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Paul Browning, LLB(Hons), CCNP, MCSE A+, Net+ email@example.com www.networksinc.co.uk
Laying the Foundation for Success Passing your CCNA – and any exam in fact – is easy. You simply have to put enough dedicated study time in and take the exam. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, if it was that simple everyone would pass every exam they ever take. Simply wanting to pass your exam is not enough. You need to know why you want to pass the exam and what passing the exam will give you. Without a strong emotional reason attached to your goal you will easily become distracted and lose sight of what it is you want to achieve. If you really want to pass your CCNA, prove it to yourself now. Say “Yes” out loud now. I don’t care if you are sitting on the tube or bus, you will probably never see the other people there again anyway. We get up and go to work every day because we need money to pay our bills, buy food, and keep a roof over our head. If we didn’t go to work we would have no money and end up living in the gutter. This is what is known as ‘away from’ motivation: the fear of being in this situation forces people to go out to work. Now what about the free time we have left after work? Most people will sleep for eight hours; let’s say we work for eight hours and travel to and from work for two hours per day. We need to spend at least an hour or two a day eating, washing, making phone calls, etc. We have just five hours free time left during the working week (depressed yet?).
Now, with the remaining five hours most of us feel that we have earned the right to rest so generally people watch TV, take a nap, surf the Internet or socialize. This is our discretionary time. In order to give up part of that discretionary time you will need a strong motivating factor. This is ‘towards’ motivation and, it has to be strong enough for you to give up some of this free time to achieve something else. The kicking-off point is to work out what it is you really want to achieve. Now for the nasty part: if you continue doing what you are doing now, will you achieve the things you want to achieve in your life? Circle the answer: No Yes
© Paul Browning 2005 www.networksinc.co.uk
every single summer I spent my holiday leave studying for exams at home.networksinc. I didn’t want to be a lawyer. you could expect to have one or more of the things below once you are a CCNA: Improved marketability Enhanced career prospects Enjoy protection from unemployment Become your own boss Gain respect and prestige Be up-to-date with your IT knowledge Receive recognition as an IT professional Personal development Become the expert at work I remember studying for a law degree while I had a full-time job in the police in the UK. like most other students I had never thought out what I wanted to do with the qualification. My current goal is to develop a high enough income from my other business interests to retire in four years and five months (when I am 38). It could be the start of your consulting career and end up with you running a successful IT company. © Paul Browning 2005 www. Realistically. Now the years of study were not wasted. but with a goal in mind I may have chosen to study for an IT degree or perhaps taken a different route altogether.co. While others were out enjoying the sun or going on holiday I sat inside on a chair learning about advanced property law principles and revising for exams. I was already in the police and had passed my promotion exams. I spent five years going to night school three nights a week and. Do you want to pass the CCNA? What will passing the CCNA give you that you don’t have now but want? If all you want is loads of money. will passing the CCNA give that to you? Possibly. have a strategy to achieve it.uk 3 . I know how much money I will need and. The trouble is. I eventually decided I wanted to move into IT. I passed my law degree with a very good grade.Be Specific The more specific you are the better.
you will be a victim to whatever changes are forced upon you. goal. Without a strategy. I had set up my own IT company and taught Cisco courses in my spare time and. Do you ever hear people you know saying “I’ll see what comes along” or “I’ll see what turns up?” I shake my head in disbelief when I hear adults saying this.I am using the techniques here to achieve the things I want and I am right on track. the other two guys had back-up plans that kicked into action for them. how being a Cisco engineer fits into your life plan.networksinc. Tell Me What You Want Before you decide to study for the CCNA qualification ask yourself why you want to pass it and. Start work on your plan today. As Steven Covey says in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: “Begin With The End In Mind. Enough about me though. Every other engineer who spent their spare time playing computer games and watching TV ran around panicking and frantically applying for the same sort of job for less money than they could afford to live on. plan.uk 4 . the only thing that turned up for us was our jobs being outsourced to India and all of us being made redundant. The truth is nothing will come along or turn up. Those who had not spent any time working on a back-up plan (or “exit strategy” as my Australian friend used to say) went into panic mode. “How much will I © Paul Browning 2005 www. what about you? By mapping out what it is you really want you (believe it or not) are now ahead of 99 percent of the world’s population who have no idea where they are going.” Common questions I am always asked include “Will passing the CCNA get me into IT?” Or “How much will I earn as a CCNA?” This is like asking.co. Out of the 40 engineers there were only three of us who found work straightaway. When I had a job a year or so ago I worked with 40 top Cisco engineers in the UK and. or whatever you want to call it.
