CCNA Pass - The story

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Jun 18th, 2007
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I passed my CCNA today with a score of 974, thanks to all of you that answered my SFQs, and those of others that are studying for this certificate.

About the Exam

Mostly as expected, a lot of drag and drop questions, especaly at the end when I was running short on time. One standard simulation, the infamous access-list one. Without breaking NDA the simulator doesn't seem to understand protcols by name, just number. The second simulator was interesting, 5 multiple answer questions, the answers of which needed to be determined from a simulated device with show commands.

There were a number of questions regarding frame-relay maps, but none on ISDN fortunately.

The Study

I used the Todd Lamle guides and the CiscoPress certifications guides. In my opinion the Todd Lammle guide is not sufficient to pass the exam on it's own, as it doesn't go into enough detail. I haven't seen them, but I would guess it is a similar level to the CiscoPress Study Guides.

Previous to using the guides, I took the ICND course, a few years ago, and have been working in a managed services environment on 2950, 3550, 3660, 3750 and 2960 switches since. Therefore the switching components were relitively simple to me, the routing however was a different matter. Recently I changed employer to as networking consultant. Hense the need to pass the exam, forunately they have a lab environment, and I got to spend a few days working with some old routers, which helped immensly. I also used dynagen / dynamips as a simulator.


Write the subnet addresses, number of usable hosts etc down before you start the exam. This saved a lot of time not having to do the calclations. Ask for something to clean the worksheets, I didn't and my hands are black with ink now :-)

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engineer4life Mon, 06/18/2007 - 06:52
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congratulation can you help me cos am really strugling with preparation. Has there been any changes to the exams this year? Am asking this cos i took my traing last year when i was on my industrial placement bu i had no time to prpare for the exam. I want the CCNA now.


mark.j.hodge Mon, 06/18/2007 - 08:09
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The CiscoPress books are very good, if you have done the training then you don't need the basics.

If you can get some hands on it helps a lot, my understanding of Frame Relay went up in leaps and bounds with just a few hours. Alternatively the dynagen / dynamips simulator is very good and relatively easy to set up, but you do need access to IOS code which required additional CCO privaliges

rscarborough63 Mon, 06/18/2007 - 08:22
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Congratulations, I have two cisco 1720 routers. do you think this is good enough along with the Cisco press books. I was going to use a simulator for the switching stuff. What are your thoughts. Are you going to pursue CCNP?

mark.j.hodge Tue, 06/19/2007 - 00:55
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It depends on the interfaces, and what are you are looking to improve. If you can connect the two togther eith via a Ethernet or Serial crossover, then you can get the routing protocols down. But you would need a third Router to act as a Frame-Relay switch to do a lot of the labs in that area.

CCNP is definately on the cards, as I have been doing a lot of switch stuff recently the BCMSN is probably 1st on the list. The study guides are on order, but are *huge* so it will be a month or two.

engineer4life Mon, 06/18/2007 - 08:37
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Mark what do u mean by the ciscopress books i have the cisco study guid by Richard deal.

the dynagen/dynamips are they free to download and where can i find them please i want to pass this ccna.

mark.j.hodge Tue, 06/19/2007 - 00:49
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The two CiscoPress books I used are

CCNA INTRO Exam Certification Guide

CCNA ICND Exam Cerification Guide

If you don't have them, then you can get both in a discounted library package

I haven't seen the Study Guides, but from what I read they may not have enoght detail to persue the CCNA.

Dynagen and Dynamips are both free.

But as I say, you need access to the relivant IOS images.

klaujxyooj Tue, 06/19/2007 - 20:25
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Hands-on practices, configuring routers and switches are the best way to passing the test. I had just pass my CCNA test today, and let me tell you, I did a lot of reading. I took the Cisco Networking Academy 4-5 years back and now I had just taken the test. I had buy the CCNA self study package from I also use the Boson CCNA Netowrk Simulator as well as review my books I still retain from my Network Academy courses. I spent time reading multiple times over and practicing with the simulator. Reading once is not going to work. Reveiw or read those books more than twice or three times if you have to. Each time you read, you pick up something new. Plus, you might pickup something from a book that others may not be clear on or not mention. It takes time and motivation, but it can be done. Good luck.


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