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Cisco throws in a lot of "Research" questions. I found myself thinking I likely failed ICND2 but came out with a 930. ICND1 I felt fairly confident and passed with an 834 with a 832 passing grade. The lesson is to keep your head up and realize many of the questions wont even count towards your score. Just keep trucking and stay positive.

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I had a similar experience. I failed the INCD2 the first time and passed the second time. I thought for sure I failed it the second time. Nope, I passed with a decent margin.

2 points · 1 month ago

Of the video courses you took; do you feel the uCertify was worth it?

I'm feeling exactly what you're suspecting about the CCNA and CCNA - Security. I just keep looking at the material and going "this comparatively doesn't seem to be that much", but then people mention stuff not being in the OCG (which I've read) or not getting accurate info of all that's on it. I'm not saying it's easy but just pratically CCNA OCG combined is like 1600+ pages; CCNA Security is 550-600?

I just want to make sure I have my bases covered; I failed the ICND2 and re-took it and passed a month later.

I'm about halfway through Chris Bryant's Udemy class and I've purchased the Boson Exam stuff. I'm wondering if the four resources I have are sufficient.

I purchased the 31 days before your CCNA Security Exam Book.

The reason I ask about the Ucertify is I've heard lots of positive reviews for CBT Nuggets, but I'd rather not have the recurring cost as life is a bit busy these days.

Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Original Poster2 points · 1 month ago

During my 67-question exam, I think there were only two questions on it that I didn't remember covering and just had to guess by process of elimination.

I don't think uCertify and CBTNuggets are necessary. I only added uCertify in to my IINS studies because I wanted as many resources as I could find due to how intimidated I was by the test. Chris Bryant really does a great job, he was my favorite resource. I think you'd be fine with the resources you have, just really make sure you have nearly everything memorized.

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2 points · 1 month ago

Awesome. Thank you so much!

Great job on knocking this out!

Last question (or two) what did you do for labbing? Did you use the labs in a Boson bundle or something else?

Thank you so much for answering these questions; it's really helping me out.

2 points · 2 months ago

Agreed. There is more depth and more minor detail. I think back and think the CCENT being more switch focused and CCNA pulling in Routers. I felt the CCENT was easier. Well, I passed the CCENT the first time and failed the CCNA r/S the first time (I think 779/811 first attempt and 850/811 second time). So there's that too.

I also wasn't as focused as I would've liked leading up to the CCNA. I remember being stunned I had three questions on BGP in the CCNA; I had spent the lion's share of my focus on routing protocols on EIGRP, OSPF, etc. Don't underestimate the CCNA, and I might look at Odom's material for the 200-105 as well. I read both.

Never been injured in competition, look at it as a very intense sparring session. Your much more likely to get injured in training. As long as you tap in time you should be fine

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2 points · 3 months ago

I’m not sure about this advice. A guy broke his femur in competition at my gym and another dislocated their elbow and had to nurse an elbow for months.

Now I’ve also seen students get their shoulder dislocated in training and one broken arm.

Full disclosure: I’m a white belt with about 12 months in.

I think there are definite merits to competition; I’ve shot IDPA/2-gun matches, played football, and taken professional certifications. Pressure were all part of those and it’s much different. I do think there is value in adding pressure.

That being said; I’m 30 and I’ve lost 45 lbs doing Jiu Jitsu. I want to stay being able to do this three times a week and in rolling I’ve had back strain issues and other minor injuries. I want to do this long term, and I’m not willing to right now to go throw it out all on the line for Jiu Jitsu.

Would it make me better and expose limitations? Absolutely. How much better? Eh, debatable.

I quit shooting competitively because I got tired of driving an hour to an hour and a half shooting for 60-90 seconds total match time, and spending about 6-8 hours standing around or pasting targets.

It seems Jiu Jitsu comps from what I’ve heard are similar experiences. All day, a few matches (maybe one if it’s an elimination) and a couple hours drive.

Right now, the 2 hours open mat time with a purple belt or brown belt with a critical eye on a Saturday would probably serve me better.

Your mileage may vary.

Hey no one says you have to compete... I think you may be over thinking this. It’s a bjj match not an MMA fight. I’ve competed dozens of times and have only ever been injured during training most likely from me being to relaxed and not reacting to danger as I would in a competitive mode. I’ve also see more injuries in training. As long as your not trying to be a hero and gut out a submission the risk is probably the same as sparring or open mat. For reference I’ve competed dozens of times and have been training almost 10 years. But if it’s not for you it’s all good, no one says you have to do it. I just don’t think worrying about getting injured is valid, not when you’re literally doing the same thing multiple times a week.

