Starting CCNA study

Unanswered Question
Jul 18th, 2007

I purchased books from Cisco about a year ago. The books I got were by wendell Odom which claim to have the 2005 updates. I also bought Boson Network Sim version 5.014. After reading some posts on here I am concerned that what I bought is outdated.

I was also wondering if it is possible to get through the CCNA course (self study) in just a few months or should I wait until the new material comes out in a few months, Then take the newer tests with new study materials?

I have this problem too.
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tcnicolls Wed, 07/18/2007 - 17:34

To be honest, I am looking for what versions of books I should buy for the old test as well.

From what I have read in the forums here, most people have said to go for the older test.

JerseyJive Wed, 07/18/2007 - 19:36

I read a variety of posts and am still unsure. I wonder if four months is a little to optimistic for someone to complete the CCNA self studying, just starting now.

glengregory Wed, 07/18/2007 - 23:27


If you are not working, you can finish it full-time by Nov 16. I highly recommend that you do it because if you wait for the new exam, you will be delayed as new study guides take time & will be full of errors. They, in my opinion, will be much tougher.

The good part about taking the new exam is obviously the new content (VPN, wireless, ADSL etc.) which we really need to know. But, you can always take the current exam & when the new materials arrive, update yourself! Cool, eh!

For CCNA, if you really want to get a firm grip of the CCNA contents, I recommend 2 study guides:-

1] Cisco Press (INTRO + ICND) by Wendell Odom

2] Sybex Press CCNA study guide by Todd Lammle

Each book does not cover certain topics completely. For e.g. Sybex does not show you NAT & does not give you a good explanation on VLANs, STP, etc. The Cisco book gives full NAT config, covers switching very well, but skimps on EIGRP & OSPF, which is very important. So if you use both, you benefit!

Note:- Before reading the books, please make sure you check the errata & any updates. There are a lot of errors.

Practicing on real cisco gear is very important (I'm a hands-on guy). But if for some reason you can't, then there are Emulators, simulators, etc. Try these:-

1] Cisco 7200 Simulator

2] Dynagen

3] Boson NetSim for CCNA 6.0

For practice exams, I have heard that Transcenders are very good, but expensive. Here are some others that I have compiled while studying for CCNA:-

And finally, practice, practice & practice!

Hope this helps...


JerseyJive Thu, 07/19/2007 - 06:17

GlenGregory - What do you think of the content that I have? I am curious if it is very outdated. Do you think it is sufficient? I work full time so I can't dedicate all of my time to getting certified. Do you think 10 hours a week woould be sufficient for a person of average intelligence???....

Thanks in advance

glengregory Thu, 07/19/2007 - 09:19

If you bought those books about a year ago, it should be ok then. Just to be absolutely sure, please check your books against this:-

The exam no. should be 640-801.

Here's the one for sybex:-

10 hours per week should be ok. But, make sure you just don't run through the material. The main focus should be on learning, grasping the core concepts & how things actually work in a network. Build a strong foundation, man!

If you ever get stuck, you can find help on this forum.

All the best!



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