ICND2 (CCNA) Study Guide

Sorry for the post delay on this. But, here it is.. the 2nd part of the ICND series Study Guide. As with the 1st post, the core purpose behind these network exams is to help you better understand the concepts involved to achieve your VCP-NV (NSX). This exam (ICND2) is needed to complete the requirements for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification; or, you can just take the 1 CCNA exam (200-120).

As for my ICND2 exam experience… well, I took the exam just before Thanksgiving break, but I didn’t pass. I felt VERY prepared going into the exam. And, based off my good experience with the ICND1, in addition to the effort put into my ICND2 studies, I thought I would do quite well. I didn’t do a complete flop… I came somewhat close, but disappointingly failed nonetheless. The passing score for ICND2 is higher than for ICND1 (825 required, as opposed to 804 for ICND1). I honestly felt some of the questions shouldn’t have been asked. Don’t get me wrong, I feel any vendor who issues certification exams for its products for the most part has the right to ask about any question, in about any way, for its technologies. But I also believe they should do so consistent with exam requirements. Part of the problem I’ve noticed with the few Cisco exams I’ve taken is the study outline is quite vague. I’m not sure if that is on purpose or not. If it is, I suggest Cisco revisit their outlines to be a bit more explicit, especially for the ICND/Associate-level exams. I think VMware does a better job in 1. suggesting what to study on their “Blueprints”, and 2. the type of questions & how they are asked on their exams. The Cisco ICND exams are intended to require a candidate to possess entry-level level (or slightly more) knowledge, not professional/expert-level knowledge. Some of the questions asked on the ICND2 seemed to suggest needing more knowledge than what in my opinion should be required for such a level, and also were kind of perplexing. The information contained in some of the questions was not covered in any part of the source material I studied from (Cisco “Official” Cert Guide book by Wendell Odom, Pluralsight videos, Pearson IT Cert Test engine, CCNA Exam Cram book, GNS3 practice lab), thus the reason for my confusion.

At any rate, I’m not sure if I’ll retake the exam or not. I would like to attain my CCNA for sure, but it isn’t the core of my job, nor do I plan on transitioning my career from systems-oriented to network-focused. But, I did put effort into achieving it; I just fell short. Aside from not really being a job requirement (thus, my indecision on retake), it costs considerable time and more so money to do exam retakes, regardless of the vendor/exam. With the perplexity of some of the questions on the ICND2, I’m not even sure where else to look to get proper study material to help me feel more confident for an exam reattempt. I don’t want to spend money on a retake with an inevitable feeling of failure. Wrong thinking? Maybe. But, I’m also trying to be wise. Another option I may try is just to skip retaking the ICND2 and instead attempt the single CCNA exam.

I shared what my study materials were above, but another highly recommended resource is an “Exam Update” reference from Wendell Odom. It seems this ‘newer version’ of the ICND2 has caused quite a bit of issues for a lot of folks as far as passing goes. As such, Wendell has created this reference PDF to go along with his ICND2 Official Cert book. Depending on the revision version of his book you get (if you decide to purchase it), it may include all the Exam Update material, as noted in the PDF. For the PDF, see here (go to the Updates tab & download Appendix B)

As with the ICND1 Study Guide, I included a CLI Guide below. Additionally, in this Study Guide I created an Appendix to summarize the Troubleshooting section (Section 4) to make it a bit easier to study from (I hope).

I wish you all the best in your studies. If there are any inaccuracies or material you feel should be included, please let me know!




3 thoughts on “ICND2 (CCNA) Study Guide

  • Shane – Did you ever reattempt the ICND2? I have recently obtained CCENT and your blog is of particular interest to me as your thoughts are inline with my own. Thank you for your study guides.

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