The CWNA Certification
The Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) certification is the foundation for all of CWNP’s WiFi certifications. It’s a requirement to have the CWNA before attempting the other CWNP certifications.
I started studying for the exam on June 6th, 2015 by taking notes on each chapter of the CWNA Study Guide. I finished reading the book on August 10th and began going into review mode.
After reading the book I took the practice exams on CWNP.com. There are two banks of questions.
First, I started the first bank and based on my score, I would do more reviewing in my weak areas.
- Don't look at the answers to the questions at first
- Get at least 80% correct before moving on
- Aim to truly understand the material rather than trying to pass an exam
is the passing score for the CWNA exam. But don’t shoot for that number. Aim to really understand the objectives and you will pass.
In addition to the CWNA Study Guide, I attended a CWNA bootcamp from Global Knowledge. While most people cannot afford to pay the $3000+ course out of pocket, try to have your employer fund it. I recommend doing a bootcamp after you have completed your studies and you are near your exam date. The bootcamp will often include the voucher.
- Classroom training
- Traditional education
- Forces you to learn
- Materials included
- Employer may not cover costs
- Quality depends on instructor
Did you know, the average salary of a CWNA is $73,000?
It took me a little over 5 months to go from studying for the CWNA to passing the exam. I have had about 3-4 years of wireless networking experience but the CWNA Study Guide really enforced the foundational knowledge of wireless networking.
I had access to equipment that helped me understand some of the concepts, such as the 802.11 State Machine.
I woke up extra early in the morning to get my studying in. Usually about 1-2 hours every day of reading. I reviewed my notes whenever I could using Evernote and Goconqr for my flash cards. I have fully moved to studying digitally because I am so mobile. I could be studying while in a line somewhere or while I am on my lunch break.
I chose to have my exam on a Saturday. This was to have no worries about work. Bring earplugs! Nothing is more distracting than having someone in the testing area that is too noisy. The earplugs help you focus on your exam.
Make use of the dry erase pad. I used it to write down some math.
Bring two forms of identification with you, it’s required. Also be sure to use the bathroom before the exam so you don’t waste time stepping away from the computer.
What’s Next For Me?
I’m going to move on to studying for the CWAP. I received a lot of feedback from other’s who have passed before me and there were lots of recommendations to go with the CWAP before CWDP and CWSP.
The analysis portion does pique my interest the most so that’s where I’m headed. Wish me luck!