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Posted July 3, 2007
Not what I had hoped for
I passed my CCNA exam, but this author simply didn't measure up to what I have come to expect from Cisco Press. I don't question for a moment his level of knowlege or his abilities as a networking professional, but this book simply didn't help. I feel horrible writing this since my mother always told me 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all'. Well, for some folks pursuing their first certification, every penny spent toward that end is money out of their potentially 'shoe-string' budgets. I simply can't endorse this as a sound investment. My sincerest apologies to the author.
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Posted September 25, 2006
Good reference for those with experience
31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam is written for the Cisco Networking Academy student who is preparing for the CCNA exam. It is organized such that the student can break down important concepts into manageable chunks to study for the exam. The book could also be used for someone who is attempting to re-certify by taking either the 640-801 exam or the ICND exam. Bennett does a great job summarizing the important concepts for the exam. Users should be cautioned, however, that this should not be the only source for study materials. There is very little in-depth coverage of the concepts. The book consistently refers the user back to the online Networking Academy curriculum for further information. Bennett also goes a long way to alleviate the text anxiety that most students experience. He includes a section titled ¿Getting to Know the CCNA exam¿ that explains how the test is laid out, including types of questions that could be asked. He also includes a section titled ¿Exam day and Post-Exam Information¿ that gives exam-takers guidelines on what to expect after the exam, as well as what to do if they do not pass on the first attempt. The Cisco IOS command line examples are a superb reference. However, I found the sections on Cisco IOS Access Lists to be lacking. Students struggle with Access List configuration, especially placement of the list. There is little to no coverage on Access List placement. Diagrams and tables in the book are standard Cisco. Coverage of the OSI model is complete, as is the section on IP addressing. Wildcard masking is touched on to some extent coverage could be more complete in this area. Coverage of LAN switching is also lacking. Overall, 31Days Before Your CCNA Exam is a good reference. It is somewhat clumsy for the student to go back and forth between the book and the online curriculum. If this text is marketed to the Cisco Networking Academy Student, it would have been better if the book and the online curriculum were in the same order. I think that it is a much better reference for someone with experience on Cisco equipment who is attempting the CCNA certification initially, or someone who needs to re-certify. I also wish the book would have been bundled with some router simulation software for the non-academy user.
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