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  1. Member
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    #51
    I am brand new to Cisco and I am considering buying Cisco's $699.00 CCNA Premium Study bundle. Does anyone have any thoughts on this bundle? The thing that attracts me the most is the Study Planner which takes you step by step what you need to study to prepare for the exam. The only major downside I see is the voucher they provide is for the combined CCNA exam.

    I'm not sure if I really want to spend all this money, especially when I could use it to buy routers and switches. But it would be nice to have a step by step guide to the exam.
    Last edited by Paul6; 09-16-2012 at 08:26 PM. Reason: grammar
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  3. He Hate Me Zartanasaurus's Avatar
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    #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul6 View Post
    I am brand new to Cisco I am considering buying Cisco's $699.00 CCNA Premium Study bundle. Does anyone have any thoughts on this bundle? The thing that attracts me the most is Study Planner which takes you step by step what you need to study to prepare for the exam. The only major downside I see is the voucher they provide is for the combined CCNA exam.

    I'm not sure if I really want to spend all this money, especially when I could use it to buy routers and switches. But it would be nice to have a step by step guide to the exam.
    Considering the multitude of good, free study resources for the CCNA, paying $700 for a step by step guide seems excessive. A nice lab and a sub to Safari Books >>>> whatever they are selling and cheaper to boot.
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    #53
    Thanks for the feedback. I ended up ordering Wendell Odom's CCNA 640-802 Official Cert Library, Simulator Edition, Updated (3rd Edition) off Amazon for $125.99. (The $700 Cisco package included this, but it was just the eBook version). I am making it my goal to go through the entire 1500 pages, and to do all the book questions and simulator exercises.
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    #54
    I like your comments about motivation; For me its the (second) hardest part. To keep going. Keep studying. Hours and hours and hours "lost"..............but in the end, you win so much more (eg: a salary)

    6 months would be more for me like 8-12. Thats why investing in the CCENT/CCNA is something that is so pushing me away.
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  6. Matrix(Config)# Roguetadhg's Avatar
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    #55
    I've tried to exaggerate that motivational story a bit. I wanted to try to make sure that it was pronounced. I wanted to try to instill the feeling of "Yes, you will second guess yourself."

    The purpose isn't to push people away, but more so to understand that "It'll take time". It may not take you 4 hours or studying. It may be just 30 minutes here and there.

    More and more as you like it, you'll find a spot for it. I remember waking up to play SEGA before school, without volume, in the dark so no one would know. Of course, parents knew why I was tired when I came home from school.

    Yes. Money is a motivating factor. It helps. But for me Money is a distant goal. I don't get a fat pay raise with a new certification. I get the opposite (almost), people don't want me to get certifications here! So saying "Money" isn't motivating for me as the effect of my Cisco Certs. Because immediately, there isn't any.


    It's a bit long-winded. But I tried to go through my own train of thought about last night. Here's something that might help. I don't know if it will. But I took a lot of time to look in on myself:

    When I read Cisco books, until recently - like yesturday, recent. I've always had the question hounding me in the head: "This is boring." "I should be killing dragons on Skyrim." "I want to browse TechExams to see if I can help people."

    If you find it hard to enjoy reading, which is a very large barrier for me. It still is, until recently where I stared at the forums thinking to myself:

    I asked a question, which to me seems like a normal question. But I tried to look at it differently. I asked more questions: Why.

    Do I enjoy reading?
    No.
    But I'm reading X right now. So that can't be true.

    Why do I dislike reading the books? Why is it hard for me to open a book and read?
    ... When I boiled it down, it's all words. Yes, Words. I'm reading as I type now, for example. I could be reading a book. I read while I play video games. I read while on HardOCP. I read the "Self Test Feature Check" bouncing around the screen next to me... Not anymore, I just turned it off.

    But for me "Reading" is something that was really difficult for me.

    So after I boiled it down to the fact that "I read everywhere, all the time", it made it a lot dumber for me to accept the excuse:
    "I don't like to read". Because I do like to read!

    With that question semi-answered, it needed new questions:

    So why do I still don't like to read the Cisco books?

    Why I don't like to read the Cisco Books?
    Because I'm a doer. Yes. I do things, I'm not a reading person.

    Currently, I'm studying for the CCNA:Security.. which has a lot of "doing" So that's not possible. There's tons of configurations and troubleshooting! The author states: You'll need to know how to do this in Command Line and GUI. So I can do things with the cisco book.

    The answer must be: I choose not to do things. Oh hell. Boy, that spits in my face. Doesn't it? I decided that I don't want to do it. Not only that. I then make up an excuse that I'm a doer to cover up for the fact I've been lying to myself.

