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  1. Taco Tuesday Spiegel's Avatar
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    #1

    Default My CCNA Journey Officially Commences

    Hello everyone! Wanted to begin a thread detailing my journey in my studies and processes towards obtaining my first Cisco certification. I've seen similar posts as this from prominent members of this community and I have found them to be inspiring and motivational. My hope is that by continuing posting regularly it'll help me stay on track. My goal is to obtain my CCENT before the end of the year and my full CCNA certification sometime early next year. For those experienced with the exam or already in the process of obtaining this cert I welcome any and all advises, study methods, and other approaches.

    I begin my studies September 1st and I'd like to break them up into phases.

    Phase 1 - Observation I'd like to simply read my book through once. I won't be taking intense notes initially. I kinda want to gauge where I should place most of my focus. My notes will consist of the areas I'd like to place extra effort on and how I'd like to study for it (i.e.; labs, flashcards, etc...)

    Phase 2- Development I'll go back to the areas of major focus and develop unique study methods for each one. I'll post on the areas I'd like to focus on and how I'll approach them and assess myself.

    Phase 3 - Assessment This is where I'll really be assessing my knowledge and create mock exam scenarios and labbing.

    Phase 4 - Reinforcement This portion is where I'd like to dedicate a few weeks by continuing my assessments of Phase 3 and reinforcing my acknowledging by watching training videos. I'd like to place this phase near my exam date so as to have this information fresh in my mind.

    Phase 5 - Examination The week of the exam I'll be keeping my studies light by re-watching videos or labbing in areas I feel the weakest. I'm aiming for a mid-morning exam so the day before the exam I'm just going to relax.

    Study Materials I'll be using:
    • CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Official Cert Guide (Book)
    • CCNA Routing and Switching Portable Command Guide (Book)
    • CBT Nuggets and Lynda.com (Videos)
    • Packet Tracer and my recently purchased physical lab consisting of
      • 1x Cisco 1841 Router
      • 2x Cisco 2610XM Router
      • 2x WS-C2950-24 Layer 2 Switch
      • 1x WS-C3550-24 SMI Layer 3 Switch

    I purchased my physical lab on eBay and based on my findings for physical labs this is apparently a decent setup. Some of the routers and switches come with different IOS verions installed; 12.1, 12.4, and 15.1. Will having these different versions matter much when attempting to have the devices talk to each other and will it also matter for the exam?

    For me personally, this will be my first real IT cert. I know the way you're tested in this exam is different from CompTIA where you can go back and look at previous questions. I only have one shot at the questions so this adds another layer of difficulty I've yet to experience. I'm hoping with the way I laid out my preparation it will be enough for me to pass. This will also be my first step into the networking world I've desired to be a part of since beginning my IT career. The company I work for has a real need for network analysts at the moment. My old boss from my service desk days is now the manager of the networking department and he'd like me to be a part of his team but I'll need to get this cert first.
    Last edited by Spiegel; 08-27-2018 at 01:36 PM.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Information Technology - Security [In-Progress]
    Currently Working On: CCENT
    2018 Goals: CIW-SDA [X], Security+ [X], CCENT [ ], Project+ [ ], CCNA [ ]
    Future Certs: Linux+, CCNA Security, CCNP: Routing & Switching, CCNP: Security, MCSA: Win 10
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  3. Senior Member stryder144's Avatar
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    #2
    Good luck! I start my journey on 01 Sep 18, so I am very interested in your progress.
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    #3
    Amazing lab! All the best!
    2018 Year goals:
    CCNA Cyber Ops [Done!]
    Extra goals: VCP6-DCV [1%] , CCENT-CCNA [2%]
    "Certs... is all about IT certs!"
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    #4
    Good Luck. I usually follow similar patterns. I prefer to start with a video series and watch it start to finish with no notes. Sometimes I just zone out and don't retain a thing but it exposes me to everything I will be studying. I find when I watch the videos first I can read a lot faster because I already have an idea of how the topics go together.

    I'm not a fan of last minute cramming so I never study the day before the exam. I give my mind a break for the day.

    Good Luck!
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  6. Member pharius's Avatar
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    #5
    Good luck!
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  7. Member TheComputerPlumber's Avatar
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    #6
    Awesome man I’m on the same path started immediately in late June after passing sec+.

