My CWAP Experience

By | July 29, 2017

I had done my CWDP Oct 2016 and next one in my list was CWAP, I had already had couple of reference books that I had been using

  1. CWAP – Sybex official guide
  2. Next Generation Wireless LANs 2nd edition by Eldad Perahia

Since I had to give the new exam (402) so I wanted to pick the latest book on the topic so I when ahead and got the

  1. CWAP-402 – Certitrek

So I started going through the 8 chapters of the book, My usual way of learning these days is through making notes on Evernote. Once I have finished my chapter I go over my notes and try writing the info down to memorize some of the key take aways and then attempt the questions behind each chapter.The main reason of using Evernote is that now everything is synced to my phone as well if I am quickly looking for info I can easily find it and print it if needed, in hand written notes its hard to have diagrams and you can’t capture screen shots.

Another big move I made was to go ahead and buy my first Mac, as capturing frames is much easy with Mac. I used Airtool and Wi_Fi Explorer to understand what I was reading.

I even got few great opportunity to troubleshoot a Wi_Fi network using the knowledge I have been gaining starting last year November. Also this has helped to better understand nuts and bolts of the 802.11 protocol so I can design much better Wi_Fi networks now.

Now I can understand why so many industry experts recommend doing CWAP after CWNA. As this combination will give you solid 802.11 foundation and you can build on with the design and security aspect.

Recently I had heard lot of WLAN experts talking about to improve the new CWAP exam, yes during my study once I had finished with new CWAP book, I attempted the questions in old CWAP Sybex book and I saw the difference in the new book questions I was easily scoring 95-100% but with old book question the scores came down to 50-60%.

So finally I passed my exam with a mixed feeling, I was happy to pass the exam which took me a step closer to CWNE but I knew there was still lots and lots to learn about 802.11 frames.

Recommendations from My exam experience:

  1. New book is good enough to help you clear the exam but in reality, there is much more to learn when in come to WLAN analysis.
  2. Read few other books to better understand the protocol.
  3. Do as many captures as you can to understand different types of Frames.
  4. Get a spectrum analysis tool, if you don’t have a specific tool use AP’s (CWAP has a great webinar on this topic)
  5. Make digital notes if possible as easy to search through them, plus repeated reading on phone tablet in between your free time will help you memorize important information.

Major take away:

It’s a never ending learning topic as with new amendments lots of complicated information is coming our way if you are not sure what I am topic about listen to 802.11ax webinar at WLPC.

Since 802.11 is all about backward compatibility the old details are still important, as the clients out there are still mix bag of nuts and they are not going away anytime soon.

Future Plan:

Is the write the new exam once available so better access my self and hopefully till then i’ll be able to read, practice and troubleshoot more WLAN.


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