Getting my CCNA, any tips?


Last Updated:

  1. nRRe

    nRRe Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    10
    Going to a local community college to take some cisco networking courses to give me hands-on before i attempt the CCNA exam. Been reading off and on a CCNA study guide I picked up.

    Any first-hand experience on taking the exam, or on the job tips. All I've picked up from other things is you use command line a lot. Is that MS-DOS prompt or Linux Command Line though?

    I am dual booting Win7 and Linux Mint on my laptop now. Wish I had the space to pickup a few switches and stuff to play around with but I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment with a wife and kid, space is something we don't have.
     

    Advertisement
  2. Pryomancer

    Pryomancer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    57
    I did the CCNA course at university last year.
    You get a book with activities and questions to fill in, 11 chapters overall. You get access to the student section of the Cisco site which has an online guide containing information which helps you fill out the book. You get a point for every so many pages you fill in correctly, for a total of 15 points if you fill in everything 100%.
    You also do an online test at the end of each chapter, in my course it was every two weeks. It's open book so you get to look through your book and the guide for the answers. Then at the end of the course you do a final closed book exam with questions on any of the chapters.

    It's a pretty easy course, and it's mainly theory based. You get to make your own ethernet cable and use some equipment to check if it works (if you've accidentally created a crossover cable lol), that's pretty much the only practical stuff.

    You use the command line a fair bit, mainly doing things like ipconfig, telnet and checking the routing table. In my class they had a virtual machine running XP on the computer I was using, so you could access the command line, which you couldn't do from the actual computer.
     
  3. TheDanimal

    TheDanimal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    11
    I did a CCNA course in the fall of last year. We did subnetting problems every single day. We also used the packet tracer app from cisco and there was a skills test at the end that determined if you pass or fail. Even if you passed every test and had 100% during the whole semester, if you failed that skills test you had to retake the course, wasn't that bad though.
     
  4. Pryomancer

    Pryomancer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    57
    Subnets. *shudders* I passed at 77% and I still don't really know what the **** a subnet is.
     
  5. SoulTerror

    SoulTerror Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    48
    Good luck. I've never taking the test, but I worked with 3 different people with Bachelors in Networking and go to school with many other people in Networking. It is a hard test! Makes me glad I just got my Associates in Networking.
     
  6. nRRe

    nRRe Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    10
    Ha, yeah i've read into subnetting, sounds enticing! /sarcasm

    It's 4 different classes for this certificate i guess i'll get from the school, than i'll just take the CCNA exam and hope for the best.

    I don't plan on taking everything needed for an associates or anything, unless my new job is going to pay for all of it, since I'm paying for these courses out of pocket.

    Thanks for the insight all! It's much appreciated.
     
  7. (Q'.')-o

    (Q'.')-o Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Subnetting is not a BIG deal on the CCNA, it's mainly scenario based testing. They will give you a scenario and you'll have to work it out and come up with the best possible solution. Most of the time there is MORE THAN ONE correct answer. So but best of luck to you!
     
  8. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    41
    If your short on space you can get one of the little 1700's that are pretty small. I passed mine without owning any cisco gear, I then bought three 2500's and a small rack and started the ccnp but changed jobs and did windows admin stuff so I never finished it.
    I memorized the OSI model and where tcp/ip/ipx/spx/etc fit in, what layer was a packet/frame/etc. I then went into take the test and used the scratch paper they gave me and drew out the chart I had memorized before even starting the test, that way I had it all written down nice and neat without counting against my time and didn't have to think about it when answering a question on the test, I could simply glance at my chart and answer quickly.

    WRT to command line, its not linux or windows command line, its cisco's own command, and some commands are slightly different between switches and routers and some models of routers. At the time I did it routersims were still pretty new but as I was going through the ccnp I tried a couple and they were pretty decent.
     
  9. SoulTerror

    SoulTerror Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    48
    One of my teachers suggest that as soon as you sit down at the test, do a "Brain Dump" which is write down everything you can remember before you start the test.

    When I took my COMPTIA+ test they just gave me a white board :(
     
  10. nRRe

    nRRe Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    10
    good ideas guys.

    I'm still trying to ingrain the 7 layer model and the way everything is packed together. I re-read that chapter all the time.

    Really enjoying all the help, it is very much appreciated. =)
     
  11. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    41
    Basically what I did. Memorized this and wrote it on the paper along with the TCP header format, subnetting, etc:

    7 Application
    Telnet, HTTP 6 Presentation
    ASCII,JPEG 5 Session
    OS 4 Transport Segment TCP, UDP, SPX 3 Network Packet IP,IPX 2 Data Link frames 802.3, 802.2 1 Physical bits EIA/TIA-232, V.35
    They had given me a whiteboard type of deal, was a piece of paper laminated then a marker, the market I got was completely worn out and wrote like crap but i passed anyway.

    Aparently this forum doesn't allow tables, that didn't format right
     
  12. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    41
    Funny, I had to dig out my old CCNA notes for the networking domain of the CISSP. If you want to PM me an e-mail address capable or receiving attachments I can send you some of my notes.
     
  13. nRRe

    nRRe Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    10
    PMed :)
     
  14. fjumayao

    fjumayao Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    3
    I understand the space issue and even the costs of purchasing lab equipment. If you can afford it search for Cisco Kits, several sites offer equipment for the specific exam. Can't beat having hands on. Trainsignal has some great training video's, CBTs are very common as well. Boson sells some very good simulators. So good that the configuration can be used to prep a live network. Good luck!
     

Share This Page

Loading...