Hello to all,
I have been reading this forum since Jan. of this year and have gained a great deal of very helpful information from these discussions. One Non-Technical question that seems to come up frequently is; What to use to prepare for the tests? The following paragraphs explain how I prepared for the CWNA exam.
In Feb. of this year I purchased the CWNA official study guide v3, practice test questions and test voucher from the CWNP web site. At about the same time CWNP released the Wireless # certification. This looked like a much easier first step so I read through the CWNA study guide and then bought the preplogic megaguide for Wireless #. I read through the megaguide many times. I read about six white papers and visited at least one web site for each of the technologies covered. I found the megaguide the most useful single source of information for the Wireless # exam. The Wireless # study guide was not available at that time. I passed the exam on March 20, 2006.
As for the technologies covered by the Wireless # certification; I found I had absolutely no interest in infrared, RFID was boring and bluetooth was annoying but necessary due to its interaction with WiFi. I know more about Bluetooth then I ever wanted to. Zigbee was mildly entertaining and the WiFi portion of Wireless # served as a good introduction to CWNA. The most valuable topic covered by Wireless # is WiMAX. Learning about WiMAX made the entire Wireless # experience worth while. I spent most of my online study time at WiMAX web sites and signed up for several newsletters and white papers.
After completing Wireless # I continued with my study of WiFi by taking the practice tests and reading the CWNA study guide again and I purchased 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide (O?¡é?€??Reilly) by Matthew S. Gast.
My next step was to take a fifteen-hour online live CWNA class the week of 8 May. This class was $995.00 and for the amount of money spent, it was the least beneficial source of information when compared to other training methods/materials I used. The live classes were record and made available online 24/7 and I did review each one several times so I?¡é?€??m sure I gained some information from them. The best part of this course was the Wireless LAN Administration Courseware v3.0 book, about 350 pages. That?¡é?€??s about $2.84 per page. I will not mention the name of the company or instructor nor give the names to anyone that asks but I am absolutely sure I will never use online live training again.
I have a copy of Wireless LANs: Implementing High Performance IEEE 802.11 Networks, second edition (Sams) by Jim Geier that I bought about four years ago but never read. I added this to my study material and found it a bit outdated but still useful as supplemental reading.
A friend of mine repairs PCs and sets up home networks as a side business. He let me view his CBT Nuggets CWNA and Trainsignal CWNA CDs. I watched two of the half-hour segments from the nuggets CDs and found that the CBT Nuggets CDs cover nearly all of the WiFi knowledge needed for the Wireless # level of certification (Supplemental to the official study guide). I watched about one and half-hours of Trainsignal CD and found this training to be very slow paced and adequate for residential and SOHO installation but not enterprise level work. Neither of these will get you even close to what you need for CWNA.
I scheduled my CWNA test with Prometric for the last week in May and canceled it three days before the test. I was feeling very unsure about the whole CWNA certification. I failed the online practice tests the first time through but by now I had memorized the answers and the practice tests had lost their value as a gage of preparedness. I continued studying by reading the books and watching the recordings of the online live training.
At the end of July Preplogic came out with a deal that I could not refuse. Anyone that purchased their video product and passed the certification test within 120 days of the purchase would get full reimbursement of the cost, so I bought the CDs on 1Aug. Tom Carpenter gives an excellent presentation with superb graphics and you get high quality video from the CDs. He has a very polished delivery of the information without hesitations or gaffs. The only drawback with these CDs is that they were produced about a year ago and with the rapid advancements in wireless/WiFi Preplogic needs to add a sixth CD with all of the 2006 changes and updates of the standards and technology in general. Still, this is the best video product for CWNA training up to this point.
Earlier in July Transcender came out with their CWNA training product. I was told by several people that Transcender is the best source of CD/computer based Q&A with explanation for any certification (comptia, microsoft, cisco). On 30 Aug. the Transcender CWNA went on sale for $89.00 so I bought it that day. In my opinion Transcender lives up to it reputation and if I pursue any certification in the future, Transcender will be my first purchase for Q&A.
On 29 Sept. I ordered the CWNA Certified Wireless Network Administrator Study Guide (sybex) by David Coleman. $37.79 at Amazon.com. This has got to be it. This is the best bang for the buck. Dollar for dollar you get more from this book then any other product. The CD alone is worth more then $40.00. It has three sets of practice tests with 160 questions total, 215 flashcard questions and the 20 Q&A from each of the 16 chapters are all on the CD along with the complete book in .pdf so you can print Tables. DON?¡é?€??T PIRATE THE .PDF. Anyone that wants CWNA certification can afford this book.
