This post is intended to be a one stop aggregate of content related to the CCNA R&S, new users are encouraged to look through this post before asking these common post topics. Because I'm lazy I'll be copy and pasting relevant sections from other posts as needed :)
No, at best you'll get basic information but you'll be missing topics, reading about topics you don't need to, and could generally not learn a topic well enough. It isn't worth trying to save money since failing the exam is much more expensive than some new books.
Saying that some video courses are still worth while, CBT nuggets for example has plenty of CCNA related series such as their CCNA packet capture course that is still good info though out of date.
You can occasionally save some $$$ by buying a discount voucher, a discount voucher is a voucher that is expiring sooner than a ordinary voucher, the less time left the more it is discounted. For example a CCNA voucher with 3 days left might get 50% off.
I have used these sites before and they work well.
CCNA 2.0 is being retired on the following dates:
100-101 ICND1 Last day to test August 20, 2016
200-101 ICND2 Last day to test September 24, 2016
200-120 CCNA Last day to test August 20, 2016
A common misconception is that ICND1 is a prerequisite for the CCNA, it is not. Rather the ICND1 earns the CCENT certification and the CCENT is the prerequisite for the CCNA. This distinction means that you can write the 3.0 ICND2 exam even if you have passed the ICND1 2.0 exam.
100-105 - ICND1 3.0
Here is a summary of the changes in the new version:
RIP is now the sole routing protocol in this exam.
IPv6 Dual Stack was removed in favour of transition techologies
CEF has been removed from the exam.
High level knowledge of Firewalls, Access Points, and Wireless Controllers
Awareness of Collapsed Core architecture
Configure and verify IPv6 SLAAC
IPv6 Anycast addresses
Knowledge of LLDP
Troubleshooting DNS and DHCP related connectivity issues
200-105 - ICND2 3.0
200-125 - CCNAX 3.0
All in all some pretty fair additions and only a couple questionable removals.
The short answer is....no, probably not.
Generally speaking the composite is only for the experienced network professionals who are used to certification exams. It is really meant for convenient switching to the R&S track from say Juniper. Why not take it? It's just considered to be a much more difficult exam because:
It doubles the number of topics you can be tested on, this makes it so you must have mastered everything in the CCNA since it is fair game. This also makes repeat attempts harder since the question pool is large enough that if you do badly on say IP Services, you might instead get a security focus the next time. You have a smaller margin of error: with ICND1 and 2 you can get say...10 questions wrong to pass with the minimum score so you can get 20 questions wrong and still be a CCNA. With the composite you can only get 10 wrong before failing
There is less padding questions, icnd1 may also you 10 subnetting questions but the composite may just ask a couple and move on the next topic. This makes things harder since your more likely to hit a hard question rather than get a few easier ones.
Cisco assumes your a network professional so they may hit harder than with the other exams. Based on my own observations from watching this sub and talking to people, I would say a junior has about a 90% fail rate for the composite and it typically takes them about 3 tries to pass it. Incidentally they also tend to be bitter with Cisco after paying for so many failed exams. Long story short, it isn't worth it, I should also point out that you get the same CCNA no matter what path you take. The only difference is that with the two exam method you get the CCENT as well, which means you can get up to two kitty gifs!
Books by Odom and Lammle remain our recommendations for this CCNA version, you should read both to get both perspectives on topics. Generally Odom is considered to be more dry and technical and Lammle is more readable and approachable.
There are two main options for a home lab - physical and virtual. You can also mix and match as needed.
Because of the new version it is recommended to try to use IOS 15 in all your physical gear so you can utilize the modern features that IOS brings to the table. The router models don't matter all that much since features at the CCNA and CCNP level are mostly the same, you also don't need to worry about serial modules nearly as much because serial is a very small topic now.
Model numbers matter with switches though, you should aim to get 3 or 4 Cisco 3560 switches so your lab will last you well past your CCNA R&S studies, though you can pick up a some L2 Cisco 2960 switches if need be.
For virtual you have 3 main options
PT 7.0 is out now and can be gotten for free from Cisco.
Here is a blog post I wrote about setting it up end to end:
Here is the post I did about VIRL:
Remember there is no back button so always read the question until you fully understand what it is asking you and you know what technology it is testing you on before answering.
