ICND1 scheduled for June 5

treehousetreehouse Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
I've finally scheduled my ICND1 after almost a year of infrequent study. I know that's a crazy-long time to study for an entry level cert, but in my defense I'm also working full-time, going to school full-time and I have two young children.

I took the last iteration of the CCNA three times and failed three times, back in 2004-5, but I wasn't in IT then and didn't really have a lot of direction on good entry level certs to go for with no experience. Now I've been in the field for six years, I have some CompTIA under my belt and I'm working on a bachelor's degree. That combined with a much more serious study approach will hopefully see me through.

For my last week of preparation, I'm going through Lammle's CCNA Review guide, spending a lot of time on Packet Tracer, and selectively reading Odom's 3rd edition CCENT to get a deeper understanding of topics that aren't concrete. I feel well-prepared, but also anxious, as another fail at this test would be pretty crushing, morale-wise.

Does anyone have any good 'one week out' study strategies?
2015 GOALS



  • fluffymomfluffymom Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    1) Make sure you have a good Practice Exam program. I would run through the practice exam and print off all the questions I got wrong and then go back and study the ones I missed to see what concepts I was missing. Hopefully the Practice Exam program you use has a large pool of questions. There are a bunch out there like Measure-Up, Transcender, etc. Any of them should be fine. I know myself if I am getting 80% on the practice exams and I have not memorized the questions, I will pass :)

    2) Are you following any labs with Packet Tracer? There are some free ones:
    Static Routing | FREE CCNA LAB
    Cisco CCNA Lab Scenarios

    3) Have you watched any YouTube videos such as the ones Chris Bryant does? You can google his name and youtube and he has lots of free ones on youtube.

  • ralbertos21ralbertos21 Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am taking mine on the 5th as well!! :D
    also the CCNA bootcamp vids and Stormwind lol
  • 7255carl7255carl Member Posts: 1,544 ■■■□□□□□□□
    best of luck guys let us know how you get on

    Carl icon_cool.gif
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  • d6bmgd6bmg Member Posts: 241
    Good luck ;)
    [ ]CCDA; [ ] CCNA Security
  • treehousetreehouse Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the great advice, Dee! I have a lot of CCNA resources, but the one thing I don't have is a good test engine. I was thinking about grabbing the Boson exSim for CCNA Composite, but I'm not sure I can swing it financially. My education funds are almost tapped until July and I still have to schedule the ICND2 and make room in my budget for retaking at least one of the tests. I do have several practice tests that I haven't tried from various books in my collection. Do you think that will suffice?

    I received a lot of bonus material from Todd Lammle when I sent him a copy of my receipt for one of his books (I think CCNA 7th edition). A big part of that was over a dozen packet tracer labs on subjects like configuring RIPv2, EIGRP, NAT Overload and various troubleshooting scenarios. I haven't touched the ones that are ICND2-specific, but the ones on ICND1 topics were/are fantastic, and really the only reason I currently prefer Packet Tracer over GNS3. I'll probably switch to GNS3 for virtual labs when I start the CCNP, though.

    YouTubing Chris Bryant right now. I also have access to the CBT Nuggets CCNA videos through work, which I've been listening to during monotonous tasks. Jeremy Cioara is awesome.
    2015 GOALS

    VCP [ ] VCP5-DT
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    Jeremy is the man! Good luck and don't get too stressed on test day! Relax and kill it, you seem solid as far as preparation is concerned.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Member Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Good luck!! icon_thumright.gif
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
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  • shezy77shezy77 Member Posts: 160
    Good luck for your ICND1 icon_thumright.gif
    2013: ICND1 [Passed] ... ICND2 [Passed] ... VCA-DCV [Passed] ... 70-410 [Passed] ... 70-411 [Passed] ... VCA-Cloud [Passed] ... VCA-WM [Passed] ... 70-412 [Passed]

    2014: 74-409 [Passed] ... VCP5 [Passed]
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  • treehousetreehouse Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the well wishes, all. I will report back in a week, good news or bad.
    2015 GOALS

    VCP [ ] VCP5-DT
  • fluffymomfluffymom Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would see what type of test engine you can get as that will give you some sort of temperature on your knowledge and where you are lacking. If you can't afford a test engine, have you thought about emailing a company or two who might give you a free copy since the exam is expiring?

  • treehousetreehouse Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, I swallowed my pride and asked a close relative for a loaner to get the Boson ExSim for CCENT. I'm glad I did, because I really struggled with the first test and found some weaknesses. My final score was a 79%, a (close) fail. I did the 'review' version of the test, so there wasn't a time limit and I got to see the correct answers as I was going through it. I won't do this for my other tests, but I wanted to really evaluate where I was. I got miserable 60% scores on 'Implement an address scheme' and WAN, which is what dragged my score down so far, but it looks like I need to brush up everywhere.

    I'm not sure whether to reschedule my test or press on. I have two study nights left (I work full-time and have kids, so CCNA studies are at night).

    How does Boson compare to the real deal? Harder, easier, about the same?
    2015 GOALS

    VCP [ ] VCP5-DT
  • SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,731 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Did you take the 150 question or 40-50 mark? I would advise 50 at a time, because it seems like they throw a lot of subnetting questions at you (probably true for the exam as well.) I've heard good things about boson on here, do a search and see what you find. My advise would be to make sure you have subnetting down cold before you sit the exam, at the very least be able to determine what the mask of a network should be very quickly, that can usually eliminate an answer or two.

    now that you know your weaknesses, analyze why you are weak on those areas and attack them. video, and book study on those chapters.
  • treehousetreehouse Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Alright, I took a day to brush up on my weak areas from exam A. This time I took Exam B in simulation mode, no notes. Got an 845, which isn't a stellar pass but it is still a pass! I am still having issues with 'implement an address scheme', and wireless was a problem because of what I feel are some wacky questions, but I did much better on WAN and improved my margins in my other previously passing areas.

    Going to keep studying and take exam C, but I am keeping my date on Wednesday.
    2015 GOALS

    VCP [ ] VCP5-DT
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Good luck!!
    Keep attacking your weak areas and I'm sure you'll do fine come Wednesday.
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