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31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam: A Day-By-Day Review Guide for the CCNA 640-802 Exam

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Overview

31 Days Before your CCNA Exam, Second Edition, offers you a personable and practical way to understand the certification process, commit to taking the exam, and finish your preparation using a variety of Foundational and Supplemental study resources.

The book breaks down key exam topics into 31 daily review

sessions using short summaries, lists, tables, examples, and graphics. A Study Resources section provides you with a quick reference for ...

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Overview

31 Days Before your CCNA Exam, Second Edition, offers you a personable and practical way to understand the certification process, commit to taking the exam, and finish your preparation using a variety of Foundational and Supplemental study resources.

The book breaks down key exam topics into 31 daily review

sessions using short summaries, lists, tables, examples, and graphics. A Study Resources section provides you with a quick reference for locating more in-depth treatment of a day’s topics within the relevant Foundational and Supplemental resources.

Use this day-by-day guide to organize, prepare, and review all the CCNA® objectives. The features of the book empower you to fit exam preparation into an otherwise busy schedule:

  • Tear out visual calendar summarizes each day’s study topics
  • Checklist highlights important tasks and deadlines leading up to your exam
  • Description of the 640-802 CCNA exam organization and sign up process, includes how to use a voucher
  • Strategies from the author help you to be mentally, organizationally, and physically prepared for exam day
  • Conversational tone, making your study time more enjoyable

Allan Johnson entered the academic world in 1999 after ten years as a business owner and operator. He has a passion for teaching and holds both an MBA and an M.Ed in occupational training and development. Allan currently works full time developing CCNA instructional support and training materials.

Category: Cisco® Certification

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587131974
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2008
  • Edition description: Second
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 393,569
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Allan Johnson entered the academic world in 1999 after ten years as a business owner/operator to dedicate his efforts to his passion for teaching. He holds both an MBA and an M.Ed in Occupational Training and Development. He taught CCNA courses at the high school level for seven years and has taught both CCNA and CCNP courses at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. In 2003, Allan began to commit much of his time and energy to the CCNA Instructional Support Team providing services to Networking Academy instructors worldwide and creating training materials. He now works full time for the Academy in Learning Systems Development.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xxv