If you can't think of an answer within a minute consider picking the best answer and moving on. You are unlikely to correctly figure out the question after thinking about it for another minute and will likely talk yourself into a wrong answer. You don't have a ton of time in the exam!
For people with a bit more IT experience, remember the context and level of the exam. There are many solutions to problems in the real world and at the end of the day the CCNA doesn't get too deep into topics. Keep the exam topics in mind when answering a question...for example if Cisco asks what device would run BGP? Then the answer would be a router even though most devices can support BGP these days from hosts to servers to firewalls etc. The reason why is the CCNA v3.0 only teaches about basic eBGP on a router so Cisco isn't going to expect you to know that Windows Server can do BGP.
People also have a lot of issues getting used to the concept of the best answer. Like the BGP scenario above you have to keep the context of the question in mind, a router can indeed use a switch module to act like a switch and a L3 switch can act like a router etc but if they ask what device is best for switching then it will be a switch.
The "Cisco Answer" is something that keeps popping up over and over, and in my opinion is drastically overblown and misunderstood in most cases. Basically it is the claim that Cisco wants you to answer the question their way as opposed to the industry correct answer. Generally this seems to be feed from the pitfalls I mentioned above:
An example of an old Cisco answer was back when other vendors first started supporting CDP and if you were asked if CDP only ran on Cisco you had to decide if Cisco was expecting you to know that polycom phones could do CDP. But generally those types of questions are gone in the R&S track at least (I'm told the wireless track needs more time in the oven)
The other place it comes from is when you are multi vendor and/or have a higher knowledge/experience level then the exam your writing. A simple example might be if they asked you how many link state routing protocols are supported by Cisco, a CCNA will probably say 1, whereas a more advanced candidate may answer 2. But considering CCNA doesn't mention IS-IS then 1 would be the CCNA correct answer. The trick is you have to keep your exam level in mind as your writing it.
Finally there is the obvious actual Cisco answer where if they asked you what OSPF's Administrative Distances is? Now on Cisco it is 110/110/110, on Juniper it is 10/150, and on HPE it is 10/150/150. So in this case they are looking for the Cisco right answer but that only really can affect you if you are multi-vendor.
Sim's generally have support for the
? but it can be limited if Cisco decides to remove them to make sure you know how to do a task or if they simply just don't fully implement them since the sim is just a flash animation they have to program. It is also worth noting that even if Cisco does give you full functionality, you would still need to know the full commands since Cisco can just straight up ask you syntax questions.
The Boson practice tests are highly regarded and tend to be of similar difficulty or more difficult than the actual exam.
I'll try to keep this updated as they pop up but here is the current posts that are cover the new topics
With the exam cutoff looming there have been a ton of questions lately about if people should take the composite exam. The short answer is....no, probably not.
Generally speaking the composite is only for the experienced network professionals who are used to certification exams. It is really meant for convenient switching to the R&S track from say Juniper.
Why not take it? It's just considered to be a much more difficult exam because:
It doubles the number of topics you can be tested on, this makes it so you must have mastered everything in the CCNA since it is fair game. This also makes repeat attempts harder since the question pool is large enough that if you do badly on say IP Services, you might instead get a security focus the next time.
You have a smaller margin of error: with ICND1 and 2 you can get say...10 questions wrong to pass with the minimum score so you can get 20 questions wrong and still be a CCNA. With the composite you can only get 10 wrong before failing
There is less padding questions, icnd1 may also you 10 subnetting questions but the composite may just ask a couple and move on the next topic. This makes things harder since your more likely to hit a hard question rather than get a few easier ones.
Cisco assumes your a network professional so they may hit harder than with the other exams.
Based on my own observations from watching this sub and talking to people, I would say a junior has about a 90% fail rate for the composite and it typically takes them about 3 tries to pass it. Incidentally they also tend to be bitter with Cisco after paying for so many failed exams. Long story short, it isn't worth it, I should also point out that you get the same CCNA no matter what path you take. The only difference is that with the two exam method you get the CCENT as well, which means you can get up to two kitty gifs!
