View Poll Results: What is the hardest topic to study for CCNA?

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  • Bridging/Switching

    396 6.97%
  • 7-layer OSI Model

    422 7.43%
  • Routed Protocols (IP)

    150 2.64%
  • Routing Protocol (RIP, IGRP etc.)

    685 12.05%
  • WAN Protocols (Frame Relay, ISDN, PPP, etc.)

    2,429 42.74%
  • LAN Technologies

    106 1.87%
  • Basic Router Management and Configuration

    282 4.96%
  • Access Lists

    1,213 21.34%
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  1. Junior Member
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    #76
    I haven't sat an exam yet, just practicing using the cisco press cd... Subnetting was a problem for me (only from a time pressure point of view) until I wrote out a table (I believe you can take as much time to write stuff down before you start the exam??? if not someone please tell me as I need to change my strategy!!)

    I write down the binary the decimal and the mask bits

    eg

    Binary dec bits A B C subnets hosts

    10000000 128 1 9 17 25 2 126
    11000000 192 2 10 18 26 4 62
    11100000 224 3 11 19 27 8 30

    etc

    I also put off to the right the number of subnets and number of hosts for a class C (assuming IP subnet zero is configured).

    I also calculate all the powers of 2 and write them down up to 2^24

    The other thing I do is write out all of the subnet numbers down to 16 per subnet

    eg

    0 128
    0 64 128 192
    0 32 64 96 128 160 192 224
    0 16 32 48 64 80 96 112 128 144 160 176 192 208 224 240

    it is very quick to look and get the subnet and broadcast from this info, means I don't have to use my brain for mental arithmetic (25 years or so of using a calculator takes it's toll ) for subnets of size 8 or less it is easy to derive from the 0 16.... line.

    when dealing with reverse subnets I use the simple subtract subnet from 255.255.255.255 trick

    eg reverse mask for 255.255.255.224 subtract 224 from 255 get 31 rest zero so reverse mask is 0.0.0.31

    now that I got that sorted, the biggest problem I have is with the routing protocols, specifically remembering all of the little details like default administrative distances, routing update timings etc, anything that involved rote learning.

    remembering things like protocol numbers has been a problem but going over and over eventually they stick.

    Tony.
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    #77
    WAN

    I just studied a day of ISDN. I don't think I have ever had such a strong feeling to kill myself. Configuring access lists is up there too, but not so hard to grasp as it is just plain troublesome.
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  4. Junior Member
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    #78
    I agree wintermule.. I do the same thing except I put Lammle's block sizes in between my CIDR and my hosts and subnets list.

    something like.
    192 10 18 26 64 62 2 .. And a row of the 16 tables to help me to figure out those questions about which host ip is in this network type questions? I have to say ISDN confuse the hell out of me. Especially those reference points.

    I would probably get stoned but I would be a happy man if the entire exam was only on subnets and access lists.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #79
    Access lists were really easy for me, but the WAN stuff is the most difficult to retain.
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  6. The Colosus of Clout Paul Boz's Avatar
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    #80
    I didn't even bother learning ISDN stuff because it's practically not on the exam any more. It's all but removed from the curriculum and will be completely phased out by the next revision. Frame relay is easy by comparison. I feel really bad every time I hear of an aspiring CCNA trying to cram as much ISDN as possible knowing full well that they'll never see it in their professional or academic lives.
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  7. Senior Member iproute's Avatar
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    #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Boz
    I didn't even bother learning ISDN stuff because it's practically not on the exam any more. It's all but removed from the curriculum and will be completely phased out by the next revision. Frame relay is easy by comparison. I feel really bad every time I hear of an aspiring CCNA trying to cram as much ISDN as possible knowing full well that they'll never see it in their professional or academic lives.
    I re-covered the entire WAN chapter (11) in the Sybex book last night. This being the third time, I still felt like I had never seen some of the stuff that I was reading and I'll probably at least skim the chapter again before I take Intro on Friday. I focused on the Frame Relay parts very heavily and gave less time to ISDN (due to comments such as those like Paul's).
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  8. Resident Underachiever EdTheLad's Avatar
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    #82
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Boz
    I feel really bad every time I hear of an aspiring CCNA trying to cram as much ISDN as possible knowing full well that they'll never see it in their professional or academic lives.
    Thats a crazy statement, isdn is used alot for remote access to customer networks.I've had to dial in to customer networks over isdn countless times. If you do any travelling with your job to developing countries you will surely come across isdn in some form or another.
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  9. Member
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    #83
    Quote Originally Posted by EdTheLad
    Thats a crazy statement, isdn is used alot for remote access to customer networks.I've had to dial in to customer networks over isdn countless times. If you do any travelling with your job to developing countries you will surely come across isdn in some form or another.
    I concur, my father's previous work was primarily based around ISDN implementation, it's still out there.

