First and foremost, give yourself plenty of time to study. Networking is a vast field and cannot be crammed in a single study session. It is a field best learned with time, by studying a topic and then experimenting your knowledge. Build yourself a study schedule and stick to it but be reasonable about the pressure you put on yourself, especially if you’re studying in addition to your regular duties at work.
One easy technique to use in studying for certiﬁcation exams is the 60-minutes-per-day effort. It is small but signiﬁcant commitment. Give detailed attention to each topic and practice. Cisco has provided really good study pattern to break your study into parts and then reviewing those part using the DVD provided with book. Its quick and user-friendly. Once you complete your part you can take practice questions that come along with same DVD in a Pearson Test Prep application software.
Second, practice and experiment. In networking, you need to obtain really deep understanding of different protocols, VLANs, IP subnetting/addressing, etc. You can’t memorize all the facts to be effective; you need to understand what is happening behind the scenes, how they work, and (most important) reason of failures. The best way to gain deep understanding is to take hands-on experience by implementing things in your home lab. Make it work, change it a little, break it, Troubleshoot. Snoop around “under the hood.” If you have access to a network analyser, you can use it to gain insight of the inner workings of a network by monitoring devices communicating with each other.
If you don’t have a lab, you can use cisco packet tracer or if you can get some old routers and switches, create your home lab. Many other router and switch simulator products are also available on the market. Another excellent way to study is by reviewing case studies. Case studies are real time scenarios written down in a article. Use them to make your own lab environment and try troubleshooting them.
Become a member of discussion forums where interactive discussions offer high value because you can also post questions of your own. User groups are an excellent source of examples, since the purpose of these groups is to share information and learn from each other’s experiences. There is also the Cisco web site which is loaded with collections of technical documents and white papers. As you progress, you will find great value in these examples and reference materials available.