I passed the exam yesterday and I thought people might appreciate some insight on my preparations and the exam itself. I have only used the network academy for studying and an occasional forum post here and there, when things got blurry. Don't know why, but I see a lot of people talking badly about netacad. Ok, I agree that it sometimes gives the reader the impression of reading a commercial for cisco services/products and occasionally diving too deep on subjects that are either not important/in use anymore or don't matter for the exam itself. But other than that, I thought it was very well written. Now, onto the exam: I was surprised by the questions I got. I honestly think that half of my questions were from the ICDN 1 course, and they went into great detail in them. The other half were a lot more 'normal', so to speak. If anyone has any questions regarding the exam or the preparation I had, I'll be glad to answer them!
PS: 30 minutes before the exam, I found this subreddit and the first few posts were all about how the composite is hard and that a great deal of people fail the first time. Excellent motivation before an exam.
Super stoked right now! Like a lot of you, I really thought I was failing it. There were a handful of questions that seemed out of no where. They must give partial credit because I doubt my guesses were 100% correct.
Sources: CBTNuggets, Odom's official cert guide, Packet Tracer, Boson practice exams.
This marks a career change for me, time to brush up that resume. Any advice for someone trying to break into IT with no prior work experience in the field?
I've got a summer between classes of doing nothing so I was thinking about putting my Cisco knowledge to use and taking ICND1.
I have plenty of networking knowledge and skills, so my overall knowledge of networking in general is good enough to pass.
However, I know nothing about the exam itself. I was wondering if people who've recently taken it can help me out. I would just like to know a few details and perhaps some tips/hints
I know it's been asked so many times before but it'll be nice for me to compile all your recent experiences and answers to help myself out
Ive lagged, but finally got my CCENT.
I used netacad classes 1&2.
Odom’s ICND1 book.
Scheduled the test and took about 3 weeks of studying. After the netacad classes and Odom’s book I felt confident.
I really feel you gotta just schedule the test or you’ll never take it.
Study the key topics, really pay attention to details, and don’t be afraid of failure!
Wish you the best,
On to ICND2!
I tried connecting two switches with two physical cables, then turned them into a port channel active, trunk. Afterwards I set up vtp server and client but there was no updates at all. I finally connected a single cable between both switches and set as trunk, which worked. My theory is that vtp doesn't go through ether channels....... I think
Has anyone used this as a study/practice source?
It appears to be legit and the setup looks pretty easy to comprehend for a beginner, but I wanted to see if anyone has had some experience with it here?
After many months of maintained studying, today was the day it all came to a head!
I managed to pass my ICND1 even though I was convinced that I failed it upon clicking the submit button.
My studying mainly rotated between the Netacad online material, Cisco Packet Tracer and practice questions.
I'd be quite happy to answer any questions you may have :)
I'm hoping someone can give me a hand with this:
So I have a network of 2 2600 routers, both running RIPv2 between them which I have verified using ping to be working.
They're connected like so: [Internet]--(Plusnet)--(R1)--(R2)
I've connected the central router (R1) to the ISP provider device (a Plusnet hub) and given the interface on R1 an IP from the Plusnet's IP range. I can ping the internet from R1 using this interface.
I then set up a static route of last resort on R1 so it should be sending everything out of that interface to the Plusnet box.
But now my issue: When I do a traceroute from R2 to the internet, my packets get stuck at R1 and I get no further. I think this is because the provider device doesn't have the correct capability for what I'm trying to achieve, but I'm not sure and was hoping someone could help me find where my issue lies. To make sure it wasn't RIP, I made a static route on R2 to R1.
The Plusnet is a cheap version of the BT Hub 5 if that's helpful, but I'm not sure if what I want to do is going to be possible.
I've always found it useful to study by creating practical cases for me to understand. I have created a scenario that has recently peeked my interest.
Network Logic Brainstorming
I want to manage several customers.
I plan to create and IPv6 network to integrate their different IPv4/IPv6 subnetting.
The idea is, I would be able to centrally manage multiple customers' systems and networks. ie patch management, SIEM integration, etc.
Some issues I'm having includes a customer that has two geographic locations using the same IPv4 subnet. Is there a way for me to logically network these as two different geographic locations for the same one customer?
I have some years of experience in network and systems but formal network knowledge is limited to my CCNA. So, any ideas or resources that could point me to best practice for this would be incredibly useful!
