There are two extremes when it comes to exam preparation.
The one camp does little or no studying but still insists they are ‘working towards taking their exam.' They either say this to impress people, avoid the sack at work or just because they actually believe picking up a book now and again counts as studying.
The second camp does the opposite. They are studying but it has consumed their life. They do nothing but study and if they aren't studying they are feeling guilty about not studying or dreaming about studying. While I respect their dedication, it can often be detrimental to their learning curve, exam performance and life.
My philosophy to study is this. I want to do as little as possible in order for the material to sink in, be understood and be used in a live network enviroment. So, I tend to avoid reading very technical documents and whenever possible I do hands on examples of what I'm trying to learn.
You can read about NAT or ARP all day long but until you lab it up, see it in action, break it, fix it and break it again it won't ever truly sink in or mean anything apart from words on paper. For most exams I set aside two hours each day and I do a mixture of the following:
- Read theory notes from a good book
- Watch a video about it on a website or YouTube
- Do hands on labs if possible
- Read over the theory again and make my own notes
- Create my own cram guide with main learning points
Some people think that more is better but I find that the more time I spend reading, the less sinks and and the less I can focus.
But hey, this is all just advice so you do what works best for you.