Really sorry to hear that it didnt go well for you. Did you do any practice test's with either the software that comes from the official cert guide book, or any other practice test material?
I've not tried the ElementK labs, but found the Boson practice tests to be a good comparison to the real exam sims.
Is there any section/subject that you felt was a particular pain, that maybe you could study on some more?
I spent a long time studying, mainly in the evenings after work, but at the time I did have a day job that was 2nd / 3rd line network support, so that helped me out loads.
I would really look at what I didnt feel comfortable on, the areas that I felt weak on and really push myself in that area. I became a bit OCD and shunned all other hobbies, and pursuits to get through it.
- I took the 5 day course with a local New Horizons center (ILT-Instructor Led Training).
- I got CISCO books with that. Ive been through the books multiple times.
- I've re-taken notes multiple times. Went through the notes and the stuff that I put in red.
- Went through the NIL and ELEMENTK labs that the cisco courses have you do in class(I did them at home) multiple times. As far as simulators go I do not like these. They have you running the commands, but it doesn't seem in the same fashion as the exam is (Here is something thats going wrong, figure out why. OR Here is a situation and you have limited info, find out the rest. ). What would be the best free LAB EXAM SIM to use?
- I also looked at SOME CBT Nuggets and Trainsignal videos for topics I had trouble with (NAT AND ACL).
- Did a couple different practice tests. (eBook format, they are not timed. LOTS of questions).
How much information can you gather from your percentages? The ICND2 has 5 sections of percentages. Are they all scored equally( 20% of total each)?
Whats the best way to know if you are ready or not??
And how long should it take someone to study for this (hours a day and # of days if they have no job)?
I started in January. Took ICND1 COURSE Week of January 9th. ICND2 COURSE Week of January 16th. Got my ICND1 Cert on February 6. Been studying for ICND2 since then. Took it once a week ago and failed. Took it again today and failed again! I'm studying all day every day, how is this possible?
What are you using for reading content? Do you work in IT/Networking? Do you have your CompTIA Network+? Do you have a lab at home? GNS3 or packet tracer? Cisco has made it real clear that unless you know your way around CLI and real hands exp, that you will have a difficult time passing. This is a great way to keep dumpers from devauling the certification. How long have you been studying?
The break downs of percentages are nothing that we can understand, questions have different weights. We can assume sims weigh more than others. As far as how long it should take someone, is dependent on the individual. People learn at different rates. The best way to know your ready?? Only you can know this. This could be knowing commands inside/out, taking chapter beginning questions in cisco press official certification guides, etc. I am personally a self taugh individual, so as far as the classes I am not sure what they have you doing. I wouldn't say rushing into getting certified is your best option based on what you are telling us, it seems you need to get back to basics and go through the ICND 2 blue print and spend time on each skill that is needed to know for the exam.
It sounds like you have been going at it pretty quick, cramming lots in, in a small time. It works for some people, I'm not one of them.
Me personally, I took months over my study, and went through everything pretty slow, but repeatedly and in detail. Read it once to get the jist of it, watch CBT nuggets and then some youtube (there are so many youtube vids, its awesome). Lab it up. Break the lab, fix it. Then read the chapters again making sure it's being absorbed. Start doing practice tests, then read up on weak areas.
As Steve said, its hard to comment on what the classes have you doing. I self studied, and used the Cisco Official Certification Guide - it was great, and comes with the Boson exam sim application, which I found very helpful.
Cisco CCNA flashcards book was also good, had another set of sim questions with it, plus a good overview section that I dipped in and out of repeatedly.
I knew I was ready when I was scoring high in practice tests, and when I could come on here a read threads in the CCNA section and understand them, and answer / add to them without thinking or having to look much up.
Sorry to hear about that - really tough luck. I did the one-step approach and went straight for the CCNA composite - but it took me 14 months of study to do. At times I was demotivated and often thought of giving up. My wife and a couple of colleagues though really supported me and got me through it. I know that it is commonly preached here but there is truth in the statement, practise, practise and practise again. It can't be said enough.
I watched the CBT Nuggets countless times, read and re-read Lammle's book and spent all of my spare time at work reading other materials in the net. Extremely important (and I was a bit lazy in this respect) - get that practise in with Packet Tracer. You won't find it easy to solidify those concepts unless you really get hands-on CLI practise in.
Good luck for your next attempt - just don't give up
Sorry to hear you failed the exam. Today i passed my ICND2 exam to recertify my CCNA. I dont work with cisco equipment too much at work... I am more behind firewall's of juniper en nokia bluecoats etc.
The way i prepared for ICND2 was reading the official exam prep guide for ICND2, CBT nuggets, just love those and using packet tracer. I looked at the exam topics for ICND2 and made a network in packet tracer and tested all the commands for vtp, acl, ospf etc... If i had any problems i asked colleagues at work to help and explain some things.
