The first goal for this book came at the request of the Cisco Career Certifications team; they asked that we build a book that didn't just help you pass a test, but also for a book that helped you really understand the concepts and implementation details. (Because Cisco Press is the only Cisco authorized publisher, we tend to listen to Cisco!) A second goal was to make the content of the book the most comprehensive coverage of CCNA-related topics available, but without a lot of coverage of topics not on the exam. The third and ultimate goal is to get you from where you are today to the point where you can confidently pass the CCNA exam. So, all the book features, which are outlined in the Introduction, are geared toward helping you discover what CCNA topics you do know well, what CCNA topics you don't know well, and what information and tools you need to fill in the gaps.
One key assumption this book makes is that the perfect audience is made up of people who either have attended the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices class or the Introduction to Cisco Router Configuration class, or have had similar experience with Cisco switches and routers. If you are relatively new to Cisco networking and have not taken any classes, do not despair! You can still use this book, but also should consider either taking the ICND class or buying the book version of the ICND class from Cisco Press—Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices. The ICND course, and therefore also the ICND book, are written for an audience of those who are just starting out in the Cisco world.
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