Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Passed My CCNA Test

I just finished testing for my Cisco Certified Network Associate certification. I passed with a 973 out of 1000. The test was 90 minutes long and I finished with only 8 minutes to spare. I think I missed one question, maybe two. The exam was as tough as I expected, meaning it was not easy. I know it was difficult since I usually breeze through majority multiple-choice exams. (For example, I answered all 250 questions on the CISSP exam in 90 minutes, and walked out the door.)

cannot say enough about the CCNA class I took with Todd Lammle at GlobalNet Training. He was not kidding when he said students need to know everything he writes in his slides and says while teaching. I was amazed how much of my knowledge Cisco managed to test with a 55 question exam. Also, if I did not know Todd's block size method of IP subnetting, I do not think I would have finished the test in time.

If you want to pass the CCNA, I recommend the following:

1. Take GlobalNet Training's CCNA class. I do not think you will find another training source who provides as much gear for each student to configure. The labs are first-rate.

2. Read Todd's book.

3. Practice using Todd's CertSim software. This was invaluable because it taught me to slow down and be more careful. I learned this lesson even though I only had a chance to use the software once, 2 hours before my test. I blazed through the simulation and scored only a 749 -- 100 points too low to pass! I vowed to be more careful on the real exam, and it payed off.

4. Practice configuring real Cisco gear, and use Todd's RouterSim Network Visualized software. I did not get a chance to play with this much outside of class, but it's a great way to build, configure, and test Cisco gear in a virtual environment.

5. For deeper knowledge, check out Alex Zinin's book.

Later this year I plan to start working towards the CCNP.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Richard,
Congratulations for your CCNA certification! Where can we learn more about "Todd's block size method of IP subnetting"? Do you know if this method is explained in some material available online? I suppose this is discussed in Todd's book but I haven't ordered a copy yet.
Regards,

Jean-Marc

Joe said...

Congrats! I'm getting ready to start studying for the exam myself. What specific Cisco gear would you recommend obtaining for the "hands-on"?

Richard Bejtlich said...

Jean-Marc,

I am not aware of anything online that explains Todd's block size method. Your best bet is to buy the latest edition of his CCNA book. I chose not to do a blog entry on his block size method as that would not be fair to Todd.

Joe,

If you're in the market for buying Cisco gear, I would recommend a 2600XM series router and a 2950 switch. I like the 2600XM series (I have a 2651XM) because it is modular and can run the latest versions of IOS with Cisco's new security features. I like the 2950 because it runs IOS, not CatOS. Cisco is moving away from CatOS towards IOS for its switches.