Dontstop's - Cisco CCNA Journal

dontstopdontstop ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
So I've decided to finally man up and take my exam. I've always put it off due to this and that, always feeding myself the same procrastination precursors like "I'm too busy", "It's a lot of money", "I don't need Certifications", "Will I remember all of this?" and the kicker "Do I really want/need this". I found right off the bat, Cisco in their learning center provides some great videos on topics such as procrastination and how to be an adult learner, which are helpful and you should check them out! I'm writing this Journal to keep myself accountable and I guess gloat about my successes and sob about my failures with my fellow inmates^H^H^H TechExams Members. I will regularly try to update the OP with new information to save tiring eyes from going through my hopefully many posts. First off, lets talk about Study Material format;

  • Books: Odom ICND1 & ICND2 (with some side reading of TCP/IP Illustrated Vol. 1 more for my own benefit than directly related to the exam revision material)
  • Exam: I will be taking the 2 part exam ICDN1 (CCENT) + ICND2 for the CCNA. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons, Firstly I don't feel good about trying to pack my head full of CCNA for a single exam when there is so much new to study and such a range of topics I would need to remember (I don't want this to become a wrote learning exercise - On my first Cisco experience). I'm sure that once I'm more fluent on the CLI with Cisco the large exam format will be less intimidating. The other reason includes that I want to take my study slowly and the ICND1+2 just feels nice (another stepping stone) rather than a leap.
  • Lab: I will be using physical hardware (I love playing with kit) mixing in a bit of Virtual on the oft occasion (Packet Tracer & GNS3) [The Virtual kit will be more useful in the future, when the network complexity out grows my ability to spend disposable income on it]
  • Videos: CBT nuggets ICND1 & 2 + (looking into maybe grabbing something from Byrant Advantage)

Comments

  • thall860thall860 ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 48Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Best of luck to you in your 2013 Goals!!
    Had all of my WGU courses but too much to keep up on. I am working at it, will let you know when finished.
  • jdballingerjdballinger Posts: 252Member
    Great choices all around!

    For your videos, I recommend grabbing the free CCNA R/S videos that are avaialble at INE.com. Jeremy is fantastic in teh CBT Nuggets videos for keeping your attention, but sometimes I want him to go a little deeper into a topic and he doesn't. That's where Brian McGahan comes in. While he doesn't have the personality that Jeremy does, he goes MUCH deeper into some of the topics (DHCP comes to mind) and I found that it really helped me out.

    I also recommend getting the "101 Labs for CCNA" eBook from Amazon.

    Congrats on your decision and good luck! Keep us updated, and don't be afraid to ask questions!

  • Hatch1921Hatch1921 ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 257Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Another vote for CCIE Training - CCIE Routing & Switching, Voice, Security, Service Provider, Data Center I've made it through a little over half of the CCNA videos and they are great. Well worth the time.

    Best of luck with your CCNA journey.
    Hatch
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Posts: 2,472Member
    That's what I'm talking about! dontstop, you got this. Look forward to it. It'll be hard at times, and trust me - it's going to test your strength. We're here to help. You're one of us. I don't give two craps that you're in a country that everything seems to want to kill you ;)

    Come to think of it - that should give you an advantage. Seriously, this is a cake walk after dealing with some of those creatures. You should be giving the CCIE:Written's encouragement!

    Kangaroos:
    http-inlinethumb57.webshots.com-17976-2565810150105101600S600x600Q85.jpg


    Enough said.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    Pictures:
    Office / Lab
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • dontstopdontstop ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Exam preparation update (38 days remaining):

    I have been watching the CBTNuggets ICND1 videos, up to video 28/31. Hopefully by tomorrow I will have all 31 videos complete and can get started on reading the book *phew*.

    As said before I have Odom's Cisco press book, I have heard a lot about this book being boring vs. Lammels. I think I'm going to try power through it otherwise one could complain about every book bought in search of a false perfection.

    The book is around 700 pages long, with 38 days until my CCENT I will budget around 20-30 pages a day, which should give me some days off if I need them at the end or during, Also that's a pretty light load. I'm going to actually try and stick to the daily page count and not try and go way over as this is my normal style (leading to burnout) and taking everything piece by piece.

    I have been doing some very basic labbing with a Cisco 857w which I picked up for around $80-100 about 1 year ago and never really used it. It's been great for just knocking out the basic configurations and testing while watching the Nuggets. I have a full lab upstairs which I will be using while reading Odom and setting up my lab networks.

    I think the biggest revelation I have found, is how much harder I thought the exam/content was going to be than it is (not bragging) It's just that I have some industry experience and I know a little, without every really doing a CCNA your mind can wander on what will be in the exam. I think for a person who hasn't been working with networking and this is all new to, the exam seems hard but to someone who has worked in I.T. and knows *stuff* your imagination wanders on what terribly hard stuff *could* be on the test. Until I finally actually studied the material have I realized it's not as bad as my imagination made it out too be. Still not assured a pass, Until I do the exam! :D

    More updates to come.
  • dontstopdontstop ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Roguetadhg wrote: »

    Kangaroos:
    Enough said.

