Networking

Book review: Cisco CCNA Exam #640-507 Certification Guide

If you're thinking about Cisco certification, you'll want to take a look at Wendell Odom's latest certification guide from Cisco Press.


If you’re looking to move from desktop support into network administration, Cisco’s CCNA certification is almost a must. To help you with this quest, Cisco Press offers Wendell Odom’s Cisco CCNA Exam #640-507 Certification Guide.

Cisco CCNA Exam #640-507 Certification Guide


By: Wendell Odom, CCIE #1624 Published by: Cisco Press, 2000 ISBN: 0735709718 Available for $39.96 at Fatbrain.com


Don’t try and cram for this one
Unless you have a photographic memory, this book alone probably won’t sufficiently prepare you to pass Cisco’s very difficult #640-507 CCNA exam.

“Reading the prep book might be enough to have a 50-percent shot at passing the exam if you are very good at memorization and test taking,” said Jason Hiner, TechRepublic’s NetAdmin Community Editor and CCNA. “Someone who has worked primarily on Cisco routers and switches for at least one to two years might be able to get by using only the prep book.

“For everyone else, I wouldn't recommend taking the CCNA exam without some lab work and intense reading of at least two different study guides, one from Cisco and one from another publisher.”

With these warnings out of the way, let’s take a closer look at Odom’s book.

Information over excitement
Let’s face it: Odom’s book won’t make your reading list unless you’re studying for the CCNA exam, and even in that case, this book is more a reference text—albeit a very good one—than a study guide. While it does offer several handy features, such as each chapter’s “Do I Know This Already?” quiz, lengthy Q&A sections, and detailed scenarios, the book lacks the study hints I like to see in training material. It reads more like a college textbook designed for a semester-long course. In fact, if you’re new to Cisco networking devices, I strongly recommend taking a Cisco class before attempting the CCNA exam—or this book.

Important companion CD
As with many training texts, Cisco CCNA Exam #640-507 Certification Guide comes with an invaluable companion CD. The CD contains sample test questions and the entire book in Adobe PDF format. The CD was a snap to install, and using the book’s electronic version with a laptop makes it easy to study on the go.

The bottom line
Odom’s Cisco CCNA Exam #640-507 Certification Guide is an excellent reference tool and training resource. I would not, however, make it my only one. If you’re new to Cisco network devices, Odom’s book probably shouldn’t be your first read. Instead, try Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices, also from Cisco Press, and available from Fatbrain.com for $60.00.

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About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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