    Study materials
    Todd Lammle (ICND1) v3 study guide 100-105 currently at Ch.9
    Todd Lammle CCENT PREP COURSE Lynda.com same with book IP Routing
    Laz Diaz CCENT Udemy - currently at IP Routing
    also got the ccna part as well
    subnetting.com signed up for $5 month
    Boson CCNA Net Sim 11
    Boson CCENT practice test
    Packet Tracer was using this mainly for about 2 months but going through all the labs on Boson NetSim
    Windell Odom Cisco CCENT currently at chapter 6 kinda get bored quickly in this book been about a month on a half since I read it mainly read Lammle and do labs.

    Google packet tracer activities it’s a .pka file those are great I find a link on a Cisco forum that had a link to download a ton of packer tracer activities just google it man ccna packer tracer activities your find them

    Couldnt figure out GNS3.


    I was thinking going the one path way CCNAX but I figure I go the two path way you get 30 CEU per exam if passed towards Comptia certs which means if I pass CCENT and CCNA within 3 years it will push my CompTIA certs out 3 yrs from date of passing CCNA makes more sense to me IMO. Good luck to you!!!
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  8. Member TheComputerPlumber's Avatar
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    #7
    I have the same study method I rarely take notes sometimes I start off taking notes the I just get lazy and try to retain it to memory. I prefer to watch videos over reading so I get a clear understanding of what everything is, sometimes you have to read also to better understand wth they’re even talking about.
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  9. Senior Member H3||scr3am's Avatar
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    #8
    Best of luck on your CCNA journey!
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    #9
    Best of luck!
    Remind me of how I used to study. Used the exact same materials. Was broke as hell at the time didn't had money to spend for anything else. Got CBT Nuggets from eBay (https://drive-ebay.onlineweb.shop/Ci..._19063078.aspx)
    Still remember the day I passed.
    good times.
    Last edited by Kalissie; 09-01-2018 at 12:50 AM.
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  11. Taco Tuesday Spiegel's Avatar
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    #10
    Thanks everyone! Will try to post something at the very minimum once per week but may do two or three depending on what I'm working on. This will be exciting as I've never documented my progress for others to view but I figure it'll help me stay motivated by sharing my experiences and challenges and hopefully give others a more in-depth look at a study process for this exam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Cisco View Post
    Good Luck. I usually follow similar patterns. I prefer to start with a video series and watch it start to finish with no notes. Sometimes I just zone out and don't retain a thing but it exposes me to everything I will be studying. I find when I watch the videos first I can read a lot faster because I already have an idea of how the topics go together.

    I'm not a fan of last minute cramming so I never study the day before the exam. I give my mind a break for the day.

    Good Luck!
    That is not a bad approach. I could take that into consideration as well. I do have some Udemy course videos I can also view.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Information Technology - Security [In-Progress]
    Currently Working On: CCENT
    2018 Goals: CIW-SDA [X], Security+ [X], CCENT [ ], Project+ [ ], CCNA [ ]
    Future Certs: Linux+, CCNA Security, CCNP: Routing & Switching, CCNP: Security, MCSA: Win 10
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  12. Taco Tuesday Spiegel's Avatar
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    #11
    First update!


    So as I was scouring the interwebs for some lab options I can use with Packet Tracer I found this gem: Cisco CCENT Packet Tracer Ultimate labs by David Bombal


    This looks like an excellent purchase based on the reviews of 256 students enrolled in his Udemy course.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Information Technology - Security [In-Progress]
    Currently Working On: CCENT
    2018 Goals: CIW-SDA [X], Security+ [X], CCENT [ ], Project+ [ ], CCNA [ ]
    Future Certs: Linux+, CCNA Security, CCNP: Routing & Switching, CCNP: Security, MCSA: Win 10
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  13. Senior Member Ltat42a's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by TheComputerPlumber View Post
    Awesome man I’m on the same path started immediately in late June after passing sec+.

    Study materials
    Todd Lammle (ICND1) v3 study guide 100-105 currently at Ch.9
    Todd Lammle CCENT PREP COURSE Lynda.com same with book IP Routing
    Laz Diaz CCENT Udemy - currently at IP Routing
    also got the ccna part as well
    subnetting.com signed up for $5 month
    Boson CCNA Net Sim 11
    Boson CCENT practice test
    Packet Tracer was using this mainly for about 2 months but going through all the labs on Boson NetSim
    Windell Odom Cisco CCENT currently at chapter 6 kinda get bored quickly in this book been about a month on a half since I read it mainly read Lammle and do labs.

