Cisco provides a wide variety of CCNA Voice preparation tools at a Cisco Systems website called the Cisco Learning Network. The Cisco Learning Network includes Quick Learning Modules, interviews with Cisco's Portfolio Manager for Voice Certifications, documents that give you a sneak peek at what's included in the Instructor Lead Training Course, and blogs and discussion forums to help you on your way.
To use the Cisco Learning Network, you do not need to have a registered login at Cisco.com but you can register as a member of the Learning Network. This will give you access to additional content. To register, simply go to http://tinyurl.com/66l8qv and supply the required information. (You do not need to work for Cisco or a Cisco partner to get a login.)
After you have registered, proceed to the Certifications area and look for the link to the CCNA Voice pages.
You could simply study using all the available tools, as mentioned earlier in this chapter.
However, this section suggests a particular study plan, with a sequence of tasks that may work better than just using the tools randomly. However, feel free to use the tools in any way and at any time that helps you get fully prepared for the exam.
The suggested study plan separates the tasks into four categories:
■ Recall the Facts: Activities that help you remember all the details from the first 12 chapters of the book.
■ Practice Configurations: You must master configurations on various devices to pass the CCNA Voice exam. This category lists the items you can use to master configuration skills.
■ Build Troubleshooting Skills Using Scenarios: To answer some exam questions that present a scenario, you may need to recall facts, find log information, and verify configurations. This plan section suggests activities that help you pull these different skills together.
■ Use the Exam Engine to Practice Realistic Questions: The exam engine on the CD can be used to study using a bank of unique exam-realistic questions available only with this book.
As with most exams, there are many facts, concepts, and definitions that you must recall to do well on the test. This section suggests a couple of tasks that should help you complete your work to remember all the details:
Step 1. Review and repeat, as needed, the activities in the "Exam Preparation Tasks" section at the end of each chapter. Most of these activities help refine your knowledge of a topic while also helping you to memorize the facts.
Step 2. Using the exam engine, answer all the questions in the Book database. This question database includes all the questions printed in the beginning of each chapter. Although some of the questions may be familiar, repeating the questions will help you to improve your recall of the topics covered in the questions.
A large part of what a CCNA Voice exam involves is performing configurations on various devices. You may need to work on a CME router or UC500 device. Understanding these interfaces and various configurations is a must. This means that hands-on experience is going to take you over the edge to confidently and accurately build or verify configurations.
There are a number of sources for lab access. Some of these sources include rack rentals from trusted Cisco Partners, and if you are a Cisco Partner, you may even have access to the Partner E-Learning Connection (PEC). If you have access to a lab provided by your company, then take advantage of it. Nothing beats hands-on experience.
Additionally, you can review the key topics in each chapter. These often refer to key configuration elements.
Just as a real problem in a real network may be caused by a variety of issues—maybe a VLAN mismatch, bad cable, Spanning Tree, an incorrect TFTP configuration, or even errors in your documentation about the internetwork—the exam makes you apply a wide range of knowledge to answer individual questions. The one activity for this section is as follows:
Review the scenarios discussed in each chapter: These scenarios make you think about issues covered in multiple chapters in the book and require more abstract thought to solve the problem.
Use the Exam Engine
The exam engine includes two basic modes:
■ Study mode: Study mode is most useful when you want to use the practice exam questions for learning and practicing rather than simulating an actual testing environment. In study mode, you can select options such as whether you want to randomize the order of the questions, randomize the order of the answers, automatically see answers to the questions, and so forth.
■ Simulation mode: Simulation mode simulates an actual CCNA Voice exam by requiring a set number of questions and a set time period. These timed exams not only allow you to study for the actual exam, but also help you simulate the time pressure that occurs on the actual exam.
Both study mode and simulation mode are useful for preparation for the exams. Picking the correct mode from the exam engine's user interface is pretty obvious but you should still spend some time becoming familiar with the exam engine interface.
When scoring your simulated exam using this book's exam engine, you should strive to get a score of 85 percent or better. However, the scoring on the book's exam engine does not match how Cisco scores the actual CCNA Voice exam. As it turns out, Cisco does not publish a lot of details about how it scores the actual exam, with the result being that you cannot reasonably deduce which questions you got right or wrong, and how many points are assigned to each question.
Cisco does publish some specific guidance about how it scores the exam, while other details have been mentioned by Cisco personnel during public presentations about the
CCNA Voice exam. Some of the key facts about scoring follow:
■ Cisco gives partial credit on simulation questions, so complete as much of a simulation question as you can.
■ Some questions on the exam are weighted heavier than other questions. Some questions may not have any point value at all. However, you will not know the number of points assigned to each question, so always give each question your best shot.
■ The test does not adapt based on your answers to early questions in the test; for example, if you miss a RIP question as question 1, the test does not start giving you more RIP questions.
■ Cisco scores range from 300 to 1000, with a passing grade usually (but not always) around 800 for the CCNA Voice exam.
■ Scoring 800 out of 1000 does not necessarily mean that you got 80 percent of the questions correct.
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