I have a background in electronics and communication systems. Starting with eight in the USMC as an Avionics Technician. Two years of that were schools. Basic electronic at NAS Memphis, TN, inertial guidance systems at MCAS Beaufort, SC, aircraft radar at NAS Whidbey Island, WA and aircraft communication systems at Keesler AFB in MS. So I didn?¡é?€??t have a problem with the RF part of CWNA. I have more then twenty years of experience doing field service installation and maintenance work, this includes CCTV surveillance/monitoring systems, hardwired industrial communications systems and two way mobile radio (FCC GROL PG-3-19224) interfaced with other types of communications equipment. This work has been mostly in the northeast from NC to NY with three years of coast to coast. So I didn?¡é?€??t have a problem with the Site Survey part of CWNA.
I am having a problem grasping WiFi security so when CBT Nuggets came out with their new CWSP product on 10 Oct. and on sale for $99.00 I decided to try it and bought it that same day. The video and audio quality is much better then their CWNA CDs and the presentation, graphics and free hand drawings are better then many of their previous certification training videos. I haven?¡é?€??t looked at the objectives for CWSP so I don?¡é?€??t know how much help it will be with that certification but it does cover most of what is needed for CWNA and I am glad I bought it at a discount price. If I decide to go for CWSP I think it will serve as a great introduction. As for now I am still having trouble with WiFi security at the CWNA level.
I registered for the CWNA test again and set the date for 27 Oct. trying to beat the 30 Oct. test change but backed out again and cancelled two days before the test.
I don?¡é?€??t have any high power certification. From Sept. 2001 to March 2002 I took classes with ComputerTraining.com in Lancaster, Pa. I completed the classes and got Network+ and a couple of MCP certifications but never tested through to the MCSE. The transcript states 312 clock hours but I think that?¡é?€??s too high. In May of 1997 I attended a 160-hour A+ certification course with the Pennsylvania College of Technology. The last day of classes I went to the test center and took the tests and got certified.
On 22 Nov. I realized I was dead in the water. I needed to get past this exam so I could move forward. So again I setup a test date with Prometric. The day after Thanksgiving I decided to create my on boot camp. I rented a room at the Days Inn for three nights. I took two laptops and all of the CDs, books, whitepapers and other stuff I had accumulated. I checked out of the hotel on Monday 27 Nov. went to the test center, took the test and got certified.
Is that insane or what!
it's very insane...just kidding.
i believe you have a very solid foundation and the CWSP should be some how easier for you.
One thing, i did not completely understand...you failed twice before you passed ?
Would you mind telling your scores the three times you tested ?
Mike_Grol, that is a crazy post, does money grow on tree's at your house? Just kidding. You said:
On 29 Sept. I ordered the CWNA Certified Wireless Network Administrator Study Guide (sybex) by David Coleman. $37.79 at Amazon.com.
That sounds like a great price. Do you know if this new Sybex guide is offered at Barnes and Noble stores?
The tests that I failed where the online practice test that can be purchased from CWNP. These questions are more difficult then what you will find on Transcender or the Sybex CWNA. I printed the Q&A as I went through the tests and used them for reference and study aids. The problem with doing that is that the practice tests lose their value as a gage of how ready one is for passing the certification exam.
Hello Gino G,
B&N does carry the syebx CWNA study guide ($47.99) but amazon.com has a better price ($37.79) and shipping is free. Delivery took four days. It?¡é?€??s a good deal at either price. This study guide does not go as deep into the subject mater as some other books do but there are tons of free white papers you can download for free. I have a box that is eight inches deep and it?¡é?€??s filled with white papers.
Has to be another amateur radio op.
73's back at you
I haven?¡é?€??t been radioactive for last few years. My last transceiver was a icom IC-270 Dual Band. Last month I was over at a friends house and we were talking on the repeater and he kind of got me interested in it again. Don?¡é?€??t know if I want to spend the money for a new rig.
Most of what was my free time is now spent on learning about wireless networking. This really takes up a lot of time.
N3TVP Clear and Monitoring
I know what you mean. It is the same for me. I guess I get my fix because 802.11 is RF as well. I had your radio myself, nice rig. All I have now is the Icom T7. Most of my equipment went to help pay for my 802.11 lab. I have a few decent antennas yet as well as a small amp that I use for some sat/ISS comms. I play a bit on IRLP (any links by you?) as well as packet radio. When I can, I help work on the packet network on this link. It is quite a setup.
Take care and 73's to be sure
B&N does carry the syebx CWNA study guide ($47.99) but amazon.com has a better price ($37.79) and shipping is free. Delivery took four days. It?¡é?€??s a good deal at either price. This study guide does not go as deep into the subject mater as some other books do but there are tons of free white papers you can download for free. I have a box that is eight inches deep and it?¡é?€??s filled with white papers.73 mike
The Sybex book can also be purchased here on the CWNP web site bundled with the online practice test and an exam voucher. Click on the banner below: