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Acing the CCNA Exam

Top 10 Tactics and Other Insights

Wendell Odom

You want to pass the CCNA Routing and Switching exam. What barriers bar the way to your passing the exam? Long-time trusted CCNA author Wendell Odom asked that question and built this course as an answer and solution to the problem.

The course takes two approaches to the issues of different technology topics that confuse the average CCNA test taker. The course spends most of the time working through a series of the top 10 most common misunderstandings students have about CCNA topics. In addition to those top 10 topics, the course then lists a more extensive set of potential issues, with pointers of where to learn more about each.

The course also touches on some test preparation tools that can help you pick up points on exam day as well.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • Learn about mistakes that you may be making (without realizing it) in how you think about CCNA-level networking technology.
  • Understand and consider several valuable study tools you can use now that help you avoid losing points on the day of the exam.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the top 10 most common technology mistakes made by CCNA Routing and Switching candidates, learning the mistakes and how to avoid them.
  • Review the central idea in a more extensive list of common misunderstandings for CCNA – with links to more videos available at Safari Books Online – so you can continue to avoid making those common mistakes.

This training course is for you because...

  • You want to pass any of the exams related to Cisco’s CCNA Routing and Switching Certification: The ICND1 100-105 Exam, the ICND2 200-105 Exam, and the CCNA 200-125 Exam.
  • You want to be better at your networking job, with a better understanding, better ability to troubleshoot, and a better ability to talk techie with your peers


  • None required. However, note that the more experience you have with networking with Cisco routers and switches, or the more you have learned towards passing any of the Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching exams, the more you will understand the background behind each of the topics in this course.

Recommended Preparation:

CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Exam Prep LiveLessons (video)

About your instructor

  • Wendell Odom, CCIE No. 1624, creates many of the best-selling Cisco certification products of their types, particular in the routing and switching space. He has pioneered the authorized Cisco Certification Guide series at Cisco Press and has written every edition of the leading CCENT and CCNA Certification Guides. He has written over 30 editions of networking books, video, and software products, ranging in depth from introductory level to CCIE. Wendell has worked as an instructor, course developer, network engineer, and consultant. Find links to more study tools and resources (including his blogs) at www.certskills.com.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introduction: Acing the CCNA Routing and Switching Exam (5 Minutes)

Picking up Points from Your Final Approach (25 Minutes)

  • Final Approach Advice: Deep Dive
  • Final Approach Advice: Speed Round
  • Exercise: Starting Your Action Plan

Picking up Points from CCNA Content (Part 1) (70 Minutes)

  • Top 5 CCNA Technology Mistakes: Deep Dive
  • Packet Encapsulations
  • Applied ARP
  • LAN Switch Forwarding
  • OSPF Neighbor Relationship Issues
  • HSRP States
  • Q&A
  • Exercise: Adding to Your Action Plan

Break (5 Minutes)

Picking up Points from CCNA Content, Part 2 (70 Minutes)

  • Next 5 CCNA Technology Mistakes: Deep Dive
  • Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) Convergence Logic
  • VLANs Allowed on a Trunk
  • IPv4 Subnetting Concepts and Terms
  • Analyzing Existing Subnets
  • Matching Port Numbers with Extended ACLs
  • Q&A
  • Exercise: Adding to Your Action Plan

Picking up Points from CCNA Content, Speed Round (20 Minutes)

  • The Longer List of Common Mistakes
  • Exercise: Adding to Your Action Plan

Picking up Points on Exam Day (20 Minutes)

  • Exam Day Advice: Top Opportunities
  • Exam Day Advice: Speed Round
  • Complete Your Action Plan, and Close