If you are just after cold. They think that something magical will happen once they pass the exam such as the CEO of a large company phoning them up to offer them a highly-paid job. will you really be motivated to study hard? If it is just cash you want then there are a thousand ways to get it without having to hit the books and do hundreds of practice labs. or you want more recognition at work.networksinc. Why Do You Want to Pass? Let’s start at the very beginning.uk 5 .co. You don’t have to be looking for consultancy work or a pay rise (but I am sure you wouldn’t turn it down). and some high earners.” Why? What is it that you want to have. © Paul Browning 2005 www.earn as if I pass my pilot’s exams?” There are some pilots just scraping by. What is it you want to achieve from passing the CCNA? The vast majority of people have given little thought to this. or do as a result of passing the CCNA? Even if it is only because you will feel better about yourself. This is the key to your success. that’s fine. be. “Because I want to pass it. A better question is. Now make sure that you actually find doing Cisco support and troubleshooting enjoyable. hard cash. Think about your why before your how. “Why would I want to be a CCNA?” Have you researched what full-time and contractor CCNAs earn where you are? Have you spoken to CCNAs or CCIEs and asked them how they apply what they have learned? If you don’t know any. Why are you considering studying for the exam? Don’t say. then ask friends and family for introductions and invite the engineers out for a coffee and a chat.
holidays. If it was a car.How much extra money do you want to earn? What would you spend it on? Cars. Without this the struggle to study will be much harder and the chances of you giving up significantly higher. at lunch time. be. get it laminated. cut out pictures of the make. model. getting out of debt. get brochures and cut out the destination. I saw the CCNA as a means to earning more money so I could find work closer to home and be with my family again. and color of the car. When you have written them down.networksinc. I had to live miles away from my wife and daughter while working on a helpdesk. If it is a holiday. and refer to it in the morning when you first get up. Write down the things that you will have. © Paul Browning 2005 www. or do as a result of passing the exam. the next step is to get some photos of the things you want. a nicer home? Do you want to: Get a pay rise Get into IT Fire your boss Go contracting/consulting Have a career change Impress others For self-improvement/satisfaction Impress the opposite sex Write it down NOW Passing the CCNA will give me: …………………… …………………… …………………… …………………… By doing this you will have determined your motivating factors.co. When I was studying I had only been in IT for a few weeks.uk 6 . Write them down on a small card. Build a book of the images and words and refer to it regularly throughout the day. and before you go to bed.
networksinc. Example – if you want to be a CCIE in a month and you have never seen a Cisco router before. passing the three-hour written exam and getting a lab seat wherever in the world your Cisco lab testing center is are very remote.” Every morning. Your hands-on experience and usefulness to the corporation would be limited until you became more knowledgeable. Say What You Want Writing down your goals and when you want to achieve them by has a very powerful effect. If you want to turbocharge this process then say what you want. free time. What have you got to lose? While I believe you should always set high goals for yourself.uk 7 . because I believe that with enough determination and planning you can achieve almost anything you desire. The same with the desire of moving into IT from another career: it is doubtful that you will pass your CCNA and then become a highly-paid IT consultant for a major corporation in a few weeks from knowing nothing. Say what you want out loud. Dangerous territory this. Just make sure the thing you want is within the bounds of reality.This gave me the motivation to study for hours every day and to take the CCNA exam again after I failed it the first time around. Your brain becomes programmed to have. The chances of you getting sufficient handson experience.co. business success. yes – also to the amount of money my family and I have in our lives. write down when what you want to achieve in the present tense. Set yourself a goal. Now I know many people will be reading this and thinking that it doesn’t work. this process has made a massive difference to my quality of life. don’t set your expectations too high (see below). You see. You would have to considerably embellish your CV or resume to make up for your lack of experience. Don’t put yourself in that situation. or do the thing you write down. Well. be. and. I suggest giving it a try for 21 days straight. it does work very well indeed and. Say out loud now: “I am a CCNA. © Paul Browning 2005 www. you are setting yourself up for disappointment. as soon as you get up and before you begin the usual day’s grind.
