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Variable
05-22-2004, 02:47 PM
I beleive early this year I posted about prepping for the CCNA. I forgot to post that I got my CCNA, I took the old test. If any of you out there (and I beleive there are a few based on previous posts) are going to take it before the old test expires, I suggest getting on it quick. The new test is much more diffacult.

Im currently prepping for the NET+ and A+. Anyone who has taken either very recently and has any tips I would love to hear them. I know the A+ has changed since I took some classes a few years ago.

Variable

pave_spectre
05-23-2004, 05:41 AM
Too late for me. I took it at the end of february and failed by a hair. :rolleyes:

Means I now have to enrol in the new version. Dont think I'll be doing for a while though.

Don't know about A+ but one of the guys I did the CCNA course with took the Net+ and apparently it was really easy compared to Cisco.

Variable
05-23-2004, 12:06 PM
Sorry to hear about that. I don't know what the rules where you are are like but, here you have two chances. If you fail the first time you can take it again on the same voucher or ID code number.

pave_spectre
05-23-2004, 12:20 PM
It's probably similar here, but I had enough trouble just trying to book the exam first time round I couldn't be bothered with the hassle of trying to book it again for a while. They must employ some of the stupidest people at that call-centre. Plus I could barely afford it the first time round.

Now I can actually get the government to pay for a lot of my "Educational Requirements" due to my chronic unemployment. Wish I had that when I did the thing the first time.:rolleyes:

Variable
05-23-2004, 12:32 PM
Hey you may want to check out the netacad site, Cisco has a new program for giving cut rate exam vouchers for net+,A+ and a few others as long as you take the class from a Cisco academy site, you also get a further cost reduction if they are a member of some other association. It's still int he wings but, its worth checking out. I have taken several classes that qualify and Im waiting to hear about the program. It's all new and not up and running quite yet. Which is stupid because they are sending out big posters to academy sites touting the program.
I hear if you have the CCNA the net+ is fairly simple to bone up for, if you get the A+ with it you can count it towards a MCSA. THe goal this summer is 5 exams.

Variable

deddard
05-24-2004, 04:06 AM
Taking Semester 2 exam (new program - version 3) and then the first half of the CCNA in 3-4 weeks.
Talking to my lecturer, it seems that around 70% of the old CCNP has been brought down into the CCNA.
So if the CCNA is now this much harder, how bad is the CCNP? and what about the CCIE:D :eek:

Variable - well done on your CCNA. The Net+ should be relatively easy compared to the CCNA - I'm going to sit the Net+ myself sometime this year, but there are a few things like covering AppleTalk, Linux and Novell that I need to study, as these aren't covered by the CCNA.

How hard the A+ is depends on how much you like tinkering with PCs. There are always the default IRQs DMAs etc which can trip you up, and unless things have changed in the last year, some dodgy pictures to identify!
The software side can be a bit more problematic - some obscure references to commands within Windows NT came up when I passed mine last year.
The Version was supposed to be Win 2000, but virtually all my questions were on NT (which I hadn't used and hadn't really studied) so don't rely on the fact that just because it says it is the XP edition, that you will just get questions on NT!
Some of the questions were regarding recovery commands, which I had to dissect to figure out.

Variable
05-24-2004, 03:28 PM
According to what I hear from some people who are in the CCNP track now, if you are familiar with the old Cisco curriculum, the new CCNA covers semesters 5,6 and part of 7 of the CCNP old curriculum track. SO about 70 percent, as your instructor said, is probably right.

I will worry about the A+ after Net+ is done. I am very familiar with the hardware and software aspect but, as you say, the tests ask esoteric questions. I havn't failed an exam yet, so I feel confident about passing. I will usually spend about 40 hours of hard care studying the week and half prior to the exam. If you put the time in and focus, you will pass the exams in my experience. I think a lot of people I know who have failed exams (quite a few) just sort of took a blaise attitude about it and found they were not prepared. If you go in not knowing your stuff it can be expensive lesson to learn.

