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Passed ICND1 980/832

Network Fundamentals: 100% LAN Switching Fundamentals: 94% Routing Fundamentals: 100% Infrastructure Services: 100% Infrastructure Maintenance: 88%

That went way better than I anticipated. I'd expected a lot of questions with tricky or subtle wording but almost all the questions were very direct. Sims were all straightforward. I'm 99% sure I know which switching question I missed, and I was leaning toward the correct answer but talked myself out of it, alas. Not sure exactly what I missed with the inframaint section, but I have a couple ideas. Overall, though, I'm obviously plenty happy with my score (and soon-to-be-official certification)!

I'm in school for network administration, but dove into Cisco stuff at the beginning of this year because I was curious, even though my Cisco-focused classes didn't start until August. I nearly took the exam in May but learned about the NetAcad discount, so I decided to wait a few months and save ~$100. I likely would have passed then, but I think that giving it extra time to soak in, and go through the Routing/Switching Essentials course in school, helped cement a lot of things. Based on my school schedules, I'll be taking ICND2 in approximately May of next year; hoping I have as good a time with that as I did this.

Primary resources I used:

  • Lammle's Book: I initially had ordered this and was using it exclusively, as it's the recommended textbook for the networking classes at my school. I did later buy the Odom text, which I discuss below. My overall thoughts on this book are positive, though I definitely think I would have had a harder time passing with only this text. As commonly mentioned, Lammle's style is easier to read, but he omits a fair bit of detail in some topics. My use of this one evolved to reading the chapters to gain familiarity with the topic, and then do a deep dive with Odom's book. It's worth noting that there are a couple topics that Lammle touches on that aren't in Odom's book. Lammle's book is chock full of review questions, labs, and so forth, so even without the depth of Odom, it was still very useful. The PT labs you can get from Lammle are also quite helpful.

  • Odom's Book: I got this about a month into my studying, and I love it. A lot of people say it's a dry/difficult read, and while it's not as conversational as Lammle's writing, I found it quite engaging. I'm also a sucker for fine detail, so that might have something to do with it. Not as many questions, and no explicit labs built in to the book, but a lot of information presented in a very straightforward way. There have been a few topics that I had trouble following in Lammle's book due to the writing style (aspects of IPv6, STP for example) that were far more understandable with Odom's matter-of-fact voice. Odom also includes several topics that didn't make it into Lammle's book, but nothing particularly glaring. The DIKTA questions were very similar in feel to the exam questions.

  • Pearson Practice Tests: These were the practice tests that came with the Odom book. Also the part review exercises. I found these of fairly high quality, and felt they went deeper than many of the exam questions I got.

  • Cisco Network Simulator: This is the lab software that comes in a trial with Odom's book. I bought the full copy for both exams. Most of the labs are fairly basic, but I liked them for drilling a lot of the concepts, and there are some topics covered that aren't available in Packet Tracer, as I recall. The more objective-based configuration and troubleshooting labs were also of reasonable depth and quality.

  • School/NetAcad RSE: My instructor was using version 5 of the NetAcad curriculum for the school, though I got him to move to version 6 for ScaN - for the RSE curriculum thought, the differences were fairly minimal. At my school, the usual versions of these courses are both accelerated half-semester courses, so having studied beforehand definitely helped keep on top of things. The NetAcad content covered most of the content in reasonable depth, though there was plenty that was covered in Lammle/Odom that wasn't here. The more advanced PT activities (e.g. the skills integration challenges and troubleshooting labs) were pretty good, accounting for some of PT's quirks (like DTP not quite working right).

  • Boson's Exams: Definitely true to the format of the exams. Also, in my opinion, a fair bit more difficult, though I feel there were quite a few questions that were a bit tenuous in regards to matching the exam topics. Still, a very good resource, and the topics and question styles matched the real exam pretty closely, though with a higher level of difficulty. My first-time scores for the exams ranged between 870 to 950 or so.

I've already started in on ICND2 topics, but had split my attention between them and studying for ICND1. Now I can put all my attention to the definitely more advanced material in ICND2 and hopefully have similar results come May.

Also, can I have a cute, fuzzy animal? Puppies, hedgehogs, otters, and buns preferred! :)

16 comments
97% Upvoted
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[deleted]
2 points · 7 months ago

Congratulations! Did you use any videos?

CCNA R&S
Original Poster1 point · 7 months ago

Thank you.

I did not use any videos. For most topics, they don't mesh with my learning style very well. I'm much more about books and hands-on learning.

[deleted]
1 point · 7 months ago

Gotta respect that! Once you know your strengths, you should tailor your study to them. I'm realizing that videos make me feel like I'm learning something, but actually, practice questions are what help me most.

CCNA R&S
Original Poster1 point · 7 months ago

Practice questions, labs, and other active are incredibly important because they cement learning and provide feedback. Actively working with information is key to forming the assocaited neural connections in the brain. Passive information sources like books and videos are still very relevant though because you still need somewhere to get that information from before you can start working with it.

And as you said, you have to tailor your choices to what works best for you, which is why it's fantastic that there's so many choices in learning materials, particularly for the CCNA R&S. One of the things I liked about the resources I used is that they all provide some type of active learning component, often with slightly different perspectives on the material, so there's a lot there that reinforces the material.

Thanks for sharing! Really nice review! Congratulations!

CCNA R&S
Original Poster1 point · 7 months ago

Thank you. :)

You sound like you'll crush ICND2

CCNA R&S
Original Poster1 point · 7 months ago

Here's hoping. :D

http://i.imgur.com/GUVOFH7h.gif

congrats! keep going!

Congratulations!

Congrats

Dope bro!!!

Good job man, sounds like you know your learning style and have it dialed in. I wish I was that way but I do not trust myself enough lol

Hey there, thanks for the feedback. I'm gearing up to complete this and will add these tips to my study schedule.

Have an upvote!

Congratulations! I'm studying for ICND1 right now myself. I'm using Odom's book and Lynda.com

CCNA RS
1 point · 7 months ago

Congratulations! Magnificent score!

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