Part I: Networking Basics 1

Day 31: Network Devices, Components, and Diagrams 3

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 3

Key Points 3

Devices 3

Switches 3

Routers 5

Media 5

LANs and WANs 7

Networking Icons 7

Physical and Logical Topologies 8

The Hierarchical Network Model 9

The Enterprise Architecture 10

Network Documentation 11

Study Resources 12

Day 30: Network Models and Applications 13

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 13

Key Points 13

The OSI and TCP/IP Models 13

OSI Layers 14

TCP/IP Layers and Protocols 15

Protocol Data Units and Encapsulation 16

Growth of Network-Based Applications 17

Quality of Service 17

Increased Network Usage 17

The Impact of Voice and Video on the Network 18

Study Resources 19

Day 29: Network Data Flow from End-to-End 21

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 21

Key Points 21

The TCP/IP Application Layer 21

The TCP/IP Transport Layer 21

TCP Header 22

Port Numbers 23

Error Recovery 24

Flow Control 25

Connection Establishment and Termination 25

UDP 26

The TCP/IP Internet Layer 26

The TCP/IP Network Access Layer 27

Data Encapsulation Summary 28

Using Layers to Troubleshoot 29

Study Resources 29

Part II: Switching Concepts and Configuration 31

Day 28: Connecting Switches and Ethernet Technology 33

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 33

Key Topics 33

Ethernet Overview 33

Legacy Ethernet Technologies 34

CSMA/CD 35

Legacy Ethernet Summary 35

Current Ethernet Technologies 36

UTP Cabling 36

Benefits of Using Switches 37

Ethernet Addressing 38

Ethernet Framing 39

The Role of the Physical Layer 40

Study Resources 41

Day 27: Network Segmentation and Switching Concepts 43

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 43

Key Topics 43

Evolution to Switching 43

Switching Logic 44

Collision and Broadcast Domains 45

Frame Forwarding 45

Switch Forwarding Methods 45

Symmetric and Asymmetric Switching 46

Memory Buffering 46

Layer 2 and Layer 3 Switching 46

Accessing and Navigating Cisco IOS 46

Connecting to Cisco Devices 46

CLI EXEC Sessions 47

Using the Help Facility 48

CLI Navigation and Editing Shortcuts 48

Command History 49

IOS Examination Commands 50

Subconfiguration Modes 50

Storing and Erasing Configuration Files 51

Study Resources 52

Day 26: Basic Switch Configuration and Port Security 53

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 53

Key Topics 53

Basic Switch Configuration Commands 53

Configuring SSH Access 55

Configuring Port Security 56

Shutting Down and Securing Unused Interfaces 58

Study Resources 59

Day 25: Verifying and Troubleshooting Basic Switch Configurations 61

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 61

Key Points 61

Troubleshooting Methodology 61

Verifying Network Connectivity 62

Interface Status and the Switch Configuration 65

Interface Status Codes 65

Duplex and Speed Mismatches 66

Common Layer 1 Problems On “Up” Interfaces 67

CDP as a Troubleshooting Tool 68

Study Resources 70

Day 24: Switching Technologies and VLAN Concepts 71

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 71

Key Points 71

VLAN Concepts 71

Traffic Types 72

Types of VLANs 72

Voice VLAN Example 73

Trunking VLANs 74

Dynamic Trunking Protocol 75

VTP Concepts 76

VTP Modes 77

VTP Operation 77

VTP Pruning 78

STP Concepts and Operation 78

RSTP Concepts and Operation 80

Configuring and Verifying STP 82

PVST+, PVRST, and MIST 82

Configuring and Verifying the BID 82

PortFast 84

Configuring RSTP 84

Troubleshooting STP 84

Study Resources 85

Day 23: VLAN and Trunking Configuration and Troubleshooting 87

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 87

Key Points 87

Sample Topology 87

VLAN Configuration and Verification Commands 88

Configuring and Verifying Trunking 91

Troubleshooting VLAN and Trunking Problems 93

Study Resources 95

Day 22: VTP and InterVLAN Routing Configuration and Troubleshooting 97

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 97

Key Points 97

VTP Configuration and Verification 97

VTP Troubleshooting 102

Inter-VLAN Routing Configuration and Verification 103

Troubleshooting Inter-VLAN Routing 105

Study Resources 106

Part III: Addressing the Network 107

Day 21: IPv4 Address Subnetting 109

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 109

Key Topics 109

IPv4 Addressing 109

Header Format 109

