Can I pass the Cisco exam just by watching your videos?
I sometimes get this question from people, "Keith if I watch all of your CCNA (or NP) videos...will that be enough for me to pass the exam"?
I just got finished responding to an email of this nature and figured that others here might benefit from that response. And personally, I don't think my response is just applicable to MY video series...but ANY video series from any instructor. I challenge any instructor to confidently answer that YES, THEIR video series is ALL YOU NEED to pass a Cisco exam.
This is what I wrote;
I typically tell people that no video-on-demand program will
ever prepare you 100% for any Cisco certification. There are a lot of
nitty-gritty facts that Cisco expects people to memorize to pass their exams
(such as protocol numbers, values for timers, sizes of fields, etc) that an
instructor will typically not cover because…well, it’s boring and not suitable
for a class. Also, even the low-level exams (like the CCNA) contain a TON of
information and I’ve never seen any course (live or recorded) that covered 100%
of every topic you could potentially be tested on.
So my recommendation (for those who like to use videos) is to
start by watching a video series (like mine on the CCNP) but after each video
segment, pause, and try to find the corresponding topic(s) in an official Cisco
Certification Guide. In the table-of-contents of the book, highlight that
section and then read it. So for example, if you watch a video on VLANs, stop there…find
in the Table of Contents of the book where it mentions VLANs and highlight
it. Then go to that chapter and read about it. If you find that a
particular VOD only covers a small portion of a chapter in a book (for example
the VOD might be on VLANs…but the chapter of the book where that is contained
is called, “Switching”) then don’t highlight the title of the chapter but
rather put a little checkmark or something next to it. What you read there in
the chapter will reinforce what you already heard/saw on the video and the book
will probably include those “little details” that you might also be tested on.
Once you’ve completed the entire video series go back and look
at your Table of Contents for the book. Are there any chapters that
either don’t have a checkmark or weren’t highlighted? Then those are
topics that weren’t covered in the videos at all. For those chapters that
have one-or-more checkmarks, open the chapter again and try to spot if there
are any paragraphs/sections on topics that also, weren’t included in the
Lastly (especially for the CCNP) there is no better way to memorize Cisco IOS
commands and how to interpret their output without actually getting on some
real (or simulated) equipment and doing labs. And for the CCNP I’d recommend
you spend a LOT of time doing this (at least twice the amount of time you spent
watching the VODs). I prefer to create my own lab immediately after I’ve
watched a single VOD, or read a page or two in a book so I can re-create what
I’ve just learned.
Hope this helped!