After deciding to start back into the study I found more and more ways to procrastinate. I’m getting married, I’m too busy at work, every time I thought I should be studying I found an excuse not to…so I booked my exam. The exam date is the 22nd of August and this has forced me to plan out a routine to prepare (as well as made it more apparent that I should be leaving work ontime where possible).
Over the last 2 weeks I have been brushing up on my subnetting, taking practice exams and firing up my rack, I have to say it has been pretty fun. I realize that the long break in between the theory I started at the beginning of the year has been detrimental however I am now starting to build on the basic concepts again. It was depressing and hard to get past the fact that I was performing poorly and failing the practice exams because of the long break but now I feel I am getting to be better prepared.
For example last night I worked overtime, this involved a lot of waiting for remote support so I took my laptop along with GNS3 and built a OSPF lab. I built a simple topology and confirmed connectivity and route propagation between all routers (below):
Then I added another router and another two connections and confirmed that router 1 could ping router 4, then I started shutting interfaces and troubleshooting why connectivity was not working as expected. The concepts become much clearer when you can see what should be happening in real world scenarios rather than just relying on the theory.
When I first jumped back into the books, practice exams and labbing again I was really concerned that I had lost a lot of knowledge and that I did not have enough time to get it all back before the test, I did not feel like I was preparing as well as I did when I passed my CCENT. This was really depressing because I felt that I was loosing the knowledge because I did not use it everyday.
Two weeks in I now feel a lot better about where I am at, I am confident that if I keep up the study and do practice labs I have a good chance to pass the ICND2 exam and if I don’t, the world wont end but at least I will have a better idea of what to expect next time and what areas need further improvement.