    Google packet tracer activities it’s a .pka file those are great I find a link on a Cisco forum that had a link to download a ton of packer tracer activities just google it man ccna packer tracer activities your find them

    Couldnt figure out GNS3.


    I was thinking going the one path way CCNAX but I figure I go the two path way you get 30 CEU per exam if passed towards Comptia certs which means if I pass CCENT and CCNA within 3 years it will push my CompTIA certs out 3 yrs from date of passing CCNA makes more sense to me IMO. Good luck to you!!!
    Being that you have Tod Lammle's books, he has Packet Tracer labs to offer. Check out this thread, look at post #7.
    Packet Tracer Topology Issue....

    hth
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  14. Taco Tuesday Spiegel's Avatar
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    #13
    Setup my physical lab. It'll probably be a while before I officially start lab but seeing it setup motivates me to want to reach that point quickly.


    cisco lab.jpg
    Degree: WGU B.S. Information Technology - Security [In-Progress]
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    2018 Goals: CIW-SDA [X], Security+ [X], CCENT [ ], Project+ [ ], CCNA [ ]
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  15. Gaming Tech Expert Dakinggamer87's Avatar
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    #14
    I am excited to watch your progress on your journey!!
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    #15
    Hi, I started skimming in Todd Lammle book.
    Planning to take on November - December.
    2018 Year goals:
    CCNA Cyber Ops [Done!]
    Extra goals: VCP6-DCV [1%] , CCENT-CCNA [2%]
    "Certs... is all about IT certs!"
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiegel View Post
    I found this gem: Cisco CCENT Packet Tracer Ultimate labs by David Bombal
    If you end up using this please give us a quick review of the labs. I am going to renew my CCNA next year and I want to find a few packet tracer or GNS 3 labs to use as a refresher.

    I took the Netacad course in 2013 and I really like packet tracer for getting started. Being able to watch the packets move and see where they failed made it a lot easier for me to visualize the traffic flow. By the end of my studies I was using GNS3 for the more advanced labs.

    Don't skip the real equipment because this will teach you to navigate the the network better. Sometimes you will have to move console cables or log into different devices. When everything is visualized you take for granted that the console connection is always just a click away. I set most of my equipment up in my basement and would remote into it as much as possible. Needless to say I got my exercise running up and down the stairs trying to troubleshoot my labs.
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  18. Taco Tuesday Spiegel's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon_Cisco View Post
    If you end up using this please give us a quick review of the labs. I am going to renew my CCNA next year and I want to find a few packet tracer or GNS 3 labs to use as a refresher.

    I took the Netacad course in 2013 and I really like packet tracer for getting started. Being able to watch the packets move and see where they failed made it a lot easier for me to visualize the traffic flow. By the end of my studies I was using GNS3 for the more advanced labs.

    Don't skip the real equipment because this will teach you to navigate the the network better. Sometimes you will have to move console cables or log into different devices. When everything is visualized you take for granted that the console connection is always just a click away. I set most of my equipment up in my basement and would remote into it as much as possible. Needless to say I got my exercise running up and down the stairs trying to troubleshoot my labs.
    I'll definitely provide feedback on my experience with the labs.


    Studies Update:
    Finished the first chapter of the Odom book which talks about TCP/IP networking. So far so good. Familiar with the material so I just skimmed the chapter and wrote down some key topics and terms I'd like to include in the flash cards I'll be building.

    Goals For The Week:
    • Would like to attempt to finish the first major part of the book, Networking Fundamentals, by the end of this week.
    • Go through a good chunk of Chris Bryant's video course on Udemy. These videos aren't that long which are perfect to watch a bit as I get ready for work, during my lunch break, and last 30 minutes of work.
    This looks like the format I’ll be doing for a while since it looks to be mostly theory stuff. Will update weekly with a progress report until things start getting a bit more exciting.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Information Technology - Security [In-Progress]
    Currently Working On: CCENT
    2018 Goals: CIW-SDA [X], Security+ [X], CCENT [ ], Project+ [ ], CCNA [ ]
    Future Certs: Linux+, CCNA Security, CCNP: Routing & Switching, CCNP: Security, MCSA: Win 10
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  19. Senior Member bjpeter's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiegel View Post
    I'll definitely provide feedback on my experience with the labs.


