Networking is tough and the Cisco exams cover a lot of topics. Here is how I studied for and passed the 200-301 exam.

- My Process for the CCNA Exam -

  1. Start with one of the reputable certification books and read it cover to cover.
    • I only take handwritten notes.
    • Complete all of the labs in the book with Cisco’s Packet Tracer
  2. Go through the entire video series on ITPro.TV
    • Take notes in OneNote
    • Complete all of the labs in video series
  3. Take a practice test
    • Did really bad and realized I needed to focus more on labing up scenarios for hands on experience and that I am way to slow at subnetting.
    • ITPro.TV and Oreilly have practice tests included in their subscriptions.
  4. Learn the quick way to do subnetting via the Practical Networking Subnetting Mastery Videos on YouTube
    • I cant say enough good things about these videos, they really made subnetting click for me and allowed me to decrease the time spent solving Subnetting and VLSM questions to 30 seconds.
    • The OP also has a website that lets you practice the subnetting
  5. Go through all the labs created by Keith Barker
    • Provides the starting lab files for Cisco’s Packet Tracer
    • His YouTube Channel does an entire walkthrough of completing the labs and explaining the process under the Packet Tracer Labs Playlist
  6. Take a practice test again
    • Much better but still weak on some concepts. More labs are needed.
  7. Go through all the labs of Flackbox’s CCNA Lab Guide
    • Provides the starting lab files for Cisco’s Packet Tracer
    • Extensive Walkthrough/follow along in the Answer Sections
  8. Register to Take the CCNA Exam
  9. Pass the CCNA Exam

- Resources Used -

  • OReilly Books online:
    • Subscription that allows you access to multiple technical books, videos, and live training.
    • Love the platform but the cost of an individual plan is expensive. If you can get your company to cover the subscription price, its definitely worth it if you plan to do a lot of certs.
    • Apps for Apple and Android and supports offline reading.
    • You don’t need this service and can just buy the relevant CCNA books online from Amazon or Cisco directly.
  • Remarkable Tablet
    • Used for handwritten notes and can export them to pdf
  • ITPro.TV
    • Subscription, Best videos for certs and reasonable priced as they do more of a discussion and show, not death by powerpoint.
    • Watch them at 1.5 speed since they speak really slow.
  • Microsoft OneNote
    • Free
    • Requires a Microsoft Account
  • Practical Networking
  • Keith Barker
    • Free
    • Also has a very helpful Discord Server and he does office hours if you need to ask direct questions
    • His YouTube Channel is organized into helpful Playlists
  • Packet Tracer
    • Free
    • Requires a Cisco Networking Academy (netacad) account
  • FlackBox
    • Free
    • You do have to provide a working email in order to download the PDF book.