The CCNA might be intimidating at first, especially since Cisco has expanded the scope of the exam to include more advanced topics such as Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) routing which is traditionally only tested in the CCNP and other professional level exams. Time management during the exam is the number 1 most important thing to do well. This means scoring easy points when possible and to spend more time focusing on those questions which are harder.
To maximize the chance of passing the CCNA exam, here are 2 most important (in my opinion) topics to focus on for the CCNA:
Learning how to subnet effectively is the most important thing for the CCNA. It’s also important to be able to size subnets quickly in the real world for network planning and troubleshooting purposes. Because the CCNA (and any other certification exam) is a test of your time management skills during the test, and subnetting can be done quickly (and 100% correctly) if you know the right technique, it’s a quick way to score easy points.
Common subnetting questions include calculating the number of hosts in a subnet, finding if 2 hosts are in the same subnet, and deciding on the correct hostmasks, among others. Being able so solve such questions quickly means that you will be able to free up valuable exam time to solve other questions. Answering such calculation questions are a matter of simple calculations and it’s hard to get them wrong once you know how. Again, the key is speed and you will definitely want to get subnetting questions out of the way as quickly as possible.
Simulation questions (commonly now referred to as “sims”) are designed by Cisco to test the practical aspect of Cisco networking. A simulation of a real Cisco IOS command-line is provided to you and you are expected to troubleshoot or otherwise configure the network to the required specification.
These questions are more time consuming but very important. Only Cisco knows for sure how these are actually scored but it’s very likely that you won’t get enough points to pass the CCNA if you cannot answer all the simulation questions to a satisfactory level. The CCNA passing score gets higher all the time, which makes scoring high on the simulation questions a priority.
One good thing about using simulation questions is that you’ll be able to gauge roughly how well you’ve done by showing the running configuration and running other tests such as ping and using other show commands. A good way to prepare for the exam is to use a Cisco router simulator.
More guide and tips about CCNA: Best Path for Getting Your CCNA Certification