I recently took the 640-802 exam and got my CCNA certificate. It might sound funny, but I did this exam after ten years of working experience in networking, and I was very nervous!
Why do I need a Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate?
Honestly, I had no plans for certification. The CCIE certification would boost my career by providing some excellent job opportunities, but I was afraid to take the CCIE exam. I do not have a good history of exams. It took ten years to complete my Computer Science degree while the usual period was four years!
Two months ago, I heard that the 640-801 exam would expire soon, and Cisco would add another milestone as CCENT to its career path. I shared it with my wife, and she made a reservation for me as a gift. It created a strain on me.
Preparations and exam
I managed to get two days off, one day for preparation, and one day for the exam. I also spent the last three evenings for this purpose. I did not attend any Cisco training class and used only CCNA Prep center (Exam Study tab) for preparation. This web site is so helpful, and the content provided is sufficient enough for experienced professionals. If you start from scratch, it would be right for you to attend a Cisco CCNA class, but not a CCNA Bootcamp. It is not a big deal. Don’t waste your money.
The exam day did not start very well. There was a traffic jam, and it was rainy. I reached the exam center just 5 minutes before the appointment. A cute girl told me that I could start two hours later due to some technical issues. I spent that time in a nearby cafe. When I returned to the exam center, another girl told me that they are downloading the exam. I had to wait another 15 minutes. Cable paths caught my attention as I sat in the lobby; It was annoying to see that third-class materials were used and installed by inexperienced staff.
Content / Lessons Learned
– Time is enough, do not rush
– You need to know the basic configuration of RIPv2, OSPF, EIGRP
– Basics of routing algorithms
– Be able to configure NAT
– Can configure DHCP
– Understanding ACLs
– Basics of wireless network, how WPA works
– No questions like the binary equivalent of something
– But be able to calculate subnets
– Matching given IPs to given topology/schema
– Differentiate the terms MAC, IP and TCP/UDP ports
– How a packet travels in the network(ARP, encapsulation)
– OSI layers vs. TCP/IP layers
In general, the exam went better than I expected. The questions were contentful, and studying for two days was sufficient for me.