Passed with flying colors !!!!!
Big key for me was not to do any study a week before the exam as I fried my brains :s
It hasnt sank in yet but Im sure it will at some point, one thing I did do was to prepare myself mentaly by seeing it not as an exam or anything overpowering as this is probably the number 1 mistake to make. I would say I went as far as to hold the exam in contempt for daring to challange me. I finished with 30 Minutes to go !!!
When people say if I can do it then so can you I usually say yeah yeah but in this case I can honestly tell you that if you stay focused and join a good site like howtonetwork.net you will have all the tools you need to bitch slap the exam 🙂
Below is the diary I used to pass:
I originally posted this on the fantastic CCNA & CCNP study site at http://www.howtonetwork.net forum, the guys there thought it would be a good idea to do a blog. This is my first attempt at one so please excuse the rough edges
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 6:20 AM
I have decided to write a daily study diary for the following reasons in no particular order:
1. Get structure to my day
2.Hold myself accountable to you guys (I work better under pressure, or the risk of ridicule )
3.possibly help others in the same situation as me (kevin ;P)
4.Track where I need to improve
I will post my progress daily (My exam is booked for this Sunday 12th Sept) I have been changing the date on a weekly basis because I just don’t feel ready and I forget things I learnt the previous day especially if I move on to another subject but I don’t want to spend too much time on one subject and round and round I go in circles.
I Joined this site years ago (maybe 5 or more as a normal member then as a platinum member) so I think I am even worse then Kevin !!!!
So I have decided to take the exam no matter what and if I fail then I should get a better idea of where I am, this is a big decision for me as money is a real issue but I’m sick of the exam hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles !!
List of tools I used:
Egg timer (to keep to the 50m:10m:50m study stucture)
Simple egg timer
http://www.rescuetime.com/ (lol got to love the “none of your business” button)
Tracks how much time your spending on any one application (like facebook or twiiter) or even if your away from your desk !!
Day 1 07/09/2010 Start 12:00 break at 14:00-15:30
Well just finished the first day of my lead up to the exam on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised about the things I could never pick up before about OSPF trouble shooting and area types. Below is a summary of what I did
1.read up on OSPF theory and made notes (30 minutes)
2.read OSPF white papers from howtonetwork( 15 minutes)
3. Did ospf lab with 4 routers and multiple areas (1 hr 30 minutes)
4. Subnetting practice (20 Minutes)
5.Did another OSPF lab over frame realy including
-Troubleshooting & debugin adjacencys
6. OSPF EXAM got 100 % (19 questions)
7.watch OSPF Videos
went over the top with the first OSPFlab by doing:
– both clear text authentication and MD5
-ROuter ID / OSPF priority changes
– Changes LSA types NSSA etc
-Router summerisation with “summary address” you use on an ASBR.
-“area range” you use on an ABR.
-Hello timers and dead intervals
Started to get messy and eating up time but was useful to practice ospf trouble shooting commands (I used white papers to help with this 🙂
💡 Don’t go to deep into advanced areas and manage time better:idea:
Plan for Tomorrow:
1)Briefly Go over todays session
2)Do Eigrp Labs
3)Do Eigrp theory
4)Take test (is there one just for eigrp? could be good idea)
5)Watch Eigrp Videos
6)More subnetting hell
ANy feedback or advice on tinkering would be appreciated. One weak area I do have is the commands for security on the switches I just can’t remember those buggers fully ! I will do switching on Thursday
Bloody hell My arse is numb from sitting down all day
Day 2 08/09/2010 Start 10:30 break at 18:00:-19:45
(Ended up statying up untill 00:30 because I had to restart my frame-relay lab as the configs didnt save and my PC crashed :/)
I knew OSPF could get complicated but this is ridiculous, setting it up is easy enough but remembering all the “neighbor states”, “Network types”, “Hello timers” for adjacencies and that’s just scratching the surface. My Original Plan was to briefly review what I learnt on day one so that I could spread my time amongst the topics I struggle with but before I knew it I had spent over 4 hours on OSPF again and whats staggering still learning stuff I had forgotten or new stuff ! THis just shows how vast the topic can be.
I will finish off by doing a lab on it again as I need to make sure I remember all the trouble shooting and verifying commands nailed for the exam (well actually I can remember them all but not what they are used for or which one is best to use for a given scenario, this is my weakness in all the labs)
Just thought I would mention that the best trouble shooting lesson I have ever come across for the CCNA exam can be found here :
I think you have to be a member to get at it but I also belive that Paul Browning has put it up on youtube as a 4 part series here is the first one :
Took a break just now, my friend took me out for dinner after he heard how long I was locked up fo, had a nice risoto 😛
Back now Im gonna finish off with some EIGRP labs and theory and maybe a test if Im not knackered. Tomorrow is a switching day ! Bloody hate those annoing security commands
PC screwed up and wreked my frame relay lab, had to start from scratch …
Day 3 —–09/09/2010 Start 09:00 break at 13:30:-14:45 Finished 12:00 Midnight
Started a little earlier this morning because of last nights set-back with the lab crashing but at least I got to go over the frame-relay commands and troubleshooting with ospf on top. This is good practice for the NBMA stuff and how to work around point-to-point networks when using OSPF on an NBMA with either the “ip ospf hello-interval” to match the hello and dead timers on the other ospf routers in the same area of adjacency” or by using the cool command “ip ospf netowrk non-broadcast” which changes the network type from point-to-point to non broadcast which matches the other neighbouring routers network types so that adjacancies can form
Its now 12:40 Im goign to go off for lunch in a bit, will be back to get cracking with the EIGRP labs and videos!
