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Currently in class we're doing questions like: "Given the adress of 10.32.35.0/24, what new mask would provide you with subnets that have 30 usable hosts each?"
Would that book help me with this?
I'm sort of in the same boat, I'm trying to find labs to work or example topologies to setup.
There are a short few in these books: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1587201836/ref=oss_product
There are also 101 on howtonetwork.net but you have to pay to view the results, but it gives you the basics at least
I bought the odom books on amazon, and they came with the boson sims. And to be honest the material is dry, but thorough. I picked up the ccent exam cram book (300pages versus 1k+ pages for the odom books) and blew through it in about a weekend and took about 15 pages of notes and took the 2 practice exams that come with the book. The boson questions are the closest to the real exam that you're going to get. I already finished the CCNA curriculum of the net acad and I've been though the cbt nugg videos too. I would suggest you pick up the odom books, ~40, make sure they come with the cds unused, take those boson practice questions and whatever you get wrong just read up on it in the book then book a date for the exam again.
ccent exam cram http://www.amazon.com/CCENT-Exam-Cram-exam-640-822/dp/0789737159/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326502670&sr=1-1
I used both. Lammele was a joy to read, Odom was a little dry.
Search the internet for Packet Tracer 5.2 / 5.3 for building simulation test networks, GNS3 to emulate IOS (you need to search for IOS to use), and if you have the cash flow, buy a few real peices of equipment:
2950 switches for layer 2 (try to get T series or better, they allow for advanced vlan and stp configs), and 2600XM series routers (since these usually have enough memory for SDM) for layer 3.
For video mentor I would suggest CBT Nuggets by Jeremy Cioara. His video series supplements the books very well. I would suggest reading the chapter, then watching the videos that correspond to the chapter.
Study, Study, Study! Ask questions. Cisco Learning Network is a good community to ask questions. Take practice exams. Once you know you can tackle every item on the syllabus, take the test. Good Luck!