Classes of Addresses 110

Purpose of the Subnet Mask 111

Subnetting in Four Steps 112

Determine How Many Bits to Borrow 113

Determine the New Subnet Mask 114

Determine the Subnet Multiplier 114

List the Subnets, Host Ranges, and Broadcast Addresses 114

Subnetting Example 1 114

Subnetting Example 2 115

Subnetting Example 3 115

VLSM 116

Summarizing Subnet Addresses 118

Private and Public IP Addressing 119

Study Resources 120

Day 20: Host Addressing, DHCP, and DNS 123

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 123

Key Topics 123

Addressing Devices 123

ARP 124

DNS 126

DHCP 127

Configuring on a Cisco Router as a DHCP Server 128

Network Layer Testing Tools 132

Ping 132

Study Resources 134

Day 19: Basic IPv6 Concepts 137

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 137

Key Topics 137

Overview of IPv6 137

IPv6 Address Structure 139

Conventions for Writing IPv6 Addresses 139

Conventions for Writing IPv6 Prefixes 139

IPv6 Global Unicast Address 140

Reserved, Private, and Loopback Addresses 141

The IPv6 Interface ID and EUI-64 Format 141

IPv6 Address Management 142

Transitioning to IPv6 142

Study Resources 144

Part IV: Routing Concepts and Configuration 145

Day 18: Basic Routing Concepts 147

Key Topics 147

Packet Forwarding 147

Path Determination and Switching Function Example 148

Routing Methods 149

Classifying Dynamic Routing Protocols 150

IGP and EGP 150

Distance Vector Routing Protocols 150

Link-State Routing Protocols 151

Classful Routing Protocols 151

Classless Routing Protocols 152

Dynamic Routing Metrics 152

Administrative Distance 153

IGP Comparison Summary 154

Routing Loop Prevention 155

Link-State Routing Protocol Features 156

Building the LSDB 156

Calculating the Dijkstra Algorithm 157

Convergence with Link-State Protocols 158

Study Resources 158

Day 17: Connecting and Booting Routers 161

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 161

Key Topics 161

Router Internal Components 161

IOS 162

Router Bootup Process 162

Router Ports and Interfaces 164

Router Connections 164

Study Resources 166

Day 16: Basic Router Configuration and Verification 167

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 167

Key Topic 167

Basic Router Configuration 167

Verifying Network Connectivity 175

Study Resources 177

Day 15: Managing Cisco IOS and Configuration Files 179

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 179

Key Topics 179

The Cisco IOS File System 179

IFS Commands 179

URL Prefixes for Specifying File Locations 181

Commands for Managing Configuration Files 182

Cisco IOS File Naming Conventions 182

Manage IOS Images 183

Backing Up an IOS image 184

Restoring an IOS Image 185

Recovering an IOS Image Using a TFTP Server 186

Recovering an IOS Image Using Xmodem 187

Recovering a Lost Password 188

Study Resources 189

Day 14: Static, Default, and RIP Routing 191

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 191

Key Topics 191

Static Route Configuration 191

Static Routes Using the “Next Hop” Parameter 193

Static Routes Using the Exit Interface Parameter 193

Default Static Routes 194

RIP Concepts 197

RIPv1 Message Format 197

RIPv1 Operation 198

RIPv1 Configuration 198

RIPv1 Verification and Troubleshooting 199

Passive Interfaces 203

Automatic Summarization 204

Default Routing and RIPv1 206

RIPv2 Configuration 207

Disabling Autosummarization 208

RIPv2 Verification and Troubleshooting 208

Study Resources 209

Day 13: EIGRP Routing 211

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 211

Key Topics 211

EIGRP Operation 211

EIGRP Message Format 212

RTP and EIGRP Packet Types 212

DUAL 214

Administrative Distance 214

EIGRP Configuration 214

The network Command 215

Automatic Summarization 216

Manual Summarization 217

EIGRP Default Route 219

Modifying the EIGRP Metric 219

Modifying Hello Intervals and Hold Times 220

EIGRP Verification and Troubleshooting 221

Study Resources 226

Day 12: OSPF Routing 227

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 227

Key Topics 227

OSPF Operation 227

OSPF Message Format 227

OSPF Packet Types 228

Neighbor Establishment 228

Link-State Advertisements 229

OSPF Network Types 230

DR/BDR Election 230

OSPF Algorithm 231

Link-State Routing Process 232

OSPF Configuration 233

The router ospf Command 234

The network Command 234

Router ID 235

Modifying the OSPF Metric 236

Controlling the DR/BDR Election 237