So i got a couple of resources i can choose from:
I was thinking of using network Academy for its Labs, but read Odom's book for the content
I passed my CCNA Cyber Ops a few months ago and thought I'd share my thoughts. I've seen a few other reviews on the sub before, but what are everyone's thoughts now that the scholarship program is over?
According to the book, when configuring PPP multilink, the multilink interface number has to match on both routers or the configuration won't work. But I've done some labbing on GNS3 and it actually works with different numbers (example below) so what's going on? I couldn't find any definite answer online.
! R1 config interface multilink 11 encapsulation ppp ppp multilink ppp multilink group 11 ip address 10.1.1.1 255.255.255.0 ! ! R2 config interface multilink 22 encapsulation ppp ppp multilink ppp multilink group 22 ip address 10.1.1.2 255.255.255.0 !
Book screenshot where it says it has to match.
Long time lurker on this sub and today I finally realized that I need to turn to you all for your advice.
I graduated from community college with a degree in IT and Cybersecirty and I was required to take networking 1 and 2 and network security which were the Cisco netacad courses of Routing and switching intro to networks and routing and switiching essentials and implementing network security. I passed all 3 courses with a grade of 100, but now took them all over a year ago. I helped instruct routing and switching essentials as well, which helped cement the stuff even more in my head.
I had a job as a network operations tech where I did a lot of data center work, as well as working with Cisco Nexus OS and regular IOS. I currently don't have a job that's as networking heavy, so I don't use these topics every day anymore. I really want to go back to a networking position so badly but I don't have a CCNA so it's difficult. I want to ask you guys what is the best solution for me? I understand networking very well, I've learned almost all of the topics on the CCNA with the exception of BGP, some of the propriatary Cisco things, and maybe some others.
I don't want to invest a ton of money in even more training, especially because I'm not sure the my current company will help me much. Should I just take the ICND 1 test and see how it goes? Should I buy Odoms book and that should get me up to speed? Should I take the whole CCNA exam?
Sorry for the long post, just looking to see what you all suggest. Thanks for your help!
Hello good people!
Yesterday I finally passed my ICND1 ! To anyone who's struggling how to study for the exam this is what I did in respective order:
Side note: the paper I got from the Pearson Vue testing center states that "This report is preliminary and does not constitute an official score report." Cisco seeks to assure the validity of exam scores by analyzing exam responses for consistency."
Is that the standard procedure? I was not aware of that at all. Friends that already have Cisco certs are telling me that I shouldn't worry since my score is above the passing by 87 points and that there's no way Cisco can negate it. Should I be worried?
Hi im new here and this is my first post maybe im not good at it but i really appreciate everybody who help on this section.
I've also started to study for the CCNA and got many infos from your opinions and it was really great achieve and also saw to many posts there to be questions about best BOOKS, ONLINE COURSES and HANDS-ON LABS for learning into the CCNA or ICND1-2 and i thought it would be very helpful if everyone who is in progress of being a CCNA or who also is certified to share your opinions and experiences about the LISTINGS "best on top" .
1.xxx ( the reason )
2.xxx ( the reason )
3.xxx ( the reason )
Thank you and hope it would be HELPFUL thread.
Don't remember the exact score but I think 78 or 79
I think just a week or two of studying up on the stuff that seemed tougher and I'm good!
Some of the questions I got wrong aren't things that confuse me, perhaps just the way it was worded or my fault for not re-reading the questions and answers. Some lammle just failed to mention, like AAA setup and his section on NTP is tiny. I also had a show on in the background so that didn't help.
Going to read up on some topics that I don't feel as strong as in and then retest myself.
I'm pumped!!! Going to schedule for the 7th I think.
I hate doing one of these posts. I am a college student trying to get my CCNA. I've been thru some struggle that I don't feel too comfortable explaining since it's currently still affecting me. I was wondering if anyone had a coupon code for Boson. I can't really afford it with everything i'm dealing with. If anyone can suggest any free study help I would love you so much for it.
Thank you so much for any help that anyone can provide.
Love from your local CCNA Reddit Stalker lol.
