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Table I-4 CCNA Exam Topics (Continued)

Exam Topic

 

Reference Number

Exam Topic

 

 

23

Troubleshoot an access list

 

 

24

Perform simple WAN troubleshooting

 

 

 

Technology

 

 

25

Describe network communications using layered models

 

 

26

Describe the Spanning Tree process

 

 

27

Compare and contrast key characteristics of LAN environments

 

 

28

Evaluate the characteristics of routing protocols

 

 

29

Evaluate TCP/IP communication process and its associated protocols

 

 

30

Describe the components of network devices

 

 

31

Evaluate rules for packet control

 

 

32

Evaluate key characteristics of WANs

 

 

INTRO and ICND Course Outlines

Another way to get some direction for the topics on the exams is to look at the course outlines for the related courses. Cisco offers the Introduction to Cisco Networking (INTRO) and Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) courses through its Certified Learning Solutions Providers (CLSPs). CLSPs in turn work with other learning partners as well.

The INTRO course covers a much broader set of topics than ICND, but for the topics it covers, ICND covers the topics in much greater detail. In particular, ICND includes a lot more information about commands used on routers and switches to configure and troubleshoot the various features.

These outlines can be found at www.cisco.com.

About the CCNA INTRO Exam Certification Guide and CCNA ICND Exam Certification Guide

As mentioned earlier in this Introduction, you can take both the INTRO and ICND exams to pass CCNA, or you can take a single CCNA exam. Because of the significantly expanded topics as compared with the previous CCNA exam, there was simply too much material for a single book. So we created two books—one for the INTRO exam and one for the ICND exam.

xxv

The contents of the two books were designed for both the single-exam and dual-exam audience. If you’re preparing for just the ICND exam, you can read just this book. Because the ICND exam covers topics more deeply than the INTRO exam, you should probably pass the INTRO exam first. Use the CCNA INTRO Exam Certification Guide to help with that task.

If you are studying for the CCNA exam, you can use both books and alternate reading each book to optimize your efforts in preparing for the exam. This Introduction includes a reading plan for anyone taking the CCNA exam, telling you in what order to read the chapters in the two books. Essentially, you read the first three parts of this book and then read part of the other book, come back here for a part, go back to the other book, and so on, for most of the parts of both books. The parts are named so that it is obvious which sections to read as you move between the books. By doing so, you complete all the coverage in a particular technical area before moving on to another.

Objectives and Methods

The most important and somewhat obvious objective of this book is to help you pass the ICND exam or the CCNA exam. In fact, if the primary objective of this book were different, the book’s title would be misleading! However, the methods used in this book to help you pass the exams are also designed to make you much more knowledgeable about how to do your job.

This book uses several key methodologies to help you discover the exam topics on which you need more review, to help you fully understand and remember those details, and to help you prove to yourself that you have retained your knowledge of those topics. This book does not try to help you pass the exams only by memorization, but by truly learning and understanding the topics. The CCNA certification is the foundation of many of the Cisco professional certifications, and it would be a disservice to you if this book did not help you truly learn the material. Therefore, this book helps you pass the CCNA exam by using the following methods:

Helping you discover which exam topics you have not mastered

Providing explanations and information to fill in your knowledge gaps

Supplying exercises that enhance your ability to recall and deduce the answers to test questions

Providing practice exercises on the topics and the testing process via test questions on the CD

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Book Features

To help you customize your study time using these books, the core chapters have several features that help you make the best use of your time:

“Do I Know This Already?” Quizzes—Each chapter begins with a quiz that helps you determine the amount of time you need to spend studying that chapter. If you follow the directions at the beginning of the chapter, the “Do I Know This Already?” quiz directs you to study all or particular parts of the chapter.

Foundation Topics—These are the core sections of each chapter. They explain the protocols, concepts, and configuration for the topics in that chapter. If you need to learn about the topics in a chapter, read the “Foundation Topics” section.

Foundation Summary—Near the end of each chapter, a summary collects the most important information from the chapter, summarized in lists, tables, and figures. The

“Foundation Summary” section is designed to help you review the key concepts in the chapter if you scored well on the “Do I Know This Already?” quiz. This section is an excellent tool for last-minute review.

Q&A—Each chapter ends with a “Q&A” section that forces you to exercise your recall of the facts and processes described in that chapter. These questions generally are harder than those on the exam, partly because they are in “short answer” format instead of multiple-choice. These questions are a great way to increase the accuracy of your recollection of the facts.

CD-based practice exam—The companion CD contains a large number of questions not included in the book, as well as all the questions from the “Do I Know This Already” quizzes. You can answer these questions by using the simulated exam feature or the topical review feature. This is the best tool for helping you prepare for the test-taking process.

Hands-on practice using Boson NetSim™ LE—The CD also includes the Boson NetSim for CCNA ICND Learning Edition network simulator software, supporting the ability to perform many of the commands covered in the book. In particular, you can perform many of the practice scenarios and hands-on lab exercises also included on the CD, as

well as several from the book. Appendix C details how to access the simulator, and what lab exercises can be performed. (The version of the Boson NetSimtm software included with this book is a limited functionality version. In order to access all functions and features of the software, you must purchase a full license for the software from Boson Software, Inc.)

CD-based practice scenarios—The companion CD contains a CD-only appendix B (which is a totally different appendix as compared with the printed appendix B in the book) which has several practice scenarios. These scenarios include several problem statements, with solutions, in order to help you pull both concepts and configuration commands together. These scenarios are useful for building your hands-on skills, even if you do not have lab gear. You can also perform some of these scenarios using the Boson NetSim LE network simulator, or using your own lab gear.