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  1. Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    14
    #1

    Default Need some suggestions on where to go from here.

    Ok, here's the deal. I'm getting quite frusterated with the CCNA 640-607 exam and really don't know what else i can do to pass the test.

    Firstly, i'm 17 and spent last summer and the following months in an internship with the network administrator at the company i was looking to get a job with (just a part-time deal, but they decided they couldn't afford to hire me given the state of the business. ~30 users in the network with a standard heirarchial topology running cisco routers and switches). Now, beyond the internship and the network i setup at my house i have no other real world experience to say anything of professional experience in the field. This was something i set out to do and giving up is not an option.

    I enrolled at the Cisco Networking Academy Program (CNAP) and completed semester 1-4 (all semesters pertinent to the CCNA exam) and passed with a 93% average and went to take the exam for the first time.

    First time i took it i failed by 0.6% because i read too bluntly into the question and got stumped when the 'service password-encryption' was not supported and didn't think about using an acceptable workaround. Was frusterated but went and took the test again.

    Second time i failed by 0.2% and was bout ready to hit my head at the wall in frusteration.

    Signed up a third time and failed by 0.8% and this time i just decided to purchase the Transcender AssociateCert/AssociateFlash bundle and get some more study materials beyond the texts i already had from CNAP.

    Spent a week brushing up on stuff i was cloudy on and for the last week and a half i've been getting 97% and higher on the transcender exams and roughly 94% success rate on the AssociateFlash quizzes. I know the material in the transcender enough to talk someone's ear off about it. 4 hours/day of studying for this exam for the last 3 weeks and i was very confident in my chances at passing the exam this time.

    Went and took it a few hours ago and failed by 1.1% and while there is no way i'm giving up on this because i know it's not beyond me from an intellectual standpoint, i'm really not sure what more i can do to adequately prepare for this test other than to just keep beating a dead horse until i pass the exam, but to be honest it's a fairly expensive process to go at without being prepared in my opinion.

    Any suggestions on what *MORE* i can do? I've set myself a deadline of march 31st to pass this exam and plan to retake the exam between the 21st and 24th of march to give me some time to sign up again if need be.

    Just really frusterated at the moment and this exam seriously draining me. I have other things to worry about (like school) such that i can't let this overwhelm me. It's been a juggling act up til now and i want to get this over with.

    Anyhow, kinda needed to vent to people who hopefully know where i'm coming from, but also i'm seriously looking for some tips on what more i can do to pass this test.

    Thanks in advance,

    -Jon
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  3. Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    44

    Certifications
    CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, MCSE
    #2
    Which areas are you weakest at? You need to determine this and focus your study accordingly to make it one of you strengths. One problem with using exam softeware like Transcender is that you have a limited pool of questions and after you've gone through them three times, you begin to remember the answers (NOT GOOD). You must use exam software sparingly. Take one exam once and based on the results, focus your study on your weak areas, then take the next exam and do the same thing, etc. Do this 'til you have gone through all the sample exams.

    I don't know if you have real routers at home to do labs with, but I would highly recommend them. 2500 series routers are selling very cheap on Ebay. You can probably pick one up for between $120-$200. I know that for some this can be a hardship, but if you're serious about persuing Cisco Certs, you really need to build a home lab. You can probably get by with three 2501 routers. What I did when I started my persuit of Cisco certs was to get together with 3-4 friends and combined our resources to slowly build a home lab. We have since gone our separate ways, but I continued to build my home lab (9 routers, 3 switches, 1 PIX).

    Once you have a home lab, go though ALL the labs in the Cisco Press CCNA book (I only use Cisco Press books to study). Don't just go through the motions of doing the labs, but try to understand what it is you are suppose to be learning. I also recommend that you read other books like Routing TCP/IP Vol.1 by Jeff Doyle (Cisco Press ISBN: 157870041, this is a must have for anyone interested in IP routing. Read each topic/chapter before doing the lab and again after. Do not go on to the next topic/chapter until you can successfully answer the Q&A at the end of each chapter. This is tedious and requires hard work on your your part, but if you're willing to give it an honest effort, you will succeed. This is what I did to not only pass my CCNA, but CCDA and CCNP as well. I am also using this method in my persuit of my CCSP cert.

    Good luck and persevere...
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  4. Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    14
    #3

    Default ..

    Thanks for the input.

    As for pursuit of the cisco cert's all i'm really aiming at right now is the CCNA. By the time i complete that i plan on taking my summer off before heading over to Georgia Tech to begin my studies there (going into Comp Sci w/ foci in Information Security).

    Spent 6 months in classes at the local university here working with a 5-stack of cisco routers with 2 switches and spent a lot of hands on time with the routers.

    Router configuration and cisco IOS is probably my strongest portion of the CCNA exam. What seems to really mess me up are the sections on Network Management and i've been fluxing on LAN switching (some of the wordings on this last test threw me off and pulled a 66% in that section instead of something acceptable.

    The thing that confused me is when i took the exam last i didn't get a single question regarding SNMP/NMP, RMON, MIB's, any kind of network management documentation or anything. I for the life of me don't recall a question regarding network management so i don't know what i missed/had trouble with to work back on it for next time.

    Anyhow, i'm gonna get back to hittin the books and working the lab-books i got while in the CNAP program again and hopefully knock this one out once and for all.

    Thx

    -Jon
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