ICND2 Failed

Version4Version4 Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
Wow what a humiliating and embarrassing experience the ICND2 exam was. Maybe I am a wannabe like a previous poster stated or I just like taking expensive practice tests icon_cheers.gif

Some background information for you... I have been working in IT over 10 years, primarily in the helpdesk doing network support specifically with Cisco routers, switches, and access points. I went to college for networking and was a part of the Cisco Networking Academy. I passed my CCNA composite with flying colors way back then before my career started.

The CCNA expired due to life reasons. I had the opportunity to pursue education again in 2010 so I studied and took the ICND1, it was a fair exam and I passed with a good score. Fast forward to today, I have been studying for the ICND2 for 18 days straight. I clocked about 98 hours for an average of at least 5 hours a day studying. Day 19 was the exam day and boy did I fail LOL. My study sessions usually looked like this:

1 hour - reading
1 hour - watching CBT
1 hour - reading
1 hour - watching CBT
1 hour - lab time

OR

1 hour - reading
1 hour - lab time
1 hour - reading
1 hour - lab time
1 hour - reading

(with breaks mixed in of course)

Since it had been about a year since I took the ICND1, I brushed up by reading through the entire CCNA composite exam book first. Once I was refreshed on the topics as a whole, I focused on the ICND2 topics with videos, a book, and labs. The questions asked during the exam about the ICND2 material were very roundabout, in my opinion. I know that much has been said about Cisco being "straight forward" and they do not try to trick you with their exams, but my recent experience does not hold that to be true. Hey I have to say something to make myself feel better right? They tricked me!! Don't they know that Halloween is in October! :D

Here is the material I used:
Book to brush up on the CCNA as a whole:
Amazon.com: CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide: Exam 640-802 (9780470110089): Todd Lammle: Books

ICND2 book from this set:
Amazon.com: Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices, Part 2 (ICND2): (CCNA Exam 640-802 and ICND exam 640-816) (3rd Edition) (9781587054631): Stephen McQuerry: Books

CBT Nuggets ICND2 videos:
CBT Nuggets: Cisco Online Training Videos

Packet Tracer:
Used to focus on massive STP labs, since I don't have a boat load of switches

GNS3:
Used to focus on massive Frame Relay labs, since I don't have a boat load of routers

My own lab:
I have 3 2950s and 3 1760s, it does a decent job of doing what I want

The plan:
Well I didn't plan on failing and had some more certs mapped out, but that's on hold now. Going to take a week off and start over at Step 1 - "what is a network". I also have the performance print off from the aftermath of the ICND2 and will tailor some sessions off of that. I'm probably going to toss McQuerry's book in favor of something newer. Now that I am looking at it, I see Odom has a new ICND2 book slated for Oct 7 on Cisco Press. Might also give INE's 640-816 course a try for something new as well.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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Comments

  • KrisAKrisA Member Posts: 142
    Sorry the outcome wasn't as planned. However you are not defeated and I commend you on continuing to move forward. I am looking to start ICND2 here this week(end) evaluating what resources to use.
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  • CheesyBreadCheesyBread Member Posts: 99 ■■□□□□□□□□
    You might be over studying. You need sleep and energy before the exam, not 10 hours of studying.

    I studied like mad, and failed. Then I studied a brain ****, and did much worse, then I studied like a normal person, 4 hours of reading a day, then took 2 days off before the test and passed with flying colors.
  • advanex1advanex1 CASP, MCSA 2016, MCSA 2012, CCNA, Security+, Network+, Project+, Server+ Member Posts: 364 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'd suggest Chris Bryant over CBT. I use both Train Signal/The Bryant Advantage and CBT. Chris Bryant, while monotone, is MUCH more detailed with his information and setups. He definitely knows how to teach theory VERY well and in alot of ways, I found Jeremy lacking (though Jeremy is more intertaining). I think that you have to have as much input from other sources as possible to really grasp the theory. I know that when I was running through CBT after I watched Chris, I just sat back and said wow, where does he talk about in depth port costs in STP and that the cost is only added when the frame is received or why doesn't he go into more depth of troubleshooting frame-relay or OSPF? He just touches the basics of it.

    The ICND2 book is good. I'd recommend other videos, note cards, and GOOGLE anything you don't understand..

    Knowledge is power, the more you research and the more you know, the better chance you have to be successful.

    I'm sorry that you didn't pass, but do not get discouraged. Go over the sections you did poorly on in the exam and make sure you "know them cold".

