Authors: Sean Wilkins and Franklin H. (Trey) Smith III.
Pages: 800, + CD
Publisher: Cisco Press
The title of the book says it all – thick and all-encompassing, it covers the topics addressed in the exam CCNP Secure 642-637, but it should not be considered the only source of knowledge needed to pass it. What the authors were aiming for is a book that reviews the exam takers’ knowledge and points to topics that still need more attention. Included is a CD with memory tables and answers to the questions found in them.
About the authors
Sean Wilkins is a networking consultant and currently holds certifications with Cisco, Microsoft, and CompTIA.
Trey Smith is a senior network security architect with more than 15 years of experience in designing, deploying, and securing large enterprise and service provider networks.
Inside the book
Every chapter starts with a “Do I Know This Already?” quiz containing eight to ten multiple-choice questions (well, sometimes a bit more). The goal of this quiz is to assess your knowledge of the topics covered and help you zero in on the holes in it.
To consider yourself knowledgeable on the topic and ready to move on to the other chapter, you must answer correctly almost all questions. If you haven’t managed to do that, you are provided with a table to map out which part of the chapter needs your closer attention.
The better part of every chapter is dedicated to diagrams, tables and bulleted lists, with which the topic has been dissected and presented in a manner that makes it easy to remember and compare.
At the end of each chapter you can check how well you have absorbed the information in it by solving a short fill-in-the-blanks type of test, which will jog your memory far better that the initial multiple-choice questions. The right answers and those to the questions in the “Do I Know This Already?” quizzes are found one of the book’s appendixes.
You are also urged to take advantage of the empty tables found on the CD – print them out and fill them in from memory. The correct answers are, of course, also included in the CD.
Very helpful is also the last (22nd) chapter, which points out which tools you might find helpful for preparing for the exam: a practice test engine on the included CD, the “Memory Tables”, and others. It also suggest a plan for a final review of your knowledge.
The exam you are preparing for is hard – if it wasn’t, everybody would have the certification and most of them wouldn’t know how to do the things they are supposed to do.
In the end, only the most determined and patient ones will reach their goal, and I’m sure that they will appreciate such a well-organized book.