I was not prepared for the exam. I went ahead and took it anyways. It was a bit stressful and I really struggled with time management. It is difficult to establish a good rhythm for the exam because the types of questions can appear in any order.
The simulation and simlet questions take much more time than the multiple choice questions. In addition you cannot revisit a question once it has been answered.
The total allowed exam time is 90 minutes and the exams have 45-55 questions. I spent the first 35-40 minutes on the first 10 problems. I felt extremely rushed but ended up finishing with 15 minutes after answering my final question.
My preliminary Examination Score Report shows a grade of Pass. I’m going to wait for the official exam results before I mark this as done.
I’m planning on spending about a week typing in QWERTY. I do not think that PearsonVue will allow me to take the CCNA exam with a Dvorak keyboard layout.
I’m down to the last 54 labs on the Network Simulator. I have a lot of questions about various protocols that I would like to test. However I’m running into limitations of the simulator.
I completed reading my first study guide and I also purchased the Cisco Press exam certification guide to help me improve on my weaker topics.
Two weeks ago I met several wonderful people at my local Cisco users group. One kind gentleman lent me a couple of 3620 routers. Now I would really like to get my hands on some Catalyst switches.
I have 4 practice exams that came with my study guide that I need to take. I need to evaluate my skill strengths to see if it would be reasonable to take the test. I have not scheduled a date to take the exam and I’d like to leave myself a week for review.
I’m making progress but it sure feels slow.
I’ve been using Network Simulator a lot lately. I’m currently running through the skill builder labs for ICND1. It has been extremely helpful to virtually use the skills I’m learning from the study guide. I hope to progress through to the configuration and troubleshooting sections shortly.
I’ve downloaded the software updates but there are some very obvious limits to the simulator. It doesn’t allow me to build my own network topologies so I need to follow the specific labs. Two pairs of the labs literally covered the same topics with different lab names. I also have some complaints about the user interface. The simulator window has a fixed resolution of 1024×768. This might have been popular 3-4 years ago but it looks awful on a wide-screen monitor. Cut and paste would be a nice feature to have. The simulator does not support advanced editing keystrokes.
There have been a few annoyances where the simulator does not follow reality. For example, the simulator’s command history remembers commands that you’ve typed into another device through a telnet session. Actual hardware does not behave in this manner. There are some more annoyances but I can’t tell if these are features of the simulator or the actual IOS.
I broke down and order the CCNA 640-802 Network Simulator from Amazon. It seems to be fairly extensive with 250 labs. Unfortunately the software won’t ship until next week. I would have liked to have purchased real hardware but I was not able to make decisions about what routers and switches I need.
I may still get the physical hardware at a later date but now the budget is about $100 smaller because I purchased the simulator.
The book reading is going ok. I still have ~450 pages left in my study guide.
I used to work in network operations centers providing support for a variety of products and services. All of these places ran some amount of Cisco gear. I have a decent foundation in networking concepts but my knowledge of Cisco commands and configuration syntax needs improvement.
I’d like to complete this by 31March2011. I’m planning to take the 640-802 exam.
What have I do so far:
I’ve purchased a book and I’ve read through a couple of chapters so far.
I’ve gone through the quick learning modules associated with ICND1 and ICND2.
I’ve joined the CCENT and CCNA study groups on the Cisco Learning Network.
I’ve attended a meeting of a local Cisco users group.
Short term plans:
I would like to set up a lab or simulation environment. I’m not sure exactly what I need but I want at least 3 switches to learn STP, VLAN configurations, and VTP. I also want 2 or 3 routers to learn OSPF, RIPv2, Frame Relay, and PPP.
I plan on reading the remaining ~800 pages of my study text.