    Studies Update:
    Finished the first chapter of the Odom book which talks about TCP/IP networking. So far so good. Familiar with the material so I just skimmed the chapter and wrote down some key topics and terms I'd like to include in the flash cards I'll be building.

    Goals For The Week:
    • Would like to attempt to finish the first major part of the book, Networking Fundamentals, by the end of this week.
    • Go through a good chunk of Chris Bryant's video course on Udemy. These videos aren't that long which are perfect to watch a bit as I get ready for work, during my lunch break, and last 30 minutes of work.
    This looks like the format I’ll be doing for a while since it looks to be mostly theory stuff. Will update weekly with a progress report until things start getting a bit more exciting.
    When do you plan on taking the exam? By the end of 2018?
    2019 Goals: CISSP, CCSP, eCPPT, CySA+, PenTest+
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  20. Taco Tuesday Spiegel's Avatar
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    #19
    Yes. I should have my reading done by early next month (hopefully sooner) and then I'll jump onto the next phase of my plan. My plan is to do one phase per month with the last two phase done on the last month, December.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Information Technology - Security [In-Progress]
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    2018 Goals: CIW-SDA [X], Security+ [X], CCENT [ ], Project+ [ ], CCNA [ ]
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  21. Senior Member Lunchbocks's Avatar
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    #20
    Nice lab. Where did you get the rack, was it part of the kit?
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  22. Senior Member ssnyderu2's Avatar
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    #21
    Some ebay labs have the rack included. Here is a link if you just need the rack.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/CISCO-12U-D...ss!43065!US!-1
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  23. Taco Tuesday Spiegel's Avatar
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    #22
    As ssnyderu2 mentioned a lot of the labs sold can come with the rack. However, can be purchased separately. The one I have came with the lab and it's just a simple audio equipment rack.

    I can see as I progress in my Cisco studies that expansion may be required, so I see myself investing in a tall rack.

    Side note: I will hopefully have an official update either today or tomorrow regarding my progress.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Information Technology - Security [In-Progress]
    Currently Working On: CCENT
    2018 Goals: CIW-SDA [X], Security+ [X], CCENT [ ], Project+ [ ], CCNA [ ]
    Future Certs: Linux+, CCNA Security, CCNP: Routing & Switching, CCNP: Security, MCSA: Win 10
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    #23
    The little audio racks are great. You can put 4-5 units on them and still move it around pretty easy.

    Once I added rack mount servers I purchased a StarTech.com 25U Adjustable Depth Open Frame 4 Post Server Rack. At bit overkill for CCNA but I am setting up a generic IT lab.
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  25. Senior Member Lunchbocks's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiegel View Post
    As ssnyderu2 mentioned a lot of the labs sold can come with the rack. However, can be purchased separately. The one I have came with the lab and it's just a simple audio equipment rack.

    I can see as I progress in my Cisco studies that expansion may be required, so I see myself investing in a tall rack.

    Side note: I will hopefully have an official update either today or tomorrow regarding my progress.
    Thanks Spiegal and ssnyderu2. I am ordering the rack tomorrow and the lab this weekend.
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  26. Taco Tuesday Spiegel's Avatar
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    #25
    Progress Report:
    So I'm essentially done with the Part 1 of the book, only 8 more to go. It has been a bit of a slow start with family and work stuff happening. I see that I can only dedicate about 2 hours or so of reading per weekday. I can do maybe about 4 hours to 6 hours on the weekend. I do feel like I'm going to slow.

    The way I'm handling my readings is I take the "Did I Know This" quiz before my reading to see which area I need to focus on the most. While I read I take light notes, mostly terms and key point areas and anything else I'm not super familiar with. Then I re-take the quiz to make sure I understood the material and make any additional notes I need to jot down before I move on to the next chapter.

    Do you guys think this is OK method or is there perhaps a different more efficient way of reading the material where I do the reading in a shorter time span while not sacrificing absorption of knowledge? Not trying to take any shortcuts, just trying to maximize the best use of my time.
    Degree: WGU B.S. Information Technology - Security [In-Progress]
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    2018 Goals: CIW-SDA [X], Security+ [X], CCENT [ ], Project+ [ ], CCNA [ ]
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