As you examine the blueprint of exam topics in this Exam Profile, something becomes very clear right away – the list of topics you must know, and know well, is extremely extensive. From IPv4 subnetting, to IPv6, and routing and switching, there is a wealth of information you must demonstrate mastery with.
The exam certainly reflects this. In fact, one of the most frequent comments from students taking the exam is that they could have passed on their first try if they only had more time. You must not only know this material, but be able to recall it very quickly. In exam simulations and simlets, you must be very fast in order to pass the exam.
In order to properly prepare for exams with simulations and simlets like this, students must log plenty of hours on rental equipment, simulations, or their own lab equipment. The amount of time students must spend with this is certainly dependent on how much real world experience they already possess with the technologies listed in the blueprint.
The following list should prove very valuable in your success with this intense exam:
- Become expert at the simulations and simlets and testlets that you encounter in this exam using the link provided in the Exam Details section. When I recommend you become an expert at them, I am of course referring to how they operate and how you navigate inside of them. You cannot afford to waste valuable time in the actual exam trying to determine how to work with the simulation exercises themselves. You want the full compliment of your time dedicated to the technological problem solving that you must carry out.
- Enter the blueprint above into a spreadsheet or similar software in order to make a study checklist. Consider rating yourself on each item. I like to use a 1 to 5 scale. For example, 1 means I have never heard of that technology. 2 indicates I have heard of it before. 3 means that I could describe it. 4 indicates that I could configure it if necessary, while 5 means I could also troubleshoot. Note that in this exam, not all areas will be requiring you to both configure and troubleshoot, so many topics can be taken to a level 3 only for adequate preparedness.
- Read the examine blueprint topics vey carefully, notice that topics where you must "configure" or "verify" or "troubleshoot" are spelled out very clearly. Topics that are listed with verbs like "describe" are very often theory-only type questions, or at the very least, will not be featured in simulation style questions.
- Acquire physical gear, or rent gear, or use well-rated simulators in order to practice with Cisco routing and switching technologies.
- Study using well-rated, trusted practice exams whenever possible in order to assess your readiness.
Recommended Study Resources
The following highly-rated study resources should be of tremendous benefit for your success. Notice that Pearson IT Certification provides excellent materials for your initial study, your hands-on lab practice, and your practice testing. Some products are available now, and more are coming in late 2016 and early 2017.
- CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Official Cert Guide, ISBN: 9781587205804
- CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Portable Command Guide, ISBN: 9781587205880