Constantly write out your name with CCNA afterwards. As you imagine this scene squeeze your right hand into a fist. The squeezing of your right fist will become an anchor for you to use.uk 8 . Using NLP techniques can seriously improve your exam and.goalgenie.com See What You Want Practice visualization. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the exam room easily answering the questions as they appear. imagine the administrator saying “Congratulations Mary” (only if your name is Mary. in fact. There is a great tool called Goal Genie which I highly recommend for goal setting. Imagine how proud you would feel inside when you tell your colleagues. Put the scene into bright colors. That’s how I got into IT. There is no reason one month from now you couldn’t pass your CCNA and get some sort of network support role if it is your first job in IT after passing the exam. that is) as they hand you the pass sheet. Write on your card the things you want. You need to become a CCNA before you pass the CCNA. www.richardbandler. © Paul Browning 2005 www. You can get it at www. life performance. For example: “It is (date) and I am a CCNA” “I have an IT job in a large company” “I am earning …….At the same time. Write it out now: …………………………………. a system devised by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Picture yourself quickly configuring the labs and fixing the faults on the routers. friends.com There is a scene in the third Lord of the Rings film Return of the King where the Elf Lord – Elron tells Aragorn to leave the ranger behind and become the person he was supposed to be – the King. You can use this anchor to trigger positive feelings for you when you are actually in the exam.networksinc. See yourself coming out of the exam and being given the sheet with your name saying you have passed. and family.” “I am enjoying my new role as a network engineer.co.. This technique is used in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.” etc. don’t set your sights too low. and so can you.
networksinc. Avoid thinking or writing “I want to be” or “I hope I am”: say what you want. You can configure a router. no matter how satisfying they are. Even if you can only manage 20 minutes per day before your children wake up and you have to go to work. you can work out subnetting in your head. No Gain Passing the CCNA takes dedication and regular study. then work around that.co. You just need to work at it. Don’t lock yourself away for months.uk 9 . you will have to drop some of the time-consuming things you do presently. you are clever. Write it on your PC. Write your goals on a card and read them every few hours. You can do it. Even if only for a short time. You may doubt me but this method is used by some of the most successful (and richest) people in the world. write it on your napkins. Passing the exam requires dedication and sacrifice. Write down these lines every day and throughout the day when you get a spare moment. but look at how you are spending your day and see what you can cut back on or cut out for a few weeks. write it on your hand if you have no paper. Strike out the phrase “I can’t” from your vocabulary. Don’t try to think logically about this. What things are you willing to sacrifice while you study for the exam? TV Sleep Overtime at work Time with family/friends Socializing © Paul Browning 2005 www. As long as during the time you spend you put in 100 percent effort. JUST DO IT…DO IT NOW. say what you want. No Pain.Write in the present tense. People who have achieved the hardest goals and people who are multimillionaires use these techniques. “If you say you can’t then you must”: Anthony Robbins. not stupid. the study habit will get your further then the person who crams in a six-hour marathon study session once per week.
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going”: Beverly Sills. Sorry to be so blunt. I had no experience with routers at all. then you have no reason to give anything up for a while. Remember that passing the exam is not a race. I was doing first-line IT support that was purely Windows-based.co. The How to Pass your CCNA guide will work if you follow the steps. If you never wrote out why you want to pass the exam. which was a good thing. I got sick of studying and took the exam without really understanding subnetting.networksinc. What use would I have been to a company as a network technician as someone who didn’t understand the basics? The study period will vary depending upon how quickly you can digest the information and apply what you have learned. opera singer. While I was studying for the CCNA I had recently gone into IT from the police force.Surfing the Net Playing games Write out your own list and stick to it. I will go into exam technique later on. or forget the whole idea of taking the exam. if these things are just too important to you not to miss out on for a while then you do not have a strong enough reason to study. but you will be wasting your time and effort if you don’t give this your best shot. I failed. Either find a stronger reason that will motivate you to make the sacrifices. everything you need to achieve your goals and dreams in life. © Paul Browning 2005 www.000 a year so you can take your children away on holiday. You have within you already. then you will be motivated to put the TV in the cupboard for a few weeks. If you have written out things on your other list such as earning an extra £1.uk 10 . How Much Work? How much studying you will need to be ready for the exam varies greatly. You will be taking the test on your own at a time you feel ready to take it. It took me around six weeks of two to three hours study a day in order to pass the exam. Get it? Now.
