How can I prepare for the CCNA exam in addition to my college course?

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How would you recommend that I prepare for my CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) exam? I have been taking courses through my college, DeVry University, but I want to be even more prepared. The courses run us through various labs and provide us with additional material for reading. I have read the routing protocols and concepts book, as well as an introduction to networking by Cisco. I have read part of the first Cisco ICND1 (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1) book and I have the ICND2 (Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2). I have also used packet tracer software to practice some labs as well as Dynamips. Do you have any recommendations to add?

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Dear NetworkingATE:

It sounds to me like you’ve got the right learning tools, and a good supportive academic environment in which to work. The only additional thing I would encourage you to do is to spend as much time in the lab and working on networking issues and problems as you can stand to do. The more practice and experience you have when the exam comes around, the better you’ll be able to draw on what you know and understand rather than having to rely on what you remember. If you’re working with Wireshark or some other packet capture tool, be sure to use it to understand the various message sequences associated with the key TCP/IP protocols for your exam(s), including IP, ICMP, the various routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, BGP, and so forth), TCP, and important application protocols.

If you keep at it, and do your homework assiduously and constantly, you should do just fine. Best of luck!


I have spoken with several persons that have taken the CCNA exams and they say that there are a TON of subnetting questions. Test yourself by doing a LOT of the questions here:

good luck!!


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  • Yasir Irfan
    If you want to do a selfstudy follow this plan Study Guide: Wendell Odom's CCENT/ICND1 Exam Certification Guide is the best. Real lab equipment: Check out Chris Bryant's rack rental, or purchase used equipment from ebay ( 2500 or 2600 series routers quantity 1 to 3, 2 DTE/DCE cables, console cable, and a 2900 series switch). Thats the cheapest option, for more detailed explanation of choosing equipment for a CCNA lab, check out Wendell's blog Study Plan: Set time aside for book reading, practicing commands and configurations and importantly subnetting. Goal Setting: I recommend going through your study materials once and determine from there how much more time you need to be test ready. If you say you need 3 more weeks of 2 hours a day study, then book your test for 3 weeks. If its not within the 24 hour window you can reschedule your test. (Check current policies with pearson vue) Track your progress: Keep tabs on your scores for chapter questions and exam simulations, noting strengths and weaknesses, so you can adjust priority in your study time. Confidence: If you prepared well, you will know your ready, and you will pass. Do check books required to pass CCNA on my blog
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