Take 1 exam? Or 2 exams?

CCNA Composite

Had I started “really” studying for the CCNA last year, I would take the composite. One test – pass it- done!


July 2019 is when I really started studying. The 2-exam approach lets me focus on the content for 1 exam at a time. Which best fits my work/life balance. Versus learning ALL THE THINGS.

Study Resources

After researching Google, talking to others, testing out different resources – I narrowed it down to:

Video Series [CBT Nuggets] <<-click me

Jeremy Cioara has a CCENT video series that keeps me engaged. I enjoy it and retain the information he teaches. I took notes in OneNote as I watched each video. Answered all the review questions during the videos (even documented the questions/answers in my notes).

Practice Exams [Boson ExSim-Max] <<-click me

Price is a bit steep but tested out the online demo and instantly loved it. It has a pool of 290 questions. Including simlets where you must click on devices in a topology to enter in commands to figure out the correct answer.

Book [Todd Lammle’s CCNA Complete Study Guide] <<-click me

The writing style matches the teaching style of Jeremy Cioara’s CCENT series. Mostly I use this book to review questions I miss on practice exams, and to get more clarity on content presented in the video series.

Physical CCNA Home Lab [blog post coming soon]

This is what I use to practice and get comfortable with entering commands and testing out the effects they have on a network. You can read the details of setting up the home lab [link coming soon].


Come Up with a Plan

If you subscribe to CBT Nuggets – they have great Study Plans for their CCNA series. I used this as a guide and benchmark for my study journey. Based off my current work/life balance I came up with this schedule:

Monday – Friday
    • 5:30p to 6:45p – Watch Videos & take notes
    • 6:45p to 7:30p – Lab

Figure what time(s) of the day you can consistently dedicate to study, and then you can formulate a schedule.

Last year (2018) I watched Mike Myers' Network+ video series on LinkedIn learning. Cannot express enough - awesome video series! One of the vids he uses colorful blocks and a vacuum to explain how packets travel from a host to the switch. Great watch if you are brand new to networking.