    Mate, that's only a baby Roo jk jk
  • jamthatjamthat ■■■□□□□□□□ Posts: 303Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    dontstop wrote: »
    Exam preparation update (38 days remaining):

    I have been watching the CBTNuggets ICND1 videos, up to video 28/31. Hopefully by tomorrow I will have all 31 videos complete and can get started on reading the book *phew*.

    As said before I have Odom's Cisco press book, I have heard a lot about this book being boring vs. Lammels. I think I'm going to try power through it otherwise one could complain about every book bought in search of a false perfection.

    The book is around 700 pages long, with 38 days until my CCENT I will budget around 20-30 pages a day, which should give me some days off if I need them at the end or during, Also that's a pretty light load. I'm going to actually try and stick to the daily page count and not try and go way over as this is my normal style (leading to burnout) and taking everything piece by piece.

    I have been doing some very basic labbing with a Cisco 857w which I picked up for around $80-100 about 1 year ago and never really used it. It's been great for just knocking out the basic configurations and testing while watching the Nuggets. I have a full lab upstairs which I will be using while reading Odom and setting up my lab networks.

    I think the biggest revelation I have found, is how much harder I thought the exam/content was going to be than it is (not bragging) It's just that I have some industry experience and I know a little, without every really doing a CCNA your mind can wander on what will be in the exam. I think for a person who hasn't been working with networking and this is all new to, the exam seems hard but to someone who has worked in I.T. and knows *stuff* your imagination wanders on what terribly hard stuff *could* be on the test. Until I finally actually studied the material have I realized it's not as bad as my imagination made it out too be. Still not assured a pass, Until I do the exam! :D

    More updates to come.

    I wouldn't say Odom's book is 'boring', it just tells you exactly what you need to know and seems to go much more in-depth. I actually find it more enjoyable than Lammel's book. Also, if you're already confident in your subnetting abilities, you can cut out about 150 pages and just do the practice problems for reinforcement.
  • jdballingerjdballinger Posts: 252Member
    I would highly recommend using your lab to follow along with Jeremy as he performs the steps. That helped me immensely, especially for ICND2.

  • dontstopdontstop ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    jamthat wrote: »
    I wouldn't say Odom's book is 'boring', it just tells you exactly what you need to know and seems to go much more in-depth. I actually find it more enjoyable than Lammel's book. Also, if you're already confident in your subnetting abilities, you can cut out about 150 pages and just do the practice problems for reinforcement.

    I would agree with you there. The book isn't boring, people just don't like reading cold hard information for 700 pages. They want the book to entertain them for 30-100 hours, I think if your reading 50-100 pages a day of any highly Technical book it's going to be a hard read + your not going to learn a lot.
  • dontstopdontstop ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Update 20130305

    Reading:
    Finished all of the CBTNuggets videos for ICND1 (31/31), Now starting on the Odom ICND1 book. I have divided the book into 20-30 page chunks which are very manageable, If I'm able to keep the pace of 25 pages a day I should be finished in 28 days (of 36 days remaining) and this will give me plenty of time to recap and study.

    Today I was able to commit to 30 pages of the book. Which was a good start, I didn't do too much and I have actually restrained myself from doing more. Hopefully this will limit any burnout and with these byte icon_lol.gif sized chunks will make what I learn in a day more memorable.

    Lab: Currently I have still been doing some very basic lab work on the 857w from what I learned in the Nuggets videos. Tomorrow I will then move over to my full lab and do a bit more work while reading the Intro chapters in Odom (most of which don't have much IOS work for now).

    Some very basic sheets to print and stick on your wall.

    osi_tcpip.pdf

    Also, Photos of my ICND1 lab to come.
  • jamthatjamthat ■■■□□□□□□□ Posts: 303Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've just discovered these videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/danscourses/videos?flow=grid&view=1 - thanks to a user in another thread in the CCENT/CCNA section (the recent NAT thread I believe).

    Definitely helping me with some of the areas I feel uneasy in as I gear up for the test!
  • dontstopdontstop ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Update 20130308

    Up to page 119 of Odom, Will be toning back the page count from 30 a day to 20. I find the book really eats into your time with the end of chapter reviews and exercises especially having to define 5-10 words from each chapter. I also have found a lot of my time is being taken up by scribing notes and drawing diagrams (protocol headers etc). Also will be looking at trying to balance this study out with more leisure time, It seems to be all I'm doing at the moment. Will report back with how this went.
  • dontstopdontstop ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Update 20130313

    Last 3 days have been a bit of a fail, either been too tired from the new job or other events and I haven't been able to complete any study. Which puts me a little behind my schedule but still infront as I over budgeted my time. I'm just going to have to suck it up, find a quiet place to study and maybe sleep for an hour before I study. After work + the commute i'm pretty tired. Will see how I go, the last resort is too push back the exam but that is totally a last resort. Going to find a quiet room to study and just muscle on.
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