What is the purpose behind having certain commands only available in certain modes? For example why are the show commands normally only available in privileged exec mode but not in config mode? I know you can put "do" show X and then it will work in config mode but what is the reasoning behind not normally allowing it?
On the other hand, I also know that with ASAs you can issue show commands when in config mode or interface mode, so what is the reason for this inconsistency?
The company I work for merged with another, and I am being phased out of my current job. I'm in a spot where there are no parallel jobs to go after in my city at the moment, so I've decided to migrate carreers into network engineering. Seems like it would be a natural step for me, since I have an extensive telecommunications background. So, I watched some YouTube videos to get familiar with the scope, then read Lammle's CCNA complete study guide. Did all the labs, as well as some of the labs posted in this sub. Took countless practice tests. Started this journey 8 weeks ago, and today I passed ICND1 with a 919. Hope I can find a job with a ccent, even though I'll be pushing through icnd2, and going for ccnp before I'm satisfied.
I'm having a really hard time describing how I feel right now. I can't believe it, I am so happy and confused.
Boson definitely prepared me for this test.
I feel like I still need to study for the ICND1... Then I remember I need to study for the ICND2. The idea of that is so foreign to me.
You have a 15 minute tutorial at the beginning of the test that does not count against the rest of your time. Only about 5 minutes of that 15 minutes is truly needed.
I took this time to write down the entire Administrative Distance table for every routing protocol that I had memorized. iBGP straight down to eBGP. Then in advance I wrote down the entire /24 to /30 CIDR translation (.248 /29) and how many subnets are in that mask from 0 to 255.
Then after completing the tutorial the test started.
At the beginning of the test I felt really good. In the middle of the test I told myself I had failed, and I needed to accept that. At the end of the test I felt like I did "Ok" but that I was still going to fail.
I was fully prepared to take the test as a learning experience, and accepted in advance that I had failed. I refused to let the idea of passing enter my mind. I still needed to study for the ICND1, I wasn't good enough. Then when the piece of paper said "Pass" I didn't know what to do with myself.
I never touched a book to study for this Exam.
Here is what I used to study. I watched the entire CBT Nuggets course for ICND1
I made labs in Packet Tracer testing out everything I read that I did not understand.
Boson practice tests to discover category's that I was week in. Pluralsight videos to brush up on DTP and Access Lists. Udemy's Chris Bryant course to learn everything about IPv6. (I had lost my access to Pluralsight and CBT Nuggets videos)
I used this Reddit for motivation and asking questions
I was scoring 75% and 80% on Boson Practice Tests. I knew that I still had a few things to learn but I could not wait any longer. I was starting to get complacent.
My Biggest tip for other ICND1 Test takers is just schedule the test when you think you are almost there. If you think you are close schedule the test and use that date as motivation to keep studying. Because then you have money on the line. I recommend when you have a decent fundamental understanding take Boson Practice Tests and prepare to be humbled. The Dunning-kruger effect is real and it's important to be prepared to realize you are still bad. Boson will humble you and it's important to take that in stride and not give up!
CBT Nuggets was amazing if you can afford there monthly subscription long enough to take there ICND1 course I recommend that. I also would recommend Chris Bryants course. It is WAY cheaper then anything out there and does a good job of leveling up your knowledge. The best part about my Boson and Chris Bryant purchases is they are permanent. I will forever have them no subscription needed.
I also recommend convincing yourself that you will fail the test. Stay calm and just view it as a learning experience instead of a test.
That way pass or fail you will be prepared for it, and it won't shatter your mentality.
I feel so great right now. I still can't believe it!
ICND2 here we go.
I've been studying so much for ICND2 that it's been putting extra strain on relationship with my partner.
I didn't know the time commitment going in, or perhaps we could have discussed the advantages / disadvantages of study for this exam. Perhaps worked things out ahead of time.
The difficulty of the exam, the amount of time, the amount of focus and concentration it takes is causing a problem... Or more exactly its how I respond to socializing and chatting when I am trying to study. Its just really hard to do both. I can try to make some more time for the relationship now before I take the exam, if its not already too late. It's a tough juggling act.
Will probably take ICND2 exam in July as my practice exams indicate I am getting close to being ready. Hopefully relationship will not be totally ruined by then.
Just trying my best in my career and my relationship too, and I hope that is enough.