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If you are fuzzy about spanning-tree and its port states like the designated, non-designated, root port, port priority and such…please take a look at the CCNA material again before you start with SWITCH! TSHOOT is different as the exam will present you with a large network topology that has a number of issues.

The only way to become good at troubleshooting is understanding all the protocols and how they work together. You can become good at troubleshooting by doing labs, labs and even more labs!

Cisco released the TSHOOT exam topology to the public, take a good look at it to understand all the different components. Look at all the different protocols that are running, how they work together and the exam will be a LOT easier. So where do you start? As you are reading and learning about a topic or feature, try to configure it yourself on your GNS3 routers or switches and make sure you understand what you are doing.

Look at some show commands, try some debugs. Doing labs is also a lot more fun than just reading books or watching videos…If you want labs to practice instead of building your own, I built most of the CCNP level labs and you can find them for free on GNS3Vault. Take notes I use notepad to write down some of the commands that you have difficulty with remembering. This helps to speed up doing labs. Once you feel you mastered a topic, move on to the next chapter.

Try to focus on 1 item at the time instead of reading about everything at the same time, focusing is your friend when it comes to studying. A: Definitely yes! A: This is a difficult question to answer as it is different for everyone. This includes reading books, perhaps watching videos, doing labs, reviewing notes, etc. Q: What is the best studying material to use? Classroom training, reading books or watching videos? A: If you are completely new to a topic then classroom training is probably the best method since you will have someone in front of you that explains everything.

Personally I like books best because I can speed up or slow down reading exactly when I want to. Most networking books can be very difficult to get through if something is new to you however. In short, if you are new to something…classroom training will be great. If you go for the self-study path, see if you can watch some videos and then move on to reading books. Q: How much time should I spend watching videos or reading books vs doing labs?

Q: What hardware should I buy? Feel free to ask anything in our forum.

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