Passed the CWAP exam yesterday. (82%, first attempt.) As I stated in my earlier post regarding the CWNA exam, because I have received so much benefit from reading these forums, I feel it?¡é?€??s only fair, in return, to offer some of my impressions of this test and some thoughts on preparing for it.
First, regarding the exam, itself. Be careful with time management. I found the first half of my exam to be rather straightforward. So, I took my time, rereading questions a couple of times and feeling rather blas????. Then, all of a sudden the complexity level of a number of questions changed, and I found myself scrambling to finish the exam on time. (At first I thought the two-hour allotment for the test was a misprint, didn?¡é?€??t they mean 90 minutes? Suffice it to say, I finished with just 2 seconds to spare, and I was rushing at the end.) Please don?¡é?€??t fall victim to overconfidence like I did; be on your toes for the full exam! Also, I found a number of the test questions to be more detailed and complex than their equivalents in the practice exams. This is in contrast to my experience with the CWNA. For example, I scored 88% and 90% on the two practice exams, the first and only time I took them. I was a good deal more prepared when I sat for the actual test, but did not score as well.
As to preparation and study. Of course, being thoroughly familiar with the CWAP Official Study Guide is a must. Again, I used many of the chapters in Gast?¡é?€??s ?¡é?€??802.11 Wireless Networks, 2nd Edition?¡é?€?? as a secondary reference. I also found Roshan & Leary?¡é?€??s ?¡é?€??802.11 Wireless LAN Fundamentals?¡é?€?? to be useful owing to its numerous packet decodes. I also read most of the 802.11 standards. This is definitely overkill for the exam, but if you can find the time, I definitely recommend it. (Besides, why should Criss have all the fun!) You really need practice using a protocol analyzer and interpreting packet decodes. I used the WildPackets AiroPeek NX analyzer (evaluation) along with the packet traces so generously provided by a contributor to these forums. (Hats off and many, many, thanks to jsicuran for providing these traces and other, excellent, study aids.) One note on the evaluation version of the AiroPeek NX analyzer. I sent an email to the company as directed. As nothing came back at first, I just downloaded the evaluation version from their website. This version comes with very little documentation and is limited to 250 packets per session. After 5 days, I got an email from WildPackets with download instructions. I installed this version, and to my delight, it came with full documentation and no packet limitation. So, by all means, I recommend getting the latter version. One further note on packet analysis: I found it very instructive to figure out how each packet?¡é?€??s duration value and transmission rate were calculated. This helped me a lot in learning about the various physicals. Finally, the practice tests, especially the answer explanations, were very useful as were the gems to be mined from the posts to these forums.
Again, I want to thank the many contributors to these forums, and I look forward to future posts.
Good luck to all!