Accept the fact that you have to work. Make your own set of cram cards with questions on one side and answers on the other side. © Paul Browning 2005 www. sleep. you are not the only busy person. Don’t skip this part: it will save you weeks of frustration and wasted effort.. Instead of going off to lunch with friends. Other people will try to talk you out of what you are doing saying things like “You don’t need to do that. put your study notes onto your PC and read it or do some practice exams. If you can get away with it. etc. You have to adapt your studies to your own situation.Okay.co. If you are busy working then carry your CCNA book and study notes with you at all times. find a quiet area and read. and adapt your study time to fit around the things you have to do. Now write down how much time you are willing to set aside per day for studying. Everyone else in the world who is studying for their CCNA has their own unique challenges they have to face as well. eat.uk 11 . then get some earplugs and just go somewhere with minimal distractions.” How do I Find the Time? You will be surprised at how much time we can waste every day. If you can’t do that then try to recall port numbers or pencil down some CCNA exam facts that you can recall from memory. so you have decided that you really want to pass your CCNA and written down what you are prepared to sacrifice for the time you are studying.networksinc. Remember – never take advice from people who don’t have what you want. “I pledge to myself now that I will put aside _______ hours per day study time. Your friends and family may say hurtful things to you if they are used to you being always there. Friend or Foe People (including family and children) will not understand why you are not always available all of a sudden. If you can’t find anywhere quiet.” Politely remind them that it is very important to you and tell them you need their support or at least their acquiescence. They may say that you don’t care about them or that you have become distant.
It is unlikely you will receive any life-or-death calls for the next few hours. if it is a ringing mobile phone then turn it off for an hour. and even when you are sitting on the toilet. computer games and movies you are going to struggle. You will only give them ammunition to throw at you. during your lunch break. Illness. look at your reasons for studying. I am always amused when people go to the gym to train and. you can tell everyone when you pass. What is it that you want to achieve and. Is any call so important that it can’t go through to your voicemail? Carry CCNA study material with you at all times. If you have filled it with soap operas. then spend an hour there on the phone chatting. a friend. you will push on regardless. will the temptation help you achieve this goal? If your reason is strong enough. Take counsel from successful people who have earned the right to give out advice. If you are going out in a car see if somebody else can drive. By all means though.co. instead. submitting CV after CV and then fixing problem after problem. family. If you work in a place like this. Distractions There will be times when life tempts you away from your goal. Frame your certificate and put it up at work or at home: be proud. on the bus. Read it in the car (if you are a passenger).I can quite happily sit here at my computer giving out advice on the hardships of studying. When this temptation comes along. invitations out. favorite TV programs. do not tell your colleagues what you are doing – I have made this mistake countless times. Get photocopies made and make sure your boss and the personnel department have copies. What a waste of time and money. Be obsessed © Paul Browning 2005 www. Some people can be intimidated when they see others achieving. Beware of low-flyers.uk 12 . Remove temptation.networksinc. people who try to trip you up due to their own feelings of inadequacy. In a short time you will be sitting in the exam room with only your brain to bail you out. I have spent years of my life studying for and passing many types of exams. Come into work with a huge bag of donuts and coffee for everyone.
