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How to Pass the Cisco CCNA or CCNP Exam

Too often we get asked by our readers “What is the easiest/fastest/best/simplest way to pass the Cisco CCNA or CCNP exam”.   Too many people want a quick answer or a quick fix.  We live in a fast paced society where everything needs to be done quickly so we can get on to “other” things.

Pass the CCNA/CCNP Using Practice Exams

Many people will swear by practice exams or by using practice questions.  For the most part this can be a good way to learn, as this is somewhat akin to using flash cards to study…. provided your not just memorizing stolen questions from the test itself.

There are companies that make a good profit from selling the real test questions to aspiring engineers. Companies like Pass4Sure and TestKing both offer products that contain, word-for-word the exact test question you will see on the exam.

Companies like these have people over seas that will sit and copy the questions or screen scrap the test and sell it to you so that you will pass the exam.   That’s how they are able to say that you are 100% guaranteed to pass.  It is basically cheating and does not help you as an engineer.  And does not help the rest of us who do study our ass off to pass the exam.

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Don’t get me wrong. There are GOOD companies that do offer practice exams and practice questions that will help you study (we recommend Boson).  These questions are designed to test your knowledge and make you think to ensure you understand the technology. Transcender and Boson both have been in business for a long time and both offer great product.  CBT Nuggets is also another great company that offers Video study courses for most any certification exam.

Pass the CCNA/CCNP by Studying

But no matter what product you buy, nothing can substitute for good ole’  fashioned STUDY!  If you want to be a great engineer and truly learn the technology, then start by sitting down and opening up a book.  It is the only way you are going to really learn the material.

Pass the CCNA/CCNP with Experience

Some people have a real hard time studying.  Trust me, reading a Cisco manual is not the most exciting thing I’ve  read.   Many people have to get their hands on the equipment and dig into the commands and see for themselves how things are setup and how they work.

And Cisco knows this.  Having hands on experience beats book smarts any day.  This is the main reason Cisco has router simulations on the tests themselves.  This is practical knowledge is what is needed to be a great engineer.  That you can’t get from a book.

Pass the CCNA/CCNP exams with a little bit of both

In the end you are going to need to both study the book facts and understand the “Cisco Way” of networking by applying what you have learned.  But to do so, you will also need to solidify that knowledge by putting it to practical use and configuring a router or switch.

What’s your favorite way to study

What helps you in your study?  Which practice exams do the best job of re-enforcing what you’ve read without giving away the exact questions and answers?  Leave a comment below and let us know how you pass the Cisco CCNA or CCNP exams.

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How to Pass the Cisco CCNA or CCNP Exam
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About Joe

Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of RouterFreak.com as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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25 comments

  1. I have the CBT nuggets and the book ( how to pass your CCNA in sixty days) well over the sixty days now lol, when I think I am up to speed I take another online test and I appear no to be, can anybody give a good coverage of what is expected on the new two part CCNA 200-105 exams please

    Steve

  2. I have to say this is pretty ironic. The article’s purpose was to inform readers about the best way to study using legitimate methods (Boson, Transcender). But then the commenters only speak of black market brain-dump PDFs.

    Pretty funny.

    Personally, I’ve used The Bryant Advantage video courses and the INE video courses.

  3. Hey great article! I also found these two blog post too be extremely helpful in gathering study materials for both the CCNA and CCNP. Check them out.

    http://networking-link.com/how-to-pass/ccna/

    http://networking-link.com/how-to-pass/ccnp/

  4. I agree with you, i failed 3 times before getting my CCNA certificate, and the problem was not being familair with the questions, until i bought the pass4sure package.

    Question: I’m willing to take the CCNP certificate but i’m not sure what exam should i study for, should i take the CCNP Switching first ? or the routing ?

    Thanks,

    Nabil Ali

  5. i agree with faraz that dont just memorize the dumps bco it will make u dumb and you ll not perform well in real world.. to perform well u need to know the concepts behind each topic..
    CCNA and CCNP is very vast topic to discuss so study concepts…

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