For whatever target we plan to conquer, there must be a plan in place in order to achieve our goals. Whether you are in the process of studying towards your CCNA/CCNP exams or whether you are just starting to think about taking those exams, you need to have a plan for success.
If you are planning to travel by car from New York to California, you certainly need a plan. You would get a map, plan what route you would take, plan when and where to stay for the nights etc. You certainly wouldn’t just take you car and start driving blindly hoping to arrive to your destination.
Similarly to our example above, studying towards a CCNA or CCNP exam needs a study plan. And this must be a solid study plan which you must follow with discipline. It wouldn’t be a good idea to just study randomly for a few minutes per day “when you feel like it”. Also, do not procrastinate about your study. The perfect time to start working on your certification preparation is not tomorrow. The best time to start is today.
Here are some tips for your study plan:
- You will be much better off with one-two hours of focused and continuous study per day without interruptions at all, instead of 4 hours a day with a lot of breaks and interruptions in between.
- Make a strict schedule of your study time. Consider this study time as an appointment with a client. Would you skip an important 1-hour meeting with a client and stay home to watch TV instead? Certainly not. Consider your study time as an important meeting with the most important client, which is YOU in this situation.
- Avoid all possible interruptions during your study time. Turn off your cell phone, TV, fixed line phone, computer etc. Having a solid and focused study time is essential for passing your CCNA and CCNP exams.
- Create a deadline for your studies. The best think to do this is to go ahead and pay and reserve your exam in order to take it within a time period in the future. It is proved that we do our best work when we have a deadline and a schedule. Therefore, creating some helpful stress with a deadline is a good thing for your CCNA/CCNP preparation. Again, consider the exam study period as a project for a client.
I hope the above study tips will help you in your endeavor of passing the CCNA or CCNP certification exams (or any other I.T exam you are planning to take).
Many people select the option of self-study using video training from respected vendors such as Trainsignal and CBT Nuggets. If you want a comparison of the two, I have created a “trainsignal vs cbt nuggets” comparison table (specifically for CCNA) which you might find helpful.