Do you need to buy the New Books? Or would you want to buy them?

By certskills October 4, 2011 15:58

Usually, when we update the ICND1 and ICND2 Cert Guide books, it’s obvious that if you want to pass the new exam, you need to buy the new books. This time, there are no new exams, so I anticipate people will question whether or not they need the new books. The answers are yes and no. Read on!

Do you Really Need the New Books? No.

The exams haven’t changed. The older 2007 editions (Editions 2, ICND1 and ICND2) still work just fine. If you already own the older books, use them, and simply don’t worry that you somehow are missing out on some topic, some factoid, something you need to know for the exam.

Any Reason Why You May Want the New Books, if You Have the Old? Maybe.

Say you already own the editions 2. Might you want to own the new editions 3 of my ICND1 and ICND2 books? Maybe.

What’s New in the New Books

First, you can look at what you get with the new books by reading this post, and decide if it’s worth the extra $$ to you. But let me toss out a few alternatives that frankly might save you a few bucks.

(Free) Safari Online Subscription in the Back of the Books

If you put the old (editions 2) and new (editions 3) books side-by-side, some printed content has changed, but a lot has not. I’d say maybe 25% new for ICND1, and 10-15% new for ICND2. Note that the new material isn’t for new exam topics – it’s just re-written material on the same topics.

Almost every Cisco Press book these days comes with a free trial offer for Safari Online books. The new books will be available in Safari sometime soon. If you’ve not enabled that subscription yet from your old books, when ready, enable it, and look at the new chapters in edition 3 online using Safari. If that meets your needs, great, you saved a few bucks. Or you may just decide to buy the books once you see the materials, but you’ll know it’s a good use of the $$.

The New Question Databases Mostly Equal Old Databases + DIKTA

The new editions do make some changes on the DVD. In particular, the new books use new exam software (Pearson IT Certification Practice Test, PCPT). The exam questions are substantively unchanged between the two editions.

The publisher did actually add a bunch of questions and remove some as well. First, they took all the chapter pre-quizzes, called DIKTA (Do I Know This Already) quizzes, and made them available through the exam engine. In the previous edition, these questions weren’t listed in the exam software. Also, the handful of Simulator questions are gone from the database, replaced by the Sim Lite, which I think is better for learning anyway. But it is a change, so I wanted to mention it.

To net it out: don’t buy the new editions 3 to get new questions you’ve never seen before. You may want to buy the new editions if you like the idea of having all the DIKTA questions built into the exam software. If you want more questions, buy the Premium Edition of ICND1 and ICND2 (see below).

Get the Premium Edition (Softcopy) Instead of the Printed Book

Since you already have the printed Editions 2 of the books, if you still want to see those newly revised chapters in Edition 3, and have a few more $$ to spend, instead of buying the printed edition 3 books, you could buy the Premium Edition of either ICND1 or ICND2, or both.

The Premium Edition contains the books in electronic form plus extra practice exams. The book is delivered as both a PDF and EPub file, so you can read the book on computers, iPads (iBook), Nooks, Sony Readers, and pretty much any e-reader except Kindle. When registered, each question then links to associated text in the PDF, so you can click from a question to some page in the book related to the question.

The Premium Edition also comes with extra practice tests. These tests use different questions than those you get with the printed book.

The publisher is working on a short-term discount program for those that already bought edition 2 to be able to get a big discount on the edition 3 Premium Edition, just to give you access to the new content. I don’t know when that’ll be posted, but you can check these pages for future details:

ICND1 Premium Edition

ICND2 Premium Edition

I’ll post a note here once I see something from the publisher about any deals.

Want the New Books, if you Bought Nothing Yet? Get Editions 3!

Well, I’m sure you can predict my answer. If you haven’t bought any CCNA books yet, and you’re considering buying either edition 2 or 3 of the books, get editions 3. It’s a better value, you get Sim Lite, you get a cheap path to more questions and the eBook with the Premium Editions at 70% off, and I believe the text is improved as well. Enjoy!

Why Did We Come Out with New CCNA Cert Guide Books?
The New Subnetting Content in the 2011 CCNA Books
By certskills October 4, 2011 15:58
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  1. Josh Bailey October 28, 15:37

    Hey Wendell,

    Thanks for the information. Personally, since I’m just getting into the game, it was worth it to me to buy the 3rd edition material. I purchased the ICND1 book and plan on getting the ICND2 book eventually. I also have both 2nd edition books from peers at work. I paid ~$22 on Amazon for the book, so to me, the price was more than worth it.

    I am, however, having an issue you might be able to help with. If you follow your links to the premium editions of the books (online/pdf), it says that they’re temporarily unavailable. I’ve sent an e-mail to Cisco Press, but to say the least, I’m a bit frustrated. I carry the book with me everywhere, but there are many times when a PDF version would be way more practical/beneficial to me…but, I can’t buy it. 🙁

    In addition to that, I have a 70% off code for the PDF premium version that I can’t even use. Just seems odd to me.

    Anyway, thank you for the awesome resources of your blog and certskills site – it’s been invaluable to helping me wade through all the information out there.


    Reply to this comment
    • Wendell Odom of Certskills October 28, 15:51

      Hey Josh,
      I’ve been in contact with the publisher about that particular issue. I know they’re working on it, and I need to let them do the communicating on the hangups with delivering ICND2. Sorry I can’t say more. It might be of use to pop in over at their Facebook page – just search for “Cisco Press Products”.

      Glad you found the site and the blogs useful! It’s taken a lot of work to the web site to where it is, but I’m getting close to the vision that I had for it. I’ve love to hear how the study pages (a web page for each chapter of the new books) work for you, if at all. Thanks!

      Reply to this comment
      • Josh Bailey October 28, 15:57

        Hey Wendell,

        No worries at all. I figured they were looking into it, and my frustration is directed at no one in particular. 🙂 Just me being impatient. But, thank you for commenting on that. I will keep an eye out and snatch up the online version as soon as it’s available again. 😀

        And yeah, it’s great to have the whole package, so to speak. The author, and CCIE, who also has a website full of great information and additional resources. It’s very encouraging and simplified for a newbie, such as myself. So, thanks again.

        Regarding the study pages per chapter, I assume you’re referring to the pages with the short 2 minute video “intros/overviews” to the chapters? I was curious – given the dates of their creation, I assume you made them based off the 2nd edition material. And while the 3rd edition isn’t drastically different, do you think following along with the study pages using the 3rd edition material will cause any problems?

        Thanks again!

        Reply to this comment
  2. Wendell Odom of Certskills October 28, 16:05

    Hi Josh,
    Yep, those are they. If you look in the menu, for the “Pub 2011” phrasing, those are the study pages for the new editions. Then, if there’s a video, then that video still applies. Some chapters are substantively unchanged from Edition 2 (2007) to Edition 3 (2011), so if that was the case, I copied the videos over to the new study page. If not, I didn’t copy it.

    For anyone else watching, the link to the launch study page for ICND1 Edition 3 is:

    I think I need to work on some shorter URLs – I’ll add it to the list. 😉

    Reply to this comment
    • Josh Bailey October 28, 16:08

      Hey Wendell,

      Awesome! I checked out the first one, and it was helpful. It’s definitely easy to get lost in the plethora of information out there, even in one book. So having that little extra to assist with my focus and attention does help. I’ll keep watching them and post feedback. 😀 I’m almost to chapter 3 at this point (just got the book Tuesday), and it’s been a good read so far. Very easy to follow with clear and informative diagrams/figures.

      Thanks again. I’m sure I’ll be bugging you more later. 😉


      Reply to this comment
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