I PASSED THE CCENT EXAM!! – ICND1 Exam Tips

I PASSED THE CCENT EXAM!! – ICND1 Exam Tips


– Hey, what’s going on, guys? Welcome back to NetworkChuck. Today I’ve got something special for you. I’ve got a guest, my brother Cameron. (laughs) (electronic music) This is my brother, Cameron. Say hi, brother Cameron. – Hi.
– First coffee. It’s really hot. So as you can tell from
the title of the video, this is gonna be about him
passing his CCENT exam, which is amazing. Congrats, by the way. Anyways, my brother, he took his CCENT, what, a couple of weeks ago? – About two or three. – And he passed. So I wanted to give you guys kind of a view into
what he did to prepare, some of the things he encountered, and what advice he might give someone who’s about to take the exam, or who’s thinking about
getting into the ICND1. So the first big thing, and obviously, it’s the biggest thing
they want to know, is, how long did you study? – Studying took me
probably around six months, but honestly, if I really
would’ve applied myself more, I probably could’ve taken
about three or four. And that’s kind of what I
planned for the next test, is about three or four months. – So why did it take you so
long to study for you CCENT? – ‘Cause originally I did
study for the previous version, which was the 100-101, and I didn’t make the deadline
to actually take that test, and it got revised to the CCNA V3. – Mm-hmm, I’ve been
there with a few tests. Now, real quick, you have another cert. What other cert do you have? – The CompTIA A+. – So he has his A+. So how did the A+ exam
compare to the CCENT exam, the ICND1. – I would say that the CompTIA
was a lot more factual, a lot more of a, book reading would really help, everything’s pretty down, and the questions with the CCENT, it’s more, you have to
know how things work and how it operates, such as switching, and
layer two, layer three, and how things operate, and you have to enter a couple of commands whenever you’re doing the test, I never actually had
to configure anything, it was more show commands, and then also the not
being able to go back and check your work. Every question that you answer is final. So that does make you think a lot harder. – So what you’re saying is, on the A+, you were able to go back
and review your questions? – Yeah, you could enter a question, you could go back and review, or even at the end of the test, you could go back and review
any questions you wanted, even flag it, if you
wanted to go and look. With Cisco tests you cannot do that, you have to make your answer final. – Which is kind of terrifying, ’cause going through your exam, it’s a really intense exam, and you hit a question
that you’re not sure of, and with most exams, I know when I take exams back in school, I would think, “Okay, I’ll go back to this one, “I might have a more informed view, “and go back at the end of the exam.” Cisco, you can’t do that. So keep that in mind. I know, for me, when I took my ICND1, it took me a bit longer too, because I set like a timeline
of about, same as Cameron, two to three months, and that’s what I told him
when he asked me about it, but life gets in the way. But I know for me it was
important to not be discouraged, and to just keep revising my plan as I kept hitting these roadblocks, and also scheduling
that exam ahead of time, which, you kind of did that right? – I did a month in advance. – A month in advance. So he did that to kind of
put himself under pressure, and really just to put a deadline on it, because you could study forever
and never schedule the exam. Scheduling ahead of time, just kind of thinking ahead, “I could be ready in this amount of time.” Go ahead and schedule it. So a big topic is resources and what do you use to study. So what did you use, and what was your favorite thing to use? – Honestly, for a good foundation, I would say videos are good to kind of get you the first little, get you over the hump of not knowing much, that kind of lays the groundwork for everything in the exam. And also it’s good to
review the exam topics to kind of know what’s on there, so as you go through your videos, you’re like, “Okay, I saw
that on the exam topics. “That’s some I really need to know.” And they’ll even mention that depending on what video series you watch. I know they do it with Keith
Bogart and the INE series. – Well, I know this is a big debate, and I know I’ve given you both and let you use both, but CBT with Jeremy Cioara, and you’ve got INE with Keith Bogart, what’s your favorite? – I would have to say I like INE. I felt it was very, it was professional. I like the way that Keith
Bogart liked to explain things, and it kind of worked well for me and my learning, kind of. – Now, I have to ask, ’cause you did start out with CBT, so you kind of already had a foundation, did already having the
passion that Jeremy Cioara helps us you with, and then that foundation, did that help you move onto INE? – That’s kind of hard to say. I can’t knock Jeremy Cioara. I did like watching his training as well. He’s very good. But I don’t think that, particularly, his style would
be the one that I would pick. It’s nice. I would definitely try his
videos out in the future and see how it is, but for the particular test I was taking, I needed a more strict, kind
of fundamental teaching, and that’s what I think
Keith Bogart offered. – I’ve done both CBT and INE for my CCENT and, really, ICND too. The bulk of my studies were CBT Nuggets. Jeremy Cioara does a lot
to keep you motivated, which I think is very important. On the other side, Keith