Redistributing a Default Route 238

Modifying Hello Intervals and Hold Times 238

Verifying and Troubleshooting OSPF 239

Study Resources 243

Day 11: Troubleshooting Routing 245

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 245

Key Topics 245

The Basic Commands 245

VLSM Troubleshooting 246

Discontiguous Networks 246

Troubleshooting RIP 247

Troubleshooting EIGRP and OSPF Interface Issues 248

Troubleshooting Neighbor Adjacency Issues 249

Study Resources 250

Part V: Wireless Concepts and Configuration 251

Day 10: Wireless Standards, Components, and Security 253

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 253

Key Topics 253

Wireless Standards 253

Wireless Modes of Operation 254

Wireless Frequencies 254

Wireless Encoding and Channels 255

Wireless Coverage Area 256

CSMA/CA 256

Wireless Security Risks 257

Wireless Security Standards 258

Study Resources 259

Day 9: Configuring and Troubleshooting Wireless Networks 261

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 261

Key Topics 261

Implementing a WLAN 261

Wireless LAN Implementation Checklist 262

Wireless Troubleshooting 264

Study Resources 264

Part VI: Basic Security Concepts and Configuration 265

Day 8: Mitigating Security Threats and Best Practices 267

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 267

Key Topics 267

The Importance of Security 267

Attacker Terminology 267

Thinking Like an Attacker 268

Balancing Security and Availability 269

Developing a Security Policy 269

Common Security Threats 270

Vulnerabilities 270

Threats to Physical Infrastructure 271

Threats to Networks 271

Types of Network Attacks 271

General Mitigation Techniques 273

Host and Server Security 273

Intrusion Detection and Prevention 273

Security Appliances and Applications 273

Maintaining Security 275

Study Resources 276

Part VII: ACL and NAT Concepts and Configuration 277

Day 7: ACL Concepts and Configurations 279

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 279

Key Topics 279

ACL Concepts 279

Defining an ACL 279

Processing Interface ACLs 279

Types of ACLs 280

ACL Identification 281

ACL Design Guidelines 281

Configuring Standard Numbered ACLs 282

Standard Numbered ACL: Permit Specific Network 282

Standard Numbered ACL: Deny a Specific Host 283

Standard Numbered ACL: Deny a Specific Subnet 283

Standard Numbered ACL: Deny Telnet Access to the Router 284

Configuring Extended Numbered ACLs 284

Extended Numbered ACL: Deny FTP from Subnets 285

Extended Numbered ACL: Deny Only Telnet from Subnet 285

Configuring Named ACLs 286

Standard Named ACL Steps and Syntax 286

Standard Named ACL: Deny a Single Host from a Given Subnet 286

Extended Named ACL Steps and Syntax 287

Extended Named ACL: Deny a Telnet from a Subnet 287

Adding Comments to Named or Numbered ACLs 287

Complex ACLs 288

Study Resources 288

Day 6: Verifying and Troubleshooting ACL Implementations 289

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 289

Key Topics 289

Verifying ACLs 289

Troubleshooting ACLs 291

Problem 1: Host Has No Connectivity 291

Problem 2: Denied Protocols 292

Problem 3: Telnet is Allowed #1 293

Problem 4: Telnet Is Allowed #2 294

Problem 5: Telnet Is Allowed #3 294

Study Resources 295

Day 5: NAT Concepts, Configuration, and Troubleshooting 297

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 297

Key Topics 297

NAT Concepts 297

A NAT Example 298

Dynamic and Static NAT 299

NAT Overload 299

NAT Benefits 300

NAT Limitations 300

Configuring Static NAT 301

Configuring Dynamic NAT 301

Configuring NAT Overload 303

Verifying NAT 303

Troubleshooting NAT 304

Study Resources 306

Part VIII: WAN Concepts and Configuration 307

Day 4: WAN and VPN Technologies 309

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 309

Key Topics 309

WAN Technology Concepts 309

WAN Components and Devices 309

WAN Physical Layer Standards 311

WAN Data Link Protocols 312

WAN Switching 312

WAN Connection Options 313

Dedicated Connection Options 314

Circuit-Switched Connection Options 314

Packet-Switched Connection Options 315

Internet Connection Options 317

Choosing a WAN Link Option 319

VPN Technology 320

VPN Benefits 320

Types of VPN Access 320

VPN Components 322

Establishing Secure VPN Connections 322

Study Resources 326

Day 3: PPP Configuration and Troubleshooting 329

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 329

