CCNA. Check!

I woke up early in the morning with one goal on my mind, 'Pass the CCNA Today'. It had been a long time coming since it was updated Cisco, switching to the new CCNA 200-120 exam. By the time I was in the middle of my last semester of Cisco classes the exam had official changed on me. This means there was more to learn before I could attempt a successful run at the exam. Not to make excuses but with my final semester in school at 18 credits plus getting hired a few months before graduation, fitting in time to study for a separate exam just wasn't something I wanted to do. I figured once I graduated I could dedicate time to studying for the exam.

That brings us to today, I've been watching CBTnugget videos, studying official study guides and taking a few practice exams simulations. While I was studying I made flashcards (the old fashion kind) to just make sure I could remember all the little facts; STP, OSPF, EIGRP Hello/Max Age Timers anyone?

One thing I highly recommend for anyone planning on taking the exam, is to really work on troubleshooting problems. It's one thing to simply memorize facts that need to be memorized, but with the amount of time they give you for the ICND2 (75 minutes) what really slows you down is the simlets and troubleshooting problems. You need to be able to go through your show commands very quickly and figure out why Router A cannot talk to Router B even quicker! Also using a subnet reference key will save you precious minutes, and trust me you're going to need them. I finished with 45 seconds left on the test! Also another thing that stood out to me was the amount of RSTP questions asked, so be sure to really know your rapid spanning tree in and out.

Overall I just followed the topic outline on Cisco's site. I took a few practice exams that let me know what area I was weak in. It helped me discover that I was slow in troubleshooting as well as scoring low in that area because I was trying to rush. This let me focus on the areas that I felt I was weaker in. I highly recommend taking practice exams!

Although I have many more certs to get, if you've read some of my earlier blogs, you know that a major goal of mine was to obtain my CCNA. I finally made that goal happen and it feels great!