Read an Excerpt
Welcome to CCENT Exam Cram! Whether this is your first or your fifteenth Exam Cram series book, you'll find information here that will help ensure your success as you pursue knowledge, experience, and certification. This introduction explains Cisco's certification programs in general and talks about how the Exam Cram series can help you prepare for Cisco's CCENT/CCNA Exams, whether you choose the dual- or single-exam path. The materials in this book have been prepared with a very clear focus on testable concepts, configurations, and skills. As much extraneous material as possible, beyond what is needed for background comprehension, has been eliminated so that the book is a distillation of the necessary knowledge to takeand passthe Cisco CCENT exam. The two sample tests with answer keys at the end of the book should give you a reasonably accurate assessment of your knowledge. We have also included labs to give you the critical hands-on practice you will need to master the simulator questions on the CCENT exam. Read the book, understand the material, practice the scenarios, and you'll stand a very good chance of passing the test.
Exam Cram books help you understand and appreciate the subjects and materials you need to pass Cisco certification exams. Exam Cram books are aimed strictly at test preparation and review. They do not teach you everything there is to know about a topic. Instead, we present and dissect the topics and key points we've found that you're likely to encounter on a test. We've worked to bring together as much accurate information as possible about the latest CCENT exam.
Nevertheless, to completely prepare yourself for any Cisco test, we recommend that you begin by taking the Self-Assessment that is included in this book, immediately following this introduction. The Self-Assessment tool will help you evaluate your knowledge base against the requirements for a CCENT under both ideal and realistic circumstances.
Based on what you learn from the Self-Assessment, you might decide to begin your studies with some classroom training, some practice with the Cisco IOS, or some background reading. On the other hand, you might decide to pick up and read one of the many study guides available from Cisco or third-party vendors on certain topics, including the CCNA Exam Prep from Que Publishing. We also recommend that you supplement your study program with visits to http://www.examcram2.com to receive additional practice questions, get advice, and track the CCENT/CCNA program.
We also strongly recommend that you practice configuring the Cisco devices that you'll be tested on, because nothing beats hands-on experience and familiarity when it comes to understanding the questions you're likely to encounter on a certification test. Book learning is essential, but without a doubt, hands-on experience is the best teacher of all! This book includes a CD that you can use to practice your skills.
Taking a Certification Exam
After you've prepared for your exam, you need to register with a testing center. The CCNA certification can be taken in either one or two steps: The single-exam option is the 640-802 exam and costs $125. The two-exam option requires you to take both the 640-822 ICND1 and 640-816 ICND2 exams, at a cost of $100 each. Passing the ICND1 exam certifies you as CCENT; subsequently passing the ICND2 exam certifies you as CCNA. In the United States and Canada, tests are administered by VUE. You can contact VUE at http://www.vue.com.
To sign up for a test, you must possess a valid credit card or contact either VUE for mailing instructions to send a check (in the United States). Only when payment is verified or your check has cleared can you actually register for the test.
To schedule an exam, you need to call the number or visit the web page at least one day in advance. To cancel or reschedule an exam, you must call before 7 p.m. Pacific standard time the day before the scheduled test time (or you might be charged, even if you don't show up to take the test). When you want to schedule a test, you should have the following information ready:
After you sign up for a test, you are told when and where the test is scheduled. You should try to arrive at least 15 minutes early. You must supply two forms of identificationone of which must be a photo IDand sign a nondisclosure agreement before you will be admitted into the testing room.
All Cisco exams are completely closed book. In fact, you are not permitted to take anything with you into the testing area, but you are given a blank sheet of paper and a pen (or in some cases, an erasable plastic sheet and an erasable pen). We suggest that you immediately write down on that sheet of paper all the information you've memorized for the test. In Exam Cram 2 books, this information appears on a tear-out sheet inside the front cover of each book. You are given some time to compose yourself, record this information, and take a sample orientation exam before you begin the real thing. We suggest that you take the orientation test before taking your first exam, but because all the certification exams are more or less identical in layout, behavior, and controls, you probably don't need to do this more than once.
When you complete a Cisco certification exam, the software tells you immediately whether you've passed or failed. If you need to retake an exam, you have to schedule a new test with VUE and pay another $100 or $125.
Note - If you fail a Cisco test, you must wait five full days before you can take it again. For example, if you failed on Tuesday, you would have to wait until Monday to take it again.
Tracking Your Certification Status
As soon as you pass the Cisco CCNA single exam, or both the ICND1 and ICND2 tests, you are a CCNA. (Passing the ICND1 test certifies you as CCENT, the new entry-level Cisco networker certification). Cisco generates transcripts that indicate which exams you have passed. You can view a copy of your transcript at any time by going to the Cisco website and going to the certifications tracking tool. This tool enables you to print a copy of your current transcript and confirm your certification status.