Key Topics 329

HDLC 329

HDLC Encapsulation 329

Configuring HDLC 330

Verifying HDLC 331

PPP Concepts 331

The PPP Frame Format 331

PPP Link Control Protocol (LCP) 332

PPP Configuration and Verification 334

Basic PPP 334

Study Resources 336

Day 2: Frame Relay Configuration and Troubleshooting 337

CCNA 640-802 Exam Topics 337

Key Topics 337

Frame Relay Concepts 337

Frame Relay Components 338

Frame Relay Topologies 339

NBMA Limitations and Solutions 340

Inverse ARP and LMI Concepts 341

Inverse ARP and LMI Operation 342

Configuring and Verifying Frame Relay 343

Full Mesh with One Subnet 344

Partial Mesh with One Subnet per PVC 347

Frame Relay Verification 348

Troubleshooting WAN Implementations 349

Troubleshooting Layer 1 Problems 350

Troubleshooting Layer 2 Problems 350

Troubleshooting Layer 3 Problems 351

Study Resources 352

Day 1: CCNA Skills Review and Practice 353

Key Topics 353

CCNA Skills Practice 353

Introduction 353

Topology Diagram 353

Addressing Table 354

VLAN Configuration and Port Mappings 355

ISP Configuration 355

Task 1: Configure Frame Relay in a Hub-and-Spoke Topology 356

Task 2: Configure PPP with CHAP 356

Task 3: Configure Static and Dynamic NAT on HQ 356

Task 4: Configure Default Routing 357

Task 5: Configure Inter-VLAN Routing 357

Task 6: Configure and Optimize EIGRP Routing 357

Task 7: Configure VTP, Trunking, the VLAN Interface, and VLANs 357

Task 8: Assign VLANs and Configure Port Security 358

Task 9: Configure STP 358

Task 10: Configure DHCP 359

Task 11: Configure a Firewall ACL 359

CCNA Skills Practice (Answers) 360

Task 1: Configure Frame Relay in a Hub-and-Spoke Topology 360

Task 2: Configure PPP with CHAP 362

Task 3: Configure Static and Dynamic NAT on HQ 362

Task 4: Configure Default Routing 364

Task 5: Configure Inter-VLAN Routing 364

Task 6: Configure and Optimize EIGRP Routing 365

Task 7: Configure VTP, Trunking, the VLAN Interface, and VLANs 367

Task 8: Assign VLANs and Configure Port Security 369

Task 9: Configure STP 370

Task 10: Configure DHCP 371

Task 11: Configure a Firewall ACL 372

CCNA Skills Challenge 374

Part IX: Exam Day and Post-Exam Information 375

Exam Day 377

What You Need for the Exam 377

What You Should Receive After Completion 377

Summary 378

Post-Exam Information 379

Receiving Your Certificate 379

Determining Career Options 379

Examining Certification Options 380

If You Failed the Exam 380

Summary 380

TOC, 1587131978, 10/21/08

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Preface

Introduction

You are almost there! If you're reading this Introduction, you've probably already spent a considerable amount of time and energy pursuing your CCNA certification. Regardless of how you got to this point in your travels through your CCNA studies, 31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam most likely represents the last leg of your journey on your way to the destination: to become a Cisco Certified Network Associate. However if you are like me, you might be reading this book at the beginning of your studies. If such is the case, this book provides you with an excellent overview of the material you must now spend a great deal of time studying and practicing. I must warn you, though; unless you are extremely well versed in networking technologies and have considerable experience configuring and troubleshooting Cisco routers and switches, this book will not serve you well as the sole resource for CCNA exam preparation. Therefore, let me spend some time discussing my recommendations for study resources.

Study Resources

Cisco Press offers an abundance of CCNA-related books to serve as your primary source for learning how to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks. See the inside cover of this book for a quick list of my recommendations.

Foundational Resources

First on the list must be Wendell Odom's CCNA Official Exam Certification Library, Third Edition (ISBN: 1587201836). If you do not buy any other books, buy this set of two. Wendell's method of teaching, combined with his technical expertise and down-to-earth style, is unsurpassed in our industry. As you read through his books, you sense that he is sitting right there next to you walking you through the material. The practice exams and study materials on the CD in the back of the book are worth the price of the book. There is no better resource on the market for a CCNA candidate.