com. The length of study time is less important than setting aside a regular daily study period. If it means you getting up an hour earlier then do © Paul Browning 2005 www. I’m not crazy.with passing your exam. Your family will start to encourage you to study so they can all enjoy the treat with you. you will be able to move it with no financial penalty. It takes six weeks to form a new habit that will take you to where you want to go in life. If you have children. a trip to the movies. If I stay at home one night she comes over and asks me why I am not going out and working on my goal so we can all go to the restaurant.com or VUE at www. Keep to the same time of day EVERY DAY. No.” Practice focusing on the thing you will give yourself.vue. I tell her I am doing it so we can all go to the nice restaurant soon. or just time together playing in the park. tell them what treat you are all going to have when you pass the exam. then carry a menu around with you or a photograph and look at it often to focus on why you are not doing other things. One of the most important rules of studying success is the habit. If it helps. If it is a meal out. What will you treat yourself to when you pass? It doesn’t have to be something big: it could be going out to see a movie you really want to see or even just going for a coffee at your favorite coffee shop. It could be a meal out. If you have to sacrifice time with your family. I won’t allow myself to watch it until I achieve my goal.networksinc. buy the thing and have it ready for you to enjoy.uk 13 .2test. I am currently working toward an important goal and as a reward I have a DVD on my window ledge looking back at me. If you say you will book the exam at some point in the future you will easily become distracted and procrastinate. When I go out to work toward my goal. then have a family goal.co. You can book the exam in the UK and most other countries with Sylvan Prometric at www. “When I pass my CCNA exam I will _____________________________________. You only need to be obsessed for about a month and then you can reap the rewards. My seven-year-old daughter has mentioned that she wants to visit a new restaurant in town so we can all dress up in our best clothes. Get the Study Bug When you start your course of study the first thing to do is book the exam. If the date gets too close for comfort. Make sure it is a goal they buy into.
Get the Habit If possible. If you don’t have a relative then pay for a babysitter. BE RUTHLESS. Healthy Mind Having a healthy body will insure your mind is in tip-top condition. and schoolteachers. then drink less or no coffee and get a good night’s rest. JUST DO IT. You can start by walking for 10 minutes a day.uk 14 . make you feel a lot better about yourself.co. STOP. Don’t sit there shaking your head.networksinc. If you start eating foods high in sugar or simple carbohydrates you will feel drowsy and more likely to fall asleep. I am only 33 years old. that is the last thing you need to do. don’t complain and gripe. Try to avoid eating at the same time as you are studying. Try it for 10 days even if you don’t believe me. Walking will clear your mind. If you can’t afford it. friends. If you get tired from reading or revising for your exam then go for a 10-minute walk around the neighbourhood. You don’t have to embark on a punishing workout schedule. Healthy Body. Turn off your home and mobile phones. If you are tired. In fact. If you are overweight or even obese your capacity to perform is seriously impeded. and increase your ability to learn tenfold. Look at your list of motivating reasons for doing this and © Paul Browning 2005 www. Your heart is struggling even at this moment to pump enough oxygenated blood around your body. Have faith and break the years of programming you have had from your parents. I am so close to retiring I can almost taste it and. Tell the children to leave you alone: they probably won’t listen to that so get a friend or relative to take them out and return the favor after you pass the exam. study at the same time and in the same place. As you sit down you will be tempted to make a quick call.it. make yourself a coffee or catch come TV. You will feel invigorated and ready to take in more information. Your study location should be free from distractions. then sell your TV on eBay and use that money to pay the babysitter. It is doubtful whether you will be receiving an important phone call in the next hour.
There are a thousand reasons to drop your studies. Keep going forward.co.uk 15 . If you first open the CCNA book and look at what is ahead it is easy to become disillusioned. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of the day and kicking yourself for not achieving some study time. There are many great books available on how to do it. © Paul Browning 2005 www. Study Techniques There are so many study techniques available. the teacher announced that you could read and. but just look at how the chapters are put together and browse the headings and diagrams. Don’t bother to actually read it.then get the books open and have a full-on study session.networksinc. Don’t skip back to bits you think you have missed. you will do it. You will be reading the book many times over so you will see the information again and again. The way we learn to read is painfully slow. Just take the studying one chapter or subject at a time. and the level of comprehension is very low. and self-study all at the same time. Was it worth it? Of course it was. Remember being taught to read at school? One day when you were about 10. This method is known as speed-reading. You will be able to digest and retain far more information far quicker if you apply speed-reading principles to your study. promotion exams at work. but if your reason for doing it is strong enough. the reading lessons promptly ended. I ended up getting rid of my TV for a year. I have held down a full-time job while studying for a degree. it encourages us to instantly forget what we just read. Have another sweep taking note of some of the wording of the main topics. Have another sweep. You can reward yourself with a coffee or a quick phone call afterwards. Accept the fact that there is a better way and try it out. If you think it isn’t for you then think again. not hard. I am telling you this because I have been there. this time noting the subheadings. When you first open the book skim through the whole thing. as it was a distraction to what I wanted to achieve. Study smart.
