With a 968.
I thought it was mind numbingly easy personally, and I only have a few months networking experience. I am just glad to be moving on to more interesting topics (ICND2, hopefully CCNP soon, and other stuff of interest)
Honestly, just know the basics and big ideas and you'll be fine. I thought I would have to memorize all the show commands and what they did, but I didn't get many questions on those. You'll have to know how to navigate the running-config so practice that on Packet Tracer.
I just used Odom's book and Packet Tracer