Next on the list must be Steve McQuerry's Authorized Self-Study Guide CCNA Preparation Library, Seventh Edition (ISBN: 1587054647). These two books are indispensable to those students who take the two Cisco recommended training classes for CCNA preparation: Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices 1 (ICND1) and Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices 2 (ICND2). These courses, available through Cisco Training Partners in a variety of formats, are usually of a very short duration (1 to 6 weeks) and are geared toward the industry professional already working in the field of networking. Steve's books serve the reader well as a concise, but thorough, treatment of the CCNA exam topics. His method and approach often differ from and complement Wendell's approach. I recommend that you also refer to these books.

If you are a Cisco Networking Academy student, you are blessed with access to the online version of the CCNA curriculum and the wildly popular Packet Tracer network simulator. Although there are two versions of the CCNA curriculum—Discovery and Exploration—I chose to use the four CCNA Exploration courses in my daily review of the exam topics. The Exploration curriculum provides a comprehensive overview of networking, from fundamentals to advanced applications and services. The Exploration courses emphasize theoretical concepts and practical application, while providing opportunities for students to gain the skills and hands-on experience needed to design, install, operate, and maintain networks in small-to-medium businesses, as well as enterprise and service provider environments. In an Academy class, not only do you have access to Packet Tracer, but you have access to extensive, guided labs and real equipment on which to practice your CCNA skills. To learn more about CCNA Exploration and to find an Academy near you, visit http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/course_catalog/CCNAexploration.html.

However, if you are not an Academy student but would like to benefit from the extensive authoring done for these courses, you can buy any or all of the CCNA Exploration Companion Guides (CG) and Lab Study Guides (LSG) of the Academy's popular online curriculum. Although you will not have access to the Packet Tracer network simulator software, you will have access to the tireless work of an outstanding team of Cisco Academy Instructors dedicated to providing students with comprehensive and engaging CCNA preparation course material. The titles and ISBNs for the CCNA Exploration CGs and LSGs are as follows:

  • Network Fundamentals (CG ISBN: 1587132087; LSG ISBN: 1587132036)
  • Routing Protocols and Concepts (CG ISBN: 1587132060; LSG ISBN: 1587132044)
  • LAN Switching and Wireless (CG ISBN: 1587132079; LSG ISBN: 1587132028)
  • Accessing the WAN (CG ISBN: 1587132052; LSG ISBN: 158713201X)

You can find these books at http://www.ciscopress.com by clicking the CISCO NETWORKING ACADEMY link.

Supplemental Resources

In addition to the book you hold in your hands, I recommend two more supplemental resources to augment your final 31 days of review and preparation.

First, Eric Rivard and Jim Doherty are coauthors of CCNA Flash Cards and Exam Practice Pack, Third Edition (ISBN: 1587201909). The text portion of the book includes more than 700 flash cards that quickly review exam topics in bite-sized pieces. Also included are nearly 200 pages of quick-reference sheets designed for late-stage exam preparation. And the included CD features a test engine with more than 500 CCNA practice exam questions.

Second, Wendell Odom has put together an excellent collection of more than four hours of personal, visual instruction in one package, titled CCNA Video Mentor, Second Edition (ISBN: 1587201917). It contains a DVD with 20 videos and a lab manual. Wendell walks you through common Cisco router and switch configuration topics designed to develop and enhance your hands-on skills.

The Cisco Learning Network

Finally, if you have not done so already, you should now register with the Cisco Learning Network at http://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/. Sponsored by Cisco, the Cisco Learning Network is a free social-learning network where IT professionals can engage in the common pursuit of enhancing and advancing their IT careers. Here you will find many resources to help you prepare for your CCNA exam, as well as a community of like-minded people ready to answer your questions, help you with your struggles, and share in your triumphs.