I suggest to get hands on training for the cli to use packet tracer and make your own network to practice every command possible.
Don't give up and good luck with the next attempt!
The comment above from jwdh75 regarding practice with Packet Tracer practice is spot on. Make your own network, I did this alot. Imagine a business, and how you'd create a network for that business if you were tasked to do so.
Create a LAN network with multiple switches, multiple VLANs, imagine what business functions you would use for the VLANs (HR, R&D, Manufacturing, Accounts). Imagine the number of users in each department and create various subnets according to the number of users you'd need.
Then put in a router to do router on a stick. Then add another router and imagine a branch office, use RIP to connect the two.
Then another branch office, over Frame Relay. Use the Packet Tracer server objects to create a web server, and perhaps an FTP server. Then use ACL's to restrict access. Do some NAT to an internet router with public IP's, etc. I did this quite alot and it really helped when I went for ICND2.
Try to find what you did wrong in your CCNA study,
Make plan for your next attempt based on your weakness’ areas (do not spend too much time for things you are good at them)
Book the exam for a couple of weeks away.
Start working immediately!
My CCNA Video Collection
Reading and simulations will only teach you terms and simple understanding of Cisco/Networking. You should read a chapter on an area... practice and understand everything about it and then design your own Packet tracer network that incorporates what you learned. When you think you understand it all then make one big lab that incorprates all you have learned and try to do it without referencing anything. When you are capabe of implementing and configruing all the subjects for CCNA then you not only have learned something, but you know how to incorporate it into a network and it will make you more confident which makes test taking easier.
One of the first things I would tell you is not to get discouraged...I know that sounds lame, but trust me when I say it's one of the most important things to keep in mind. I say this from experience, as it took me five attempts before passing the CCIE lab. My now-ex wife told me I should probably give it up after I failed the fourth time, which honestly was the worst advice and the last thing a person wants to hear. Just know that no matter how bruised you may feel at the moment, that you can and will win the fight!
Second, bag the simulators and try to use real equipment, if that is at all practical. I have used Packet Tracer and GNS3 for various classes that I teach, but find that nothing creates a more realistic environment than actual hardware. It also helps to have an IOS version of 12.3 or greater, as the more common features are present, especially IPV6.
Hang in there, but not by your neck!
I was inspired to write because Cisco Career Certifications shared this thread on their Facebook page which is great to see and this alone should boost your confidence as everyone is here to help. I'll share my approach to passing ICND2. I passed the exam last Wednesday after 240 hours (20 hours per week, 2-3 hours per night plus 8-10 hours at the weekend) of study across 3 months (January - March 2012)
This is what I used to study:
- Cisco Press ICND2 by Wendell Odom
- CBT Nuggets ICND2 Video Series
- CCNA Portable Command Guide
- Cisco Press CCNA Flash Card Book
- Built a physical lab (x3 routers, x3 switches)
- Boson Practise Exams
- I resisted the temptation to read from multiple sources or authors
- I didn't read from Lamelle (great book but different style)
- I didnt mix and match videos from Youtube (they are good too but I tried to remain consistent because learning styles can vary)
- I always kept the Cisco ICND2 exam blueprint in front of me so I didn't waiver from the objectives
- I burnt subnetting into my head
- I 'labbed up' as much as I could - I often ran into problems which I resolved with real hardware, real cables and real understanding.
- I diligently kept my notes as neat as possible so I could quickly refer to each of the 17 chapters / topics that were covered in the Cisco Press ICND2 book. Reading my reviewed notes in my own handwriting was great.
- I wrote my own Flashcards - i.e. STP is lowest priority and lowest MAC for BID, OSPF is loopback interface, highest IP etc
- The memory tables appendix in Odoms book are priceless, I reviewed it twice a week for 3 months straight burning Administrative Distances, Port Numbers, OSPF / EIGRP differences etc into my head.
- I created my own one page topic review sheets - quick topic refreshers for EIGRP, OSPF, ACLs, Wildcard masks for example, again own handwriting helped me trust what I was reading and allowed me to consume it / refresh it quickly.
- For each of the CBT Nuggets videos I also created one page video review sheets (x21 review sheets)
- For all the notes I took, I made myself write in bulleted lists like I am doing now - I find that paragraphs of technical detail are too difficult to reconsume quickly.
Don't give up, you can do it. Part of the success is actually defining your study strategy and consuming every topic on the exam blueprint in chunks. It might be helpful to watch this Cisco video on tips for self study......
You might consider listening to another webinar besides the one Nelson suggested.
VIP, Anthony Sequeira talks about "game day" - the actual test taking day. I learned a lot.
Good luck. Very cool... all this advice. Quite a community. You'll get there.