Title: CCNA Practice Questions (Exam 640-802)
Authors: Jeremy Cioara
Publisher: Cisco Press
Published: April 13, 2008
Edition: 3rd Edition
Writing a book to help you prepare for and pass an exam is no easy task but the author and publishers have done a fine job here. Don't be misled by the title – you can find practice questions in a variety of places but when you begin to use this book you realize that you have something more than just questions and answers.
The first extra appears the moment you turn back the front cover; a CCNA cram sheet usefully printed on stiff card which you can tear out and take with you for those last nervous minutes in the exam centre. Nicely laid out and grouped under logical headings are all the facts you need to have in your short-term memory before your date with destiny. There are no subnetting cheats or tables however; if you're reliant on these you'll need to add them yourself.
Another gem can be found at the foot of the page containing the publisher's blurb that nobody ever reads. If you're a Safari fan, you'll find here the access codes to get 45 days of unrestricted online access to the book absolutely free. Choose your start date wisely and you could really benefit from this as you study.
In the book itself you find not one but two contents lists. The first and shortest of these shows which sections relate to each part of the CCNA syllabus. That's right; although the book gives you everything you need to sit the 640-802 combined exam you can also use it to prepare for each of the twin exams 640-822 and 640-816 without studying unnecessary material. The second contents list breaks the material out into chapters.
The chapter structure is excellent with thoughtful design and layout to help you access the material efficiently. Each chapter begins with an overview of the subject area followed by the questions themselves. These are written to make you think about the material and test your understanding while still requiring multiple-choice answers. You'll also find screenshots, sample output and exhibits (diagrams) as you would in the exam. The author has done a good job of including the kind of phrasing and underlying Cisco mentality you are going to come across in the exam; this is valuable as it teaches you to think in the right way to score those all-important marks.
For each question the right-hand margin offers links to both a quick answer and a detailed answer; the former for checking your score and the latter for when you got it wrong and want to know why. We checked a sample of questions across the book and found without exception the questions to be fair and the answers lucid and correct. However we did find one typographical error which sent us screaming to the Detailed Answer section to find out what was going on. In case you buy the book, and I still recommend you do, beware the lower case ‘b' in Question 9 on Page 6. But to put this in context, we're still awarding the coveted Firewall.cx 5/5 score.
Given the author's evident concern to help you pass it came as no surprise to find an exam simulator inside the back cover. The CD included is from MeasureUp and can be used in study mode or as a simulated 640-802 exam. This is a good product in its own right, and there's a coupon code on their advertising page to give you 20% off a further purchase.
Taking everything together, this is a really good book and one we have no hesitation in recommending. If you're studying for CCNA we're confident it will more than repay your investment.