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Fair enough. I’m just leery for the reasons above.

Awesome job!

Did you find CBT Nuggets worthwhile and what did you do for lab prep, etc.?

Thank you so much,


2 points · 3 months ago

What did you and are others using for a Lab environment?

I’m finishing up the OCG this week and planning the next steps.



So, I passed the ICND2 and then just kind of flatlined. I took some time bought the CCNA Collaboration material, work changed my direction to CCNA Security, and I'm working through the CCNA Security now.

What I did want to say is I flatlined because I failed on December 11th with a 778/811. That was a punch to the gut in a very hard time of life. I'd just gotten back from a mission's trip to Haiti in late November and unfortunately my wife and I discovered we miscarried twins the week before.

I pulled it together, studied in the morning before work for an hour, listened to the Chris Bryant's udemy course on the drive to work, built a question base in quizlet (used that at work in my free time), hammered the Boson exam sim (at work and at home), and went to the gym where I watched more CCNA videos while working out with the wife and just lived to pass the ICND2. I sat for it a month later and passed on January 12th.

I think hearing about people's failures is as important as hearing about people's successes in a reddit like this. This was one of the hardest tests I've ever taken. Also, could've been a lot of other things going on.

But anyway, I say this to say stick it out and it is worth it!

I'm sitting here tonight not feeling the drive after finishing Ch. 15 and came here for encouragement to be honest. I just wanted to say thank you guys for this reddit and wish you all the best as we continue down this road together.



Hey All,

I'm looking past the CCNA R&S (taking a peak really; it's my primary focus these days). I'm contemplating the next Network-Centric certification to go after. Also, the great deals on training for Black Friday kind of add incentive to this conversation.

I feel like Voice, Wireless, and Security would be meaningful.

Kevin Wallace has a 50% off training coupon for all of his products which includes CCNA Collaboration. Boson offers 30% off.

I'm thinking very seriously about the Collaboration route because I feel like it would round out my skills the best. Security, while of course necessary is only a single exam and same with Wifund.

I'll be headed into the realm of parenthood in the next 6-7 months; so I'm thinking hammer out the two-fer exam.

However, there's hardly any information on it that I can find on it and it seems like making a lab is a serious financial undertaking. There was a post a few pages back about it.

What does the CCNA Reddit think? I think a CCNP would be great but I don't think I can do that before parenthood (I'm knocking on the door of CCNA R&S currently; I've finished Odom and Lammle's books on the 200-105. I'm reviewing/polishing with Boson in fact I just finished a practice exam before this and I'll be labbing the problem areas tomorrow).

I like the CCNA DataCenter, but I believe I need more breadth and that will add Depth if that makes sense. Please feel free to knock some sense into me or correct me.


EDIT: I guess another good question is; is the CCNA Collaboration still well-respected? Also, isn't it due for an update very soon?

I haven't found very confidence inspiring reviews of the books either on Amazon.

Most Network Admins in my area seem to be comfortable with Routing, Switching, and Voice. I think Security, etc. would make sense immediately after that.


I sat for the ICND1 this morning.

Passed it with an 871/1000.

Products used: Keith Bogart INE Training Videos Wendell Odom's Books Todd Lammle's Books Boson and Transcender Practice Exam Quizlet (for review) Chris Bryant Udemy Videos I forgot, I also used Andrew Crouthammel's videos before switching to Chris Bryant to listen on the drive to work.

I'm taking two weeks off and onto the ICND2!

Ironically, my wife does want to adopt a kitten today.


I also forgot to mention I got an 871/1000.


How long did you study for?

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Original Poster3 points · 1 year ago · edited 1 year ago

To answer your question. I kind of tried to take it easy after graduating with my Bachelor's in August; my wife wanted me to take a break from being a student. But, I also really wanted the CCNA. I read the Odom's book between Early October and November. Bought a house in Mid-December which torpedo'd progress for about 2 months. I watched Keith's video series from about Late February to March, read Lammle's ICND1 book. Listened to Andrew Crouthammel's youtube videos while driving to work every morning. Then spent the last several weeks practicing testing and doing quizlet flashcards (it's a free app) for various show commands, IPv6 addressing (Unicast, Site-Local, etc.), IPv4 addressing, subnet ranges, ports and applications associated, etc.

If I had a recommendation it would be this. Structure your studying together. Starting and stopping over the course of months trying to balance personal life (enjoy graduated life, moving, and trying to have a good marriage) and the drive to get to this was tough. I think that led to me buying redundant materials (work bought the INE materials, Boson, and lab materials).

