Many thanks to Kevin, who really stays engaged with this program and keeps us all on track, the authors of the fantastic CWSP study guide and companion CD (wow), and all of you who have shared their thoughts and insights on the forums and through whitepapers and other knowledge-sharing venues!
My major lesson learned for next time:
1) Three years goes by quickly. This time I will not wait so long to get ready for next step. Also, a lot changes, and I cringe when I think of some of the things I didn?t know at work that I should have because I didn?t keep up-to-date with knowledge & developments. It is important to keep engaged between ?required? cert windows. For certification, but more importantly for professional reasons.
2) I'm largely an audio learner. My plan was to read a lot of material into a recorder and listen to it during my commutes to and from work, but I didn't have time to this time. Next time I'll do that too. If CWNP were to develop audio for these things at some point, I would totally buy them!
My strategy for studying is in the next post...
My strategy for passing this test was:
1) Read the current Sybex study guide, slowly for thorough understanding, cover to cover. It was my primary resource, and it?s danged good.
2) Did the exercises in the chapters along with it.
3) Read the recommended white papers called out. (The chicken farmer rocks.) ;)
4) Paid attention to the call-out boxes; lots of outstanding info there. Took a look at recommended websites, standards, etc along the way to cement concepts.
5) Took the quizzes after each chapter and revisited any info in the chapter I was weak in before moving on.
6) Highlighted text and made flash cards as I was reading.
7) Put my flashcards on a ring and carried them around with me at work, in lines at store, etc. There is so much information, it is easy to forget what you read at the beginning once you get to the end. That?s why making the flashcards as I was reading and continuing to review them was important, and I continued to add as I went. While most of the material isn?t ?rote memorization? but rather practical application, the cards would still queue me on info I was getting weak on/forgetting. When not reading the book I would flip through the cards and it helped me see areas I needed to revisit.
8) Followed CWNP blogs and forums.
9) Set up a wifi client (a dual boot linux netbook) with the purpose of trying out wifi tools and examining real traffic. Helped to actually use the tools I was reading about, and they were all free or trial.
10) I am lucky and am working with some wifi enterprise equipment in the lab at work that isn?t attached to a live network yet, so rebuilt a wireless controller a couple of times and played around with it?hands on helps.
11) Reviewed the Exam objectives to make sure I hit all the points, and noting areas that carried the most weight that I should focus on the most in the home stretch.
12) Took practice exams from CWNP that I got when purchasing the CWSP self-study package. Well worth the money. The explanations helped clarify, gave me insight on what to expect for the exam, and showed me again areas I needed to go back and review. I set my options to ?show answers after each question whether right or wrong? as there were oft things I hadn?t considered.
13) Skimmed my book again hitting my highlighted sections, areas I was weak in, etc.
14) Rested, took the plunge
15) PASSED!!! =)
I studied very hard, am not a dummy, and think I?ve a pretty good grasp of the material. But I still thought this was an extremely difficult exam and barely made it. If nothing else, the huge amount of technical material one must know being distilled into a random 60 questions involves some chance. (I?d almost rather it were double the length and time.) Also don?t be fooled into thinking 70 is a low score to have to attain?when one considers that there are many ?multiple answer? questions the ?percentage? one needs to get is pretty high. So I would really be sure you feel comfortable with what you know before taking the test. For my CWNP brothers and sisters who walked away from this test with scores in the 80s or 90s, my hat?s off to you, and you?d better be sure you have strong AAA or I?m going to be triangulating your location, distracting you with my jammers, tricking you into associating with me, and decrypting all your brain power. ;) (You?re impressive, truly.)
Ok, now I need a beer!!!
Well done SeaLass!!!!!!! Congratulations, and thank you so much for sharing your experience!