The same goes for newsgroups.” Be polite but drop them like a hot potato and find somebody who is keen to pass and prepared to put in the time and effort. Questions like “What routers do I need for a CCNA lab?” are found easily all over the Web. Would you rather soar with the eagles or scratch the ground with the turkeys? Speaking of time and effort. If you spend time with losers. Choose wisely: don’t find somebody who drags you down and who uses negative words like “I’m never going to pass this exam” or “I’ll start tomorrow. Find a study partner nearby. Life will conspire to prevent you from studying. Please.co. At the same time. We all logged onto a router for the first time once not knowing what the hell we were doing. not an event. If possible. find a mentor.uk 16 .If you come to areas that don’t seem to be sinking. There will be times when things get on top of you. Come to them with your question and what research you have done to try to find the answer. please bear in mind that if this person is willing to help you. Somebody who knows a lot more than you and can help you to understand things you aren’t sure of. Give them your interpretation of the issue and they will be far more willing to help you. If the interruption is © Paul Browning 2005 www. There will be hundreds of things you are going to be learning in life that don’t click the first time. Avoid the quick-fix schemes such as brain dumps or finding out exam questions from others who have taken the exam already. Small things you should be able to deal with.networksinc. or if this is not possible find one on a newsgroup for CCNAs. It is just that sometimes people forget they were ever there. If you don’t put in the effort and pass you will have achieved nothing and will be of little or no use as an employee or consultant. Learning is a process. don’t be scared of what people are thinking about you. Do you remember learning to drive for the first time? Get a Study Buddy Studying is far more fun with two than one. you are a loser. in don’t worry. do not take them for granted. I hate to see postings by lazy people asking questions that are answered in the newbies section or easily found on the web. Anything worth achieving is worth fighting for.
Thousands have been in the same situation.unavoidable such as sick children or a house move. You have been done a favour – it wasn’t time for you to pass yet. Not passing the exam doesn’t mean you are a failure. The real exam will be asking different questions or getting you to apply your knowledge to different circumstances. © Paul Browning 2005 www. The exams are very good value for money and. When you book the exam you may want to avoid telling people the date. When you first use the Boson exams. You could think that telling others will give you the added incentive to pass.networksinc. You will need to apply this knowledge to some practice exams. For most of us this will add unwanted pressure and anxiety to an already stressful situation. If you don’t get through the exam on the first attempt. don’t worry. Keep going through the exams again and again. Don’t get frustrated by the problem: this is life’s way of testing you to see if you really want it badly enough. Don’t use the practice exams in place of studying. Getting the information and then applying it to questions are two different things. then deal with the problem and as quickly as possible get back on track. I have no financial gain from promoting their CCNA exams (but I have written an A+ exam for them). Hands-On Experience Hands-on experience can only be gained by using real routers or router simulators.boson.com. part of the proceeds go to the author who spent months putting the exam together for you.uk 17 . Write down what areas you need to brush up on and work on them. I strongly recommend using real routers or renting time with online Cisco racks if at all possible. including me. don’t be surprised if you are getting very low marks. Just one word of warning.co. The theoretical knowledge is all contained in your CCNA study guide. Use simulators only if you really can’t find real routers anywhere. The best ones available on the market are made by www. When you are hitting over 95 percent consistently you know you are nearly ready for the real thing. Practice Exams In order to pass the exam you will need both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience. Please avoid downloading cracked versions of the exam.
