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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default Motivations for studying

    So I've been studying for the CCENT exam for a few months. Each night I get about an hour or 2 of studying in. Some days, it feels as if I'm not gaining any ground because I feel that I have way to many resources for learning. From Todd Lammle's study guide, his video on Lynda.com, Chris Bryant's course on Udemy, and then there's Cyrbrary, Youtube, and so many others. Although all of these are great resources, how do you stay focused on only the material needed to reach your goal?

    There are times when understanding a certain concept from one resource isn't enough so I will jump to another resource. I believe this is where I falter. And when does one go from reading a book & watching a video to using packet tracer (or GNS3)? It feels like some of the instructors get ahead of themselves in their topics, only to jump backwards a couple of videos later.

    Perhaps I haven't found the right resource yet? Maybe this has been posted a million times before but, has anyone written up a structured outline on how to start studying for the CCENT? If so, why isn't it a sticky? If it is and I missed it, sorry!
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  3. Member Neil86's Avatar
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    #2
    I don't really have anything structured. I read several chapters during the week using Odom's book, taking the test questions before and after each chapter and taking notes. Weekends I lab a lot, practicing the things I read that week mainly but also past topics. Sometimes it's tough, it's a lot of material to learn. I find actually working on the equipment and building networks helps solidify everything and makes it stick easier. I use PT to logically plan, build, implement and test, then I get on my physical lab and start tweaking things, experimenting, breaking and fixing things. I use a pdf version of the book, so lots of screen shots too for quick and easy reviewing for me. Everyone learns their own way, I can only hope my way is going to work for me haha!
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  4. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #3

    Default Goals and rewards

    I like to give myself goals and a reward for meeting that goal. If i am using a Q&A to study with, I will section off 25 questions or so. When I study, I will set a goal of studying 3 sections for example, then take a break and watch a quick 15 minutes of GOT or something. I like to try and time my study sessions in 30 minute blocks.
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  5. Junior Member
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    #4
    How much time do you spend watching any online video courses, if any? Do you spend more time with Odom's book and then lab? For me, although videos work well, it feels like reading and using packet tracer has been a bit more helpful.
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  6. Member Neil86's Avatar
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    #5
    I have CBT Nuggets too, forgot to mention that I watch the corresponding videos after reading the chapters as well. Maybe an hour or two a week of videos, I don't get a lot from videos, personally. I have tons of labs for PT from my college days with Cisco academy too. I try to have a variety of sources to learn from. But it is mainly reading Odom and labbing.
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  7. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #6
    What helps me is filling out the blueprint for the exam. I have it typed on Word. So I can add my own notes under each required topic. And, when ever I am reading or watching a video and want to take notes. I simply type my notes on my customized blueprint. It does really help. Filling out the blueprint will give you some sort of feeling of structure and progression.
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  8. Junior Member
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by GalaxyRandy View Post
    What helps me is filling out the blueprint for the exam. I have it typed on Word. So I can add my own notes under each required topic. And, when ever I am reading or watching a video and want to take notes. I simply type my notes on my customized blueprint. It does really help. Filling out the blueprint will give you some sort of feeling of structure and progression.
    Much appreciated. A part of me felt like I was relying on videos too often. Reading Lammle's book and going to his site has helped me more than anything.
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  9. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by WarDoctor View Post
    Much appreciated. A part of me felt like I was relying on videos too often. Reading Lammle's book and going to his site has helped me more than anything.
    anytime, also, you have to ABL. Always be Labbing. In order to digest all the reading and videos. You must be doing the labs everyday. Getting that hands on. Many different lab options to choose from: GNS3, EVE-NG, VIRL, Packet Tracer, Real equipment, INE Rack Rental. ABL is very vital.
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  10. Junior Member
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GalaxyRandy View Post
    anytime, also, you have to ABL. Always be Labbing. In order to digest all the reading and videos. You must be doing the labs everyday. Getting that hands on. Many different lab options to choose from: GNS3, EVE-NG, VIRL, Packet Tracer, Real equipment, INE Rack Rental. ABL is very vital.
    I have PT and GNS3. I've yet to use GNS3 tho. I also have a friend who has given me some lab equipment to use when I feel I need to go that far.
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  11. Member willieb's Avatar
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    #10
    I have felt the same way you do, and here's what I've done.

    Stick with 1 source and complete it. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment and can keep you motivated. You may think it would be good to use all sources on 1 topic (i.e. EIGRP) before moving to another topic, but at least for me it's not. This can get confusing and frustrating keeping up with what you've done from each source.

    Don't worry about learning a topic from different sources at different times, because it gives your brain time to absorb what you have learned so far. And when you learn something over again about the same topic from a different source at a different time it further strengthens your knowledge on that topic. Hopefully that made sense. Using different sources that have different teaching methods will help tremendously, getting different perspectives.

    This is just a suggestion to try. You have to do what feels right and what works for you.
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  12. Junior Member
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    #11
    This actually seems like the best course of action. For those of us looking for all the possible resources to study the material, I think we get wrapped up in all the options that are now available. Currently, I've gone through the first 4 chapters again with a better understanding of what I have already studied in the book & online. My current strategy has been to complete the labs at the end of each chapter, and only use videos for a reference when a topic gets a bit over my current understanding.

    I'll post again as I make it through each chapter and keep this thread updated (if only for me) Or if anyone else is having difficulty staying focused on using their current study method.
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  13. Member willieb's Avatar
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    #12
    Another bit of advice you may consider:

    I watch all sources of videos first, including doing the labs in the videos. The videos typically are very shallow compared to the OCGs, and we will see more in depth knowledge obtained by reading and hands-on, but the OCGs can be boring and may tend to put you to sleep, lol.

    So my theory is, the more I can learn before reading allows me to go through the OCGs a bit faster on the content that the videos have already covered.

    Works for me but we are all different so YMMV...
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  14. Junior Member
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    #13
    Search Reddit for "I passed the CCNA" threads - I was doing a similar thing for the A+ (two years ago when I was studying for it) and these comments showed how people were studying and served as motivation ("If this guy/gal passed it, so can I").
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  15. Padawan d4nz1g's Avatar
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    #14
    All those resources you mentioned are good, but only to get started to something.
    In my experience, the best way to actually learn and understand the underlying technologies and concepts is to actually experiment and see all that stuff working with your own eyes.
    Back in 2012 when i was studying for my CCNA, i got so confused about a few topics such as Frame Relay and NAT that i spent over than 12 hours labbing only this, and it was really helpful.

    Watching videos is ok, the information is given you ready to consume.but connecting the dots by yourself makes assimilating easier, as well as understanding how each protocol layer interacts to each other.

    On motivation, it is hard to help, it is something that only you can get - no matter what other people say. You need to be determined, and willing to reach that goal. You gotta want that so bad, everyday, that studying is just one part of the whole process of not just learning - but improving yourself as a whole.
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  16. Junior Member
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    #15
    Just out of curiosity, does any know anything about brandman.edu ? They currently have a CCNA course (assuming a type of bootcamp). I've been in contact with their senior coordinator for the classes he plans on having a meeting with a group that I work with here next week. The company I work for has a tuition assistance program and this particular college has worked with that program before, but I've never had any dealings with them.
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