View Poll Results: What is the hardest topic to study for CCNA?

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  • Bridging/Switching

    396 6.97%
  • 7-layer OSI Model

    422 7.43%
  • Routed Protocols (IP)

    150 2.64%
  • Routing Protocol (RIP, IGRP etc.)

    685 12.06%
  • WAN Protocols (Frame Relay, ISDN, PPP, etc.)

    2,427 42.72%
  • LAN Technologies

    106 1.87%
  • Basic Router Management and Configuration

    282 4.96%
  • Access Lists

    1,213 21.35%
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  1. Senior Member
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    #51

    Default There are resources

    Quote Originally Posted by mishoo
    hiye

    is subnetting is a part of ccna paper

    can any one have the outline for the paper ..

    mishal
    Todd Lammle's stuff on subnetting is fantastic. Others have posted resources here that are quite useful.

    Once you get subnetting down, you forget how hard it was. That's why I picked WAN technologies when I voted this poll. Besides, you can learn parts of subnetting for other exams before you study the CCNA (i.e. MCSE, Linux+), so it's not like it's a technology restricted to Cisco studies.

    To me, it seems like Cisco covers so much and has the bar set so high, that the CCNA is almost as much work as the MCSA. What do y'all think?
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  3. Senior Member evanderburg's Avatar
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    #52
    I had difficulty with subnetting when I was preparing for the CCNA because of the time pressure but after practicing for a while I am now able to determine which addresses are on which networks from a list of 10 addresses in 30 seconds or so. I just kept doing it and timing myself and I kept finding shortcuts that I missed before. I check my answers afterwards with a calculator to make sure they are right and everything works.

    Depending on your background, other topics might be easier or harder. Some may go into CCNA with a good background on WANS or ACLs. I never had any trouble with the concepts because I was already familiar with them. My students have some difficulty with the concepts but mainly the math gets them for subnetting until I they learn the proper method and practice it a lot.

    I think many Cisco folks would agree with you about CCNA and MCSA but I would disagree. The CCNA did not give me any grief. I'll let you know about CCSP though when I get to it. hehe.
    "You can never know everything and part of what you know is always wrong. Perhaps even the most important part. A portion of wisdom lies in knowing that. A portion of courage lies in going on anyway. " - Lan, Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan
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    #53
    I would say in my opinion - subnetting.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #54
    me i voted WAN protocols.......cause frame relay alone 2 me needs 2 be on a seperate test.......
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    #55
    I found VLSM quite tricky to get the hang of to begin with, but once my teacher helped me along with it - I don't see it much of a problem anymore - at the mo, I'd say the ACLs are the hardest part for me - easy to think of them in my head, but harder to get down on paper.

    Going to play around with them in class a bit more so that I can get the hang of them for the ICND exam
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    #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Wullie
    I found VLSM quite tricky to get the hang of to begin with, but once my teacher helped me along with it - I don't see it much of a problem anymore - at the mo, I'd say the ACLs are the hardest part for me - easy to think of them in my head, but harder to get down on paper.

    Going to play around with them in class a bit more so that I can get the hang of them for the ICND exam
    think of vlsm as routing protocol that suports multiple subnet mask networks. The ones that do support this are Rip version 2, ospf, and eigrp. The actual tests will usually focus mainly on ospf and eigrp. To me ospf and eigrp are the ones to study the most-they are the important ones. You should also have a understanding of the non vlsm routing protocols rip and igrp, research all 5 of them, but study ospf and eigrp more than the rest.

    Acl was a tricky one too, but once you practice enough acl you will starting doing them faster, understanding them better. Keep in mnd the general rules that apply to ccna type questions.

    Standard acl should be placed nearest the destination you are trying to filter.

    Extended acl should be placed near the source you are trying to filter

    When you configure acls in a list, remember to place the most specific ones first, least specific ones last. And dont forget about the invisible implicit deny after any acl list.
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  8. Junior Member cooldash87's Avatar
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    #57
    yea .. i guesss WAN technologies can only be clarified in CCNP ... it shouldnt be a part of CCNA
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    #58
    Quote Originally Posted by evanderburg
    The number of hosts and subnets does not give me trouble. It is when I try to find which hosts are on the same network or which addresses are usable. I am still taking a bit too long. Math was never my strong point. I make simple mistakes when I am under time pressure.
    That's my problem too. I understand the subnet concept, but I make stupid mistakes, and I am not fast with basic math.

    I thought I would need to take advantage of the basic calculator in some of the MCSE exams, but I didn't need it. With CCNA, I sure could have used it, but I suppose with the time crunch, I was better off not having it and learning the patterns.

    As for subnetting with different classes, focus on getting good with class C. If you have to subnet back to class B to find number of hosts, keep multiplying 256 by 2 for each bit in the host in the 3rd octet. For those who have installed/worked with memory on IBM XPs might remember the patterns: 512/1024/2048/4096/8192/16384/32768/65536 (I remember these last two from Apple II and Atari 800 days)
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  10. Johan Hiemstra Forum Admin Webmaster's Avatar
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    #59
    <OT>
    Quote Originally Posted by Danman32
    (I remember these last two from Apple II and Atari 800 days)
    my first computer was an Atari 600XL, later upgraded to 800 XL. It was actually my older brother's computer, and he wouldn't let me 'play' with it (I was 8 ), which only led to me wanting it even more of course. So when he and my parents were asleep, I sneaked out of bed, turned on the Atari, and started pressing keys. We had a book with code examples, for games like pong, which eventually I started changing and made objects appear in alternating colors. I didn't 'really' understand what I was doing, but it worked and it was a lot of fun! Sometimes it feels I'm still sitting behind the same 'keyboard' I can still hear the sound of loading games from the tape drive and the large metal buttons atmy fingertips... I think it's still somewhere hidden at my parent's place actually.

