So you want to learn about ACLs for example. How much
extra work should you do beyond what you need to pass the
There are two camps here:
1 - you learn what you need to know to pass the exam. Do
the labs, learn the theory, do the crams, flash cards etc.
and then pass.
If you need to dig deeper later on then do that but your
main focus should be passing the exam.
2 - you can't just learn what you need to know. You should
dig deeper to gain a more thorough level of knowledge about
the subject. This makes you a better network engineer.
Both of the above are correct but taken too far they are
I've seen people focus purely on passing the exam which
leads to a person who can pass exams. Even the Cisco exams
can be passed by such a person.
I've also seen people get lost in subjects for days or
even weeks. They fall off the study wagon and become almost
obsessed in the tiniest details. Instead of taking about
two to three months to pass they take six or more.
We are all grown ups so we make our own choices. My
personal recommendation is to read all you need to know,
dig deeper if you have spare time outside your study
schedulle. If you are doing some more advanced exams you
will be digging deeper anyway.
As a qualfied engineer you will be able to go back AFTER
you passed and dig as deep as you like at your leisure.
Customer Comment or reviews
Most Helpful Customer Comment or reviews
I certainly don't want to spend a year to pass one exam. The HTN 60 day approach is effective because you haven't time to forget somethink you read 3 months ago. I stick with the HTN Text except when I have a quiz question which I cant get a handle on. Then I go to more depth until I have a deep understanding of the material in the question.
I like the way you put it on Paul, in one word balance. Do what you need to do to pass the exam and then you will have the oportunity to go deeper while you are working just by yourself or within a company.
The key thing is to focus on what you are doing and make happen.
I agree with "crispy" the more you advance up the Cisco tree the more you meet the material that you have covered on previous courses.
Concepts you meet in the CCNA reappear when you are doing your CCNP it does obviously go that bit deeper, so digging a bit deeper does help later on if you have the time, but digging too deep may be time better spent learning some other concept of the course material.
I will be going for Security next and I can bet that a lot of the CCNP material will raise its head somewhere in the course.
It is quite easy to get lost in the detail, I can't really comment as I am going down the CCSP route, but I found that when studying for the IINS, your material was helping to overhit the mark on a lot of areas where really didn't need to focus as much on, but if anything, it helped me to do much better on my score in the exam.
It's great when you are given food for thought on some things, and it's not always just about passing the exams. Places such as H2N help you build a solid foundation on the fundamentals (e.g ip addressing) before you start going into the nitty gritty such as ip inspection and reflexive ACL's.
Like you mention, the further up the cisco chain you climb, the more digging you will do, whether you realise it or not :-)