What books or test crams did you use for the A+? I have taken the classes and have several A+ books, I also have the Sybex series computer tests which are nice, testking is also useful. I usually run through the testkings and take notes on topics before exams, then I usually use the Web to research each topic and type up notes. Im a big believer in typing up notes because it reinforces everything. It also provides a lot of depth, so that if you get a question you havnt seen anything about before, you can usually at least figure out a few answers that cannot be right. Which narrows it down a lot.

Variable

PrntRhd
05-24-2004, 09:47 PM
Gee, I just found out I need Network+ certs by December. I have Sybex course book/disks/practice exam disk.

Work figures 80 hours of study should do it?

deddard
05-25-2004, 05:11 AM
I used the sybex books and exam cram 2 books.
If I were to sit the test again, I'd probably look at a couple of MCSE books for the software side of things - although the curriculum doesn't specify the oddball stuff, if they are going to ask questions, then it's probably better to look at M$ software books, rather than just a generic A+.

Variable - You are definitely right about being prepped for the exams. It is too easy to assume that you know it all, and go in and fall on your backside! At the particular academy I'm at, the tutor pushes us further than we need to go, because it is always easier to do work which is below your level of knowledge, rather than struggle with stuff you don't understand. I'm putting in a fair few hours at home as well, and am using the simulators.
I just got a couple of books - the exam cram2, ccna fast pass and sybex ccna.
As I'm only a couple of weeks from the semester 2 exams, and the first part of the ccna (intro) I'm going over stuff time and again.


As for expense - you're spot on. I wouldn't like to see anyone go in for the CCIE without the knowledge and confidence to pass -that would be expensive!! (I think it's 4 exams at $300, plus $1250 for the lab test) Reading the Sybex book, it reckons that many people need to do the lab test 2 or 3 times - ouch!

PrntRhd - the hours you need to put in depend on your current level of understanding. If you have a reasonable knowledge of IP networks on Windoze, I'd say that the 80 hours would be fine - you can really get to grips with some of the other stuff in there such as linux, novell and apple. If you were starting off from scratch then the 80 hours would be pushing it - getting to play around with simulators and a couple of real machines would be beneficial.

PrntRhd
05-25-2004, 11:07 AM
Sybex assumes 18 months prior experience for Network+ course. The Apple and Linux parts will be where I have to spend most extra effort.

Variable
05-25-2004, 11:44 AM
I think 80 hours of real studying is enough for the exam. I would say that besides the book you should get a test exam from testking. They give real test questions but, more importantly, they tell you why the right answers are right and why the wrong answers are wrong. It also allows you to see which topics the tester thinks are important so that you can focus study on particular areas. I would also not wait until December, you need to set a date a month from now and focus and do it. If you set December as your goal you will procrastinate, especially with the Holidays.

Don't rely on any one source for knowledge, I took a class on windows 2000 for a full semester with hands on. The class was usefull but did not prepare me for the exam. I don't go to the testing sites and take the free exams but, this may be useful. You need to get a good testing bank of questions so you understand how they ask questions as well, just bite the bullet and buy one. MS will try and trip you up, they ask tricky questions. I don't know about Comptia yet.

For me the driving force to overstudy is that I don't want to have to tell my wife and kids that I failed an exam and threw away the money.
That is just not an option.

Just reading the book is not enough either, you have to understand what you are reading. So if you find yourself reading the book just because you have set a goal to read 30 pages that day, you should stop. You won't absorb the material and you will be wasting your time. Reading in the morning is also a good trick, your apt to absorb more, another trick is to read all the headings at the front of the book for the chapter you will be studying, then go through the chapter read all the "bolded" words and read all the captions underneath pictures. Now you write down a few questions you want to answer on a sheet of paper next to you, based on what you have read. Then as your reading, those questions are in the back of your brain, and your reading to answer them. You will absorb a great deal more because it's "active reading."
It's exactly what you do when you research a question someone asks on a forum. Most people will do a bit of research (I hope they do) before they post an answer. You are actively seeking something, it's goal oriented. You will learn more this way.

Anyway, thats what I do. I could go on more but, everyone is different.

