How to study for the CWNA Exam

Discussion in 'Other IT certifications' started by David Coleman, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. David Coleman

    David Coleman Bit Poster

    How to prepare for the CWNA exam

    The CWNA is one of the hardest IT certification tests to pass. The test consists of 60 multiple choice questions. You will need to answer a minimum of 42 questions correctly to achieve the 70% passing grade. There is a high failure rate for this test, so please do not take it lightly. Passing grades of 70% - 85% are very good scores. Individuals very rarely score above 90%.

    The Top Ten Study Techniques

    1) OBJECTIVES: It is very important to read the CWNA TEST OBJECTIVES. Make sure that you understand ALL of the topics in the objectives. The objectives can be found at:

    Please check this URL regularly to make sure the objectives have not changed.

    2) AUTHORIZED TRAINING: Take the CWNA class from an authorized training center. Go to to verify that the training center is legit. Interaction with a qualified trainer and other students is always preferable to self-study. Study from your course guide and more importantly your notes.

    3) STUDY GUIDES: Read at least TWO books on the topic. There is the official CWNA study guide as well as the Sybex CWNA study guide. Several wireless Cisco press books also exist. I will post a recommended reading list for all the classes in another post

    4) ANOTHER GOOD BOOK: Consider purchasing the IEEE Handbook. This reference book is a great book for studying for the CWNA, CWSP, CWAP and CWNE exams. Everyone that is serious about wireless should own this book.

    IEEE 802.11 Handbook, A Designer’s Companion - Second Edition – Authors: Bob O’Hara and Al Petrick – ISBN: 0-7381-1444-95

    This is NOT a study guide... it is a great refernce guide and can also be a study tool.

    5) PRACTICE TEST QUESTIONS: Some of the study guide books include a CD that has a software test engine with practice test questions. Other books also have written practice test questions included in the various chapters. Use the written and software practice test questions in all books that you purchase. You should be scoring at least 95% on the book practice test questions before attempting the exam. Always read the explanations to the answers.

    6) EVEN MORE PRACTICE: The CWNP program has an official online practice test with 240 questions available for purchase at These questions will be different than the real test but can be quite helpful in preparation. You should be scoring between 98% - 100% before attempting the real test. Always read the explanations to the answers.

    7) HANDS-ON PRACTICE: I highly recommend that you get some hands on experience with Wi-Fi equipment. You can very often find older enterprise access points on E-Bay for around $100. If you cannot afford enterprise equipment, use some home Wi-Fi equipment such as Linksys.

    8) Download a Protocol Analyzer: Download a protocol analyzer and look at the 802.11 frame exchanges. A protocol analyzer is a must tool if you are serious about wireless. A 30 day evaluation copy of CommView for WiFi from Tamosoft is available at:

    9) WHITE PAPERS: The web site has over 1000 wireless white papers available for download for free. I HIGHLY recommended that you also go to the Wi-Fi Alliance web site at and download all of their white papers and read them.

    10) WARDRIVING: After you pass the test, go wardriving and have some fun!

    Tips for Taking the CWNA Exam

    Here are some general tips for taking your exam successfully:

    • Read the questions carefully. Don’t be tempted to jump to an early conclusion. Make sure you know exactly what the question is asking.
    • There will be questions with multiple correct responses. When there is more than one correct answer, a message at the bottom of the screen will prompt you to either “choose two” or “choose all that apply.” Be sure to read the messages displayed to know how many correct answers you must choose.
    • When answering multiple-choice questions you’re not sure about, use a process of elimination to get rid of the obviously incorrect answers first. Doing so will improve your odds if you need to make an educated guess.
    • Do not spend too much time on one question. This is a form-based test; however, you cannot move forward and backward through the exam. You must answer the current question before you can move to the next question, and once you have moved to the next question, you cannot go back and change an answer on a previous question.
    • Keep track of your time. Since this is a 90-minute test consisting of 60 questions, you have an average of 90 seconds to answer each question. You can spend as much or as little time on any one question, but when 90 minutes is up, the test is over. Check your progress. After 45 minutes, you should have answered at least 30 questions.
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    IMHO this posting applies in some fashion to all the certificate exams out there.

    A really first class post!

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    Great post!

    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics

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