CCNA Material – What You Need to Ace the Exam

The CCNA Certification Exam (640-802 CCNA) has evolved as time passes and it is no more sufficient to just rely on one kind of CCNA study material (usually books) to prepare for the exam. I’ll outline several CCNA preparation materials which are essential if you want to ace the exam through self-study.
1. CCNA Books
I regard CCNA books as the must-have resource for CCNA exam preparation. The Sybex books (Todd Lammle) and the Cisco Press titles (exam preparation and self-study) are the most popular and authoritative. Make sure you get a book that is up to date with the most recent exam syllabus.
2. CCNA Lab Simulation or Lab Equipment
Given the amount of emphasis on the 2-3 CCNA simulation questions in the specific exam, it is important to get some hands-on experience in the configuration of Cisco IOS devices. If you are lucky enough to get usage of actual lab equipment, that might be ideal. However, for the typical CCNA candidate real equipment wouldn’t normally be an option. Thankfully there are several affordable CCNA simulators around which cover sufficient ground for the exam.
3. Practice Exams
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Time management is extremely important through the CCNA exam. Typically you will have to answer 50-60 questions in a 90 minute period. This includes 2-3 simulation questions and many other time consuming questions. The best practice exams have a simulation engine to permit to get a feel for the true exam. A number of the good CCNA books also come included with a simulation engine and practice test questions.
4. Audio/Video CCNA Material (Optional)
Although I’ve marked this as optional, I’ve found that lots of CCNA candidates have hardly any time and energy to study for the exam, due to other commitments. One extremely useful way I have found is to study through the long commute to work or school. Nowadays there are packages available to buy which allow you to place the CCNA study material (in an audio and/or video form) on an iPod or other media device to study on the go. I’ve also found that it really is much easier to absorb the material presented in an audio format, in addition it is very convenient to just skip back to the last chapter on an iPod.