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whats the hardest thing

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by dapex, Sep 27, 2006.

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  1. dapex

    dapex Bit Poster

    OK, every so often I get a bee in my bonnet about doing my CCNA, I used to program routers etc a few years ago and that s when it started, nowadays I have no real need for my CCNA but it will still get me one or two Kudos points or work and will be a good basis for a ccda, The main reason I want to do it is to prove to myself that I can.. been there got the t-shirt type thing. I will do it home study but I dont think that will be a problem, anyway, I know my way round a PC and round networking and the basics of IP, I have never really gone into subnetting and the maths involved and I know the basics of configuring a router....

    What would you say is the hardest part of doing a CCNA exam, is it the practical or is it the subnetting and the maths side???

    I am just trying to gauge what area's I really need to focus on...

  2. jfk8680

    jfk8680 New Member

    Well, it's been quite a long time since I took my CCNA but I still know it was the hardest exam I took up to that date (including the entire MCSE track).

    Of course the topics have changed a bit but I bet there will still be a lot of subnetting questions. Make sure you know how to subnet and not just by using the mathematical tricks but make sure you understand the concept of subnetting.

    Of course you will also get an good introduction to routing and switching in general and I remember a lot of access-list questions on my exam.

    Look at http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/current_exams/640-801.html for the complete list of topics.

    I found the CBT Nuggets training videos VERY helpfull. They really make it easy to comprehend complex issues and you can dive in deeper with the books. Also, the Sybex book from Todd Lammle is also VERY good!!

    For self study I consider these materials a must have:
    - CBT Nuggets CCNA
    - Sybex CCNA by Todd Lammle
    - Access to lab (Boson Netsim if no hardware available but buy some kit from ebay if possible.)

    Good luck!
    Certifications: MCSA 2000, MCSE 2000, CCNA, CCNP
  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    You could also grab the Sybex book on Network+ which would <brush up> your current skills.

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster


    Like with anything else in life, difficulty is relative to the student.

    You mention "I used to program routers..." Do you mean programming at the assembly language level, the internetworking operating system level, configuration of router level, or what?

    You mention "I know my way round a PC..." Do you mean at the PC user level, Computer technician level, System Administrator level, System Engineer level, or what?

    You mention "...and round networking..." Which networking technologies are you familiar with? Ethernet? Token Ring? ATM? Frame Relay? T1? E1? FDDI? Other?

    You mention "I have never really gone into subnetting and the maths involved..." For the CCNA, you will have to be familiar with basic subnetting as well as Variable Length Subnet Mask or VLSM for short.

    You mention "...and basics of configuring a router." What did you configure on the router? Interface address configuration? What kinds of interfaces? Ethernet? Fast Ethernet? Gigabit Ethernet? Serial? ISDN BRI? ISDN PRI? Other? Routing protocol configuration? Configuration verification and/or troubleshooting?

    You mention "...the basics of IP." IP can be as easy as Associate level, harder at the Professional level, and hardest at the Internetworking Expert level. For the CCNA, you need to be familiar with RIP, IGRP, EIGRP, and OSPF. For the Professional level exam Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks, you need to be familiar with RIP, IGRP, EIGRP, OSPF, and BGP. Since I am not an Internetworking Expert, I'm guessing you're going to need to know EVERYTHING about IP at that level.

    So, the person you really need to be asking this question to is yourself. The theory may be difficult because you never had to worry about knowing the underlying reasons for how networks are both working and how they're supposed to be implemented because you may have only been a computer user. Maybe also since you were a computer user you weren't allowed to visit the networking room where the routers, switches, hubs, and cabling led to so you may not have any practical experience, for example the DTE cable for a T-1 connection to the CSU/DSU.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP+I, MCP, CCNA, A+
  5. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    I have been tinkering with computers one way or the other for 18 years, prior to moving to Oz, I was a Netware admin for 7 years - since then (for the last 5 years) I have studied and passed the MCSE and run my own IT business.

    Networking is a can of worms, very complicated and hard to learn. I do not feel ready to undertake a CCNA yet.
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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