In the beginning of this year I had successfully passed the PCNSA exam using the Pearson OnVue system.
Pearson OnVue is a way to take the exam from home (online proctoring). It’s not as easy as the in-person testing centers. You need to clear your desk area and prove there is nothing to either side of you that could help you cheat. In the end, I had to undock my laptop because of camera or microphone issues.
For the past few months leading up to the exam I had been studying each of the objectives ensuring I knew the topics well.
My notes were kept in a Notion page as I wrote typed out features and options I sure wouldn’t memorize.
Palo Alto Networks publishes a free Study Guide but it was not enough to rely on alone. It wasn’t as in-depth as I imagined.
To improve my odds of passing I used a PA-820 firewall and attempted to complete each objective through lab work.
I used the Administrative Guide as a reference for detailed configuration items. It requires a little digging but it’s not too bad. I recommend bookmarking the link for your studies or download the PDF.
Another reason for training I used was from Beacon which I think requires partner level access, which I have.
There really is a lot to cover in this exam so any hands on practice you can get to help nail the topics will benefit you.
Some of the topics I recommend really understanding:
- How security profiles work
- How different NAT configurations work
- Understand the flow of traffic and how they are checked against security policies and profiles
- Understand what needs a license and what that license affects