Serious Commitment – The Cisco Learning Network.
This is interesting. I thought people just took the test and tried to remember the questions to sell to brain dump companies.
Anyway, they are harder to study for now anyway due to all the simlets questions. I hope Cisco adds lab portion to the Professional level certs so that our investment in the cert as a newbie can have more value.
I keep meaning to blog yet never finding the time. Let’s keep this together this time.
I had studied HARD for this ICND 2 exam. There was no way back. It was the 2nd to last day to test and I was also studying CCNA Voice at the same time. The test experience was good overall.
My only period of doubt came at about question 20. There were three long, multi-part questions in a row. I spent a good 13-15 minutes on ONE simlet question. It wasn’t the toughest of questions. However, there was a curveball thrown in there and almost struck out looking on that one. What helped was a deep breath and a thorough examination of the good old #show run command. It offered a few clues as to how I should proceed and answer the question correctly.
I received a 944/1000 which is about 25 points higher than my ICND 1. I was very happy about: http://www.ciscopress.com/store/ccent-ccna-icnd1-640-822-official-cert-guide-premium-9780132903820 I thought the questions were right on with difficulty. Doing the questions repeatedly forced me to really think about the material.
The practice questions were admittedly more difficult than the actual test. However, if you are able to look up the answers in the book and figure out the questions step by step, you’d really allow the material to sink in.
As for next steps, I hope to attack CCNA Voice to have that in my pocket by Christmas. CCNP and CCVP will have to wait for 2014. But I have a feeling that with some luck and continuing my good study habits, I’ll be done with those in no time.
CCNA Voice Chapter 1
This is my cards for CCNA Voice Chapter 1 off the official certification guide by Jeremy Cioara. Please use it and let me know if I get anything wrong on it.
Yes! I finally knocked one pin down! This one definitely felt good. I struggled through Pearson Vue practice tests for a few weeks prior to the test. That definitely helped. I personally thanked Mr. Wendell Odom himself on Twitter for putting out his books and study materials.
What’s next? Good that you asked. I have just completed studying for my first chapter in CCNA Voice. I can dual track CCNA Vocie with ICND 2 all before September. This is definitely exciting. I always felt as if I somehow just took that first step and passed one certification, the rest would come flowing in. I now have a method and mechanism for coping with this madness of Cisco testing. That is,
- Read chapter through once and highlight things to commit to learn.
- Then, re-read chapter but making flashcards of all the highlights.
- While making flashcards, take screenshots of diagrams and drawings with my own annotations on PDF. Clip these into Evernotes and carry them with me everywhere in the Cloud.
- Finally, get some sort of lab running because I struggled with a simlet question on the CCENT and it can get harder when the voice test comes around.
When I was done with my CCENT, I saw another person behind me typing furiously into a simlet CLI on some kind of voice configuration. It feels so good to see I am part of a group of people so dedicated to improving and learning.
Please look for a blog post from me with my Quizlet flashcard links. Everyone can use them if they sign up for free I was out on Saturday night and was studying for my CCENT on my iPhone. Super nerdy!
In my last two days of study, I found Quizlet to be an incredible tool. I felt like a teacher planning my own learning in ways I never did before.
Gone are the days where I just sit still and read the PDF file until my eyes bleed or my bladders get too full of caffeine. It does require a LOT of caffeine to keep me away through unless hours of plain old reading. I know these facts, figures, commands and protocols will serve me well when I learn that but does the journey to mastery of these topic have to be filled with the agony of boredom?
Well, not after I discovered new Quizlet. I’ve known that it existed for some time now. However, after signing up for a new account to make my own flash cards on the online app, it truly changed my way for studying.
Quizlet really allow you to drill the content that you must learn through a myriad of ways. My favorite is actually the voice platform that features a soothing female voice reading out all your cards to you. This may not sound like much but get this, you can get Quizlet app on the iPhone. So here I was, listening to my flashcards being read aloud to me as I walk down to the train station on my morning commute. The charming female vocalist, whom I shall name Leia, ask me, ” What are two methods of PPP Authentication? ” and I answer the question in my mind. This back and forth engages the auditory sense and is extremely helpful as another avenue to attack learning new material.
The only down side may be that Quizlet charges 15 a year for the ability to upload images as flash cards. I found that an incredible value and paid that after using the service for two days. I’m all for paying for services that are really helpful and Quizlet is one of them.
Here is my CCENT4ALL set that I created for my last couple of days of studying for the exam.
The Journey finally begins. After a month of intense reading and practice, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for my CCENT certification in the form of a light-emitting-diode. I can’t believe my test date is already here! I forced this date upon myself because I would never feel ready if I didn’t strictly force a date.
Here’s why I should pass:
- I read two books cover to cover, this alone is around 2000 pages.
- I did practice labs twice. CCENT is pretty barren when it comes to exciting lab topologies. Seriously, you can only configure a login banner so many times before wetting your eyes with boredom.
- I consistently scored about 85% on the practice tests. Now, I’m the sort of person that tends to score better on the day of the test. I feel as if the adrenaline rush kicks my brain into overdrive.
- I paid good money for this. I am a frugal guy and this $200 or so in testing fees and books better not have gone wasted.
Here’s where I am weak:
- Careless subnetting mistakes – subnetting is not hard, but sometimes when I move around a bunch of numbers and count by 16′s too much I make mistakes. Here’s to hoping that my laser focus during the test can help keep the bugs away.
- Granular details like port numbers and command outputs. Generally, I am great with concepts. I grasp top level concepts and apply them really well. However, when you ask me which port is FTP Control information traveling on, I get stumped (not Sunday!!). I also am a keen troubleshooter who is able to get all the info from show commands and debug commands I need. Yet, it’s difficult for me to recall specifically, what information is found with which command. I know what I’m looking for and find my fingers tend to move naturally towards those commands without much thinking. On the exam, I would have to push HARD to remember these details.
- Fast and the Furious. I jump to conclusions sometimes without reading the questions carefully. This is such a fixable problem but it has plagued me since elementary school.
The test is at 10 AM which tends to be my favorite time of day. That’s when the caffeine spike has abated a bit but still in full-effect in my bloodstream. Wish me plenty of clear, focused thinking on Sunday. That is probably all I need to succeed.
My Name Here!
So about a month ago, I went to www.ine.com and saw their claim to turn me into a CCIE Voice in 18 months. Well, why not? I have tons of experience already in TDM voice in Avaya and Nortel. I love tinkering with phones and Cisco VoIP is way too cool to pass up on working with. So I charged head first into getting that “entry” level certification for my basic foundation in routing and switching TCP/IP on Cisco hardware.
Little did I know that R&S is pretty intensive. Some of the topics, like dynamic routing protocols, Spanning-Tree and IPv6 are a far throw from what I’m used to as a strict telecom admin. I would still dig deep and study on. I have gone through Todd Lammle’s excellent book from Sybex. I have also purchased other guides to help me get through the tough CCNA Composite exam.
Today, it was announced that CCNA is no longer the pre-requisite for attaining Cisco Voice certifications. The only requirement now is the CCENT. The same CCENT that currently has, within its syllabus, a LOT less of the difficult topics of the CCNA composite. So, my path is clear!
Concurrently with the migration to Cisco at my job, I plan to attain CCNP Voice within the year. When it comes time to go hands-on, I already a rock-solid foundation to successful manage the 4000+ stations and voice end-points at our locations across the city.
It will probably be years before I can attempt the CCIE Voice. The outlook is good however. Let’s just hope there’s enough caffeine in the world to fuel my quest for that CCIE Voice #……..