uk 18 .For the exam you need to be 100 percent confident with configuring routers and switches. VLANs. Make sure you take your booking receipt with you in case they say you never booked (as happened to me once). There is a very high chance that you will be tested on several subnetting questions. access-lists. one with a photograph on it such as your passport or driver’s licence. Otherwise. Write down any information you feel you may need. © Paul Browning 2005 www. you will have a chance to go through a mock test to show you how to tick the correct boxes and click on the exhibits. It will help to calm any nerves you may have and get you into the swing of clicking on the correct answers. Check their rules and regulations for rescheduling when you book online. These are easy marks and. Wear a few layers of clothes: the room may well be kept quite cool. When the exam starts you are well within your rights to write anything down on the paper. switching. You should be familiar with the troubleshooting steps to quickly diagnose and resolve a broken network. Exam Day When you go to the testing centre make sure you arrive in good time. If you are not highly confident with your theory and hands-on skills then you are winging it. Before the Exam You must be familiar with all the configuration commands available for routers and switches and very familiar with the CCNA theory. If you have the time and money to waste. routing metrics. Go through the mock exam even if you know what you are doing. Don’t spend ages writing down all your administrative distances: you may not even be asked about them.co.networksinc. though. You will be expected to be able to configure routing protocols. Check with the testing centre before you arrive. Prior to the start of the real test. it would be tragic for you to miss out on them. All of the facts and figures such as administrative distances. You will need to produce two pieces of identification. When you go into the testing room you will be given a sheet of paper and pens. and many other subjects. you will be able to reschedule your seat if you give adequate notice to the testing company. Some testing centres take your pen from you and give you a mini-whiteboard and a felt pen. access-list numbers. You should be able to look at network diagrams and configure the routers to match the configuration you see. should be imprinted on your brain. etc. port numbers. then go for it.
You will be expected to configure some routers and possibly troubleshoot a network that is not working correctly. I remember passing my final MCSE exam and thinking that I still only knew a fraction of what there was to know about IT and networking. After the Exam When you pass the exam you may experience mixed feelings. For the troubleshooting scenario. They even forget basic stuff sometimes like port numbers or certain commands. or the Internet.co. At the end. I have met some very highly-paid and successful IT consultants who are experts in their field who got stuck on the occasional problem. the chapter on troubleshooting techniques should insure you solve the problem in no time at all.networksinc. You will then have two or three left to choose from. then you were not ready to sit for the exam.uk 19 . You may feel elated at achieving a milestone in your life. You will be given a pass/fail sheet on your way out. You may also feel disappointed that you feel that you still know nothing at all. Relax anyway and use the exam as a practice run. you should have no trouble here. During the exam you may be presented with questions whose answers you are not sure of . We have all had to “guesstimate” the odd exam answer so you’re in great company. If you are left guessing too many answers. © Paul Browning 2005 www. There will be some practical tests during the exam. I will let you into a trade secret: nobody knows everything. Time goes by very quickly and you will not do yourself justice if you take up 90 percent of your time doing half of the exam and then rushing through the last half in 10 minutes.Make sure you clench your right fist or use whatever trigger you have been practicing to eliminate anxiety and to insure your body is flooded with positive feelings. If you have practiced the exercises in the book time and time again until you no longer have to look up the commands. the computer screen will tell you if you were successful. Don’t panic. Keep track of time throughout the exam. You should be able to eliminate one or two answers that are definitely incorrect. where you can post questions or shout for help. There will always be somebody to ask.