    To prove it to myself even more... I like to work on Jessica (My other half) Beetle. For what it's worth using a hammer to dislodge the Alternator from the car's grips was fun. I was doing this. How did I know that this heavy thing is an alternator? How did I know how to hit it, where to hit it? How about where the belt goes... I read. I read forums, lots of websites. Prices. I was doing because I read.

    Okay. So I spit in the wind. A lot.

    So do I enjoy the material I read?
    Yes. I do honestly enjoy the material.

    Do I really enjoy the material or am I just trying to fool myself?

    I look back into CCENT/CCNA days, grinding out the commands. Looking at things, realizing that X is not Y and that B uses X to do it's business. I feel excited to remember how the puzzle works and fits together. I only feel this way driving cars.

    I do, really, enjoy this stuff.

    So what is my problem for not wanting to read what I enjoy reading?
    Me. It might be emotion. it might be a way of thinking. It might be because I'm lazy. It might be because I've never been called "studious" or anything that could resemble a "reader".

    If it's being lazy, then I have no chance in getting a career I could actually be proud about.


    These are my questions I asked myself last night. It came to a bit of a surprise just how deep I could get with questions. Then afterwards I started to question a lot of other things. Asking questions that I didn't think needed to be asked. Questions that I felt, to me, that I needed to improve myself.

    It's a bit of self-help, but it's what I did. I can tell you, it's definitely different. I don't get the questions in my head nagging me:
    "This is boring". "I should be playing Skyrim". Instead, all I have is a feeling of "Awesome"
    Last edited by Roguetadhg; 09-18-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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  7. Network Consultant FloOz's Avatar
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    #56
    Wow rogue great post!! I can really relate to you and how you feel when reading
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  8. Senior Member Illumanati's Avatar
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    It's ALL about the book, namely its author!
    #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Roguetadhg View Post

    So what is my problem for not wanting to read what I enjoy reading?
    Me. It might be emotion. it might be a way of thinking. It might be because I'm lazy. It might be because I've never been called "studious" or anything that could resemble a "reader".

    If it's being lazy, then I have no chance in getting a career I could actually be proud about.


    These are my questions I asked myself last night. It came to a bit of a surprise just how deep I could get with questions. Then afterwards I started to question a lot of other things. Asking questions that I didn't think needed to be asked. Questions that I felt, to me, that I needed to improve myself.

    It's a bit of self-help, but it's what I did. I can tell you, it's definitely different. I don't get the questions in my head nagging me:
    "This is boring". "I should be playing Skyrim". Instead, all I have is a feeling of "Awesome"
    I love how you prefaced this and I love how you asked self-directed questions in order to self-help!! I now feel like I am a doer EVEN WHEN I'M READING even though I am a doer just like you and dont like to read because it feels too passive but it's just "a way of thinking" like you said(above)!! It could be my emotions too which you hit upon because I am emotional but I didn't correlate that to why i don't like to read!

    I read the newspaper so I can't say I don't read! It's that easy! You just have to make some time for it and get it done!
    Last edited by Illumanati; 09-18-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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  9. Senior Member ChooseLife's Avatar
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    #58
    Roguetadhq, kudos for the efforts and time you have put into writing this tutorial!
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  10. Senior Member Illumanati's Avatar
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    It's ALL about the book, namely its author!
    #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Roguetadhg View Post
    To prove it to myself even more... I like to work on Jessica (My other half) Beetle. For what it's worth using a hammer to dislodge the Alternator from the car's grips was fun. I was doing this. How did I know that this heavy thing is an alternator? How did I know how to hit it, where to hit it? How about where the belt goes... I read. I read forums, lots of websites. Prices. I was doing because I read. All I have is a feeling of "Awesome"
    In conclusion, yes, reading is doing! (Think of it like this: you're constantly placing and moving things around in your head/mind and try to pretend you're playing a sport or hitting that alternator with a hammer!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roguetadhg View Post

    So why do I still don't like to read the Cisco books?

    Why I don't like to read the Cisco Books?
    Because I'm a doer. Yes. I do things, I'm not a reading person.

    Currently, I'm studying for the CCNA:Security.. which has a lot of "doing" So that's not possible. There's tons of configurations and troubleshooting! The author states: You'll need to know how to do this in Command Line and GUI. So I can do things with the cisco book.

    The answer must be: I choose not to do things. Oh hell. Boy, that spits in my face. Doesn't it? I decided that I don't want to do it. Not only that. I then make up an excuse that I'm a doer to cover up for the fact I've been lying to myself.

    So what is my problem for not wanting to read what I enjoy reading?
    Me. It might be emotion. it might be a way of thinking. It might be because I'm lazy. It might be because I've never been called "studious" or anything that could resemble a "reader".

    If it's being lazy, then I have no chance in getting a career I could actually be proud about.

    These are my questions I asked myself last night. It came to a bit of a surprise just how deep I could get with questions. Then afterwards I started to question a lot of other things. Asking questions that I didn't think needed to be asked. Questions that I felt, to me, that I needed to improve myself.

