31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam: A day-by-day review guide for the CCNA 640-802 exam (2nd Edition)-Allan Johnson

  • Title: 31 Days Before Your CCNA Exam: A day-by-day review guide for the CCNA 640-802 exam (2nd Edition)
  • Author: Allan Johnson
  • Released: 2008-11-19
  • Language:
  • Pages: 432
  • ISBN: 1587131978
  • ISBN13: 978-1587131974
  • ASIN: 1587131978


About 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.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Introduction 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

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 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 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...