Bogart is a lot drier than Jeremy Cioara, would you agree with that? – I would. But honestly, I didn’t have
any problems staying focused watching his videos. He’s not so dry that you lose focus, especially if you enjoy the
topic that you’re learning. – True, true. So if you already have
a passion for topic, you’re already gonna be ingrained, or you’re gonna want to do it. But yeah, I love both the trainers, Keith Bogart, Jeremy
Cioara, great trainers. So that’s videos. What about books? – Books. I only did use two, and that was the Cisco Press. Best one, it’s very detailed. That’s a very good way to
take it the second time, after you have completed any
video series that you’re doing, go straight to the books, ’cause that’ll definitely fill
in any gaps that you have. They even have the option
for you take the little, before every chapter you can
take a little exam skip thing, where if you get enough questions right, it’s like, okay, only
try to read a little bit of this chapter. But if you completely bomb those, go ahead and read the entire chapter, that’ll definitely help you. ‘Cause they do show a lot of things that you don’t see. Even Keith himself will tell you, “Pair this with a good book. “Don’t just watch my
series and expect to go “and pass the test. And then also right before
you’re about to take your test, I do recommend, even, the
Cisco Press Exam Cram books. Those have a lot of practice tests, and they hit even more complex things that you wouldn’t really
think were on the test, but do help, especially with understanding. – That’s awesome. Yeah, I use the Cisco Press books as well. And I think what Cameron’s
kind of touching on, is, you need multiple resources
when you take the CCNA. While INE and CBT, and
other training partners, do their best to make a
complete training course, the fact of the matter is that
they can’t cover everything in the exam. I mean, really, they could
put whatever they want on the exam. They’re gonna stay within the exam topics, but to cover every exam topic in depth, and make sure you’re fully prepared, it’s a huge task. So it’s better for you to hit books, to use multiple practice exams, and just multiple resources to make yourself more well-rounded, it’ll just make you better on the test. Now, my biggest thing for
preparing for exams is labing. What did you use for labing? – Really, for labing, all I
did was set up my own labs in Packet Tracer. I did a little bit of the
actual Cisco provided labs that you have to purchase. Those I didn’t really care for too much, I felt like they tried to
put kind of blinders on you and force you to do one thing, but I felt like I learned
more kind of messing with my own kind of networks, and messing things up, and having to learn how to fix them really helped me a lot. So I do recommend, especially, using the Cisco Packet Tracer software. That does work very well. – And they have an app for the phone too. – They even do have mobile apps as well that you can try. – Now, so why didn’t you use GNS3? – GNS3 I just never got around
to actually configuring it, and kind of figure how to make it work. Packet Tracer just kind of works out of, as soon as you download it, you get in there and
start putting stuff down, and it works. – Now, I would agree with what you did, because I know a lot of guys who are like, “Okay, what do I use for labing? “Do I use Packet Tracer? “Do I use GNS3?” Back in the day when
Packet Tracer wasn’t free, where you had to actually
be a Net Academy student to get Packet Tracer, GNS3 was a consideration. Now, you can find Packet Tracer
through alternative means, but nowadays, Packet
Tracer’s completely free. Go on Net Academy, set up a free account, you get a free download of Packet Tracer. GNS3, it’s great, I use it, but there’s a learning curve, and it takes a bit to set up
if you haven’t already done so. So Packet Tracer, it’s
the best and easiest way to start your training, and they give you switching built-in, it’s not a full-fledged switching, like you couldn’t do your CCNP
switching with Packet Tracer, but for CCNA, more than enough. Would you agree? – Oh, for sure. – So on the exam, how many questions were there? I know there’s like a, they’ll tell you on the site, there’s a wide variety of numbers, you could be up to 60, I think. – 55 to 60 is what they tell you. – So how many were for you? – I had 56, but that does include simlets. So you have a simlet with
three or four questions. There was actually a couple of simlets where I had more than just four questions, it would be like four questions
about one particular thing, and then four questions about another. But that’s all just random, so you can never expect
to only have simlets. – Yeah, I remember when I took it there were a bunch of simlets, and you want to make sure
you do great on those, because I know Cisco scores, I’m not sure if they
score each little question in that simlet the same
as any other question, but it feels like they do, ’cause I know times I’ve failed exams, it was when I was hitting a simlet like, and I bombed it. That killed my score. So when you hit those simlets, take your time. I mean, how much time did
you spend on each question? – It kind of depends on the question. If it was a particularly, just kind of like a
question that was a fact, I’d take, maybe like a
couple of second to think, and then I’d be done. Subnetting question, you
need to be quick on that. That could take you,
maybe, a minute, maybe two. I wouldn’t do two, I would maybe try to keep
