To study for the INTRO exam, you can simply use this book and start reading. The study plan is simple. However, if you have some experience or knowledge of Cisco products and networking protocols already, you might be able to save a little study time while taking only small risks. Figure I-1 shows the progression you should take through the books as you prepare for the INTRO exam.
In each chapter, an assessment quiz, called the "Do I Know This Already? Quiz," helps you decide whether you already know a lot of the material in the chapter. The DIKTA quiz does not quiz you on every topic in the chapter, but it does focus on a representative sample from each chapter. If you do well on the DIKTA quiz, it is an indication of how much you already know about the topic.
Based on your DIKTA score and your confidence level, you can choose to either skip the "Foundation Topics" section of the chapter or not. Regardless, everyone should at least read the "Foundation Summary" section and answer all the questions at the end of the chapter. If you get a good score on DIKTA and then miss a lot of the open-ended questions at the end of the chapter, you might still consider reading the "Foundations Topics" section of that chapter.
When you have completed Chapters 1-15, you can move on to your final preparation. Several activities can help you make your final preparations:
■ Read Chapter 16. It contains some exam-taking tips and some exercises that help to reinforce materials from all parts of the book.
■ Answer the chapter-ending questions again. These questions are generally harder than those on the CD because they are all open-ended questions.
■ Review the "Foundation Summary" sections of each chapter.
■ Prepare for hands-on questions on the exam. You should definitely perform all simluated questions using the exam engine on the CD. Also, you may want to either read or perform the scenario in chapter 16, the scenarios in CD-only appendix B, and the labs in CD-only appendix C. Appendix C in this book (not the CD-only appendix C), titled, "Using the Simulation Software for Hands-on Exercises", both summarizes all the hands-on exercises included with the book that can be performed on the simulator.
■ Practice subnetting. If needed, use the subnetting appendix on the CD. You get 25 more full subnetting questions with answers worked out, most using difficult subnet masks.
■ Using the exam engine on the CD, select Questions from the Book instead of Questions Only on the CD. By doing so, you will just be quizzed from the CD, but with questions that appeared in the DIKTA quizes in the chapters. Use practice mode, and drill on these questions until it is automatic.
■ Finally, using the CD, deselect Book Questions, and select New Questions. Then use exam mode and take a couple of simulated exams. This should be the final step in preparation.
For any questions that you miss, make sure you read the relavent sections of the book for a refresher.
By this point, you should be well prepared for the INTRO exam.
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