How to pass CCNA: 6 Steps to Success


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    CCNA is one of the most respected Associate level Certification in the world today.
    Getting a CCNA will definitely help you to get a better job or at least get your foot into Professional Networking Field. When you meet a person that has CCNA degree you will notice that he or she knows something about Networking.
    This article will describe and give you some tips on how to achieve CCNA.
    I did it so can you, so lets get started.

  • 1. Getting ready mentally:
    First thing you need to do is mentally prepare your self. What I mean by that is that you have to seriously think about on why are you getting CCNA and why do you want to be CCNA certified. You have to firmly decide and believe that you will get CCNA within next 3-6 months or so.
    Try to budget your study time well. If you a very social person (like me) you will have to give up some of your social time for the next couple of months.
    Your friends and family will understand. Trust me: it is well worth it. Once you get that cert you can make up for the lost social time.

  • 2. Getting the right study material:
    Second thing you need to do is to get proper study material.
    There is lot of controversy around this and some people go overboard with study guides, books, simulators and such.
    I believe that two Cisco Press books INTR and ICND by Wendell Odom are enough as far as the books go. They are really well written and easy to follow. So sign up at and get those two books. Make sure you got the latest version.
    You will also want to get some kind of a simulator that will let you practice commands and that will also build up your confidence.
    You can buy real equipment but that could get expensive. I highly recommend that you become member of Cisco Certification forum.
    Forum is huge and you will get lot of helpful answers, tips and advices pretty quick. (I know I did)

  • 3. Approach and diving deep:
    There are many different approaches to studying from books but I will tell you about mine. This step will take the most of your studying time.
    -Before you even start reading any of the books I suggest learning binary math (really easy) and subnetting so you can do it in your sleep.
    http// is excellent resource. -read both books casually once from front to cover (make sure you cover introduction and practice questions too). This will give you good overview.
    -Install both CD’s that came with books and practices some of the questions. Don’t worry if you get lot of them wrong.
    -Now, you will ready both books again but this time you will have to read it to truly understand the concept and how things work. Master one chapter and do questions from just that chapter until you sick of it. Then move to the next chapter.
    -Once you mastered all chapters do lot of questions and labexercises. Those two CD’s will give you ability to do that.

    4. Schedule the test:
    You’re not done yet with studying but it is really good to schedule the test after you completed step 3 in this article. Here is why:
    If you schedule the test a month in advance right after you completed step 3, you won’t be able to slack and make excuses not to study hard until tests and it is also good to give your self a headline. I have seen people working on their CCNA for 2 years. They master one or two chapters, then they rest for 2 two months and right when they think they are ready for the next chapter, they forget what they have learned in the first chapter.

    5. Read both books one more time to refresh.
    This is optional, but I highly recommend reading the both books one more time. If you read both books in a three week that will give you one more week before the test to cram which is subject of the next step.
    So by now you should’ve read both books three times over. I also suggest re-reading questions and answers from both books one more time.

    6. Cram, Cram and Cram -This is the last part of your study and there is no turning back. Deadline is hanging around your neck like a noose. You should cram Q&A for no more then 10 days before you take the test.
    At this point it is really important that you get fresh and different questions then those included with your CD’s. Some people claims that brain dumps or Q&A are bad and evil. I tend to disagree with that. At this point you already firmly grasped the whole CCNA concept and Q&A will only help you. So get some Q&A exam question and cram, cram and cram them for a week.
    Don’t use books or CD’s anymore. There is no looking back. No worries, material from the books will return to you at the right time.
    -Don’t do any studying a night or a day before the test. Go out with your wife or significant other to a dinner and a movie. Relax. It is very important to relax and get a good night sleep since one of those testing boots could really be intimidating. If you did all the steps above and read books with intention to understand the topics and how stuff works (no pun intended), and not just to pass the test you should be more then ready by now.

    We came to an end of this short tutorial. I hope this article give you at least some ideas on how to approach studying for CCNA.
    If you fail CCNA first time, don’t get discouraged. You will have more knowledge and confidence when you attempt it the next time then the person who passed it on the first try. Whatever approach you take I wish you good luck and prosper career.

    Vanja Buric is Network Engineer, and works for Charter Communication Business Engineering Department,
    and also owner of the website, where you can get latest networking news, articles, tips, free e-Books, virus alerts and lot more… as well as purchase IT Exam study guides.


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