your subnetting skills down to one minute, which, I also didn’t have that complicated of subnetting questions as they probably make it out to be. I never had anything past a Class C, so a Class C subnetting was
basically as far as it went, and they were pretty simple. If you’ve taken a lot of practice
tests or anything already, you’ve probably seen questions where they give you, they’ll give you a couple
of different topologies, and they’ll ask you, okay, which one of the
IP addresses can’t work? And it’s the one that doesn’t
belong in that network, or is the network address. Just kind of stuff like that, that you will see in
most practice questions. So I would definitely prepare
for something like that. – You kind of already
hit on this just now, but what were the topics that
they hit you the hardest on? – It’s really the ones where you can’t know everything as fact, you kind of have to know the behaviors, kind of your network fundamentals and routing fundamentals, and how routers operate, and how they forward packets, and how everything works
at the data link level, you have to know all your OSI layers. ‘Cause if you don’t know your OSI layers, and they ask you a question, like, what’s gonna happen at layer two in this particular problem, and you’re not gonna know what’s going on. So it’s good to know your OSI model. That’s one thing you need to know. They’ll even ask questions
about the TCP IP model as well, so you need to keep up on that one, really on both of those
is good to keep up. Really, the fundamentals is
what hits you the hardest. And I believe those are
even the biggest percentages on the exam topics as well, so that’s most of your questions. And they’ll mix NTP, which is one that I wasn’t
very good with at the time, ’cause it’s not really covered, but they do throw it in there, so keep up on NTP. – I know for me, what really tripped me up is when I would watch my training videos, or I’d read the books, the topics they would really hit hard on, I would think, okay, that’s obviously gonna be really, this is gonna be hit hard on the exam, and then the exam would come, and they would hit me hard
on topics I didn’t expect. Like, when I took my CCNP, they really hit me on like SNP Version 3, which I didn’t spend much time. So that first route test, I think I missed a few of those, plus a few labs, and that’s what made me fail that. So for you guys who are
about to start studying for your CCENT or your ICND1, which is one half of the CCNA, Cameron, what would you tell
these perspective students, what’s the best advice you can give them? – Try to pick up your video course, try to pick out the books you want to use, ’cause you definitely want
to lay out the framework, you want to lay out which one
you want to take on first. I would definitely take on
the video section first, I will lay down the ground work, and then as you’re
going through the video, if it’s a particular section that has to do with configuring something, configure that as you’re doing it, ’cause it will help your understanding, and then once you’re
done with all of that, definitely move onto the books, ’cause that’ll fill in those little gaps. And then once you feel like
you’re kind of ready to start preparing for the exam, start doing the practice exams, and start getting the questions, ’cause a lot of the
practice questions you do will reflect ones you get on the text. I know that if you buy the, I guess, premium editions
of the Cisco Press books they do provide softwares
that have particular engines, and those questions are
very helpful as well. – And I really like that because, and I always recommend this, when you first start studying, you want to start with the video course. Actually seeing someone talk about, maybe even showing you some things, and especially, training
from like Jeremy Cioara, it’ll kind of spark that
love of networking for you. So if you’re just starting out, and maybe you’re deciding
if you want to be in IT or if you want to be in networking, a video course is the best place to start. Watch that video, and then compare it to your exam topics. Get a great book to fill in those blanks, and then, of course,
practice exams are key. And labing is one of the
most important things when you’re preparing for your exam. So the day before your exam, you’re freaking out, right? That’s the biggest moment, you are trying to make
sure that you’re prepared. Cameron, what were you
doing the night before? What were you doing to prepare yourself to get yourself psyched up and ready? – I would say, depending on
how you take that night on is kind of depending on how
you took the week before. If you really studied
hard the week before, and you feel like you
just can’t study anymore then don’t. Then just take that time to relax, play some video games, read a book, watch a movie, just do something that could
really get you relaxed, ’cause if you keep stressing out, you’re gonna stress out on the test and you’re gonna bomb it, ’cause you’re gonna
overthink little questions that you shouldn’t. So the hours, and even the night before my test, I played videos. I didn’t even study. And they worked out fine, ’cause it really good me
relaxed before my test. – You know, and that’s funny, that’s kind of what I did
when I did my CCNA Voice, I did Jeremy Cioara’s training on CBT, and I think three or four days
I would play Call of Duty, and at the same time, I would just have the
videos playing in my ears, just kind of relaxing, just letting the information
kind of flow over me. But playing videos
