8 Great Ways to Prepare for the Cisco CCNA 640-802

With so many different textbooks, study guides, cram sheets, and other exam prep material out there, many CCNA candidates become fixated on only one or two study methods. While there are comprehensive, one-stop study tools available, the best prepared candidates will look to use multiple forms of media and practice to ace the 640-802 examination. Here’s a look at some of the ways you can prepare for the CCNA 640-802 exam:

  1. CCNA 640-802 Simulators: Hands-on training and practice are great ways to prepare for the 640-802 Cisco CCNA exam, but Cisco routers and other equipment are expensive and usually out of budget for most candidates. Simulation products allow candidates to practice working with Cisco equipment by simulating only the components of IOS that appear on the examination. Plus, simulators are way cheaper (typically in the $30 – $60 range) and have been proven as an effective means to study for the CCNA.
  2. Practice Tests: You wouldn’t jump into the deep end of the pool without making sure you can swim in the shallow end, so why risk taking the 640-802 before taking a few practice tests? Take a look at SemSim CCNA exam simulation software or search for the many other practice tests available on the Internet and avoid the risk of cold feet on exam day.
  3. Flashcards: This isn’t grade school, but it sure seems close – still, old-fashioned flashcards or similar memory tools will help you retain the key facts and details on the exam. Handwritten flashcards are great for studying on the go or with a small block of free time. Flashcards are also freely available online and can prove to be an extremely efficient way of quick study on your PC. Either way, this old-school method of study can provide great results.
  4. DIY: The best study guides are often the ones you create on your own. When you write your own study guide, you can focus on the points that are unclear or difficult for you while skimming over information that you already know very well. Of course, writing your own guide is not the only way you should be preparing for the 640-802, but combined with traditional study methods, doing it yourself can be highly rewarding.
  5. Cisco CCNA 640-802 Exam Objectives: The exam objectives are by no means detailed, but they are comprehensive. The nice thing about studying for the exam based on the objectives is that you know that you are covering exactly what is on the test – nothing more, and nothing less. The downside, of course, is that you will have to find the information on your own. Try this in conjunction with writing your own guide and you’ll have a winner.
  6. Forums: Message boards and other online communities will often have valuable, insider tips on the exam that you really can’t find anywhere else. More importantly, they give you a chance to access and communicate with other test takers who may have valuable experience to share.
  7. Back to the Basics: This means reading up on networking basics and even reviewing study materials for other, easier networking exams such as the CompTIA Network+ examination. It’s the opposite of studying exam objectives but reviewing networking fundamentals can really help you on all facets of the 640-802 as it is a networking exam. So, go ahead and review your TCP/IP, NAT, DHCP, and your other favorite networking initials.
  8. Study Guides: We know how valuable study guides are, so why list them last? The truth is that while study guides can be great ways to learn all of the facts you need for the exam, they range widely in depth and comprehensiveness. In other words, one size does not fit all. We recommend that you use at least one study guide in your preparation for the CCNA 640-802, but please make sure you take a look at the other seven options above along with practice from an effective study guide.