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The products you buy from Cisco Press related to the ICND1 100-101 depends on your study plan. If you know for a fact that you will get your CCENT, and then move away from routing and switching, moving on to say voice, or security, then you can buy one set of products. If you know you will continue with routing and switching, and get your CCNA Routing and Switching certification, you can save money buy buying products for all of CCNA Routing and Switching in bundles (usually called a “Library”), which comes at a smaller price per item.

For instance, many people use the best selling Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101 Official Cert Guide. It can be purchased

  • by itself
  • as part of the Cisco CCNA 200-120 Official Cert Library (which includes the ICND1 book, plus a book about the ICND2 200-101 exam)
  • as part of the Cisco CCNA 200-120 Exam Cert Library, Simulator Edition (includes both books, plus the simulator)

If you decide to pursue CCNA, you can save money by purchasing the bundles and libraries that include products for both ICND1 and ICND2. If you do not know yet, you can start with ICND1 products.

Focusing on ICND1, you need a primary study book, hands-on equipment, and practice. For primary study, the aforementioned Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101 Official Cert Guide provides many tools to help you prepare. Like all Cisco Press Certification Guides, besides explaining the technology, this book offers many other tools to help with exam prep, including planning review tables, notations of the most important topics in each chapter, and a CD question bank with exam software.

To get hands-on skills, use the CCENT Network Simulator. This software product acts like small networks built with Cisco routers and switches; you type commands, and the software reacts as if you were doing the same thing on real gear. More importantly, this product is far more than just a place to type commands. It includes hundreds of scripted lab exercises that focus on the points you must know to do well on the exam.

These products also help round out your study library, with extra reference and practice tools:

  • Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching 200-120 Flash Cards and Exam Practice Pack provides you with more than 1,400 flash cards, practice questions and study sheets for the CCNA exams. This product includes three proven study methods: print and online flash cards challenge you to test your knowledge of exam topics with long answer questions. The Pearson IT Certification Practice Test is a customizable software product that allows you to take exam realistic practice tests that help you assess your exam readiness. Finally, the quick reference guide contains hundreds of study sheets that help you do quick reviews of key exam topics.
  • CCNA Routing and Switching Portable Command Guide, 3rd edition (ISBN: 1587204304) summarizes all CCNA R&S certification-level Cisco IOS® Software commands, keywords, command arguments, and associated prompts. You’ll find dozens of tips and examples for applying these commands in real-world networking scenarios. Configuration examples throughout the book provide you with a better understanding of how these commands are used in basic network designs.
  • If you need help organizing, preparing, and reviewing all the CCNA objectives, use the “31 Days” books from Cisco Press. There will be one focused on the ICND1/CCENT and another for ICND2/CCNA. As a day-by-day guide, the features of each book empower you to fit exam preparation into an otherwise busy schedule. 31 Days Before Your CCENT or 31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam offer you a personable and practical way to understand the certification process, commit to taking the exam, and finish your preparation using a variety of Foundational and Supplemental study resources like those mentioned here.

Finally, studies show that many people that pursue Cisco certification use two separate primary reading sources. The Cisco ICND1 100-101 Foundation Learning Guide, also from Cisco Press, uses the same examples, figures, and sequence as those courses. This is an excellent source for alternate explanations and examples as compared to the CCNA Exam Certification Guides.

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