    A quick follow-up on my previous statement about the most difficult subject so far in my CCNA studies --- actually, now that I think about it, and don't laugh at me, when I first began I thought thinking in a "layered approach" with the OSI model was kind of hard to grasp. But once I got over that, all other conceptional thinking encountered in my studies have seemed much simpler. I mean, no matter how intricate the procedures might seem, if you just remember it's just yet another step part of a whole definitive structure, then everything else seems to just rest with memory --- being able to remember the details and specs, as well as being able to remember how to employ correct command strings in the exact order during configuration or whatever. So, I have found if I just keep the big picture in mind, everything else will eventually fall into it's natural place. Just some thoughts.
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  10. Member calaverasgrandes's Avatar
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    #84

    Default ACLs, Subnetting, IOS

    The ACL questions I have encountered on practice exams are stumpers. It so annoying how the answers they present are all so similar! Subenetting is killing me also. Though I think I turned the corner after I found the little chestnut (in TCP/IP addressing 2nd edition Buck Graham) that borrowed bits have to be be high order contiguous bits. Why doesnt anybody come out and say that explicitly in the CCNA curriculum? Or maybe they did but I missed it.
    IOS example configs on the practice exams are killing me. The one I have wont let you off the hook unless you do things in exactly the right order they specify. Though I know from experience (I have 3 routers under my coffee table here) that it just aint so. You can do a lot of these things in a multitude of ways. Like how you navigate from interface serial 0 to interface serial 1.
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  11. Member calaverasgrandes's Avatar
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    #85

    Default sub NETTING

    Until recently I just didnt get VLSM subnetting. Spent 2 weeks just on that. Now I get it, so I can move on to WANs and Routing protocols.
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  12. Junior Member
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    #86
    I have to vote for WAN, but for me it was only really ISDN's really hate those and can't say I have ever seen one but then had to work on an X.25 network once so maybe it is still relevant to have ISDN in CCNA
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  13. Junior Member
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    #87
    my problem is ACL
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  14. Some white dude
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    #88
    For sure, Frame relay because it makes you think a bit differently and your mixing layer2 and layer 3 information in a way that you have to know whats what to keep your head straight so your not mapping the wrong ip to the wrong dlci.. etc
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  15. Student
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    #89

    Default Re: Supernetting and Route Summarization

    Quote Originally Posted by KMAN24
    Correct me if I am wrong.....Athough I am anxious to be a high level Cisco Admin, my Cisco teach quoted the following. "You will not be responsible for Supernetting or Route Summarization on the exam. Is she wrong ?
    If you do not understand route summarization or supernetting, you will have a very hard time with the wildcard masks, etc. I would go as far as saying if you do not have a good understanding of subnetting, you will NOT pass the exam.
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  16. Member
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    #90

    Default Re: Supernetting and Route Summarization

    Quote Originally Posted by gshoemaker
    Quote Originally Posted by KMAN24
    Correct me if I am wrong.....Athough I am anxious to be a high level Cisco Admin, my Cisco teach quoted the following. "You will not be responsible for Supernetting or Route Summarization on the exam. Is she wrong ?
    If you do not understand route summarization or supernetting, you will have a very hard time with the wildcard masks, etc. I would go as far as saying if you do not have a good understanding of subnetting, you will NOT pass the exam.
    You do realize that you're quoting a post from December 1, 2004 right ?
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  17. Junior Member
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    #91