    http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers...200xl/600.html

    </OT>
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  11. Senior Member
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    #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Webmaster
    <OT>
    Quote Originally Posted by Danman32
    (I remember these last two from Apple II and Atari 800 days)
    my first computer was an Atari 600XL, later upgraded to 800 XL. It was actually my older brother's computer, and he wouldn't let me 'play' with it (I was 8 ), which only led to me wanting it even more of course. So when he and my parents were asleep, I sneaked out of bed, turned on the Atari, and started pressing keys. We had a book with code examples, for games like pong, which eventually I started changing and made objects appear in alternating colors. I didn't 'really' understand what I was doing, but it worked and it was a lot of fun! Sometimes it feels I'm still sitting behind the same 'keyboard' I can still hear the sound of loading games from the tape drive and the large metal buttons atmy fingertips... I think it's still somewhere hidden at my parent's place actually.

    http://www.atarimuseum.com/computers...200xl/600.html

    </OT>
    Ah this would be a good topic for Off Topic forum. My 2nd PC was a 130XE (or was it XL?). Rember M.U.L.E.? It had a 'card' that said someone bought your anchient atari for a museum. I laughed then. I am not laughing now. The 800 was a great machine. I had a tech manual I bought for $25 that told you EVERYTHING about it, from the schematic, datasheets of the chips, and even the sourcecode of the OS.
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  12. Senior Member
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    #61
    Frame Relay, ISDN,DDR...
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  13. Junior Member
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    #62
    wow, i see alot of people are having diffuclty with WAN stuff, I comprehended rather easily, I had some problems with switching and ACL.
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    #63
    I don't think it was comprehending that was the problem. Mesmerizing(sic) the terms and commands was more my problem. Lots to know and mesmerize.
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    #64
    I'm studying CCNA with CNAP Companion Guide book. In my opinion, WAN technologies are hardest. I don't know Supernetting.
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    #65
    I think Access list is the hardest part of CCNA exams.
    How many questions in each of CCNA Exams, heck
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    #66
    Subnetting

    I found a very good guide on this on the firewall.cx site which helps a lot with the speed aspect people seem to be worried about.

    It shows and explains a simple table which you can easily reproduce when you start your exam which you can then use for any subnetting questions that you may come across.

    You can also remember it for normal daily networking quite easily.

    I didn't write it. Just letting you know about it.

    Look Here -> http://www.firewall.cx/ftopict-2145.html
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  18. The Colosus of Clout Paul Boz's Avatar
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    #67
    the WAN technologies section, by far. There are so many acronyms and configuration types to remember that it's pretty tough. The unfortunate thing is that in a real world scenario you can easily use a reference manual for the vast majority of the nitty gritty stuff the WAN section asks. Most of the WAN material is far too in depth and goes well beyond understanding the technology.
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    #68
    Im just now studying for the CCNA exam. I found that subnetting is my first hurdle, I believe you just have to stop thinking about passing the test, slow down and focus strictly on subnetting, approach it like a certification itself. Before you know it, the mountain will crumble and your shirt will no longer fit, because your networking muscles will of just grown!!
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  20. Senior Member
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    #69
    Just started Semester 4 at the academy so I can't comment on WAN technologies but for me, so far, the hardest area of the course has been subnetting, VLSM and summarization. I'm just going to have to batter it and batter it for my CCNA final until I become a machine... able to calculate summarizations as I sleep.
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    #70
    doing ACL's was my hardest. It wasnt the syntax of the command but the wildcard mask. Subnetting is really easy after you finally get it. Just like algebra. When you get it youve got it. Im not talking about just doing whole subnets, we had to do like every odd and even numbered hosts with a wildcard.
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  22. The Colosus of Clout Paul Boz's Avatar
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    #71
    Quote Originally Posted by mtlbenz
    man the access-lists are something i understand but i still can't perfectly implement them
    Yeah when I first started studying for the CCNA I swore up and down that WAN tech would be my un-doing, but after realizing that ISDN is practically not even on the series any more I've changed my vote to access lists. Not because I can't use them (because I can) but because they took forever to learn for me.
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    #72
    I have just started, or about to start the chapter on VSM (Variable subnet masks) and think I am going to have trouble with subnetting, oh well, try and try again.

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    #73
    Ok in order of most difficult to least difficult in terms of being the "most difficult of the CCNA":

    1) ISDN - this is old, cumbersome technology, nobody cares about it, and if you still use it, you suck.
    I was doing a practice exam and it went to a lab simulation for ISDN interface dialers, both my Exam Cram and Sybex books didn't even touch anything about "dialer pools", as the answer key went into "dialer pool-member 1" and "interface dialer 5" as answers.
    2) WAN terminology, PPP, pap chap, dlci PVC, LMI types
    3) Access lists using inverse masks, I mean subnetting is somewhat of a different concept to learn, then you have to flip it around and make an inverse mask? WTF?
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    #74
    Yeah I gotta agree about the ISDN, I used to troubleshoot ISDN dial backups and I was pretty good at it. And I *never* had to know about the N, S, T reference points or whatever they are. And if you're in a managed network environment the line between telco and customer means nothing anyway. I work for the telco and I do occasionally have to know a little frame relay. But the WAN technologies section is definitely the least interesting to me. The subnetting and wildcard masks are harder to grasp conceptually but at least it's not total memorization like much of the rest.
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    #75
    Well, did anyone get tested on ISDN configuration in the simulation exam part?
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