    Good luck!
    Order of Certifications to come: CISM, C|EH, CISA
    2019 certification tests taken: CISSP (Passed - awaiting endorsement), MCSA: 2016 (Passed), CCNA (Re-certification - Passed)
    Currently Reading: CISM: All-in-One
    New Blog: https://jpinit.com/blog
  • alxxalxx Member Posts: 755
    Hang in there and make sure you pass next time!

    With the reading where you taking notes/summarising or just reading ?

    Also for labs did you just do the ones from the books or a few different sources ?

    There is a newer version of Todd Lammle's book
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • michaelcoxmichaelcox Member Posts: 105
    its a hard test. Had it take it a couple of times. But I passed and you can too!

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  • MrXpertMrXpert Member Posts: 586 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sorry to hear you failed but I am sure you will pass on next attempt. Best of luck with it. Although I read your post about your study patterns with interest I will say mine are very different to yours but thats the thing people study in different ways and whats good for you may not work with another. Obviously your method has served you well so stick with a winning formula. New material or more material should defo help.

    Now about the exam, I haven't done ICND2 yet although I am currently studying towards it and am personally find it a lot more challenging than ICND1. I'm currently on spanning tree, trunks, vtp and have spent nearly two weeks studying the theory behind it and doing some PT on it.It astounds me when gifted people are able to study the entire ICND2 for 3-4 weeks and then pass it.lol...and its taken me 2 weeks on the minor topics. I have read many people on here have failed ICND2 saying its difficult or they run out of time. This worries me as I wonder now how fair this exam really is? certainly what I have heard makes me think twice when the main issues mentioned are time and the scale of the questions. i have heard that ICND2 questions will give you multiple paragraph questions and obviously that is a lot to read. I wonder how fair that is for someone who maybe a slow reader (me) or who may take a bit longer to read and understand things. That should not dictate if a person passes or fails(assuming its a fair test).The exam should be about testing ones skill with the commands as well as troubleshooting. But from what i have read on this forum it seems to come across as a test of how fast someone could read something. Given there's 50 questions and 90minutes that means you can only spend under 2 minutes per question. If there's multiple paragraphs to read, how is this fair?
    I'm not saying ICND2 isn't passable i'm sure it is, but i kinda get the impression (from reading the many posts prior to this one) you have to rush through it.The questions are filled with useless information to cause you to take longer to digest the info. Is this true? or have i misunderstood.

    If i am a slow reader am i better off taking the composite ICND1/2 exam as the time limit maybe easier to negotiate for me.
    I'm an Xpert at nothing apart from remembering useless information that nobody else cares about.
  • advanex1advanex1 CASP, MCSA 2016, MCSA 2012, CCNA, Security+, Network+, Project+, Server+ Member Posts: 364 ■■■■□□□□□□
    MrXpert wrote: »
    I have read many people on here have failed ICND2 saying its difficult or they run out of time. This worries me as I wonder now how fair this exam really is? certainly what I have heard makes me think twice when the main issues mentioned are time and the scale of the questions. i have heard that ICND2 questions will give you multiple paragraph questions and obviously that is a lot to read.

    The exam is fairly written, it's written the same as ICND1. I think the thing that most people don't want to admit about time is the fact that they didn't know the material that well. If you know the material, you will be able to answer the question based on the answer choices given. I had a 75 minute test with 43 questions (pretty sure that doesn't violate the NDA, if so, remove it). I finished with 35 minutes to spare and that's with telling myself that I needed to slow down.

    I'm not saying that people don't learn at different paces or understand things differently, that's all okay and understood. I am saying though, if you KNOW the material, then spending 75-90 minutes on 40-50 questions is quite a long time. Just KNOW your stuff before you go in there and time won't even be a factor. Time isn't the enemy, not knowing the information is.

    Good luck on your re-test! Now you know what to expect and you should be better on the next go around.
    Order of Certifications to come: CISM, C|EH, CISA
    2019 certification tests taken: CISSP (Passed - awaiting endorsement), MCSA: 2016 (Passed), CCNA (Re-certification - Passed)
    Currently Reading: CISM: All-in-One
    New Blog: https://jpinit.com/blog
  • MrXpertMrXpert Member Posts: 586 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks Advanex1 for your words of encouragement and I guess if I do the ICND2 and pass that really does mean I know the material as opposed to doing the composite. Before I even think of taking the exam I'll look into getting some boson practice exams and really spend plenty of time studying.
    I'm an Xpert at nothing apart from remembering useless information that nobody else cares about.
  • Version4Version4 Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yep, my learning style is reading / watching without too many notes. Sometimes I make flash cards, but I didn't for this study session.

    I'll definitely look at the different study materials you guys recommended.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement!
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