Hi Eddie... I understand where you are coming from. There are lots and lots and lots of resources available. You might consider picking just one and working through it till the end as one approach. I've read great reviews on each of the resources you've posted above. But like I just typed on another thread, the Exam Topics (blueprints) should always be your North Star. Cisco tests candidates on understanding the concepts and not on memorizing a single resource. I'm gonna copy/paste here what I wrote in the other thread.
Everyone is different. And everyone has different capabilities in terms of how much time he/she can allot to the studying effort. And in some cases, candidates will look for additional study resources to help prepare. But remember... the Exam Topics are the place you want to focus your attention for figuring out what you'll need to know for a successful exam attempt. Here's a link to the Exam Topics: CCNA Exam Topics People that develop classes (virtual and in-person), books that are written, practice exams that are built... all of them use the Exam Topics (sometimes referred to as blueprints) to prepare their materials. And none of these people/companies have access to the people who actually build the exam questions.
Here's a link to a section of CLN that has study materials too (some cost money and some are free): CCNA Study Material
I had same scenario when I started preparation different videos and books but fortunately i had done internship at an institute where i was taught network administration where they taught us on real cisco equipment along with packet tracer and gns3 as well they gave slides to study on different topics those slides were well written other than that I studied official wendell odom books which are fantastic. I used videos only when I did not understand a topic from my slides or from the book btw CBT video are great the instructor keith baker is well versed i have watched his video too other than that If you are an experienced person than you should follow only one instructor videos or books but if you are student like me coming just from internship than you will need more than one because some time we do not understand one persons explanation you know every one has a different style of teaching btw during my internship we spent 3 hours on studying topics and two on practical total four months internship. best way is to follow the exam topic list and wendel odom ccna book goes just with that.
Hope my experience and strategy helps
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and strategy with me. I just have 1 yr experience in Cisco's Tech support. But now i want to go into main stream networking. I want to become a network administrator. My goal is to pass the CCNA 200-125 exam this year and then apply for a join in networking field.
I will try to follow your strategy. But the main challenge for me is to take out 3-4 hours per day. I can barely manage to take out 2 hour per day. But then if I need to pass this exam, I should give it all!.
Thanks once again. I really appreciate your help and best of luck to you for your career in networking too
I understand you feel that achieving the CCNA certification in 3-4 months may sound unrealistic to you. But there are people who have done it before. If they can do it, so can I. All i need is a study partner who is serious about achieving the CCNA certification as well. That and dedication and hard work is the recipe to success!!!
I just got my ICND1 about 2 months ago and am preparing to get into my exam prep phase within the next week or two. Study suggestions I could give is not to try to memorize. I notice you mentioned this a couple times in your question. The best thing for you to do to really retain the information is to frequently practice what you learn. That might be pretty difficult to do for your timeline as you would likely be needing to blow through a lot more chapters/topics per day/week but if you really dedicate yourself to it it is possible. My strategy I'm doing is going through Jeremy's course on CBTNuggets, not taking too many note but instead immediately creating my own topology of the topic for each video. After the CBTNuggets course I then start on the OCG book, I try to do 1 part (3-6 chapters each) per week and mix in more lab work. Once done with the OCG, I then start going into the exam prep phase where I do multiple practice tests from various sources (CBT, PTP, AlphaPrep, etc) where I note down what I might need to practice a little more on until I am seeing solid scores. I also go to the exam objectives and read through each line of the objectives, if I feel fuzzy about a line I will go back to the book or other resources to find more about that topic.
I passed my ICND1 first try using this strategy and I find it to be pretty solid to not only memorize the material but to be able to have a confident understanding of the topics. I know the strategy might sound a bit cumbersome, and it is, for someone with a narrow timeline as yourself but if you really go ham sandwich you could make it happen .
**EDIT** Forgot to add the material I use
Official Cert Guide (OCG) by Wendell Odom (both ICND1 and ICND2)
Cisco Packet Tracer
YouTube - Network Chuck
Personal Lab - (2 Routers, 2 Switches, 2 L3 Switches)
Cisco Exam Objectives
Thank you so much for sharing your strategy with me. This really helps me a lot. I also thank you for sharing all the resources for the CCNA exam prep. You are awesome!
I am currently preparing for my CCNA (200-125) using this book : CCNA Certification All-in-One For Dummies by Silviu Angelescu.
I think his explanations are quite simple and easy to understand. What are your suggestions regarding this author/book? Should I continue studying from this book or should i get the OCG books?
Thank you once again.
3-4 mos? seems like you are putting unnecessary pressure on yourself...you have 7 mos.
I would study 10 weeks and take the icnd 1, then study 15 weeks take the icnd 2.
that leaves you 3 weeks to restudy for the icnd 2, just in case you don't pass.
personally, I would just read the current books and do labs, then read the new books and go for the new exam.
I would dump the dummies books and get the ocgs.
I have to agree with Kev on this one- you have time spread it out, take the two path exam option it's more realist and less overwhelming than taking the composite exam. Ditch the dummy book and stick with the OCGs- they cover all the bases. I got my ICND1 on 30th March 2019 (14weeks of self-study)- I took a 2-week break - then got back to on it and got my ICND2 13th July 2019. When it comes to the number of hours to study per day, the strategy that I have learnt is, less is always more, rather than aim for 4 blocks of hours every other day which would have a high rate of miss and hit- with other obligations like work/family /life/hobbies which will always get in the way-. Aim for shorter 1.5 hr to 2hrs per day 6 days a week. Consistency is what you want to be your main target here and intensity. Borrowing from Cal Newport's -DeepWork = Time X Intensity, you want to leverage on intensity since your time is limited, make sure you have zero distractions during this time- no phones/emails/social media/forums-just you and your work, and on the seventh day? Backoff from the books and relax, treat it as a reward and your brain needs it. That said, you know yourself better, all the best on whichever path you decide to go with.
I totally agree with both of you Kayvow and Kev. If I had more time, I would have definitely opted for ICND1 first and then ICND2. But as I am short of time, I've decided to go with the composite exam. I guess then the 3 months plan needs to be scrapped and instead I should meet my goal within 5-6 months at the most. Fingers crossed.
But thanks for the recommendations though, I will dump the dummies book and start my prep using the OCGs.
Btw, I have created a new study group called "Eddie's CCNA (200-125) Study Group", if anyone is planning to give their CCNA exam this year by December/January, please join my group. Eddie's CCNA (200-125) Study Group
It will keep me motivated to stay on track.
Thanks to all in advance
That's the spirit! We are rooting for you! Wise choice going for the OCGs...Wendel Odom has an outline plan at the beginning of the book for those taking the composite exam on how to approach it. One good thing about the OCGs is the chapters are short enough that most can be read in one session. Some fantastic tools that come with the OCG:
- The Pearson Test PreP (CD), test yourself at the end of every week on what you've learnt, keep the simulation exams for the final 2weeks before the exam.
- The MindMap tool is invaluable, really helps in connecting the concepts
During your downtime, play the binary game- thank me later.
Thanks a lot Keyvow I really appreciate your suggestions and tips regarding getting my CCNA cert. Hopefully, by the end of this year I'll be a Cisco Certified Network Associate Thanks for all the guidance and support. You are awesome!
Btw, I am referring to Wendell Odom's LiveLessons (200-125) training videos. Would you recommend this?
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Thank you once again ^_^