INTRO Exam Topics

Carefully consider the exam topics posted by Cisco on its web site as you study, particularly for clues as to how deeply you should know each topic. The exam topics use action words that follow a quasi-standard called Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain. Bloom's taxonomy defines a standard for word usage for when educators create objectives for courses. Objectives written according to Bloom's taxonomy define what the learner (student) should be able to accomplish after taking the class. So, when you look at an exam topic, look for the action word. If you want to see a description of Bloom's taxonomy, search the Internet, and you will find a lot of matches. My favorite quick list of terms is at http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/cogsys/bloom.html.

The action word in the exam topic gives you a good hint about the level of knowledge and skill you will need to have before taking the exam. For instance, a course objective that uses the word list as the action word then means that you should be able to list the features, but an action word such as configure means that you should know all the related configuration commands and how to use them. Troubleshoot might mean that you need to know what all the show and debug commands do for a particular topic.

So, what does Bloom's taxonomy mean in terms of how you study for the exam? It means that you should focus on the action words in the exam topics and make sure that you can do those things for the stated topics. For instance, if an exam topic says something like "Configure RIP," then do not study just RIP concepts, but also study the configuration details because the exam topic specifically tells you that you need to know how to perform configuration.

In addition, Cisco adds a disclaimer that the posted exam topics for all of its certification exams are guidelines. Cisco makes the effort to keep the exam questions within the confines of the stated exam objectives, but doing this for every question and every exam is difficult. Thus, you could see questions that fall outside both the scope and the depth implied by the exam topics. However, if you follow the Cisco exam topic "guidelines," you should have a good understanding of the breadth and depth of topics on the exam.

Table I-2 lists the exam topics for the INTRO exam. You can find the ICND exam topics in the Introduction to the CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide and on www.cisco.com. Note that although Cisco's posted exam topics are not numbered, we do number them in the Cisco Press Exam Certification Guide series for easier reference. Also note that Cisco has historically changed exam topics without changing the exam number, so do not be alarmed if small changes in the exam topics occur over time. When in doubt, go to www.cisco.com, click Learning and Events, and select Career Certifications and Paths.

Table I-2 INTRO Exam Topics

Exam Topic Reference Number

Exam Topic

Design & Support

1

Use a subset of Cisco IOS commands to analyse and report network problems

2

Use embedded layer 3 through layer 7 protocols to establish, test, suspend or disconnect connectivity to remote devices from the router console

3

Determine IP addresses

Implementation & Operation

4

Establish communication between a terminal device and the router IOS, and use IOS for system analysis

5

Manipulate system image and device configuration files

continues

Exam Topic Reference Number

Exam Topic

6

Perform an initial configuration on a router and save the resultant configuration file

7

Use commands incorporated within IOS to analyse and report network problems

8

Assign IP addresses

9

Describe and install the hardware and software required to be able to communicate via a network

10

Use embedded data link layer functionality to perform network neighbor discovery and analysis from the router console

11

Use embedded layer 3 through layer 7 protocols to establish, test, suspend or disconnect connectivity to remote devices from the router console

Technology

12

Demonstrate the mathematical skills required to work seamlessly with integer decimal, binary and hexadecimal numbers and simple binary logic (AND)

13

Define and describe the structure and technologies of computer networks

14

Describe the hardware and software required to be able to communicate via a network

15

Describe the physical, electrical and mechanical properties and standards associated with optical, wireless and copper media used in networks

16

Describe the topologies and physical issues associated with cabling common LANs

17

Identify the key characteristics of common wide area networking (WAN) configurations and technologies , and differentiate between these and common LAN technologies.

18

Describe the purpose and fundamental operation of the internetwork operating system (IOS)

19

Describe the role of a router in a WAN.

20

Identify the major internal and external components of a router, and describe the associated functionality

21

Identify and describe the stages of the router boot-up sequence

22

Describe how the configuration register and boot system commands modify the router boot-up sequence

Exam Topic Reference Number

Exam Topic

23

Describe the concepts associated with routing, and the different methods and protocols used to achieve it

24

Describe how an IP address is associated with a device interface, and the association between physical and logical addressing

25

Employ IP addressing techniques

26

Compare and contrast collision and broadcast domains, and describe the process of network segmentation

27

Describe the principles and practice of switching in an Ethernet network

28

Explain how collisions are detected and handled in an Ethernet system

29

Explain the fundamental concepts associated with the Ethernet media access technique

30

Describe how the protocols associated with TCP/IP allow host communication to occur

31

Describe the operation of the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) and identify the reasons, types and format of associated error and control messages

32

Describe the principles and practice of packet switching utilizing the Internet Protocol (IP)

33

Describe, compare and contrast network communications using two examples of layered models (OSI and IETF)

34

Describe the fundamental concepts associated with transport layer protocols, and compare the connectionless approach to transport with the connection oriented one

35

List the major TCP/IP application protocols, and briefly define their features and operation

36

Describe the operation of the major transport layer protocols TCP and UDP and the interaction and carriage of application layer data

37

Perform an initial configuration on a switch and save the resultant configuration file

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