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I finally landed my first position in IT. The opportunity came directly from earning the CCNA. I’ve been meaning to mail you for the last while to Thank You.
I struck gold when I found some of your videos on You Tube regarding subnetting and I haven’t looked back since.
The company have requested I pass the A+, and Net+ as its policy for all the junior engineers, Yet I’m the only junior with the CCNA hehe. Anyway after that I will be continuing with my next goal, The CCNP.
I simply wanted to Thank You for all the material that’s allowed me to pass the CCNA, also the whole attitude of the site and daily newsletters, They were a huge factor in staying committed to the new career path as it was tough at times with the lack of opportunities for someone with very little to no production network experience.
Thank you Paul,
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I've seen lots of people panicing (is that how you spell it?) on the web about the CCNA 5.0 exam which was announced a while back by Cisco.
My understanding is that this is for the Cisco Networking Academy and is a bolt on to the current syllabus (according to their video).
But it's reasonable to presume that there will be a knock on effect to the current CCNA. You could see the CCENT and ICND2 vanish or at least change. The CCNA will evolve to test you harder on:
- Data centre
- IOS 15.X commands
I'm not sure what will happen with the specialisations because it makes sense to keep them separate and seems a bit too much to cram into the current CCNA syllabus which, let's face it, is hard enough already.
At this rate my study guide will be 700+ pages thick!
How will you get IOS 15.X hands on time? Who can say at the moment. You have to verify your IOS license with Cisco for 15.x so getting unofficial copies will prove hard and official copies will prove expensive (starting at $1,000 each).
Many people are pushing Cisco for educational copies or discounts but they aren't budging at the moment. Not sure if IOU will provide a workaround. At the moment, with 15.x features unlock as you pay more (I think the model comes from crack dealers)! IOS 15.x is included with Packet Tracer 6.0 apparently.
I know you can get hands on time with 15.x routers with CCIE rack providers such as INE.
I think you can run evaluation copies for 30 days. Anyone who can add more info feel free to chip in.
For now, if you are studying for your CCNA – get it done ASAP but don't panic. You will usually have 6 months notice to pass the current exams.
Don't listen to any opinions though, get the info from Cisco as and when they make an announcement.
Here is some info on IOS 15:
Meanwhile, here is a nice fluffy marketing video from Cisco:
Apart from design exams which are purly theory in nature, you are going to need a few tools and resources in order to pass your exams.
I speak from experience working on live networks for years and taking many Cisco exams.
1. Good study guide or two.
Most people refer to one main study guide and a backup one for reference. It's rare that one guide covers everything. It should be you will always have authors coming from a different perspective and of course, Cisco has this habit of adding stuff to the exams that isn't in the syllabus.
2. Practise exams.
A must have tool. I've learned through bitter experience that you think you understand a subject but when you see a question about it with five similar answers you realise that you don't know as much as you thought you did. Please don't discover that in the actual exam.
I recommend you take exams from day one, even if you don't understand the subject yet and you only get 10% its part of the learning process.
3. Hands on time.
You simply must get lots of hands on practise for the actual exams because a large part of the exams are the sims. I'm going to estimate around 100 hours for the CCNA and around 250 for the CCNP. The average for the CCIE is 1000.
Use Packet Tracer, GNS3 or your own home rack which you can buy on eBay. I've post a site called CCNA Home Lab to help you work out what to buy.
4. Flash study cards.
These are cards which ask you a question and you click on it to see the answer. The old fashioned way was to write it on a card with the answer on the back. There are several iPhone and Android apps out there with study cards now. It's a great way to cement your knowledge and study while on a train or sitting down waiting somewhere.
5. Cram guide.
A cram is the main learning points per subject written down. Port numbers, commands, show commands and so on. Pure knowledge and much of the exam is taken up testing you on these sort of questions.
6. Video lessons.
I never learned with these, I can't get on with them personally but many students find them very useful. I prefer to learn by doing labs and reading but if you learn better by watching a teacher then CBT videos could be a great help to you.
Hope it helps.