Recently I passed the Wireshark exam WCNA-102.x link and i am proud to say that now i am officially a WCNA certified. It was a great journey of preparation and in today’s article I am going to share with you all some of these, which might help you’ll if you are considering to appear for the exam.
My Exam preparation materials: You will need two official books to pass this exam. One is study Guide and other one is final prep guide
Mandatory Official Books for the preparation:
- Wireshark Network Analysis (Second Edition): The Official Wireshark Certified Network Analyst Study Guide. link
- Wireshark Certified Network Analyst Exam Prep Guide (Second Edition).link
Optional Material : Routergods YouTube Training on WCNA link
Very good training videos but not mandatory one to pass the exam but can be used as a initial preparation for the exam as it will give a good overview of exam topics.
How these books are organized ?
Study Guide : This is the book which is going to make you real WCNA.I must say this book is the bible of wireshark . Laura Chappell intro, the author has not only shared how to play with wireshark but also made sure to give real time case studies at the end of each chapters.
There are 33 chapters in this book.The first 13 chapters are very important and one cannot skip them since the the remaining chapters [ from chapter 14 ] are on protocols (e.g ICMP,TCP,DNS,DHCP) and on wireshark command line tools [ except chapter 21 – on IO graph ] and thus these chapters require the skills you obtained from first initial 13 chapters. For Example : without knowing chapter 8 [which is on time values and interpret summary] you will not be able to confidently calculate RTT time between different set of protocols such as ICMP [ mentioned on chapter 18] using wireshark.
Prep Guide : You can study this book in 6 hours before the exam. It has list of all the preparation questions divided in 3 section [ 1 section has 10 chapters or more ] .It would be considered a good refresher.
How much time it take for the preparation ? It may vary from person to person but i took around 2 month of time [ daily studying for 1 to 3 hours on working day and 8 hours + on off days ] to complete all these three materials. Initially i booked the exam on October 1st but later took 5 more days and finally attempted the exam on October 6th.
What is the passing score for the exam ?
This depends and as per official doc link passing score for each examination is calculated by equating the scoring values associated with each question. Passing rates are estimated to be in the 70% to 80% range.
What are the challenges you will face when preparing for the exam ?
As you start reading chapters it is necessary that you play with the wireshark in-between and apply those skills in practice as you read, this is where you might require another desktop or monitor which is going to make your life easier as it made mine since i had another personal computer.
What is the level of difficulty in the exam ?
The exam was easy since it covered all the exam topics from the official book itself. So it is very important you read all the chapters in the book thoroughly.
Final Conclusion and thoughts:
In my opinion WCNA certification is all about official study guide and if you want to consider yourself as a real WCNA, you should be able to complete all the chapters [ unless you are using wireshark daily at work ] of official study guide.Best of Luck.
WCNA # 3610259