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Thread: CCNA Security

  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default CCNA Security

    Greetings,

    I was wondering has anybody actually taken and/or passed this exam yet. Just curious how it compares to the CCNA in difficulty.

    Thanks
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  3. Senior Member LOkrasa's Avatar
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    #2
    I took the exam and almost passed but I was not ready. It was definitely much easier then the CCNA in my opinion but that may be because this is not the first cert exam for me and I have developed a set method for studying for exams...
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    #3
    What is your set method...if you don't mind sharing?
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  5. Senior Member LOkrasa's Avatar
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    #4
    No, I don't mind at all... I have only done this successfully once so it may not be full-proof. However, I did feel that when I went to take the exam that I could not have been more prepared which gave me a ton of confidence. If I can just achieve that same feeling everytime I attempt an exam then I am sure I would never fail one again...

    I read the book from front to back just once and I pay attention to detail but do not let myself get "stuck" on something. If I don't understand a certain topic then I just do some basic research to get an answer but I don't spend more then 20 minutes trying to figure it out. This casual reading takes place after work/weekends. After I finish, I attempt to read the book again but this time I take my time and take notes, again reading when I get a chance during the week or weekends. I usually take notes in my notebook and then copy over important topics, or hard to understand topics, onto note cards for quizzing myself. If I am pressed for time then I just basically go straight to note cards and skip the notebook... I am doing that with this exam and it has worked pretty well so far. I want to make sure that I understand the topic, but also remember it, so I don't just aimlessly copy notes from the book but reword everything so that I actually think about what I am writing. This helps me tremendously in remembering the topic and understanding it. After I do this for the entire book and have a good "feel" for the material I begin my weekend cram before the exam. If I am not certain good about some topic then I go back and start to research/read again... Once ready I look for a long weekend that includes a holiday (like next weekend) and take an extra day off. So for instance, I am off Monday next week and I am also taking off Tuesday for the exam. This gives me 3 SOLID days of studying and half a day of last minute review before the exam. I usually divide up this time into reading the book material again chapter by chapter and quizzing myself on the note cards at the end of each one. I go back and do prac questions on the CD that came with the book for each chapter and move on once I feel I got it nailed. I usually reserve the day before the exam to do "light studying" which means I just relax while reading over note cards, grab lunch/dinner with friends, go over key topics, look at the quick reference guide. Test day means cram from morning until exam time. I usually schedule the exam for the latest time slot - 2:45 and get up at around 6/7am. I basically just start going over all of the weak areas, flash cards, exam questions/etc until exam time. I then leave the house for my exam 5 minutes before start time because it literally is across the street from my house, and sit the exam.

    I have done this once so far for my CCNA and I nailed it. I pretty much just read the book for the CCNA:Security and the quick reference and almost passed so I am confident that this method will get me a pass when I retake it next week... This may be just a LITTLE bit of overkill for some but I have a very hard time concentrating so this is the only way for me... By the end of this process you would have read the book 3 times and probably spent A LOT of time preparing if you are a slow reader like me. I usually dedicate every free moment I have for my exams and completely block out the rest of my life except for work. I eat/sleep/you get the point - Cisco, until exam day. Dont ask my wife how much she likes me preparing for certs because it may not be pretty... lol

    Hope that helps and good luck.
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  6. ITDufas TravR1's Avatar
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    #5
    I am exactly the same, but I try to use two books, and online recources. I also block out the rest of the world and totally consume it until I pass.. Then to drink... and pick another to start on.
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  7. Senior Member LOkrasa's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TravR1
    I am exactly the same, but I try to use two books, and online recources. I also block out the rest of the world and totally consume it until I pass.. Then to drink... and pick another to start on.
    I hear ya! I use as many books as I can find as long as they are recommended reading by either Cisco or people on here. For the CCNA I used the two Cisco Press books along with the Sybex book. I would use alot more for this exam but the single Cisco Press book is all I could find since its so new. I did however find tons of white papers since then for some extra reading... The CCNP exams (BSCI/BCMSN) give you the option of reading the exam cert guide along with the self-study guide and a lab book. Thats some serious prep work... The following weekend after I take this exam, I am going to a CCNP BCMSN class for a week so I am going to have to write about that experience when I am done. I will probably try the exam right after the class to see how it goes and schedule it again for a couple weeks, if not a month, later for a retake during the second chance promo.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    I am looking to go for that exam sometime in Nov. I just completed the security+ and figured the CCNA:S will help to reinforce some of those topics. I don't think it will be a walk in the park but the CCNA did kick my ass. I was just wondering was I in for another similar battle of just breathing, eating, and sleeping Cisco.
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  9. Senior Member LOkrasa's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by IT Man
    I am looking to go for that exam sometime in Nov. I just completed the security+ and figured the CCNA:S will help to reinforce some of those topics. I don't think it will be a walk in the park but the CCNA did kick my ass. I was just wondering was I in for another similar battle of just breathing, eating, and sleeping Cisco.
    I dont think you will need to do the breathe/eat/sleep Cisco if you have some security background which I think you do since you got a Sec+. However, the topics also cover tons of Cisco sepcific stuff like the Firewall zones/IPS/IDS/etc so it may not be a cakewalk...
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    Well thanks for your input LOkrasa...I will def give it my all and see how I feel in another 2 months.

    Good Luck on your 2nd attempt at this exam as well.
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