games and just relaxing, just kind of passively doing that. I kind of had a ritual too, is I would watch the Hobbit
every night before an exam, I don’t know why, it’s kind of my like good luck thing, it’s kind of weird. So that leads into the next question, how did you know you were ready? ‘Cause you can reschedule your Cisco exam, I think, what, 48 hours notice? – I’m gonna say it’s 24. – 24, something like that, which I’ve done on occasion, I mean, more than on occasion. I think I rescheduled my
ICND2 exam like four times, ’cause I wasn’t ready. How did you know you were ready? – I think whenever, you can just kind of sit there and look down the exam topics, and just look at every
single point that’s on there and say, “Okay, I know that. “And If they were to ask me a
question about that right now, “I could answer it just fine.” If you look through the exam topics, as scary as it may be to just look through
every single little point, and you’re scared to look through it, you’re not ready. If you can just look through it, and you can say, “I know that. “I know that. “I know that.” Then you’re ready. – Excellent, excellent. I know for me, I wasn’t very consistent with it, but I try to do it, is I would look at the exam topic and see if I could
stand up and explain it, like kind of do a mock class
with an invisible audience, and I would pick a topic
and just go through it. And if I had trouble, at
a point, explaining it, I wouldn’t understand it fully, so I would have to go back and read it. And I know a big part for
me was practice exams. So explain your situation with that, how often were you doing them? What grade were you making where you felt comfortable enough to actually take the exam? – I could honestly say
that I didn’t consistently finish a practice exam. And I know it’s a bad habit, where I would get,
probably, halfway through, and I’d panic, wanting to know my score, and I would quit (laughs), and then look through the
questions that I got right. But it’s good to get just
a sheet a paper and notes, and every single question you get wrong, you can even do these
in little study modes, where you can get the answer immediately to know if you got it right or not. I would do those a couple of times. Every time I get an answer right, just go along, get one wrong, write it down. And even if you use the
Cisco Press software, they’ll even link you
to the part of the book where that particular question will lie. So you can even go and
review that as well. – Oh yeah, that’s awesome. And I know, INE, I used a few of their question banks for practice exams, and Keith Bogart has a video explanation for each question, doesn’t he? Which is pretty good. So he passed the exam, which is awesome, how did you wait to
actually start studying for your ICND2, which is obviously the
next course you want to do, you don’t want to leave too much time. What did you do after the test? – Honestly, with how much I
actually enjoy networking, I was pretty excited to
start almost immediately. But even my brother told me
to wait a couple of days, I think I waited, maybe, three
days before I started again. But I would definitely take a break. I would take, definitely,
a couple of days, even a week if you’d like to, just kind of depends how much
of a stress it was to you, and how much you actually love it, ’cause I want to get right back onto it, ’cause I thought all the
topics inside of ICND2 are very interesting, so I just wanted to jump on
it as soon as I was done. – Yeah, and that’s the thing, ’cause when you’re studying, and when you get to the point where you’re at the exam, you’re stressed out. You’ve been studying a lot, and you’re pretty burnt out, at least I was. But when you take the
exam and you pass it, you’re kind of on a high, you kind of have that
network exam adrenaline. And it’s not a bad thing
to try and ride that, and then keep studying, but you’re gonna crash eventually, so you have to keep that in mind, you have to refresh yourself, because you have been
studying for a long time to pass this exam, and you are spent mentally. So I would just keep that in mind. Well, again, thanks Cameron
for being on my show. – Thank you. – Being on NetworkChuck. You can find Cameron in the NetworkChuck Facebook study group. He’s in there, he’s answering questions, he’s being extremely helpful, which I’m grateful for. So if you haven’t already joined, jump in there. All of you guys trying to get certified, I answer questions when I can. There’s a bunch of guys already in there answering questions or asking questions, so we all need each other’s
help to get certified. All right, guys, so that’s about it. I hope you like this different format, where we take an actual test taker, and find out their experience. I took the CCENT back
in, I think it was 2012, 2013, or something, so a lot’s changed since then. So it’s good to have a recent
test taker’s perspective. So I hope you liked this. Let me know in the comments below your CCENT experience, your ICND1 experience, or any exam experience, and if you’re about to take it, and you have questions, put ’em in the comments, I’ll see if Cameron might
answer a few of them. If you need help on any resources, or books, or anything, go to networkchuck.com, I list my favorite resources there. And if you have any
questions and need any help, let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping bye, and let’s get certified together. And catch you next time. (electronic music)

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