Preparing for CCNA exam

Answered Question
Oct 2nd, 2009

Hello everyone. A group of friends and myself are going to be studying for the next four months to take the CCNA exam. I was wondering if anyone can provide help as to what the best/economical method of study for that exam would be?

I have this problem too.
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Correct Answer by dhananjoy chowdhury about 7 years 3 months ago

A good start will be the Sybex book - CCNA Study Guide by Todd Lammle, 5th edition.

For practicing the labs or get hands on you can try simulators like


GNS3 (

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Overall Rating: 5 (3 ratings)
jfraasch Thu, 10/08/2009 - 09:11

The GNS3 Sim is free and very good. Just note that the more simulated devices you put in the network, the more taxed your computer becomes. I had a Dell laptop and could only place about 4 3725 routers in the sim before the thing got too hot and slow for me to continue.

GNS3 allows you to use any of the IOS that is out there. I haven't used Boson's.

Good luck. I am re-upping my CCNA next month myself.

scottmac Sat, 10/03/2009 - 08:04

Find a method of subnetting that suits you ("magic number" is very popular) and hit it hard. You *must* understand IP addressing and subnets, how to figure out what network an address belongs to, how many hosts per subnet, how many subnets per given network address ... everthing.

If your group studies for an hour or two per day, dedicate at least 25% of the time to subnetting, until you can do it in your head.

Also spend a lot of time on teh OSI model and where the various networking processes and function fall withing the model.

Of the many fundamental concepts, these are, IMO, the top two. You must have a firm grasp on these to understand almost everything else.

The key word there is "understand" ... being able to regurgitate book info doesn't mean you understand it.

IF you understand the material and concepts, then tehre is no change or curve that can be thrown to you on teh tests, and it will go a long way in your technical interview when you're chasing a job.

Being able to figure things out based on your understanding of the technologies and concepts will take you a long way, career-wise and financially.

Good Luck

TheOneSolo Thu, 10/08/2009 - 09:47

@ dhananjoychowdhury

Thank you for your reply.

I found two Sybex CCNA books written by Todd Lammle, through my school's database:

- CCNA-Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide, Sixth Edition

- Todd Lammle's CCNA IOS Commands Survival Guide

Thanks for the links to the simulators site's. Both look good, though we'll probably go for GNS3 cause it's free.

@ jfraasch

Thanks you for your reply.

I'll keep what you said about the limits of GNS3 based on the power of the computer that I am running it on, as well as it's ability to use any of the IOS out there.

Best of luck Re-upping your CCNA in November.

@ ScottMac

Thank you for your reply.

What I get from your reply, is that "subnetting" and the "OSI model" are the foundation to networking, and therefore the foundation to any Cisco certification.

I should know subnetting and the OSI model backwards and forwards, inside and out, and in my sleep. It can't just be memorized, it needs to be knowledge that I can apply to real life and lab sim questions. It has to be as natural as breathing.

Well that is what I got from your reply, which was very helpful.

@ All

Thanks for resolving my problems fella's, time to hit the books.

a.cruea1980 Mon, 10/19/2009 - 10:57

I'd also suggest to have a good grip on spanning tree. Not necessarily how to manipulate it, but just how it works.


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