CCNA with no experience

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Apr 13th, 2006
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Hi i would like to know if its okay to take my exam without having any hands on experience on working with real routers n all. I feel like i'm ready to take the exams, i can answer a lot of the test questions and my simulations are good. It just seems like a lot of people get to work with the real thing b4 taking the exam. I mean people are buying routers and building labs in their homes, is that really necessary, can't i just use my simulator

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awmccurry Thu, 04/13/2006 - 15:57
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is it ok to take the exam? Sure if you can pass it.

Hands-on does help greatly, just so you are more familiar and comfortable inside the routers and switches but by no means is it a requirement.

Worse thing that happens you get a good idea of how hard the test is, and you get that score sheet that tells you which areas you might want to do some additional studying in.

joelrweeks Thu, 04/13/2006 - 18:44
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You could probably pass it without any hands on; however, I don't know how much the CCNA will help you get a job if you do that. If you apply for a networking job, and have the CCNA but absolutely 0 experience, then they're gonna consider you a paper cert, and I mean no disrespect to you when I say this, but unfortunately they would be right.

What good is a CCNA gonna do you when you're told to pull a config off a switch, and you don't know how to do it? What good will it do you when someone asks you to go get a GBIC, and you don't know what one looks like?

These are pretty simple tasks that you would probably learn in the first 2 weeks of a beginning networking job.

I don't want to sound harsh, but I'm just a big advocate of experience before certs and not the other way around.

Just my $.02.

omojadeola Tue, 04/25/2006 - 11:59
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i did think of being considered a "paper cert" and considering i'm applying for a networking job, that goes without question, i have started some hands on practice and i'm finding it all quite easy at the moment, i hope to take the ccna soon, will let u guys know how it goes.


mrunal_47 Thu, 04/13/2006 - 18:52
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Well that really depends what are you planning for your future. A CCNA wouldnt need a real router or switch.Simulator can do the work, but simulator cannot support all the commands. What if you want to see the boot up sequence of a router? Infact, if you are planning to move ahead to a CCNP or CCIE you must set up a rack. Working on real routers is a different feel,

Good luck,


opers13 Fri, 04/14/2006 - 04:51
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You have to start somewhere...I say study hard and go get your CCNA.


tapas_rc123 Sat, 04/15/2006 - 02:36
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Exams Without Hands on ???? For CCNA atleast go Ahead. Yes, Simulators Would have been an add on but If you don't have it, Just do not worry. you only need to have the concepts clear in your mind. More over Before taking the exam, Please rate your self on a scale of 1 - 10 then go get your exams after you get 8 on that scale.

All the Best.


david.bohon Mon, 04/17/2006 - 05:31
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All I can tell you is after failing the "Intro" exam on 1st try, I was TOTALLY UNPREPARED for what the exam was really like, I have an 877 router/switch combo, but didn't really delve into as much as I should have - read my other post, or I'll just reitterate here, you better know subnetting, and I mean be able to do it in your head, in other words know that a mask ending in 248 has 8 hosts 2 reserved, 240 has 16 - 1 reserved, etc...., etc...., then you better know what the other subnets are and there associated subnet and broadcast addresses. your HEAD, in under 10 seconds!!!!!

Now whether you can do that from studying the books, and taking practice exams, and building "practice networks" with sims, or whether you do it with actual equipment, I personally don't think it matters.


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