Failed CCNA twice: Advice needed!

Unanswered Question
Feb 13th, 2007

In 2000 I successfully passed the old 604-501 CCNA exam however I failed twice trying to re-certify and would like some input on how to improve my weak areas. For the first test I studied with the Exam Cram and CCNA for Dummies and failed horribly with a 796. After that I purchased the Cisco Press Flash Card book and another Exam Cram book full of nothing but questions. I improved my score a lot but still failed with a 829. I have since bought the Cisco Press 2 book study guide.

Would I be better off taking the Intro & ICND test as opposed to the one 604-801 exam? Or should I just focus on improving in Planning & design, and Technology? Anyways, here is a breakdown of my two tests:

1st Test

Score 796

Planning and Design 62%

Implementation and Operation 80%

Troubleshooting 72%

Technology 64%

2nd Test

Score 821

Planning and Design 66%

Implementation and Operation 75%

Troubleshooting 88%

Technology 61%

Any input greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance...

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Kamal Malhotra Tue, 02/13/2007 - 15:02


I am not sure which book you are talking about, but look for the ICND book by Wendell Odom. Its good. Once having gone through it (alongwith a lot of hands on), go for the practice questions.


jacquesd Thu, 02/15/2007 - 09:50


OK the reason for failing is probably related to 'examn cram'. The Cisco Press book by Odom are good. They do expand beyond exam topics, but this is about knowledge after all. You should do well after reading them (I got 950 if I remember correctly).

I also failed CCNA once, and the reason for that was simply subnetting. I practiced until I could do it within 10 seconds flat. After all, you know that it is one area they will test you on (again and again). No reason to waste time by not knowing it by heart.

Hope for better luck next time!


rahulawati Thu, 02/15/2007 - 19:14

The best book to prepare for CCNA is Todd Lamle's book from Sybex. It covers everything necessary for the exam. From the scores that you have displayed, i see that Technology is something your weak on. so for this , you have to brush up those last chapters like PPP, Frame-relay, ISDN technology etc.Advice you to read again and again. Coz i failed the first time scoring 822. Second time i scored 1000 outa 1000. I spend time revising watever i had read and also worked on Boson Netsim. After every chapter i read, i tried to implement it in the Netsim. I suggest you install Netsim and create a network topology from scratch. Assign it valid Ip addresses. Then apply watever theory u learn step by step adding, modifying,deleting the existing configurations in netsim.



d_monaghan Sun, 02/18/2007 - 16:46

I think your biggest problem is probably the fact that you are trying to pass the exam through 'cramming' which only really helps you become familiar with exam questions and not the underlying knowledge. Maybe its worth going through the full CCNA book again? The sybex one by Tod Lammle (sp?) is very readable.

The other thing with the CCNA (which is covered very well in the sybex book) is to learn to subnet in your head using the 'magic number' method. Make sure you can work out an addresses subnet in seconds in your head as this saves a huge amount of time and stress.

Thirdly how much have you gone through the example exams that come with the books? I seem to remember the flash card (the CCNP one at any rate) having pretty good ones with simulations etc. Try to get in the high 90s on these when cramming that way you give yourself a bit more confidence and some leyway.

Don't be too hard on yourself, you havn't failed horribly, you've still got a respectable score by any other exam, its just cisco ones are that much more demanding!

Good luck :-)


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