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Is 17 weeks too much?

Hey everyone! So, I’ve been studying on and off for the CCENT for a couple of years now. I think I’m at a point where after taking and failing the exam twice, I’m ready to schedule it a third time and shoot for the moon. I feel like I’ve spent almost enough time on an entry level cert and it’s frustrating to a point.

I’m thinking of giving myself ~17 weeks to really focus on my weak areas and do a lot of review. In general, is this too much time? Am I dragging it out too far? I’ve set it at 17 weeks so as to take the exam the first or second week of August. This would allow for work projects to be completed during work hours and give me week nights and week ends to study and review, with a little bit of breathing room as well given I’m taking a couple of trips over the summer.

I also want to finish this so I can move on to learning other higher level networking concepts and dig into an AWS cert.

I’m kind of anxious and hesitant to try again out of fear of failing a third time and taking an even bigger hit to my confidence…on an entry level cert.

93% Upvoted
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level 1
CCIE5 points · 3 months ago

Dude you are dragging it out, there is not enough material on the CCNA, let alone the ccent to warrant "a couple of years". I studied and passed the ccie in about 4 years.

level 2
Original Poster2 points · 3 months ago

I agree. But, I let 2 job changes and other life events get in the way.

level 3
CCIE4 points · 3 months ago

I understand that life and work makes these things difficult, I do, but that kind of attitude will only ever prevent you from succeeding in this path. You have to find the time, drop your leisurely activities, and do what it takes. The CCNA and NP were fairly easy, but the ccie consumed my life. It pushes you to the brink. And if you want to chase this path, you have to burn the time for it.

level 4
Original Poster-2 points · 3 months ago


I’ve also worried about falling behind on other tech while I focus on CCNA. I really want to get better at programming and it’s hard to dedicate time to that while I’m focused on CCNA curriculum.

level 5
CCIE18 points · 3 months ago

Like I said, there just isn't enough material in the ccna to warrant you falling behind in your other studies. I passed the CCNA in about 3-4 weeks with just the books, and a friend who had just passed his ccie at the time. He taught me the keys to subnetting, how to calculate bits on hand. The basics of routing, the concept of plans, NAT, access control lists, and a couple other tertiary things and gave me a Cisco press book that I read probably 2-3 times every night. I studied off a catalyst xl switch and a early isr (1800 series). Im a college dropout. If I can do it, anyone can do it, and that's what I've been telling people for years. But you need to put the excuses behind you and make the time for it. It's just a test, and you can beat it.

level 6
Original Poster4 points · 3 months ago

Much appreciated. Really appreciate your input!

level 6

if you get bored in networking you can always became a motivation speaker. have a great life man, you seem to deserve it.

level 7
CCIE1 point · 3 months ago

haha i cant tell if its sarcasm, i didnt mean to come off as a showboat, i just see a lot of posts like this in this subreddit and i know anyone can pass this exam, you just have to give yourself the time and make it happen.

level 8

i'm sorry it felt that way, no sarcasm intended whatsoever. people deep into networking tend to forget how rough was along the way, and those little bits of wisdom and encouragement (again - no sarcasm) tend to boost morale for those coming the same way much more than one would expect.

thank you, honestly and sarcasm-free.

level 9
CCIE2 points · 3 months ago

You're right, which is why even at the Enterprise level I'm at now, I leave the ego at the door, and focus on the project. It is never a benefit to be condescending to others in this field, it will always bite you in the ass.

I was just working a project with a separate consultant that has the ear of their CTO, they're old buddies, but he is toxic, and every minute of the week he takes opportunities to trash us to him behind our backs. Well he was tasked with migrating their voice equipment off old gear to a new Cisco environment we provisioned, part of it was an mpls router handling voice circuits for all the branch sites. The router peered to their existing equipment via ospf. When he dropped them onto the Cisco gear, he brought their voice down for the entire operation down for about 8 hours. They had to roll back, called me in to take a look. In about 5 minutes of examining the configuration, he had the subnet mask on the svi on the Cisco side wrong. Any kind of debug enabled on ospf would be screaming the cause here. I performed the cut a week later along with several others with no issues. He has rescinded his behavior and is now cooperative.

level 5

There’s no reason you can’t spend a little time here and there programming, say, a subnet calculator in $desired_language to help learn syntax and idioms while also reinforcing networking fundamentals.

level 6
Original Poster1 point · 3 months ago

Good call. Think I'll carve out some work time to try that....while also learning more AWS, deeper dives into Linux and user support. haha

level 6

This is actually a great idea because I've run into so many people claim to know subnetting but don't really. They know the shortcuts but don't understand the binary logic behind it. Writing a calculator would require learning the binary logic and then once he gets to ACL wildcard masks it should just be a simple transition.

level 1

How much time can you dedicate per day?

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 3 months ago

1-2 hours on week days, 3 or 4 on weekends.

level 3

Yeah 12 weeks is probably good, schedule the exam now just to create a sense of urgency. Print out the ICND1 blueprint and focus on those topics until you know them in and out. Take practice tests and then hit your weakest areas hardest. Do not shy away from the stuff you don't understand or enjoy.

level 1

Get the study guide provided by Cisco with all the test concepts.. and make sure you know something about each topic... it should be that easy really, YOU GOT THIS!

level 1
1 point · 3 months ago

How much did you fail by before?

How long it takes depends on how well you know the stuff. 17 weeks could be perfect or too much, too little, depends.

What resources have you used?

Check out the usual books and videos recommended in this sub. Get some practice exams. Do some labs (A lot of labs).

Wendell Odom - Official Cert Guide for ICND1

Todd Lammle - ICND1 Study Guide

CBT Nugget video series

Chris Bryant on Udemy

INE video series

Boson Practice Exams (Clutch)

Boson Network Simulator


Maybe even just start with a practice exam and then go from there.

Good luck!

Edit: Obviously I’m not saying you should get all of the sources I listed above. Just check them out and see what you like.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 3 months ago

First time was 12 points, second was 18 or 19.

Using OCG, Lammle, Boson, packet tracer, INE, and now David Bombals labs. Also watched the CBT nuggets course.

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