    It's a bit of self-help, but it's what I did.
    I can tell you, it's definitely different. I don't get the questions in my head nagging me:
    "This is boring". "I should be playing Skyrim". Instead, all I have is a feeling of "Awesome"
    You are a DOER BECAUSE YOU ARE A READER!! I am glad you had those same question I and maybe a lot of others have! Great post and I think this could be stickied!
    Last edited by Illumanati; 09-19-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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    #60
    great thread. thank you
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  12. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #61
    @Roguetadhg I was advised to always take the single CCNA composite exam because it will earn the CCNA by answering fewer exam items (45-55) versus taking the two ICND1/ICND2 exams, where earning the CCNA requires answering double the number of exam items (40-50 items each exam). As you pointed out, it might also be true that fewer topics are covered on the single composite exam as well. Your thoughts on this?

    Your point about the cost savings of the two-exam track if failing one or two of the ICND exams is valid and worth considering too.
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  13. Matrix(Config)# Roguetadhg's Avatar
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    #62
    Also, the Cisco Exams are not the CompTIA exams. It's best to come into these certification exams expecting: "Im going to need to do this." It's just not theory. CompTIA is all theory. My Security+ was all multiple choice. I'm not bashin CompTIA exams, too. It's just not not a Cisco Exam.

    Not to mention the testing style: You won't be able to go back and revisit questions. Which hold it's own difficulties to overcome... So you'll going to need to be able to confidently sit the test, and manage your time. Because you have 1 shot to answer that 1 question. The longer you think about it, the less time you have to spend on the rest of the exam. You may be running out of time, you may finish with 30 minutes left. You'll at the exam fighting your nerves, and trying to subnet correctly to troubleshoot an exam question. I remember going through the test just wishing the stress was off me.

    I've heard of CCIE Lab takers saying "The first time is an expensive lunch". These people I would consider Veterns for Cisco exams, so they know they'll need to Lab a lot and know material inside and out.

    Cisco Exams is different. Taking the ICND1 first I think holds multiple benefits:
    1. It's cheaper.
    1a. Retaking is less expensive.
    1b. Faster Recoop the expense.
    2. It's the introduction to the exam style.
    3. It's less material to study, lab, know.
    4. If you've passed the ICND1, you'll be more confident and less nervous about taking the exam. You've done it once. You can do it again. Even if you failed the ICND2. You still have something to show that you can pass. It may be a moral victory, but still riding that motivation helps!

    The alternative:
    There are people that decided to earn their CCNA via the ICND1 and then the CCNA Composite. It's 150 more bucks, but it has the benefit of being less in-depth. If money isn't an issue, that might be the better way. I haven't taken the CCNA Composite to say how the two-test vs one-test feels like. Because I expect large pools of questions for all three exams.

    As far as saying CCNA Composite is easier:
    They might be just as in depth in their questions for CCNA. I haven't seen someone say Yay or Nay by taking all three exams within a close time span to actually count on it. Although, logically I would say they wouldn't... but they are just questions, afterall.

    Personally:
    For myself taking the ICND1/ICND2 route made sense. Mostly because the information is new, which I had a grasp of the basic topics from my old Net Acad days, just reading ICND1 was like I never took those classes.

    I'm also paying for the exams out of my pocket - pass or fail, with no company benefits. Financial -wise. It's just too much for a test that I didn't have some "knowledge of". So earning my monopoly money and spending it on an expensive exam which haunted me since I never got to retest and pass had it's own mental blocks. I knew I wouldn't pass the CCNA, just due to the compounding pressure of everything.

    For the record:
    I failed the first CCNA test back in 03' with the free test voucher. I couldn't retake due to the expense.
    I passed my ICND1.
    I failed my ICND2. Passed it the second time.

    I spent 450 for my CCNA certification.

    So just looking on the hind-sight of things I would've spent 600 dollars, more than likely, just to test. Maybe more- given the legal situations at the time (Roommate didn't want to pay for bill, and refused to move out). I might've seen myself forking over 900, or even 1200 for the letters. Not to mention the expense of CBT nuggets, books, labs, practice tests, simulators... Yes. I continue to throw everything I can into my Cisco studies

    Edit:
    Im not saying that the two-test route is for everyone. Ultimately, it's how the person feels. They may want to go it a shot and go for everything at once. That's fine.

    One-test or Two-Test, you'll still have the same CCNA certification
    Last edited by Roguetadhg; 09-23-2012 at 10:31 PM.
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  14. Senior Member
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    #63
    If you know you need the full-blown CCNA, "cheaper" and "less material" no longer apply. One or two tests, the cost is the same, and the content you must master is the same. In that case, you can recoup your expenses faster going the one-exam route. For me at least, having to sneak out of work twice for exams is also a factor to consider.