After you pass the necessary set of exams, you are certified. Official certification is normally granted after three to six weeks, so you shouldn't expect to get your credentials overnight. The package for official certification that arrives includes
Many people believe that the benefits of Cisco certification are among the most powerful in the industry. We're starting to see more job listings that request or require applicants to have CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, and other certifications, and many individuals who complete Cisco certification programs can qualify for increases in pay and/or responsibility. As an official recognition of hard work and broad knowledge, one of the Cisco credentials is a badge of honor in many IT organizations.
How to Prepare for an Exam
Preparing for the CCENT/CCNA test requires that you obtain and study materials designed to provide comprehensive information about the product and its capabilities that will appear on the specific exam for which you are preparing. The following list of materials can help you study and prepare:
Together, these two books make a perfect pair.
This set of required and recommended materials represents a good collection of sources and resources about the CCENT exam and related topics. We hope that you'll find that this book belongs in this company.
What This Book Will Not Do
This book will not teach you everything you need to know about networking with Cisco devices, or even about a given topic. Nor is this book an introduction to computer technology. If you're new to networking and looking for an initial preparation guide, check out http://www.quepublishing.com, where you will find a whole section dedicated to Cisco certifications and networking in general. This book will review what you need to know before you take the test, with the fundamental purpose dedicated to reviewing the information needed on the Cisco CCENT exam.
This book uses a variety of teaching and memorization techniques to analyze the exam-related topics and to provide you with ways to input, index, and retrieve everything you'll need to know to pass the test. Again, it is not a comprehensive treatise on Cisco networking.
What This Book Is Designed To Do
This book is designed to be read as a pointer to the areas of knowledge you will be tested on. In other words, you might want to read the book one time, just to get an insight into how comprehensive your knowledge of networking with Cisco is. The book is also designed to be read shortly before you go for the actual test and to give you a distillation of the entire field of CCENT knowledge in as few pages as possible. We think you can use this book to get a sense of the underlying context of any topic in the chaptersor to skim read for Exam Alerts, bulleted points, summaries, and topic headings.
We've drawn on material from Cisco's own listing of knowledge requirements, from other preparation guides, and from the exams themselves. We've also drawn from a battery of third-party test-preparation tools and technical websites, as well as from our own experience with Cisco equipment and the exam. Our aim is to walk you through the knowledge you will needlooking over your shoulder, so to speakand point out those things that are important for the exam (Exam Alerts, practice questions, and so on).
The CCENT exam makes a basic assumption that you already have a strong background of experience with the general networking and its terminology. On the other hand, because the CCENT is an introductory-level test, we've tried to demystify the jargon, acronyms, terms, and concepts.
About This Book
If you're preparing for the CCENT exam for the first time, we've structured the topics in this book to build on one another. Therefore, the topics covered in later chapters might refer to previous discussions in earlier chapters.
We suggest that you read this book from front to back. You won't be wasting your time, because nothing we've written is a guess about an unknown exam. We've had to explain certain underlying information on such a regular basis that those explanations are included here.
After you've read the book, you can brush up on a certain area by using the Index or the Table of Contents to go straight to the topics and questions you want to reexamine. We've tried to use the headings and subheadings to provide outline information about each given topic. After you've been certified, we think you'll find this book useful as a tightly focused reference and an essential foundation of CCENT knowledge.
Each Exam Cram chapter follows a regular structure, along with graphical cues about especially important or useful material. The structure of a typical chapter is as follows:
Exam Alert - This is what an Exam Alert looks like. An Exam Alert stresses concepts, terms, or activities that will most likely appear in one or more certification exam questions. For that reason, we think any information found offset in Exam Alert format is worthy of unusual attentiveness on your part.
Even if material isn't flagged as an Exam Alert, all the content in this book is associated in some way with test-related material. What appears in the chapter content is critical knowledge.
Note - Cramming for an exam will get you through a test, but it won't make you a competent IT professional. Although you can memorize just the facts you need to become certified, your daily work in the field will rapidly put you in water over your head if you don't know the underlying principles of networking in general and with Cisco gear in particular.
The bulk of the book follows this chapter structure, but there are a few other elements that we would like to point out:
You might want to look at the Cram Sheet in your car (not while you are drivingcan you believe we have to point this out?) or in the lobby of the testing center just before you walk into the testing center. The Cram Sheet is divided under headings, so you can review the appropriate parts just before each test.
Contacting the Authors
We've tried to create a real-world tool that you can use to prepare for and pass the CCENT certification exam. We're interested in any feedback you would care to share about the book, especially if you have ideas about how we can improve it for future test takers. We'll consider everything you say carefully and will respond to all reasonable suggestions and comments. You can reach us via email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know if you found this book to be helpful in your preparation efforts. We'd also like to know how you felt about your chances of passing the exam before you read the book and then after you read the book. Of course, we'd love to hear that you passed the examand even if you just want to share your triumph, we'd be happy to hear from you.
Thanks for choosing us as your personal trainers, and enjoy the book.
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