CCNA Certification Library (CCNA Self-Study, exam #640-801), Sixth Edition
||Author: Wendell Odom|
List Price: $59.95
Our Price: Click to see the latest and low price
Publisher: Cisco Press (14 August, 2003)
Sales Rank: 1,768
Average Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 3 out of 5
irritating to read but gets the job done
Cisco Press' CCNA Self-Study Certification Library by Wendell Odom consists of two books: the ICND guide and the INTRO guide, corresponding to tests 640-811 and 641-821, respectively. Passing each of those tests will make you a CCNA; so will passing combined exam 640-801.
I passed exam 640-801 in one try, with no real networking experience and having taken no classes. The ICND and INTRO books comprised my primary training materials.
Although it is possible to enroll in official ICND and INTRO courses created by Cisco, the books that make up this "library," apparently, are not the books used in those courses. Within the ICND book, Odom refers to "the ICND course, on which the exam is partly based," suggesting that what you have in your hands is a reverse-engineered study guide: a study guide for an exam that is based on a course that does not use said book. Odom occasionally presents tables that he claims come from the ICND course. Clearly, some parts of the course are not fair game for the study guide.
In other words, don't think that just because you are reading the official Cisco press CCNA study guides, you are dealing with a set of information that is as close as possible to the set of information from which the test was drawn.
Studying these books will prepare you for the CCNA in the same way that reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z will prepare you to identify the capital of Nairobi. It goes without saying that a CCNA candidate should not be studying just to pass a test, she should be studying to qualify herself for a job. But in this case, the difference between the material presented and the material actually making up the test is excessive.
Odom goes to a lot of effort to make the reader feel like he is being spoken to by a friend. "Fun, isn't it?" he writes, after presenting an illustration of function groups and access points that I had to re-draw for myself several times in order to understand. Later, he describes Inverse ARP as "another case of learning by listening, a great lesson for real life!" Gee, thanks. The subtle condescension in the non-humorous asides, the gleeful overuse of exclamation points, and the fable in which Pebbles Flintstone invents networking is compounded by the persistent contextual encapsulation of every single topic in the book. Odom tells you what he's going to tell you, then he tells you, then he tells you what he's told you, much more than necessary.
A better way to put the flustered reader at ease might have been to proofread the books. The ICND guide, especially, is so full of typos that it is often embarrassing to read. In some cases, these are nothing more than obvious misspellings that can be passed over without much more than a little annoyance (e.g. ICND p. 472, "status enquiry messages"). In other cases, the meaning of the sentence is muddled. Worse, the configuration examples have obviously not been proofread either, resulting in, for example, the prompt "R1(config)#" when the appropriate prompt is "R1(config-if)." The difference may seem trivial, but understanding its significance is the kind of stuff the CCNA is all about.
Each book comes with a CD containing a practice test engine and a router simulator (both from Boson). The mistakes in the ICND book pale in comparison to those in the CD test engines. In fact, an argument could be made that studying with those practice tests will hinder more than help the CCNA candidate who has not read the books thoroughly enough to recognize the mistakes. Many multiple-choice questions count correct answers wrong and vice versa (and some of these are taken directly from the books, which usually give the correct answer). A configuration entered into the CLI on a simulator question will be graded as wrong, and the user will then be presented with an identical configuration as an example of the correct way to solve the problem.
None of these problems change the fact that these books will, if used correctly, absolutely help you pass the CCNA. But do it this way: Read the INTRO book. Take the exam right away. If you don't pass, flip through the ICND book and find the areas that you actually need to work on. You'll save months of study time that could be better spent working on your CCNP.
Rating: 5 out of 5
This book is best study guide for aspiring CCNAs!
This book is best off the shelf study guide for preparing to pass the CCNA exams. The CCIE author is very knowledgeable and thorough. This book also includes a CCNA exam discount voucher and network simulator software. I'm impressed by the list of technical reviewers who are all CCIE certified.
What I found helpful within this book is the information presented in an easy to read, digestible format. Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours wading through printed or online documentation attempting to locate the answer to the simplest of questions! This book offers very useful "Do I Know This Already Quizzes" at the beginning of each chapter. Each chapter also includes questions and answers for reinforcement--there are two CDs with more practice questions, and Boson's NetSim LE network simulator software allowing you to practice for the simulator-based questions on the real exams! Most of the time, the author's words are clear and concise--the book's layout is comprehensive and flows from cover to cover.
This certification library is split into to two books. This allows you to study for the single 640-821 or 640-811 exam in a digestible format. You can also use both books in combination to prepare to pass the single CCNA exam 640-801. The author's technical background and knowledge are impressive. He must have had a difficult time working within the constraints of 1200 pages. It's also very impressive that the publisher was able to find three other CCIEs to participate in the technical review of this book. Could there possibly be any more technically correct book on the shelf?
I was only able to locate a few small technical inaccuracies in this book. I have never found a technical book without errors! The few errors I found were in defined acronyms and may have been a result of the book's copy edit process. Refreshingly, this book focuses not only on preparing you to pass the CCNA exams but really helps you to understand the technology involved! This book's author and technical reviewers have years of real world experience, and are probably more concerned with the reader's ability to understand the material more than anything else.
For the self-study candidate on a limited budget, who really wants to understand what's required to be a successful CCNA, this book offers a well readable format. When you want to prepare to pass the new CCNA exams, this book, practice questions, and Boson network simulator are a must have!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Key Review Aid for the CCNA!
I used the previous Certification Guide to prepare for the #604-607 Exam in early 2003. I succeeded in getting a 936, and I credit that book with helping me focus and review. This book is the latest edition, and the recommended book to use in review in the last weeks before the current CCNA Exam.
I would advise all Exam hopefuls to take the wealth of material seriously! That means 'No Single Text' can take you through all 4 semesters-worth of the curriculum. What this book, and many others in the Cisco series do well is remind and focus you in on what Cisco (they publish the book and the test) expect you to know for the exam. So, if there is deep coverage of a subject you didn't consider important, you'd better bone up on that chapter. If there is scant coverage or no coverage of a subject, then maybe you should just review what the book shows, and spend the bulk of your time on other chapters.
What the book does not do is take you from novice to CCNA level. THAT'S NOT IT'S PURPOSE. The writer expects you to be either:
- in the industry with significant experience, and knowledgeable of the concepts and Cisco IOS, with access to Cisco equipment, needing a text to review, or
- a Cisco Network Academy student, with access to Cisco equipment, and successful with the Academy curriculum, or
- a student with other Networking knowledge that has access to Cisco equipment (or simulator) who wants to get Cisco's spin on what they believe they already know.
In other words, don't think you can walk in from the street, pick up this book, and suddenly know all that you need to pass the test. However, IF YOU DO BUY ONE CISCO BOOK TO PREPARE FOR THE CCNA EXAM, IT SHOULD BE THIS ONE! Purchase it as close to the exam date as you can.
· CCDA Exam Certification Guide (CCDA Self-Study, 640-861), Second Edition
· CCNA Flash Cards and Exam Practice Pack (CCNA Self-Study, exam #640-801), Second Edition
· CCNA Router and Switch eSIM
· CCNP Certification Library (CCNP Self-Study 642-801, 642-811, 642-821, 642-831) (3rd Edition)
· CCNA Cisco Certified Network Associate Study Guide, 4th Edition (640-801)