::cisco black belt::

July 22, 2008

CCNA ICND2 Official Exam Certification Guide Second Edition

Filed under: books, CCNA, ICND2, self-study — Tags: — ccxx4488 @ 3:46 pm

ISBN: 978-1-58720-181-3

I’ve read my fair share of computer books, and Wendell Odom has to be one of the best technical writers out there IMHO. The ICND1 and ICND2 books are the de facto standard for the CCNA exam. They provide the most complete coverage of any training resource available.

The ICND2 book is not without flaws, the Boson Exam Sim in both books, have incorrect diagram info, incorrect answers, questions in the wrong category etc, but having said that, its still an essential part of exam prep. The ICND2 content turns it up a notch or two, emphasizing greater technical skills and command usage etc, combining the theory from ICND1 with theory from the ICND2 objectives. In short the ICND1 is mostly theory and the ICND2 is more advanced and requires greater technical ability. Having said that, the errata for the ICND2 book is really frustrating, especially the Frame Relay section. There are multiple inaccuracies in the illustration of command syntax, you can pretty much put a line through most of the top paragraph on page 500. If your paying attention and really trying to get a deep understanding of the material, you’ll spot the errors—hopefully before you print your notes!

Given that 70% of people self-study for Cisco Certifications and Cisco Press, is pretty much the only provider of study books, (outside of CCIE lab books) you would think they could do a better job of providing accurate resources. Check the errata and you’ll see the usual suspects: command syntax, ip address (fat fingers?), diagram info, question/answer, etc, etc. It just pisses me off, I can put hundreds of hours into study, refining my notes, practicing, and up until the final week before test, I’m spotting major technical mistakes in the book, and consequently in my notes.

So why do I recommend this book? Its still the best available, its still very well written you just have to look past the books technical flaws.

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The day after…

Filed under: CCNA, ICND2, misc — ccxx4488 @ 3:13 pm

I took my test yesterday, I passed my ICND2 mission accomplished. Three possible outcomes could of occurred yesterday:

· Passed with a high score

· Passed and known I could of scored better

· Failed and known I could of scored better

As it turns out, the second option is what happened. I didn’t just squeak by, but I didn’t hit in the 900s as I wanted. My goals are in this order:

· Pass the test

· Never fail a Cisco test

· Score high

I didn’t get the high score I was after but I didn’t win the mental game, let me elaborate. I did not get a good nights rest, combined with getting up 2 hours earlier than I wanted to. More importantly I couldn’t focus, like I did for the ICND1. The test room door is left open. The front office receptionist or w/e, cell phone kept going off every 10-15 minutes with a loud cheesy techno ring tone, combined with her talking. If you’ve spent any time in Germany you’ll know—Germans are generally “loud as hell” in conversation, as if they’re giving a speech for a large audience without a mic.

I take responsibility for my own lack of focus, but hey… Anyhow, a few questions into the test I get a simulation, caught me completely off guard, I hadn’t found my mode yet, I spent way more time than I needed on that question. I get to around question 29, with only a few questions requiring much deep thought, and I realize I have 20 minutes left, with basically 1 minute per question. I’ve read the horror stories, of people running outta time and likely would of passed otherwise. I didn’t want to be stuck in the same boat, so for the next 6 questions, I didn’t double check my answers, nor did I view all the options, the first analysis of the perceived correct answer, I just selected and moved on. The questions got easier, and as it turned out, I had 6 minutes left for the last 2 questions but who knew, right! If I had got in the zone, I wouldn’t of been rushed for time, I planned on bringing ear plugs, but forgot all about it.

Gee, you passed dude, people fail this test 3 times, why you so bummed? Not really bummed, just wish I brought my A game and knocked out another high score. To be honest the ICND1 and ICND2 tests were pretty easy. I say that because I studied hard, I practiced, and learned and memorized 10 times more than was necessary for either test. If you were new to Cisco world and accomplished the bare minimum of study, I doubt you’d think the test was easy.

Bottom line:

Don’t take shortcuts, study hard and you can’t fail, even if you choke…

July 16, 2008

Time for a rant

Filed under: CCNA, ICND2, misc, rant, self-study — ccxx4488 @ 11:11 am

OT, I booked my test, I take it on Monday.

< rant>

I’m really pissed off with the quality of the Cisco Press study materials. I found some errata and submitted  some, ignored some for the CCENT/ICND1 OECG. So, as I approach my test, where I still need to brush up on a few things like frame-relay, OSPF, EIGRP and IPv6, I digress from my studies in complete frustration.

The ICND2 book is already “jacked-up” with errata on the frame relay chapters, but I keep finding more:

Chapter 13, question 5, according to the answer page, then answer b should read 102 not 101 at the end.

Chapter 14, Step 5 page 488 and step 6b page 489, the syntax is wrong: frame-relay map ip ip-address dlci broadcast is what it should read, not …dlci ip-address

Chapter 14 page 500. Then entire first paragraph needs a re-write, try using a frame-relay map statement on a point-to-point subinterface and see what the IOS tells ya, can’t do it, sure it will work for a multipoint subinterface but the book doesn’t tell you that, the entire paragraph is jacked and needs re-written.

I wonder how others feel as they pursue their CCNP or CCIE, are they stuck with same level of technical proficiency that we’re stuck with at the CCNA level?

I guess the greatest piece of advise comes from Himawan Nugroho item 10, be skeptical. Nothing could be more true….

< /rant>

Ok, I’m out til I take my test, I’ll post back the results.

June 28, 2008

ICND2 Exam Approaching

Filed under: ICND2, self-study — ccxx4488 @ 8:23 pm

I originally planned on taking the exam on July 7th, but I’ve pushed it back to either the 14th or 21st of July.

Why?

On the ICND1 I spent the bulk of my time taking notes, reading & re-reading, CBTs, and testing configs in my lab. This time around I was wanting to cut-back with the notes (massive time-burner). What I’ve learned the hard way, is that by the time you get from technology A, detail X covered in chapter 2, to wrapping up the book, you forget some of the integral details. Highlighting and reading through a 600+ page book just doesn’t cut-it. Its worth the time taken, to write (not type–I think you retain more, through the slower process of writing) detailed notes.

So yea, my original approach this time around isn’t working and I’ve pushed my test date back 1 or 2 weeks, bit I’ll get there soon!

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