16:00 Went to lunch later than planned watched finale part of ospf video while doing Labs. Still not hit EIGRP yet got rest of today and tomorrow to go over NAT, switching & ACL’s !!! Gulp#
18:59– Phew just finished the last of the OSPF labs and videos, so many bloody commands to remember
Next up is :
Going to start with reading the theory in the books first (CCNA Simplified by Paul Browning http://www.howtonetwork.net)
its now 23.12 and Im going to call it a night, very tires and need to get up early for more stud need to be fresh..
so much for that , I snuck in an EIGRP 3 router Lab with trouble shooting. Def going to call it a night now its 12:00, I cant feel my arse
Day 4 10/09/2010 Start 08:00
EIGRP ROCKS !!!
Early one today went straight onto the EIGRP Labs and Vids. Just a quick break to get a tea, didnt have much for breakfast as cant be bothered cooking so I just had 1 slice of peanut butter on toast and a bannan with a cup of rosey lee
Nearly finished eigrp which Im actually loving, what an awsome routing protocol, it just makes sense, its what OSPF should be ! It just feels like it makes you see the big picture. It might be due to the fact there are allot less things to remember in comaprrison to OSPF (Areas,Area types, Router Types, LSA types, Network types to name but a few)
Okback to the last part of my labs and videos (trouble shooting EIGRP with auto-summary of discontigiouse networks and I may even throw in an ACL in there too , since I need to move onto them by the end of today If Im going to practice my switching security commands which I tend to forget.
I plan on using tomorrow and early part of sunday for trouble shooting practice as thats what I struglled with on the real exam when I first took it (it didnt help matters that the similators crashed but still before that happened I didnt really know where to start)
Well the last hour has been eaten up by my pc throwing a wobly and constantly freezing, this always happens just before exam dates …
Would you adam and eve it !!
My GF asked me what time my exam was on Sunday, I replied “umm 5pm I think” I wanted to give myself some time to go over some material that day before the exam. I went into the pearsonvue website to check and my Jaw dropped, It was booked for last sunday 5th September !!! ARGHHHHHHHHH. Thats £145 down the bloody drain that I couldnt afford to pay in the first place!!
Well did some exams to drown my sorrows and went on a webinar at howtonetwork.net which ws about study stratagy and motivation which was really good. I was also exited as this blog got a mentioned with a slide of it on the live webinar in order to motivate the viewers :p makes me feel a bit better.
Rebooked it for next available dat which is friday… well at least that gives me more time to nail the material as it was going to be a squeez considering I would have had today and some of tomoroow to squeeze in NAT, PAT, ACL’s, Switching which would have left me no trouble shooting lab time
Day 5/11/2010 Start 08:00
Couldnt sleep last night had OSPF areas and LSA’s swimming around in my head, one question that kept on creeping up is why dose ospf struggle with NBMA networks when EIGRP works so smoothly and doese not care if they are non broadcast or point-to-point etc… they both multicast etc.. Will look into this after the exam as I don’t want to get side tracked
Did allot of EIGRP labs and trouble shooting including labs and theory over all 7-9 hours study
Day 6/12/2010 Start 16:00- gogin to call it soon
Read “CCNA simplified” by Paul browning from howtonetwork.net & “CCNA Study guide” Sybex booksand watched videos– 2 Hours
4 hours Labs- NAT : Static, (dynamic and PAT which included a bit of simple ACL practice to refference the RFC 1918 private reserved addresses to the “inside global” addresses)
At one point I had them all workin on the same router at the same time ! then things started to get messy with routing because I was using a 3 router setup and couldnt work out why the inside global address could not reach the end to end, probably due to the fact my routing may have been off or the middle router needed to translate the address to something it was connected to ? hmmm
Also managed to do a bit more ssh practice, forgot I did some last night and to my surprise I remembered the commands pretty well but got the easy part wrong (you have to configure a domain name for it to work 🙂
Need to be more focused and work to a more ridgid planned structure or I will go off course. The plan for tomorrow is:
07:00 (yep thats right I must be hungry for it !!!)
1)PPP—50 Minutes (35 minutes theory15 Lab)
2)Break 10 minutes
3)Switching—50 Minutes theory(mainly security)
4)Break 10 minutes
5)Switching labs—50 minutes (emphesis on security)
6)IPV6——50 minutes (Read theory Watch Vids)
10 minute break
IPV6—– 50 Minutes (labs, Very week at this)
7)Subnetting— 20 minutes
8)Wireless——40 minutes(yeah I know, I hate it just a load of numbers that dont mean anything because its all crap ! but could be low hanging fruit in the exam)
10 minute break
9)OSPF theory—-50 Minutes (never ending, there is so much to remeber and yet so much more to forget !!)
10 minute break
10)OSPF labs—-30 Minutes
11)EIGRP theory—30 minutes
10 minute break
12) EIGRP Labs—30 minutes
Thats more than enough for one day I think :S