How To Prepare for CCNA Exam

Hello maties! I am very much delighted to brag announce to you today that I have successfully passed CCNA, which is short for Cisco Certified Network Associate (Yeah baby!). For those following my blog, you’d remember I created a CCNA series where I wrote stuff about things I learned at the Cisco Networking Academy. I haven’t finished that, I don’t think I ever will, but I will try my very best, at least before my license expires lol.

Well, 2 days ago, I finally took my exam and passed with a total of 986/1000. Ambitiously, I aimed to perfect it but oh well, not bad, maybe. It was a little nerve-wracking. The exam experience itself was almost terrifying, when I got in to the testing room, I felt like I was entering a slaughter house (although, I’ve never been to one). Okay, enough of the blabbers.

Taken from my experience, here are some helpful (hopefully) tips that will help you prepare for the CCNA exam. These aren’t arranged in a particular order and not all may be available to you, but I’ll give as much as I can remember so you have more options to get ready.

  • Enroll at the Cisco Networking Academy – This was my main preparation. If you are serious about networking and learning routing and switching to the core, I highly suggest you enroll at this Academy. This is where you understand the basic meaning of Networking which is required if you want to work skillfully and impress your company. Most especially if you don’t have IT background. CNA covers Networking concepts in a smooth, educational and effective manner. The price is high, but what you will learn is really worth it. Also, the instructors can help you out if you have questions and difficulties – the teachers, themselves, are certificate holders so they can give you advise all throughout your journey.
  • Self Study – Cisco website offers documentation of their protocols, products and other Networking items. These are really helpful in understanding how Networks work. Get a copy of the Exam Topics and study each topic (Sources: Wikipedia, Cisco, etc) until you are confident enough.
  • Take sample exams online: 9tut.com, examtut.com, examcollection.com. From these websites, you can also find copies of old exams which will help you a lot in reviewing.
  • Read CCNA Certification All-in-One for Dummies.
  • Enroll at a Cisco Boot Camp. I know one in the Philippines and I’m sure there’s a lot in big cities. There are boot camp trainings that take only 6 days (9hr/day) to go through the entire study guide and prepare for the CCNA.
  • Download Packet Tracer and/or GNS3 for virtual lab practice. I personally use Packet Tracer – because it’s from Cisco and it’s user friendly.

If you follow all these tips, I’m sure you won’t just pass the exam, but you will be an expert in this field and a successful Network Expert. Drop me a line or two, will ya?

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Abigail Abanilla

Associate Network Engineer at Nucleus Connect Pte Ltd.
I work at a Network Operations Centre and blog about everything Networking. Currently studying for my CCNP exam. Check out my blog & let's learn together! (Galatians 2:20)
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