, 2 GB Nvidia GTX 960m, windows 10 Pro

    Cert in progress: CCNA (2016 revision)
  • wbosherwbosher Member Posts: 422
    If you've got kids, a little longer still. icon_wink.gif
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    MosGuy wrote: »
    the real hardcore: who apart from work/school. They spend no less then 8-10 hours a day with reading and labs. Lock themselves away from friends and family and literally eat, sleep and breath Cisco.

    I have done that a few times.. like on a Saturday. I was trying to figure some config out, and my wife decides to have a johnny on the spot family get together. Next thing I know I have little kids coming in my room wanting to play Modern Warfare 2 asking me " WHYYY HAVENT YOU USED THISSS GUN YETT" " WHYYYY WHYY HAVENT YOU PRESTIGED YET" ooooooo mannn I almsottt turned into the incradible Hulk!

    I was soo aggravated at all this chaos, for I was about 6 hours into trying to figure out my goal, and about 50+ pages deep in Google searches, and now I was being bombarded with distraction.

    yea... lol
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    wbosher wrote: »
    If you've got kids, a little longer still. icon_wink.gif

    no kidss
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    I have for sure cracked the surface on my reading and CBT watching for the CCENT, and so far to me it seems like a more advanced Net+ of course with Cisco equipment in the mix.

    I am enjoying learning a bit more about the stuff Net+ just briefly touched on.
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    I am in need of more advice on studying. I am about 10 chapters into my study guide, and I am finding that with so much information its just hard to absorb it all.

    I have been spending a lot of time on each chapter, but that still is not really doing the trick since everything sort of builds on the next chapter.

    Do you all normally just power through the book, and then go back and fine tune the weak spots. I know with the CompTIA test I would power through the book, and then fine tune afterwards, but Cisco certs are a whole other beast, and I am not sure that approach is wise.

    My tactic so far has been to read the chapter (carefully) I then go and answer the questions at the front of the chapter which I find are getting harder to answer even after thoroughly reading. I then go to the books PDF and copy the KeyPoint charts onto paper and add them to my journal for easier reference when I study. I then try and keep my CBT videos in check with what ever chapter I am in the book .

    Nonetheless, would like to hear what you all think. Thanks in adv.
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    1. Power through the book. Your retention will be low, but you're getting exposed to all of the concepts.

    2. Go through it again, this time reading it real carefully and then practice the topic when you read finish each chapter. Keep working through it until you feel confident.

    3. Use the appropriate video (or second book if you prefer text to video) to review the topic.

    4. Book the exam.
  • BokehBokeh Member Posts: 1,636 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Or like some others tell will tell you, book the exam now. That,s Chris Bryant's preferred way. That way you have a goal to work towards.
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    Bokeh wrote: »
    Or like some others tell will tell you, book the exam now. That,s Chris Bryant's preferred way. That way you have a goal to work towards.

    I understand the concept behind that, but like others I do not feel comfortable doing that, and ultimately I do not need the pressure to coax me into studying, for I am plenty motivated and diligent regardless.icon_study.gif

    Thanks for the advice. =)
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    alan2308 wrote: »
    1. Power through the book. Your retention will be low, but you're getting exposed to all of the concepts.

    2. Go through it again, this time reading it real carefully and then practice the topic when you read finish each chapter. Keep working through it until you feel confident.

    3. Use the appropriate video (or second book if you prefer text to video) to review the topic.

    4. Book the exam.


    Power through the book. Yea i think that will be a good change of pace for focusing one chpt. for 3-4 days like I am now is a bit of a long time.

    As for second Material, I usually read about 2 books on what ever cert I am going for. Reading 2 books helps me understand everything by having to different authors explain the same thing. One author may explain it to where I understand it a bit more Vs. the other author, and that goes for the videos also.

    - Thank you
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    alan2308 wrote: »
    1. Power through the book. Your retention will be low, but you're getting exposed to all of the concepts.

    2. Go through it again, this time reading it real carefully and then practice the topic when you read finish each chapter. Keep working through it until you feel confident.

    3. Use the appropriate video (or second book if you prefer text to video) to review the topic.

    4. Book the exam.

    I read the book as above, not spensding to much time labbing ( i get enough hands on with equipment at work), jsut picking up wihat topics are covered and what kind of depth I need to know them in.

    Then i get the quick ref cards. reading through them, skipping ones that I already know well, and for the ones I don't i go and find the answer.

    That may mean re-reading part of the books, testing ideas on my lab or searching for the documentation on line.

    I find that the action of "finding" some thing out, rather than simple reading it engages you brain in the task, you have to think what you are doing rather than simply copying from some one else.

    Then once I have completed the quick refrence cards, i look back over the questions that every book seems to have at the start or end of the chapters. If i feel OK that I could explain the answers to one of my peers, then I am happy i kow the topic. if not then I go back and find out some more information on it.

    By the end I hopefully know it it all enough to pass, but mroe importantly I understand it.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • sthompson86sthompson86 Member Posts: 370
    DevilWAH wrote: »
    Then i get the quick ref cards. reading through them, skipping ones that I already know well, and for the ones I don't i go and find the answer.

    That may mean re-reading part of the books, testing ideas on my lab or searching for the documentation on line.

    .

    I am with you on the going back and re-reading. I usually do the same you do with Ref cards with practice tests. If I do not get a practice question right, I will go back and re read the troubled area.

    Thanks
    Currently Reading: Again to Carthage - CCNA/Security
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