Cisco have a support line for members or you can send off an e-mail to Cisco TAC and ask for help (if you have a support contract).co. I expect a full page on this alone.uk so we can all congratulate you on your success. Congratulations! You are a winner. Let me know when you pass and what you did to celebrate. my friend. Cisco do not release statistics for how many people fail their first attempt.networksinc. Let me know what it was like. There are many who say that they could pass the exam if they wanted but they never take it. work on the reasons why they would. Motivation Passing the CCNA shows you are special. A newly-qualified CCNA has everything s/he needs to do a networking job. When you do pass. If you have limited or no experience then you are still in a strong position with the qualification compared to those who say they could pass it but are too lazy or scared to try.networksinc. but I would put it at around 50 percent.co. What did you learn while you were studying that could help others pass? What did you do to celebrate? What Now? What do you want now? What did you write down as your goal? Don’t fall into the trap of saying you need more qualifications or exams before you start looking for work or a promotion. your head may be in the clouds as the endorphins in your brain give you a feeling of euphoria. © Paul Browning 2005 www. Try to avoid driving for a while: go for a victory lap (walk) around the testing centre to clear your head. The CCNA qualification is respected the world over and a sign that you have put significant time and effort into studying.uk 20 . This reaction is due to self-doubt and fear. Make a list of all the great things about you and why companies would be falling over each other to have them work for you. Drop us an email at www. and have achieved something to be proud of. Forget all the reasons why somebody wouldn’t want to give you a job or promote you and.
make sure you write down what you want to achieve by taking these exams. If the money is a motivating factor. If you want my book list then e-mail me at help@networksinc. © Paul Browning 2005 www.networksinc. my friend. From the CCNA you can go on to take your CCNP or the coveted CCIE. Do you think you have crossed the finish line by passing your CCNA? A successful career in IT means having to keep up-to-date with technology. then find out what CCNPs are earning near to where you live. You just have to believe in yourself and take action.uk 21 . When I left Cisco to become a contractor I earned three times my salary but there was a few months when I had very little money coming in to pay the bills with.co. Listen to tapes by people who inspire you and read books on goal-setting and achievement. The End? Remember I said that this is a marathon and not a sprint.uk Live your dreams and stick close to the high-flyers.I wish you every success with passing your exam and in your goals. anybody can.co. If you don’t know them yet. Are there many jobs available. you have in your possession everything you will ever need to achieve the success you dream about.uk with “booklist” as the subject.co. As before. Cisco recognize this by making you retake your CCNA every three years. If I can help you in any way then feel free to contact me at help@networksinc. See you on the beach. Choose to take advice of people who have the things you want to achieve. You make your own luck in life and. but you would have to go out and find work for yourself. not the people whose shoes you wouldn’t want to be in. Luck has nothing to do with it. Don’t be put off: if I can do it. then get out there and meet them. Speak only to people who inspire and motivate you. or would you feel better contracting? You would be your own boss.
authentic hands-on CCNA boot camp training and see how. Every student leaves the course with our famous “Pass Your CCNA in 3 Weeks Plan. Thanks for the help and encouragement. taught by friendly Cisco experts. a comprehensive hands-on lab guide featuring 28 practical labs with walkthrough configuration guides. you will be at the next bootcamp weekend. Richard Cunningham – Network Engineer E-mail: help@networksinc.MRSC (and now CCNA) Hi Paul.networksinc. run Cisco CCNA weekend boot camps every month in Milton Keynes (UK). CChem. MCSE. fantastic value.uk skype: networksincltd Phone (UK): 01908 263335 www. Neil Summers.networksinc. A+. Ltd.uk (live chat available via the training home page) © Paul Browning 2005 www. course and one to one help. The Ultimate CCNA Cram Guide and The Easy Way to Subnet Guide. BSc.co.uk 22 . I took the exam for the first time today and scored 930. Net+ Hi Paul. and contains the very latest strategies to guarantee success in your CCNA exam.co. From being made redundant in the chemical industry to employment as a CCNA network engineer in six months thanks to your book. All students are provided with Paul Browning’s famous book ‘CCNA Simplified – Your complete guide to passing the CCNA exam’. you can be successful in your CCNA exam using a new breakthrough training system. Discover how you can benefit from affordable.” The course is proven to get you to CCNA level quickly and effectively. Thought I would write to tell your course last weekend did the trick and I passed the CCNA today. You deserve a hands-on Cisco CCNA boot camp weekend training course which is fun. Just to say thanks for the hands on experience I received on your course at the end of November. so if you live in the UK or a short plane journey away (Luton Airport) and are serious about passing your CCNA.Do You Want to Pass Your CCNA? Networks Incorporated.co. Paul Browning LLB(Hons) – Director CCNP. like these people.
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