Tips for Network Academy CCNA course

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I have just completed semester 4 of the CCNA course. My next step is
to take the actual exam - but thought I would share a few tips with
anyone who are still taking their course or are about to start.

At the end of the semester you are expected to hand in your case
study. You can reach the case study by selecting this from the
pulldown-menu on the website - it is at the
bottom of the menu, where you can reach the materials for each

So - when you start the semester also start looking at the case
study. It is structured in such a way that you can start after
having done just the first module of the semester. Do NOT wait
until the end of the semester - it can be a lot of work.

I would recommend you really focus on the case studies for
CCNA 3 and 4. For example, the case study in Semester 4 covers
Frame Relay, OSPF, access lists, subnetting and switching.
All important subjects which will give you a thorough
preparation for the "real" exam.

Make notes as you go through each module. They will become vital
when you want to revise later on. Also make notes after you have
taken each module exam and semester exam.

Ask your instructor to enable feedback on your exams. That way you
can go back and check your answers. This is important so that you
can identify subjects you may not fully understand.

Although the materials on the netacad website are fantastic they do
not always tell you enough. So - buy the Companion Guide which is
very in-depth. A combination of the two will give you a really good

Before you attempt a module exam or semester exam, do the quia quizzes.
These are often very similar to the questions on the exam and you can
learn a lot.

Don't skip any of the module exams - take all of them. Of all my
fellow students those who studied throughout the year and took all
the module exams did really well on their semester exams. It's amazing
how much you will be able to remember even 1 year down the line if you
have taken these.

You may have noticed the e-labs dotted around some of the modules?
These are flash-based practicals that are very good configuration
exercises. You can go through them as many times as you like, and
you do not need any special equipment. Do them from home - after
you have done some of them 5-6 times you will have learned the commands
by rote.

If your college has a lab, use it. Practice cabling and configuration
until you die. It is really important and will improve your understanding.
If you do not have access to a lab, buy some routers and a switch
2nd hand. You can also buy a simulator, which is the next best thing.


Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course
hi Per Hansen,

thank you very much for the advance information and best of luck for
the exam.

Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course
Great tips Per!

I tell all my students almost all of that exactly!!!

If you are not taking the CCNA exam for a month or so here's what seems to
be a useful book that will be available at the end of August.

All the best.


Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course
Everybody learns in different ways. Personally, I find the class/online
courses, boring, waste of time and money. Someone here said that he passed
CCNA just by going over TestOut CBT and reading articles. That is, he did
not have to go through the marathon of memorizations in the everlasting
network Academy Course. Testout is working very well for me too; it gives
you videotraining, concize study material and HANDS ON !!! The exercices and
exams in the end of every chapter are something I do not find in other CBTs.
However, TestOut might not work for other people!!

The Dude

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Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course

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Not only do people learn different ways but their motivation for learning is
different too.
People already working in networking who just want to train to pass the
certification exam would find TestOut or similar the most useful.
I would suggest that most people not working in networking or IT who do pass
the CCNA just using a CD-ROM and simulation software would still have a lot
to learn before becoming a productive employee.  Further, I would suggest
the only way they would pass would be by "memorisation".

 I wouldn't say:
"TestOut LabSims are incredibly powerful tools that precisely duplicates the
hardware and software environments of the major network operating systems,
including Windows 2000, NetWare 5, and Cisco's IOS."
is actually "HANDS ON!!!"  I'd be interested to see how their "precise
duplication of the Cisco IOS" simulates password recovery works :-)

It sounds like your Networking Academy experience was unfortunately not
particularly positive.  Didn't it include the required real hands-on
practical lab component?   This, and the minimum course time requirement
(which can make it seem "everlasting", especially CCNA 1) are mandatory
parts of the Academy's agreement with Cisco.   Our CCNA courses are part of
a 2 year computer systems diploma course and students spend significant time
in their Cisco classes cabling, configuring and troubleshooting real router
and switches in various scenarios and topologies.


Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course
I alos found Sem1 quite a handful- having no networking experience at
all-our instructor took us into the lab once in 6 months-and that was
to put a NIC in a slot! BUt I stuck it out and have had many hours in
the lab on Sem2- just starting Sem3 now and hope by this time next year
I will be ready for my final exam- I have noticed with the cisco
material that alot of information only makes sense after you have
completed the first Semester (Subnetting, TCP/IP ,OSI model,etc) keep
reading :)
Aubrey Adams wrote:
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Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course
Hi Gregg,

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I was like you, I really wanted to get on with the labs but there
really any in semester 1. We did make cables though, I can now make a
crossover blindfolded! (OK well almost...)

I found Sem 1 to be quite basic as I work in IT but I also discovered I
had gaps in
my knowledge so it was good to get those gaps filled in. Some of my
fellow students
had no previous networking experience and I like that you can start
almost from
scratch with this course and then gradually build up your knowledge as
you go along
for each semester.

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You are right, Sem 1 and Sem 2 give you a very solid foundation for Sem
3/4. In some
of the chapters in 3/4 they just assume you know your stuff already and
do not bother

Keep doing those labs! I found my understanding really improved after
first reading the
module thoroughly and then doing the labs.

If you can, also keep a log book. In this, write down useful tips and
commands as you progress through each chapter. This will come in handy
when you do your labs.

Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course

Aubrey Adams wrote:
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Aubrey Adams

Thanx for the this information.
31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam: A Day-by-Day Quick Reference Study Guide

can you provide me its pdf version .
me from nepal (south asia)i can't pay in $$$$ and not available here in
so plz if you bought this book provide me pdf version ok.


Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course
Hi Aubrey,

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Thanks for the book tip. Looks good, I like the way they have split it
up into 1-day chunks.  I have always found I can't absorb too much info
in one go so this looks ideal.

Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course

Per Hansen wrote:
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are 4 semester courses available in the uk?  -
for less than $2000 dollars or less than =A31000 ?

I saw a 4 week course for =A31000 (a semester a week - 4 semesters)

And a weird 3 month course for =A3200 which used no equipment, only
boson simulations and had some bad reports from people that went.

Re: Tips for Network Academy CCNA course
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Yes, they certainly are. Many colleges and universities
offer them. Expect to pay around 150-200 pounds per
semester. I went to my local college which as it turned
out offered a very nice course. You will often find a
variety of durations on offer. My course was 18 months,
which is long but at the same time it suited me as I
have a full-time job. They also do a Saturday course where
you finish in one year.

Tip: When you enquire about courses ask about their lab.
Ask about when you can access the lab and what equipment
they have available.

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I would say what you can learn in 4 weeks is very limited...
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Now that is just plain weird. Stay away!


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