Memorization methods and tricks for Cisco

Unanswered Question
Dec 12th, 2007

I find the need to memorize all manner of rather arcane facts and figures in cisco certification programs quite overwhelming at times and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. That's said has anyone ever found any kind of effective method or trick to achieving anything close to a "photographic memory" when it comes to fact memorization? I know this is a long shot but my brain is feeling increasingly fried from trying to remember all these details and I'm about ready to try almost anything! TIA

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Overall Rating: 5 (1 ratings)
s.conway Wed, 12/12/2007 - 20:30

I find that taking notes as I read helps me remember the material. If there are sections with a lot of numbers, I'll write it down several times until I can write it down without looking at the book. For example: the QoS DSCP values or the VoIP codecs and the comparison between them.

For me, I need to know the 'what' then I can begin to understand the 'why'.


ccbootcamp Wed, 12/12/2007 - 20:36

DON'T memorize, UNDERSTAND! The more you understand the technologies, the better off you are going to be - not only on certification exams, but in the field as well. :)


(please rate the post if this helps!)

scottmac Thu, 12/13/2007 - 08:31

CCBC is right on the mark(5 points!). Mere memorization means you'll forget it, frequently under stress, usually when you need it the most.

If you understand the concepts, if you know WHY something happens the way it does, you can't forget it.

The underscore for this is: when you inverview for a job / career, they aren't interested in what you remember; they want to know what you UNDERSTAND, how functional you are within the scope of the intended job.

You're going to have to figure stuff out, not parrot back answers to often-studied questions.

It's very easy to spot someone who only remembers and doesn't understand.

If you *really* want to test yourself or someone else's knowledge, explain (or have them explain) how something works (protocol, technology base, whatever) ...

If all you hear are book terms, that person likely does not truely understand. If you actually understand, you (or them) should be able to re-form the concept into simpler terms and communicate it to someone that has no idea of the concept before the discussion.

It's a very good filter, give it a shot.

Good Luck, Happy Holidays to All!


LordFlasheart Thu, 12/13/2007 - 00:01

I agree that you must understand the material as only then can you better memorise it. However, there are many techniques that successful "artistes" use to memorise facts - the most common being creating a story about the facts. So instead of reading a list of how BGP chooses the best route, create a story that links all of the facts.

e.g. A WEIGHT-lifter I met in my LOCAL pub had a PREFERENCE for food of foreign ORIGIN. AS he always takes the shortest PATH etc.

Another way is to link the facts. For example, Frame Relay is made up of TWO words so there are TWO types of Frame Relay encapsulation - Cisco and IETF. LMI is THREE letters long therefore there are THREE types of LMI - Cisco, ANSI, and q933a (I think, lol).

Good luck!

Chris Thu, 12/13/2007 - 01:57

Can u please complete the story about the 'WEIGHT-lifter'????? 'HE' sounds like a very interesting guy ..... infact, someone I'll like to meet sometime.(lol)

Nice one.

swmorris Thu, 12/13/2007 - 04:19

nmemonic things help to some extent (making up phrases to remember an order to things), but only a little.

The exams aren't so much about remembering whether origin code is looked at before or after as-path length in BGP as it is understanding what each of those really are.

Understand, don't memorize.

Remember, everyone has a photographic memory. Most people just don't have film.




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