    1a. Retaking is less expensive.
    2. It's the introduction to the exam style.
    4. If you've passed the ICND1, you'll be more confident and less nervous about taking the exam.
    These are definitely valid. You have less invested if you fail, and you have a nice mid-way to CCNA milestone, especially if the CCNA is going to require a long road to conquer. The last couple colleagues who asked for advice, I steered towards the two-exam route.


    it might also be true that fewer topics are covered on the single composite exam as well.
    That's a double-edged sword. You won't know if your copy of the exam will go deep into topic X (your strong one) or topic Y (your weak one). If you learn all the topics thoroughly, it won't matter which topics your particular exam focuses more on.

    I like composites, because they force you to retain and demonstrate the full body of material the certification requires at once. I'm a big fan of the CCNP TSHOOT for precisely that reason, even though it doesn't introduce any new material.
    Last edited by NetworkVeteran; 09-23-2012 at 10:12 PM.
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  15. Matrix(Config)# Roguetadhg's Avatar
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    #64
    Im looking forward to the TSHOOT, mostly just because it's all lab, from what i've heard atleast

    Labbing I love. Multiple Choice.. meh.
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  16. Matrix(Config)# Roguetadhg's Avatar
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    #65
    Added an example hardware configuration. Didn't include cabling. Do you have a better CCNA lab example? Post one here! I'll edit my main thread and give credit where credit is due. It's like a contest, but not really. Make sure to include cabling, links and all that jazz for bonus.

    I've also added some information as to "How to console" into the hardware. It's help un-fog, and make things less complicated. Afterall, it's hard to use hardware if you can't get into the darn thing! It's probably the single piece of hardware every networker needs.

    Also, shameless bump
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  17. Member
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    #66
    Minor typo:

    X2.2.C.d.1) Switch Models - 2950 or 2905C/T/G, 2960, 3550, 3560

    BTW great thread.
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  18. Matrix(Config)# Roguetadhg's Avatar
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    #67
    @cpartin: Fixed. Rep Given.

    Also; Added Iristheangel's simulator: ASA 5505 instead of a 5510?
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    #68
    do you by any chance know if the the 101 CCNA lab workbook comes with the solutions to the labs as well?
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  20. Senior Member Patel128's Avatar
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    #69
    I do not think that the lab book has any kind of questions. It should just be a straight forward manual.
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  21. Senior Member
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    #70
    do you by any chance know if the the 101 CCNA lab workbook comes with the solutions to the labs as well?
    I don't know for certain about the eBook format, but I have the paper version. It has lab diagrams with scenario for you to make happen through the first part. The solutions (device configuration information) is provided in the back of the book. I 'assume' the eBook format also has the solutions since that would be the biggest reason for buying it over just looking at the scenarios themselves that are openly available on the author's website.
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  22. Network Consultant FloOz's Avatar
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    #71
    I am also considering buying the 101 CCNA Lab book from Amazon, however when I emailed their customer support they stated that the solutions to the labs would not be included in the book. They said I would have to buy their premium package which costs over $200 and that would include video solutions to each of the labs.
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    #72
    man , that's a PERFECT post , very informative very practical , i learned a lot of stuff from it ,
    i like the way you showcase your point , you should be a writer lol

    much respect.

    P.S : this should be sticky
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  24. Senior Member
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    #73
    Quote Originally Posted by FloOz View Post
    I am also considering buying the 101 CCNA Lab book from Amazon, however when I emailed their customer support they stated that the solutions to the labs would not be included in the book. They said I would have to buy their premium package which costs over $200 and that would include video solutions to each of the labs.
    I suspect there is a miscommunication here as: (a) 101 CCNP Labs comes with solutions, (b) the description of 101 CCNA labs says it comes with solutions, (c) the Amazon reviews says it comes with solutions, and (d) a forum member above says it has solutions.

    What they sell for an extra $200 are DVDs containing 6-hours of video walk-throughs of the labs. These can also be viewed if you subscribe to the site for $30/mo.
    Last edited by NetworkVeteran; 09-28-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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  25. Network Consultant FloOz's Avatar
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    #74
    I agree with you. I just dont understand why the rep isnt telling me that the book contains the solutions. Maybe they are just trying to get more cash out of me.
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  26. Senior Member
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    #75
    Quote Originally Posted by FloOz View Post
    I agree with you. I just dont understand why the rep isnt telling me that the book contains the solutions. Maybe they are just trying to get more cash out of me.
    The authors have always been straight-forward with me and treated me right the one time I had an issue regarding their services. If you're concerned, maybe just ask them what this line from their book-only product description means--

    "Part 2 of the book is the solutions"
    (source: http://www.##########.net/products/item21.cfm)
    Last edited by NetworkVeteran; 09-28-2012 at 09:57 PM.
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