CCENT ICND1 Exam Prep LiveLessons – Huh?

By certskills November 30, 2016 09:05

2016Pick up more points on your #CCNA or #CCENT exam. That’s the idea. We’re wrapping work on a new video product that’s all about picking up points. What is it? A video product to use in the later stages of study to help you get those final points you need to pass. The name: CCENT ICND1 100-105 Exam Prep LiveLessons, or CCENT ICND1 EPL for short. Read on for an introduction to the product!

What Can We Do to Help You Get More Points? Three Answers

When designing this product, we sat back and thought about what to do to help people pass the exam. We already have many great products that help people learn the vast volume of knowledge required for the ICND1, ICND2, and CCNA exams. But the big question was this:

What can we provide beyond those comprehensive learning tools that helps people pick up more points on exam day?


The good people at Pearson Education (who bring you many brands of learning products, like Cisco Press and VMWare Press), had already begun with other LiveLessons products. They came to me with the idea of a late-term study video product billed as an “Exam Prep LiveLessons” product.

With that big idea in mind, I thought about the countless live and online conversations about the exam over the years. We came up with three major branches of a solution that we think works well in video form. All three can help you pick up points. What are they? You can watch this video, or check out the text below.


Master the Exam Environment before Taking the Exam

The first issue that this CCENT ICND1 EPL product helps with is this: many people misunderstand the details of the exam experience, and therefore do not prepare fully or correctly. That’s true in part because the ICND1 and CCNA R&S exams may be your first Cisco exam. Additionally, even people who have taken the exam already will write in with questions that tell us that they have missed some of the subtle details.

I believe many people make incorrect assumptions about the exam. Or, they just spend their time solely on learning the technology and do not take the time to think about the exam experience itself. For instance, have you thought about how those special question types, like Sim, Simlet, and Testlet, are counted in the question counter on the exam?

Module 1 of this new product in sets about to help solve that problem. The videos talk about the exam, exam topics, how to approach the last month/week/day before the exam, and tons of strategies for doing well on the exam.


Do Not Make the Same Mistakes as Others (Common Mistakes)

The idea is simple: identify the mistakes that others seem to make, and don’t make those mistakes. How?

First, I’ve identified what I think are the most common mistakes within the ICND1 100-105 exam topics . (Note to newbies: Content-wise, ICND1 is about half of the content in the CCNA exam.)  Here’s what I did:

  1. I sat back and thought of every topic within ICND1 that has come up regularly over the years…
  2. put them in a spreadsheet…
  3. ranked them on criteria as in how commonly they are misunderstood, how likely they were to be on the exam, and a few others…
  4. I sorted by the rankings…
  5. Estimated the minutes needed for each video…
  6. Made a cut of which ones to make based on the overall time allotted for those videos.

This new CCENT EPL product has a little over 20 such videos, many of which touch on more than one common mistake. Taking a guess, it’s probably 40-50 common mistakes if you want to put a number on it. But the literal number is less important than the goal: to make sure you master the items that others before you seem to miss.

What do you think the most common mistakes would be? Answer this poll, or post a comment.


Practice for the Exam – with Me Talking Over Your Shoulder

On exam day, you will of course see a series of questions. To pick up more points, you should practice answering questions. However, you should be practicing test-taking skills when doing that, beyond just reviewing the technology in the questions. Module 3’s videos do just that.

The Q&A videos help you in a couple of ways beyond just answering a question on your own:

  • You answer: You can stop the video and answer for (most) video questions, so you practice with some new questions.
  • Approach: The videos stress how to approach answering questions, beyond just looking at the technology within the question.
  • Ruling answers in/out: The videos walk through why each correct answer is correct, and why each incorrect answer is incorrect
  • Common Mistakes: Some of the Q&A were specifically chosen to test you on those same common mistakes
  • Mentoring by Wendell: All the questions have a voiceover from me explaining the key technology points in addition to explaining why each answer is correct or incorrect. It’s basically me talking over your shoulder working through the answers.
  • Answer or Answer + Watch: All multichoice question videos allow you to answer before I give away the answer, and then choose whether to spend your time listening further or moving on to the next question.

Simple enough. Get some practice, answer, move on with or without hearing more, and get better at the process of answering questions.


Where to Buy CCENT ICND1 EPL

For those of you who use my CCNA products, buying this new CCENT ICND1 EPL product will be a little odd.

(Note: If you’re reading this around when I posted it… use coupon code ODOM60 when ordering, through Dec 5th, for 60% off when ordering the product from the links below. (Thank you Pearson for the nice discount!)

First, it is always electronic only. There is no physical product option. As a result, there are two main ways to access the videos. One is a traditional channel to “buy” the product from a publisher’s web sites. That is, you don’t buy it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., even in electronic form. You can find it at:

When you buy the product, you can:

  • Watch it online (login required)
  • Download and watch offline

Simple enough.


Watch CCENT ICND1 EPL at SafariBooksOnline

Additionally, you can watch the videos (once they’re out) at If you haven’t heard of Safari, here’s a quick intro:

  • It’s a subscription service (monthly or annually)
  • You get access to a huge volume of eBooks (mine included) and videos (including this one as well as Kevin Wallace’s CCNA videos)
  • You give them your credit card number to bill

In short, you can get a subscription and watch all the videos there. You can also get a free 10-day trial, watch them all in that time, and cancel your subscription, and that’s ok. That’s what trials are for. Safari believes you’ll like the service enough to keep it. For example, would you like to have what is the entire Cisco Press library (or at least close to it) available at a moment’s notice? See what I mean.

(Personal note: I get paid either way you buy, even when viewing on the trial at Safari, so watch it any way you like).


When is it Available?

You can order now. It’s due out in late January 2017. The CCNA ICND2 product is probably due around May 2017 (that’s a guess!)

Note that Safari has the videos out early in rough form (that is, before we edit them) if you anxious to get them. It’s around Dec 1 2016 when I wrote this, and I’m still wrapping editing of the videos for the ICND1 product.



Answers: MLPPP 2
Help me Choose Topics for New CCNA ICND2 EPL Videos
By certskills November 30, 2016 09:05
Write a comment


  1. RB December 1, 02:29


    Typo here. Notice the year.

    You can order now. It’s due out in late January 2016. The CCNA ICND2 product is probably due around May 2016 (that’s a guess!)

    Reply to this comment
  2. Descala December 1, 18:07

    Sounds awesome!! Too bad my 100-105 test is on 12/21! Lol

    Reply to this comment
    • CCENTSkills December 1, 18:44

      Note that half of the videos, in “rough cuts” (aka before final edits) version, are on Safari Books Online now. The rest exist (I’m marking edits on them now even), and might be there before your exam. In case you like the idea of that 10-day trial.

      At least you could watch the samples on the CiscoPress web page for the product! 4 videos there.

      Reply to this comment
  3. uthmaan2002 December 16, 20:24

    Please send me the direct link to chapter 15 practice lab
    on Certskills Labs.

    Reply to this comment
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