CCNA 640801 Essential tips to pass first time

Here are some very handy tips in preparation for passing Cisco 640801 CCNA test, arguably one of the harder tests to do in the beginning of your Cisco career.

I have done the test 3 times. The first time was quite easy. There was no switching, ISDN questions were a plenty, as were questions on IPX even (it WAS a few years ago). I hated questions on the OSI model though. I know the 7 layers back to front, but come exam time I had a mental blank.

Anyway, this is what I believe are essential tips to pass the test – first time:

* Obviously know the content out of the recommended reading books – Ciscopress, Todd Lamle’s book (in my opinion top picks) and of course any decent forums on the internet. Forums are especially handy, as if something does not make sense reading from a book, post a question on a forum for a easier to understand answer. Remember, there are no dumb questions.

* Practice as much as you can configuring real Cisco routers/switches. Actually typing in the commands and seeing the results (right and wrong) will help you remember how to configure them. If, on the off chance, you do not have access to a router or switch, your next bet will be router sims. Though not performing exactly the same as the real thing, they are better than nothing. Having said that, there is nothing that can replace industry experience working on Cisco devices day in, day out.

* Practice questions – There are a lot of websites out there that offer practice questions. Some are free, some you have to pay for, but getting into the ‘exam taking’ mode will undeniably help you get into the right mindset for the up and coming exam. Google ‘The Bryant Advantage’ for one of the best resources and help in your CCNA preparation.

Come exam time:

* When you walk into the exam room armed with a pen and scrap paper (supplied to you by the testing centre), write down anything that you may not remember too well before you start anything (even the pre test survey). Also note down any binary ‘power ofs’ and/or subnet masks for quick reference – and to save time if/when you get any subnetting type questions.

* Keep in mind how much time you have left remaining. At the beginning of the exam, work out a rough average time that you can spend on each question and keep to it. Of course labs will take longer to do than a simple multiple choice question, but you cannot afford to spend say 20 minutes on a simple question otherwise you risk running out of time before you reach the end of the test.

* My most important tip – that I learnt the hard way – READ the question. In fact read the question (at least) twice and understand what is being asked before you look at the possible answers. This alone will save a lot of stupid mistakes because you have not read the question properly.

I hope these tips (regarded as essential in my book) better prepare you in passing the CCNA 640801 (and any other IT exam for that matter) test. Good Luck!

(Article submitted to ezinearticles)

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