Clearing CCNA Certification – Top Study Tips for the Exam
The CCNA is one of the most respected certifications in the world. An associated level certificate for IT networking, it helps candidates boost their professional career with better jobs and higher pay. A candidate with a CCNA certification is thorough with networking technologies. For those looking to prepare for CCNA certification, this article provides some tips, tricks and important notes to focus on.
In between that here is a video that takes you through introduction to CCNA Certification Training:
It doesn’t take continuous hours of rigorous preparation to pass a CCNA exam. However, as with any discipline, you need to set aside regular house everyday for going though the course material and update yourself with the latest in networking technology. There are a variety of books that you can refer to. Online books and other electronic options also make the learning easier.
Things to Keep In Mind before Studying
One should understand the core concept of a CCNA certification to be able to study right.
CCNA is Comprehensive
The CCNA exam offered by CISCO includes a variety of topics based on TCP/IP studies to the most comprehensive routing protocols with spanning trees. With so much to study, the exams may look tough to crack. However, it is understood that one should mainly focus on ICDN which serves the base for all types of CISCO CCNA exams. This requires candidates to go through the length and breadth of the topics.
One requires both theoretical and practical knowledge in order to crack CCNA. The study requires practical knowledge and the candidate should be able to use theoretical information in real world troubleshooting and networking issues. As an example, it is common to know that IP is unreliable but the main issue is being able to come up with alternative communication troubleshooting between nodes over IP.
CCNA Exam is a Quick One
The CCNA exam requires you to handle about 50-60 question in 90 odd minutes. Regular practice is required to excel in the exams. Even if you are a knowledgeable candidate, being able to put answers together when it matters is a stressful situation. CCNA exams also cover real world issues that need to be understood and solved right at the moment. This requires, time, patience and strategy.
CCNA is Marketable
The CCNA certification doesn’t just open the doors to networking success. It allows your profile to be marketed as a networking expert with global recognition. You are more knowledgeable than non-certified peers. This needs you to stretch your skills and recognize opportunities.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
It is important to ask why do you want to be CCNA certified and what advantages will the certificate bring you. This will help you mentally prepare for the exams. Make sure you have a target to crack the exams – maybe within the next 6 months. Budget your study time accordingly. If you have an active social life, the next six months are probably going to be tough. Your family members and friends should understand and stand by. Once the certificate is achieved, you have all the time in the world!
Getting the Proper Material
There is a lot of misunderstanding and controversy with regards to the appropriate study materials. Going overboard with simulators, books and study guides isn’t recommended either. The best material includes CISCO’s own press books including ICND 1 and ICND 2 in the most updated editions. These books are easy to follow and define the topics comprehensively. Another useful publication would be “31 Days before Your CCNA Exams” – another reference guide from CISCO. It will help you easily remember the IOS commands and concepts. This one is probably your Bible for the CCNA exams. If you can devote more time without harming your regular professional activities, there are some impressive simulators that will help build up confidence. It is advisable to register as a member of the Cisco Certification Forum for all the discussions, topics and advises.
Approaching the Study Material
Before you actually start with the aforementioned books, learn to work with Binary Mathematics. You should be able to calculate in your sleep!
- For a good overview of the topics, scan casually through the entire book at first including the covers and practice questions.
- Go through the CD’s that came with the book.
- Practice as many questions as possible and the lab exercises. It is just not enough to be able to solve questions but solve them within time.
Schedule Practice Tests
Schedule practice tests well in advance of the final exam date. Present yourself a deadline and check what you have been able to do. There is always scope to improve and the rest of the days should be befitting.
Time to Refresh
Try to go though the CISCO CCNA guide books once again before the exam dates. This will help you refresh anything that might have skipped your attention.
This is in the last part of your study period and there is no turning back. The last couple of weeks before the exams should be completely devoted to solving questions. Try to get fresh questions, look in forums and other online mock test platforms for as many problems. This should be the point when you have effectively grasped the concepts of networking coming under your CCNA certification.
Give yourself some time off the book the last couple of days before the exams. Task yourself less and try to relax. A good night’s sleep is very important before you sit in the examination hall. If you have been following the above steps honestly, there should be nothing that stops you from getting certified.
The best thing about preparing for CCNA exams is being able to explore and discover new theories and concepts. The final job that you land up with your CCNA certifications would want you to be an expert and have thorough practical knowledge of all networking topics. It is not without reason that CCNA is a globally recognized certification and attracts better jobs and salary. One must study hard and be patient. The rewards will follow themselves.
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