Variable

PrntRhd
05-26-2004, 12:26 AM
I was provided with a Trancender (www.transcender.com) 2.0 practice exam disk as part of the study materials. I will not procrastinate on the course and I am shooting for early November for taking the exam. I am trying to time the studying so it will be fresh in my mind for the exam, a difficult thing to judge.

deddard
06-22-2004, 06:12 AM
Just took semester 2 of CCNA. passed the theory with 85/78 (weighted and binary) and have completed the skills test.
Anyone wanting to do the CCNA needs to go pretty deep now. There were some questions in there which are just not covered in the standard material which threw everyone on the course.

The skills test is reasonably easy once you have got your head around ACLs and wildcard masks.

I'm just going to prep for the Intro exam now (half of the CCNA) which I hope to take within a couple of weeks.
The biggest disappointment was that I took the skills test last night - right when England were playing Croatia in the European Finals!!!! Can't UEFA have a little more consideration when setting out their football timetable?:D

Oh yes - one more thing. I found the Sybex practise exams really useful for semester 2, and also the examcram ones were very good. I'm going to go over these with a fine tooth comb for the Intro exam.

Variable
06-22-2004, 12:24 PM
Good luck on the exam. I am trying to decide whether to sit for the Net+ this Friday or push it off until Monday. I then am focused on 3 MS exams in the next 6 weeks. Net+ should be no problem but, I worry too much about being unprepared. I really wish I had some practice problems I could do with the windows networking commands from home. Just playing with them without a goal in mind, doesn't help my understanding of when they may be usefull, especially the variables.

V

Variable
06-30-2004, 05:01 PM
Passed the Net+ with a 846 out of 900, Net+ is scored from 100-900( no I dea why though). I only had one question I didn't know the answer to, so I don't know why I got such a low score.
The question I had that I didn't know was something like, What is the difference between NFS and SAN. I was totally flumexed. I could have done eeny meeny miney mo. I know what they are but, I don't know how they are different : ( I will soon though, hello google : )


2k server next, 70-215. I have my new drive from newegg just in, so Advanced server is going to be on one of the partitions.

deddard
07-01-2004, 05:40 AM
Congrats Variable!
What sort of questions were in there? any oddball stuff? or was it mostly the core?

Just took my voucher exam for the CCNA Intro, so am swotting for that. I only got 84% in the voucher test as my brain didn't work - had the flu!

I'd like to do the CCNA Intro and the Net+ pretty soon, so I've got work to do!

Another thing for anyone doing the CompTIA exams - the Linux+ is changing this year. They are increasing the content and changing about 70% of the curriculum.

Variable
07-01-2004, 09:47 AM
IF you send me an email I can point you to a few sites that were very helpful, my email isn't hidden in my options so you should be able to find it, if not just post back. Please put something like "Mail from Deddard" in the subject.
I over studied as usual. I would say that 90 percent of the questions I had a very good idea of what the answer was, I did the whole test in about 15 minutes, 72 questions, you have 90 minutes.

Heres a few topics that I would understand, DNS and Host files and LMhost and WINS. Ports for FTP,Telnet,SMTP,DNS,HTTP,POP,SSL, all the wiring protocols like 100BASEt,1000BASEXX,etc. Theres a few questions that are real doozies but, most are straight forward, many are pretty simple.
Trouble shooting problems is a big part of the test, and most of these are pretty simple if you think about them.

The 70-215 should be much more difficult. I need to do lots of labs. I have had a class geared towards passing it the 215 so that willhelp. I also have a few books. It will be the hardest of the three I have left to take for my MCSA.

deddard
09-22-2004, 08:39 AM
Just taken and passed the CCNA Intro exam - 950/1000.
Now studying semester 3 of the CCNA, and Security+ There are a few of us on the CCNA that are going to take the Network+ shortly. I'm just trying to juggle things at the minute!

Variable
09-22-2004, 06:39 PM
I think you will find the Network + much less difficult than studying for the CCNA. Especially if you took the new exam.

Good job btw!

DaPunisher
11-01-2004, 12:35 AM
If you have CCNA, then Network+ will be like a review of CCNA Semester 1.