    Default Subnetting and WAN technologies

    Agree it's quite a challenge. The hard work is rewarding and fun. However.
    I was working with a reputable exam simulator for my ICND1, CCENT.
    Feeling very comfortable with Subnetting. After practicing in my home lab until I was very comfortable but fast. Setting up subnets breaking them etc across five Wic T1 b2b links.
    Third question on the sim (CCENT) had a drawing PC/Host on the Left and a PC/Host on the right.
    Between the PC's were 5 Routers. And followed by questions regarding the subnet and path. I perform some work for the Govt of a medium metropolitan city.
    That's equal to or more than the subnets we use from the "Core".
    After three practice questions immediately stopped the Exam Sim to practice a lot more.
    Wow.
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  18. Junior Member
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    #92
    I had to spend so much time onWAN technologies... I guess its the most difficult for me..
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  19. Member
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    #93
    This thread reminds me when I was studying for the ccna...Lots of stress huh?

    Don't worry guys it is not that difficult(the exam). When you feel like want to commit suicide, get out of that chair, relax, take a walk... If you're self-studying I recommend a 10 min. break after each hour of reading. It helps.

    BTW I went to ccna academy (ccna3.1). The hardest part. or may be the most boring was First Semester.

    I hadn't a hard time with subnetting, but ISDN...damn! I think the hardest parts are the ones that I was not Interested in.

    Oh, a question: Did cisco retired RIP from the new courses?
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  20. Senior Member
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    #94
    The hardest part in my opinion is preparing for the simulations, because you just never know what kind of scenario they're going to throw at you. Sometimes, when you see all the pretty colours and weird symbols, it takes a while for you to get your bearings and figure out what the heck you actually need to do.
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  21. Junior Member
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    #95
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCo4Fun
    Personally I think the WAN technologies are the most difficult. For some reason they just dont click with me.
    I totally agree. They were a real problem for me too.
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  22. Junior Member
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    #96

    Default Re: What is the hardest topic to study for CCNA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Webmaster
    Here's a poll mainly to see on which topics we should focus in our practice exams and TechNotes. The options correspond pretty much with the exam objectives.

    Johan
    i've taken the ccna twice and failed it cos of the switching question and a stupid mistake i keep making on the configuration of a simple router interface.but the switching part just is not easy 4 me to get in the console and start anything
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  23. Junior Member
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    #97
    VSLM has been the hardest part for me so far. I am using the Sybex 5th edition book by Todd Lammle and I do not think that it does a good job of explaining. I think I am either going to buy the Odum book or bite the bullet and go the CBT Nuggets route. I have been watching the free Cisco videos and like the way the Instructor, Jeremy Cioara, teaches.
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  24. Senior Member pitviper's Avatar
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    #98
    I would say NAT for sure – It also indirectly tests your understanding of subnetting and ACLs at the same time.
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  25. Junior Member
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    none :( , I will get one
    #99

    Default What is the hardest topic to study for CCNA?

    In my opinion The hardest or the worst topic that I had studied was ACL list . Man ! I suffered a lot to understand it !
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  26. Pancakes and Lasagna kurosaki00's Avatar
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    #100
    I actually failed the CCENt exam..
    I got 760 something % =_=

    It was like a month and a half ago.
    I actually got 100% in subnetting =_=
    but 30% something in routing =\
    I had MODERATED freaking simulations... is it normal to get that much?

    Anyways it was my first test EVER and I failed. I felt soooo bad.
    I took a break and I began studing and brushup like 2 weeks ago.
    I'll take the exam on the 29th of this month.

    Im brushing everything up but studying hard in the areas that I had the worst score.
    Last edited by mikej412; 07-19-2009 at 02:15 AM.
    meh
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