CWAP-402 Exam Prep – Part 4 – Setting the Date and Balancing on a Rabbit

In this fourth instalment of my prep for the CWAP-402 exam, I’ll be explaining the process of closing in on exam day. The most important things now are to commit to a date, work through the practice tests, and start playing mental games. Balance on a rabbit.

ddface

This is David Davis. You may not know him. He is a serious guy, a British politician. There is nothing he loves more than balancing on a rabbit. It’s difficult, and David Davis looks very funny, wobbling his arms around as he balances on his rabbit.

ddr
David Davis Balances on a Rabbit

If you have been following my strategy so far, you will know I have been reviewing the learning objectives. At this point I’m fairly happy that I understand enough of the concepts sufficiently to now think about the exam.

Due to scheduling conflicts and availability, the first slot open to me is Tuesday 4th October. Two weeks would have been better, but three will be fine. (I write this on 13th September). It’s important to set an exam date as it draws a line in the sand and focuses you on a goal.

shirl

This is Shirley Bassey. She’s a famous singer. She likes to make a gun shape with her hand and shoot at targets. Each time she fires she makes gun noise.  Pew ! Pew ! Pew !

sbt
Shirley Bassey Shoots Targets

When it comes to the exam, some questions you will know the answer to. Some you won’t.

A lot of thought goes into the questions, they are well written and really do test your knowledge. If you know you know, you will be able to answer correctly. If you think you know, the question wording may well introduce doubt.

The exam is passed or failed according to how you answer the questions you think you know. You have to reduce them as much as possible.

It’s time to start working through the practice tests. What comes next is a technique I recommend, for both practice exams and real exams. I use this method all the time, however it may not work for you.

Thanks to CWNP I have access to the new CWAP-402 online practice exam. This is an essential exam preparation step, and you have to use it wisely. The key to using the practice exams is to not “learn the questions” but to use them to aid your learning. When you take the practice exam at CWNP, I recommend you enable live scoring and show explanations after every question.

402-prac

 

Once the question is displayed use this method:

  • read the answers first: this allows you to appraise the answers without the distraction of the question. You may be able to eliminate options straight away if you know they don’t make sense.

cq1

  • After reviewing the answers, read up from the end of the question backwards. Often the most important information is in the last part of the question, and you can immediately focus on the most important details.

cq2

  • If you need more information, keep reading the question in parts, towards the beginning.
  • If you still can’t work out the answer, go for the answer that feels correct.

Once you’ve answered, the solution will be shown including an explanation. If you got it right, read the explanation to make sure you know what you know. If you got it wrong, read the explanation. Make a note of what you got wrong.

Continue for 15 questions. (You can always resume the exam later). If you’re doing well, things are looking good. If you have a higher than comfortable number incorrect you know you have work to do.

saj

This is Bossy Sergeant. He shouts a lot, but only because he is passionate. And he loves nothing more than dragons. He has three dragons and he leans out of the window and dangles his dragons so people can admire them.

sjd
Bossy Sergeant Dangles Dragons

Go back to your study guide and identify which chapters contain the subjects that you got wrong. Read the chapter, complete the review questions and move on to the next item.

Keep repeating this process, in batches of 15 questions, alternating between Pool 1 and Pool 2, until you are nailing the answers at a rate of 90%.

At this stage you are really looking good.

africa-cartoon-map-sa-arrow

This is South Africa. South Africa would like come and stay. He wants to stay on a higher floor – the fourth floor, but needs to stay on the ground. We must tell him no. To make sure, we tell him in a South African accent*.

Na, Na, Na, South Africa.

Now, during this process you will identify some things that aren’t in a format that’s easy to remember. Usually information that’s in a table just doesn’t stick. Here’s where your storytelling and visual memory save the day.  You’re going to create a story.  The rules are simple.

  • Choose a name that’s first name/second name.
  • Choose an action, sillier the better. Go on, really make that visual image !
  • Choose an item that is going to have the action done to it. the crazier the better –  Have fun and really make a ridiculous, stupid, funny image  !

The important thing about using a story to help remember facts is that the story is 100% wholly and exclusively relevant to you. Follow this method, inserting your own people, actions and items.

I’m going to give you my story. You may not understand the people, or what they are doing, because the story is what jumps into my mind when I use this method. South Africa breaks this rule, but you’ll see why…

Who have you met today ?

  1. David Davis, balancing on a rabbit.
  2. Shirley Bassey shooting targets
  3. Bossy Sergeant, dangling dragons
  4. Na Na Na South Africa

Here is a table: let’s enter numbers in the columns as shown. Leave the top row blank, and fill the first two columns. It’s easy, Binary, right ?

0

0

(= 0 Binary)

0

1

(= 1 Binary)

1

0

(=2 Binary)

1

1

(=3 Binary)

Now let’s number the empty column headers.

1

2 3

4

0

0  

0

1  
1

0

 
1 1

 

Excellent. Now, let me tell you a story…

1 2 3

4

0

0

David Shirley Bossy

NA

0

1

Davis Bassey Sergeant

NA

1

0

Balances Shoots Dangles

NA

1

1

Rabbit Targets Dragons South Africa

Thanks David, Shirley, Bossy Sergeant and South Africa. You can leave now, and take your items with you. I’ll see you again in the exam !

Does anything look familiar yet ?

1

2 3

4

0

0

D

S

B

NA

0

1

D

B

S

NA

1

0

B

S

D

NA

1

1

R

T

D

S

Yes ! It’s the address fields used in frames. Let’s fill it in:

To DS Field

From DS Field 1 2 3 4

0

0 DA SA BSSID N/A

0

1 DA BSSID SA

N/A

1 0 BSSID SA DA

N/A

1 1 RA TA DA

SA

So here we have the table that clearly shows the 4 address fields used in 802.11 frames and their significance as defined by the To DS and From DS bits. If you ever need this information, just tell yourself the story and re-create the table. Make the story relevant to you and you will not forget it for years, if ever.

Mental imaging is one of the most powerful ways to commit facts to long-term memory. It’s criminally underused in modern teaching, so you need to develop this skill for yourself.

Do this for anything you have problems remembering. You will use these stories to create a memory dump in the exam room, and I’ll cover this in my next post.

You now have the makings of a really solid exam prep technique. This is how I’ll be preparing for the exam, so my next post on this subject will be a couple of days before the actual test.

 

And finally…Apologies to my good friend Robert Krumm, CWNE #188, who hails from South Africa. My dodgy South African accent analogy is used to show my memory technique, and in no way implies any detriment to South Africa, or the wonderful people of South Africa. The first thing that pops into my head is usually what I remember, sadly that’s what stuck. It’s my brain, and I have no idea how it works.

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