Select a primary source such as Odom or Lammle's book. Set a goal every week and go for it; have a targeted date in mind and use something like Bryant's videos (I honestly, really liked these), labs, and practice tests.

Odom's book is about 900-ish pages of material/testing/quizzing for the ICND1; if you tackled say 100-150 pages a week; you'd finish it about a month and a half.

I picked up a book called the 5 AM Miracle (which I'd highly recommend to help implement structure in your life and also do things early in the morning versus being unavailable to your spouse in the evenings); I'd recommend that highly as well.

It's a process and the way to success is not stopping; you have to work and re-work plans many times. I never thought I'd get IPv6 addressing until I started doing quizlet.

I would ideally read the book, listen to a good audio series while exercising or driving (Bryant's udemy or Crouthammel's CCNA videos), lab that same material, and then I'd get quizlets of that material (if appropriate). I think if you got after it 5 days a week (every week day morning and weekends if you can I didn't study most weekends) for about 2-3 hours for two or three months.

Then buy a practice test and if you're scoring in the 900 range on Boson; I think you're ready.

I finally signed up for it Monday morning last week for Friday because I needed to know. I felt pretty prepared but I always had a lingering doubt; I just scheduled it because I had to do it. I put in for PTO and thank god I passed.

Sorry for this tangent, but basically to give you a straight answer 3-ish months all of it banded together.

EDIT: If I had two pieces of advice it would be A.) Form a structure of your study (make a plan) and B.) Find a way to create the time to reach the goal. What worked well for me was getting up before my spouse so we could be free in the evenings. I would not recommend after work (although I've done it at different points) because it takes time away from your family, your evenings are going to be more unpredictable, and you never know what's going to be left in the tank (mentally and physically) after an 8-10 hour work day. I would also recommend finding a good support group like this one for inspiration for this goal or on the Cisco Learning Network.

Passed ccent. Thanks for your insight

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Original Poster1 point · 10 months ago

You're welcome and I'm thrilled to hear it!

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A0bt24 commented on
r/ccnaPosted by
3 points · 1 year ago

I would recommend Odom's book and he has labs that correspond on his blog site. You could do those with Packet Tracer (free from Cisco).

I think Odom's material is probably the best for reference and depth. I'm going through the 200-105 book now and his explanations can be in-depth. But, I'd rather have a strong knowledge base. I'd recommend Chris Bryant's Udemy class ($10) to listen/observe.

Wish you the best!

A0bt24 commented on
r/ccnaPosted by

Good to see someone pass without throwing the kitchen sink at it (e.g. 3 books, 2 video series, 2 million practice tests, etc)

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2 points · 1 year ago

I resemble this comment. Candidly, looking at the ICND2; I'm thinking I'm only reading the Odom book, watching Chris Bryant's videos, referencing Lammle's book only if I don't get something from Odom, and using the testing software I already have. I definitely had built the ICND1 into a huge monster and while not easy by any means. I found I restarted the training curriculum essentially 3 times by reading or watching different versions of the same material.

I think Odom, Boson, packet tracer, and a video course would get you through.

1 point · 1 year ago

I would highly recommend Chris Bryant's Udemy Class (very inexpensive and very effective). I would also recommend taking advantage of Cisco's Packet Tracer (you can now get that for free through the Cisco Net Acad) for labbing. Andrew Crouthammel put out a free video course for the old CCNA format that has a lot of very relevant information if you're wanting just to find out if networking is for you (

Now, as far as 4 hours a day... Painful question. If you're unemployed, why not spend 6 or more?

I know a guy years ago that got the composite CCNA in a month (now he had gone through the Cisco Networking Academy as part of our Associates' Degree); that was a much easier version circa 2009-2010-ish.

I would say ideally first get a job by getting in touch with a recruiter; I'd build relationships with several recruiters (I'm not sure of your back ground and how desperate you are to get back to work; most of us would be extremely focused on that but to each his own) and spend multiple hours a day getting your resume in order and job searching.

Recruiters will help your resume get into places that may otherwise not give it a look.

I'd also focus on tailoring your resume to the certification you currently have. I'd say first shoot for a helpdesk job with your A+, get some experience (they'd want that at a NOC, Admin job, or whatever other role), and hammer out your CCNA while there and in a year you could be ready to move on.

You may be able to transfer or look for a network job with a job from within new company.

Communicate your long term interests to a recruiter; that may help with placing you at a company.

That's my advice.

God Bless and wish you the best in your search.



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