Unorthodox/Creative Ways to Progress Through Topics/Study Material

Hello Community!

I am hoping to start a thread to gather unconventional methods and creative ways to retain study material, specifically for the CCNA. I tend to build vivid, and even vulgar imaginations or analogies to help myself to remember various material. At University, even if most considered inappropriate, I found that the most vivid means of analogies made a significant impact on the volume I was able to retain for exams. I have attempted the CCNA a number of times and tend to come up short due to over-thinking my answers and I am curious if anybody has alternative ways to memorize the material. Obviously it doesn’t have to be vulgar, but studies have shown that the more vivid and creative you can come up with have a tremendous impact on long-term memory .

I feel that I have been going about the material wrong because I find myself practically rewriting the topic notes verbatim in my notebook (which is a complete sham and waste of time). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I feel that I understand the material but find myself over-analyzing every question I am challenged with which leads me to miss easy questions that would have allowed me to pass.

Thank you all for your input. It really means the world to me!

I initially took a ****ton of notes, but aside from keeping useful commands handy haven’t found it to be terribly useful. So far I’ve found:

*Flashcards to be way more useful than notes when it comes to memorizing stuff (just get an app on your phone for this).
*Labbing (even in Packet Tracer) to get a practical and in depth understanding of how things work.
*Taking practice tests and exams, then checking which topics I answered questions incorrectly for and focusing on those topics I’m weak in.
*Asking questions (either to a coworker on on this forum) when I don’t understand something, so I get an actual understanding of how it works rather than just memorizing the “correct” answer.

Having said that I haven’t passed the CCNA yet (haven’t attempted it yet) but I want to have a strong level of knowledge so I won’t have to take it multiple times.

When you took the CCNA, which topics did you fall short in? Or was it kinda even between all the topics? Also, how did you find the questions compared to the practice tests on Networklessons (easier, harder, different)?

Hello Dillon

What you have shared is interesting, and it’s a good technique for remembering information. Cisco certifications and networking in general do indeed have a lot of information that you have to remember, and any edge that you can get in remembering is worth it.

I think it’s important to keep in mind that a large portion of the exam content is also experience-based, which is one of the things that makes Cisco certifications so useful and attractive. This means that much of the understanding necessary to pass an exam comes strictly from experience, which is translated as creating network topologies and labs.

Although memorization techniques are necessary, doing as much labbing as you possibly can is also vital to gaining the level of understanding necessary to pass exams.

I hope this has been helpful!