Question about CCNA Security

sandrenesandrene Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
I took this exam on Friday and didn't pass. I got a score of 733. Everyone has said it's easier than the CCNA but I passed both parts of that without issue. I know that a big part of my problem was my method of studying, though.

I was expecting a more practical exam, where I'm tested on my ability to configure security settings using SDM and command line. But the test I took was mostly head knowledge and reminded me more of Security+. I didn't even have any simulations or testlets until question 38 of 60. I'm wondering if that was the experience for everyone and if I would be better off doing a brain **** style studying for next time. I took the 553 exam and would like to try again on Friday if I'm able to (I go to WGU and the course mentor doesn't think there'll be enough time for turnaround).

Comments

  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Brain **** studying isn't studying at all - It's cheating.

    Your score report should reveal your weak areas. Utilize that score report to work on your weak areas using legitimate study techniques. If you were uncomfortable with the exam style perhaps using the Boson exam simulator will help with that.
  • sandrenesandrene Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I didn't mean actual brain ****. But I'm more of a hands on learner than a book smart learner. I may not remember what something is called but I know how to configure it. There just seemed to be a lot more what questions than how. I was just wondering if that was normal. If so, I need to adjust my study methods.

    And the score report was only moderately accurate. It said I got 0% on an area I know I'm pretty strong in, but I don't even remember any questions on it, so if I had any it was probably only one.
  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The 'what' and 'why' is important for when things break or don't go according to plan. If I recall correctly, you have another week before the 553 exam retires, correct? If it's me, I'm studying a little bit of everything during that time and focusing on the little things.

    Good luck, I hope you do well - It would be a shame to study and have the exam retire on you.
  • sandrenesandrene Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I remember things that are relevant, like commands and the components of things, I've just never been good at terminology. Knowing things like the exact name of a type of list seem less crucial to me than knowing what the list does and how to configure it.

    The CBT Nuggets videos for the 553 are free on YouTube, so I watched them before I took the test and then just went through them again and wrote down notes on the specifics I either missed the first time or know I would miss if I get a similar style test and questions about that topic are on it.

    And everything I've read says the 553 retires at the end of this month, which is in a week. I need to find out tomorrow if my school can get me another voucher in that short a time period.
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I didn't know the 553 tested on the SDM. I guess the CCP is the new addition for CCNA:Security?
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • sandrenesandrene Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yeah, the 553 is primarily SDM, as far as any configuration goes. There was only one command line question I had, and that was CCNA material.
  • AD227529AD227529 Member Posts: 82 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sandrene, I took the 553 exam on Friday too and passed with an 866. What study materials did you use? I can wholeheartedly recommend buying the Boson ExSim Max for 640-553. I got mine for $100 and I think it paid for itself. Use this software and the study mode, then take a few of the tests in simulation mode to see what areas you need to brush up on. I think they even have a pass or refund guarantee, so you aren't really out anything if you fail the exam. I also used CBT Nuggets and TrainSignal, along with Exam Cram.

    I agree that this exam was a lot of memorization type questions. I would suggest watching the CBT Nuggets video, getting the Boson ExSim software, and taking a TON of notes on the areas you are weak in. Review your notes right before the exam and take it again. Good luck!
    CCNA, CCENT, A+, Net+, Security+
  • sandrenesandrene Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I watched the CBT Nuggets video, read through one of the books recommended by school and watched the Online Expert curriculum they provided, although that didn't go nearly in-depth enough. I don't really have extra money for Boson right now, since I'm paying for school on my own, although if I have to take it a 3rd time I'll definitely look into investing. WGU has been lacking a lot in learning resources lately, and they're pretty much just telling me to read a textbook, which is the absolute worse way for me to study, unless it's math. I went through CBT Nuggets again and made flash cards. Hopefully that will be enough? For anything I'm still weak on on Wednesday I will try to go through the books and get any additional notes from them.

    Congrats on your pass! Do you have any plans for your next exam?
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I went through CBT Nuggets again and made flash cards. Hopefully that will be enough?
    I've never encountered a Cisco exam that video training covered in enough depth to pass. I haven't taken this one, so maybe it is an exception, but dig deeper if you can. Good luck!
  • sandrenesandrene Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I've never encountered a Cisco exam that video training covered in enough depth to pass. I haven't taken this one, so maybe it is an exception, but dig deeper if you can. Good luck!
    Thanks! I'm currently working through the Implementing Cisco IOS Security book and still waiting to hear if I'll be able to take this exam again. Although I guess getting good at this material will just help me if I have to switch over and study for the 554 instead.
  • AD227529AD227529 Member Posts: 82 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Good luck on the retry, sandrene! I'm not sure what my next move will be. I'm thinking about maybe going for Microsoft MCITP certification.
    CCNA, CCENT, A+, Net+, Security+
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    WGU has great resources for a lot of classes but if you aren't learning it from the resources they're providing, you have to find your own resources. I've been going through the new 640-554 book. It's great and the chapters are small enough to be manageable. I know that reading isn't your thing but in this industry, self-study and book reading is a must. I would recommend giving up on the 640-553 and going all in with the 554. Since the chapters are 10-30 pages each, it's REALLY easy to work through a chapter a day and lab.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,732
    i'm a little concerned about the differences between the 553 and 554, I just bout a cert training program and I can only assume it was built for the 553 exam. Now based on certificationkits, they say the major difference is that the 554 focuses on configuration through the CCP rather than SDM (something the OP might want to get so hands on with maybe?) anyone know if this is accurate? Do I need to throw the 553 material away (figuratively) or should I be fine, and just practice CCP administration?
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Gotta backup Iris.

    It's actually a lot better than the content of ICND1/ICND2. Reading wise, It's more conversational.

    I break up sentences with the PIPE. | . or circles. or something just so I can focus without drifting off into space. Which, if I don't keep a mental tab, I do when I read.

    I'll scan a page of my book for the public to see!

    @Sephstorm: There is a LOT of CCP configuration in the book. There is also a lot of CLI configuration. I'm not sure how heavy CCP is test-day, and I'm sure my test will be different than yours anyways. I'm going to assume it's more CCP than CLI.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • sandrenesandrene Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I eventually found out I wasn't able to take the 553 due to the new rule of not being able to retest for 14 days. The book for the 554 was much much better than the ones for the 553. I read through it, borrowed the CBT Nuggets video and watched those, then went back through the book reviewing the key topics. I took the test yesterday and passed! As I was going through the material studying for the 2nd time I remembered many of the questions that tripped me up the first time, some of which I got right and some I hadn't. I felt much more confident about them the 2nd time and there were only a few I was truly stumped on. I think they may have been some that were thrown in that don't count, because they talked about Cisco proprietary things I hadn't heard of before.

    One thing I was worried about was learning CCP after studying SDM, but they're really similar. Some of the coding comes directly from the SDM, actually. I was also worried about the IPv6 factor, but it didn't go into any more depth than the CCNA, it actually covered less. I was prepared to get a bunch of those questions but only got one.
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