So which resources should you buy? That question is largely up to how deep your pockets are or how much you like books. If you're like me, you must have it all! I admit it. My bookcase is a testament to my Cisco "geekness." But if you are on a budget, choose one of the foundational study resources and one of the supplemental resources, such as Wendell Odom's certification library and Rivard/ Doherty's flash cards. Whatever you choose, you will be in good hands. Any or all of these authors will serve you well.

Goals and Methods

The main goal of this book is to provide you with a clear and succinct review of the CCNA objectives. Each day's exam topics are grouped into a common conceptual framework that uses the following format:

  • A title for the day that concisely states the overall topic
  • A list of one or more CCNA 640-802 exam topics to be reviewed
  • A Key Topics section to introduce the review material and quickly orient you to the day's focus
  • An extensive review section consisting of short paragraphs, lists, tables, examples, and graphics
  • A Study Resources section to provide a quick reference for locating more in-depth treatment of the day's topics

The book counts down starting with Day 31 and continues through exam day to provide post-test information. You will also find a calendar and checklist that you can tear out and use during your exam preparation inside the book.

Use the calendar to enter each actual date beside the countdown day and the exact day, time, and location of your CCNA exam. The calendar provides a visual for the time that you can dedicate to each CCNA exam topic.

The checklist highlights important tasks and deadlines leading up to your exam. Use it to help you map out your studies.

Who Should Read This Book?

The audience for this book is anyone finishing preparation for taking the CCNA 640-802 exam. A secondary audience is anyone needing a refresher review of CCNA exam topics—possibly before attempting to recertify or sit for another certification to which the CCNA is a prerequisite.

Getting to Know the CCNA 640-802 Exam

For the current certifications, announced in June 2007, Cisco created the ICND1 (640-822) and ICND2 (640-816) exams, along with the CCNA (640-802) exam. To become CCNA certified, you can pass both the ICND1 and ICND2 exams, or just the CCNA exam. The CCNA exam covers all the topics on the ICND1 and ICND2 exams, giving you two options for gaining your CCNA certification. The two-exam path gives people with less experience a chance to study for a smaller set of topics at one time. The one-exam option provides a more cost-effective certification path for those who want to prepare for all the topics at once. This book focuses exclusively on the one-exam path using the entire list of exam topics for the CCNA 640-802 exam.

Currently for the CCNA exam, you are allowed 90 minutes to answer 50–60 questions. Use the following steps to access a tutorial at home that demonstrates the exam environment before you go to take the exam:

Step 1: Visit http://www.vue.com/cisco.

Step 2: Look for a link to the certification tutorial. Currently, it can be found on the right side of the web page under the heading Related Links.

Step 3: Click the Certification tutorial link.

When you get to the testing center and check in, the proctor verifies your identity, gives you some general instructions, and then takes you into a quiet room containing a PC. When you're at the PC, you have a few things to do before the timer starts on your exam. For instance, you can take the tutorial to get accustomed to the PC and the testing engine. Every time I sit for an exam, I go through the tutorial, even though I know how the test engine works. It helps me settle my nerves and get focused. Anyone who has user-level skills in getting around a PC should have no problems with the testing environment.

When you start the exam, you are asked a series of questions. Each question is presented one at a time and must be answered before moving on to the next question. The exam engine does not let you go back and change your answer. The exam questions can be in one of the following formats:

  • Multiple choice
  • Fill-in-the-blank
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Testlet
  • Simlet
  • Simulation

The multiple-choice format requires that you point and click a circle or check box next to the correct answer or answers. Cisco traditionally tells you how many answers you need to choose, and the testing software prevents you from choosing too many or too few.

Fill-in-the-blank questions typically require you only to type numbers. However if words are requested, the case does not matter unless the answer is a command that is case sensitive (such as passwords and device names when configuring authentication).

Drag-and-drop questions require you to click and hold, move a button or icon to another area, and release the mouse button to place the object somewhere else—typically in a list. For some questions, to get the question correct, you might need to put a list of five things in the proper order.

