How to Use These Books to Prepare for the CCNA Exam

If you are using this book to study for the INTRO exam, just follow the plan outlined in the last few pages. However, to use this book to study for the CCNA exam, you really should use both this book and the CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide. (By the way, if you've not bought this book yet and you want both, you can generally get the pair cheaper by buying a set, called the CCNA Certification Library.) These two books were designed to be used together to help those who want to get their CCNA certification by taking a single exam.

Notice that the names of four of the six parts in the CCNA INTRO Exam Certification Guide match the names of all five parts in the CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide. Essentially, when you complete a section of the first book, if there is a like-named section of the second book, you move over and read that section. After finishing that section in the CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide, you move back to the CCNA INTRO Exam Certification Guide. Figure I-2 outlines the process.

INTRO Exam Certification Guide

Network Fundamentals

Exam Certification Guide

Operating Cisco Devices

LAN Switching

LAN Switching

TCP/IP

TCP/IP

Wide Area Networking

Wide Area Networking

*

Network Security

Final Preparation

Final Preparation

Moving back and forth between books will help you to focus on one general topic at a time. Each time you transition to the ICND book, you will read about a lot of additional material about the general topic, plus a few things that seem like review. (Those review items are included for the readers who are using the ICND book for their ICND exam preparation.) As a result, you will complete the coverage of each major topic before moving on to the next.

There is one point in this reading plan for the CCNA exam for which you should consider a couple of options. Cisco includes one major topic, IP addressing and subnetting, on both the INTRO and ICND exams. So, that topic is covered in both books for those readers who are studying for the INTRO and ICND exams. Chapter 12 in the CCNA INTRO Exam Certification Guide covers subnetting, and Chapter 4 in the CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide does so as well. If you are studying for the CCNA exam, you should keep in mind that the "Foundation Topics" of the ICND book's Chapter 4—the core part of the chapter—is a subset of the INTRO book's Chapter 12. So, there's no need to read it twice!

When reading the books, you should take a few minutes to look at the ICND book's Chapter 4, however. There are some new questions in the DIKTA quiz and some new questions at the end of the chapter, which are different from the INTRO book's Chapter 12. You might also make some adjustments in the order that you read the chapters. Figure I-3 outlines two suggested options for your IP subnetting study with these two books'

Figure I-3 Study Plan Options for Studying IP Addressing When Studying for the CCNA Exam

Option 1 - Follow Normal CCNA Reading Plan INTRO TCP/IP Section ICND TCP/IP Section

TCP/IP Section (Chapters 12 - 14) • Finish all Chapters

TCP/IP Section, Chapter 4:

• Review DIKTA Questions

• Do All Chapter-Ending Questions

• Use CD-Only Subnetting Practice Appendix

• Study Chapters 5-8 When Confident About Subnetting

Option 2 - Follow Alternative CCNA Reading Plan INTRO TCP/IP Section ICND TCP/IP Section

TCP/IP Section (Chapters 12 - 14) • Study Chapter 12 Only

TCP/IP Section, Chapter 4:

• Review DIKTA Questions

• Do All Chapter-Ending Questions

• Use CD-Only Subnetting Practice Appendix

• Study Chapters 13, 14

• Study Chapters 5-8

By taking the first of the two options in the figure, you can review IP subnetting after you have finished all the TCP/IP topics from the first book. If you follow the second option, you can inundate yourself with IP addressing all at once, then finish all the TCP/IP specific coverage in the first book, and then move back to the second book for the rest of the TCP/IP coverage. Either plan can work well; it's just a matter of personal preference.

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