Sunday, February 20, 2011

How To Prepare For CCNA - An Insight Look

In Recent months I have received so many email from all around the world from people asking about how to prepare for CCNA.

So today as I am resuming blogging back so thought to start with this. I mean how I passed my CCNA back in sep 2005.

Back in 2005 there were not much resources available to prepare for CCNA like today. I was working for a company as System Support Engineer (Desktops, Servers, High Speed Line Printers etc). Life was pretty hard and income was quiet less...actually 75 USD a month. At that time a close friend and mentor SUSHIL SHARDA who was working for same client like I was on behalf of another company asked me to try my luck in Networking Industry. He encouraged me to go for CCNA. I took his suggestion and started preparing for CCNA 640-801 exam.

I used the following material or In brief CCNA Complete Study package written by great CCIE Instructor Chris Bryant (CCIE#12933).

The CCNA package has got everything you need to pass CCNA exam like :

1. CCNA Study Book
2. CCNA Lab Book (Containing CCNA Lab Scenarios for practice and to put  
    your theory and skills on test for practice)
3. Binary Maths book which covers all you need to know about Subnetting
4. A book covering how to convert from Binary to hex and decimal   
   and vice versa.
5. CCNA Practice Engine
6. CCNA command handbook etc

This all stuff is gonna cost you just 25 USD.

Apart from this I used CCNA Book from Todd Lammle. In those days GNS was not available so I used most of time on real equipments and Boson's CCNA Simulator. But for current CCNA most of stuff can be practiced on GNS. But still getting some hands on with real equipment will be an added advantage.

Here is link to another subnetting quiz tool which I found extremely helpful to get rid of my bad subnetting calculation skills:

Apart from this I would suggest you to join some instructor lead class in-case you have enough money to spend on it to gain hands on experience with real equipments.

But there are certain things which I would like to suggest you before joining instructor lead classes.

1. How many CCNA students have passed so far from them. Try to get in touch with someone among those and take feedback.

2. Do they have enough equipments so that you don't need to sit and wait for too long to wait for your turn to practice on real equipments.

3. The equipments they have are able to run all IOS command set and features which you need to practice for CCNA.

I have heard about many CCNA institutes which have old equipments that can't run features like SDM, No Wireless Equipments to practice wireless section, Old routers and IOS which cannot run IPv6 etc.

4. Read from books about basics of networking and ask for a demo class session to see if you and instructor have good understanding.

Just don't go blank to attend any certification class...that's the tip of the day.

Remember that practice is the key. But make sure you are good enough with theory before getting into lab and practice stuff.

Also don't under estimate CCNA exam like many other who claims it's an easy one to pass. From my personal experience I can tell you that It's not an easy exam to pass.

Also make sure you test all theory you read using equipments or GNS to make sure there is no gap. One common mistake I have seen people making while learning Cisco (including me) is that some times we take things on little grant and assumes what's written in book can't be wrong. Also it depends upon how you inter prate Author's wording. It might look to you that particular thing is gonna work one way while author was trying to tell it's gonna work in that particular way under particular conditions.

Also in case you have any CCNA queries you can always come back to me and I'll try to help you guys with those in best way I can. But there is another forum forum where you can post your queries and to get help.

All you need to do is to create a free login and post your queries on forum.

So best of luck with your CCENT and CCNA study guys... Enjoy every moment of learning.

Further Ref :

Deepak Arora


PRAवीण said...

thanks for your road map and good to see you again in action hope you will post some finest topic here in future

Pawan Sharma said...

Hi, We had created these free exam simulators for Cisco, MS, CEH, CISSP, PMP & many other certifications. Please add these to your list of resources -