Passed 640-553

hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■□□□□□
Passed with a score of 922! icon_cheers.gif

I did perfect in 5 domains listed in the blueprint. My two weak areas are:
- Implement AAA on Cisco routers using local router database and external ACS 67%
- Mitigate common Layer 2 attacks 50%

I figured maybe I got 2 out of 4 questions wrong in the Layer 2 area, but I don't care as long as I passed.

I started studying it back in mid-May, reading the Paquet book from cover-to-cover, but I did 90% of the labs by following the examples as I read along. After finishing reading for maybe bout three weeks, I purchased the Boson ExSim Exam and practiced all 191 questions in study mode. I got 60% the first time, but I didn't go back to it immediately since we are not suppose to memorize and pass the practice exam, but rather understand the topics and know our weak areas.

So I went back to the book and practiced my weakest area with most answers incorrects up to my least weakest area. I manually jotted down notes on my notepad (for better memory retention) and did some serious labbing for every area until I got the concept locked down. I skipped some areas either because it's either I don't have enough time, enough resources to lab, or the domain is insignificant (which can be negligible). After creating pages of note and spending several hours on lab practice, I went back to the ExSim exam, and passed with 88%. The review took me about three weeks, but I had to wait to book the exam due to WGU.

In my honest opinion, I would say the exam should be very easy if you are well-prepared for it. By the way, I should point out that there were some blur pictures in the exam question, so for those of you that are not near-sighted may suffer a little bit. Here are the following resources I used:

- Authorized Self-Study Guide: Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security (IINS) by Catherine Paquet
- Ubuntu (host OS) with GNS3 and VirtualBox installed (Windows XP as Guest OS)
- Boson ExSim Exam Environment (I paid $75 for it)
- Information on SDM and Java configuration I posted here a while ago

Comments

  • AD227529AD227529 Member Posts: 82 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations on the pass! That's an impressive score, too. I'm currently studying for the 640-553 and hope to take it the first week of September.
    CCNA, CCENT, A+, Net+, Security+
  • SomnipotentSomnipotent Member Posts: 384
    AD227529 wrote: »
    Congratulations on the pass! That's an impressive score, too. I'm currently studying for the 640-553 and hope to take it the first week of September.

    Better get it in before that... if you miss the mark you may have to take the 554 exam.
    Reading: Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture (D. Comer)
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,735 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congratulations. CCNA Security is next for me after the ICND2.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • spd3432spd3432 Member Posts: 224
    Congrats!
    ----CCNP goal----
    Route [ ] Studying
    Switch [ ] Next
    Tshoot [ ] Eventually
  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Thanks for the congrats, everyone.
    Congratulations. CCNA Security is next for me after the ICND2.

    Which version do you plan to take? You only have roughly three months left to take the expiring version.

    I would recommend anyone who plans to start studying after September 1st to study for the new one.
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,735 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm not going to push it. I'll be studying for the 640-554. Learning to use an ASA will be good for me, and after finally finishing the CCNA I don't want to be in a rush.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • whatthehellwhatthehell Member Posts: 920
    Congratz on the pass!
    2017 Goals:
    [ ] Security + [ ] 74-409 [ ] CEH
    Future Goals:
    TBD
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