Testlets contain one general scenario and several multiple-choice questions about the scenario. These are ideal if you are confident in your knowledge of the scenario's content because you can leverage your strength over multiple questions.

A simlet is similar to a testlet in that you are given a scenario with several multiple-choice questions. However, a simlet uses a network simulator to allow you access to a simulation of the command line of Cisco IOS Software. You can then use show commands to examine a network's current behavior and answer the question.

A simulation also uses a network simulator, but you are given a task to accomplish, such as implementing a network solution or troubleshooting an existing network implementation. You do this by configuring one or more routers and switches. The exam then grades the question based on the configuration you changed or added. A newer form of the simulation question is the GUI-based simulation, where a graphical interface like that found on a Linksys router or the Cisco Security Device Manager is simulated.

What Topics Are Covered on the CCNA Exam

The topics of the CCNA 640-802 exam focus on the following eight key categories:

  • Describe how a network works.
  • Configure, verify and troubleshoot a switch with VLANs and interswitch communications.
  • Implement an IP addressing scheme and IP Services to meet network requirements in a medium-size enterprise branch office network.
  • Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic router operation and routing on Cisco devices.
  • Explain and select the appropriate administrative tasks required for a WLAN.
  • Identify security threats to a network and describe general methods to mitigate those threats.
  • Implement, verify, and troubleshoot NAT and ACLs in a medium-size enterprise branch office network.
  • Implement and verify WAN links.

Although Cisco outlines general exam topics, it is possible that not all topics will appear on the CCNA exam and that topics that are not specifically listed might appear on the exam. The exam topics provided by Cisco and included in this book are a general framework for exam preparation. Be sure to check the Cisco website for the latest exam topics.

Cisco Networking Academy Student Discount Voucher

If you are a Cisco Networking Academy student, you have the opportunity to earn a discount voucher to use when registering and paying for your exam with Pearson VUE. To receive the discount voucher, you must complete all four courses of the CCNA Exploration curriculum and receive a score of 75 percent or higher on your first attempt of the final exam for the final CCNA Exploration course, Accessing the WAN. The amount of the discount varies by region and testing center, but typically it has been as much as 50% off the full exam price. Log in to the Academy Connection and click Help at the top of the page to research more information on receiving a discount voucher.

Registering for the CCNA 640-802 Exam

If you are starting your 31 Days to Your CCNA today, register for the exam right now. In my testing experience, there is no better motivator than a scheduled test date staring me in the face. I'm willing to bet it's the same for you. Don't worry about unforeseen circumstances. You can cancel your exam registration for a full refund up to 24 hours before taking the exam. So if you're ready, you should gather the following information in Table I-1 and register right now!

Table I-1 Personal Information for CCNA 640-802 Exam Registration

Item

Notes

Legal Name

Social Security or Passport Number

Cisco Certification ID or Test ID1

Cisco Academy Username2

Cisco Academy ID Number2

Company Name

Valid Email Address

Voucher Number2

Method of Payment

1Applies to exam candidates if you have previously taken a Cisco certification exam (such as the ICND1 exam)

2Applies to Cisco Networking Academy students only

To register for an exam, contact Pearson VUE via one of the following methods:

  • Online: http://www.vue.com/cisco.
  • By phone: In the United States and Canada call 1-800-829-6387, option 1, then option 4. Check the website for information regarding other countries.

The process and available test times will vary based on the local testing center you choose.

Remember, there is no better motivation for study than an actual test date. Sign up today.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Pretty decent perfect for nook

    I am currently studying for ccna. It was only 10 bucks so I downloaded this to my nook to read at work when we run into downtime. The chapters or days read quickly and you wont be bogged down with all the nuances of tcp/ip (for example) but its enough to keep you going till you can get home and do some real studying. This book works out great for me.

    All the text, pictures and diagrams format perfectly in the nook 1st and 2nd edtition.

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