CCNP exam is the Professional Level Cisco Examination in its each networking domain. It stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional. It is one level higher to CCNA (Cisco certified Network Associate) Certification and mostly covers the in-depth knowledge and logics of the concepts covered in CCNA already.
Cisco Certifications are Industry Leading Networking Certifications and are considered to be one of the most reliable certification in terms of knowledge, skills, and talent. They have set a benchmark for the hiring organizations in terms of trust and value making it hard to achieve by network aspirants. Earning Cisco Certifications is not a cake walk but it is not impossible as well.
There are 8 different Cisco Domains in which one can earn CCNP Certification. These are Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider, Collaboration, Wireless, Cloud, Data Center and Design. Each being completely different and difficult to clear; unless a proper training is taken.
We talked to many CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts), learned about their journey and took tips to pass CCNP Exam in First attempt for you. The list has been complied and is given below.
7 Points on How to pass CCNP Exam in First Attempt:
1. Know Your CCNA Best
CCNP is nothing but in-depth knowledge of what you have already learned it CCNA. That is why CCNA is one of the prerequisites for attempting CCNP Examination.
CCNA Examination sets the foundation knowledge for CCNP and you must know your CCNA Best, in all aspects. Unless you are not clear with your CCNA Concepts, you cannot pass CCNA Examination.
To understand this a little better, follow the figure given below.
The topics in CCNP are not new but little more deep in what you have learned in CCNA.
As you can see the above figure, CCNA lays the foundation of all the concepts that you would need in your networking while CCNP put a stronghold to it by adding more knowledge, logics, and skills to those topics only. It is one level up CCNA; similarly, CCIE is one level up CCNP.
Hence, it is must that you clear your CCNA Examination and understand all its topics clearly before attempting for CCNP Examination.
2. Which Examination to take first
In CCNP Routing and Switching, there are three Examinations that you need to pass in order to earn Cisco CCNP Certification in Routing and Switching. These exams are:
- 300-101 ROUTE – Implementing Cisco IP Routing
- 300-115 SWITCH – Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks
- 300-135 TSHOOT – Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks
Cisco gives the liberty to choose the order of examination the candidate wants to attempt. The candidate can take Route and Switch Exam in any order while attempting for TSHOOT in the end.
Choose your examination carefully. Make sure your first examination should be the one you are most confident about. Many network aspirants fail to clear Cisco Exams due to careless mistakes and nervous attitude. Clearing first examination will give you keep you determined for the next examination and push your morale up.
After choosing the order of the examinations, prepare accordingly. Start with a plan. Plan out the learning order before just start learning. Set training goals according to exam objectives and clear them one by one.
3. Hands-on Experience:
If you have cleared your CCNA Examination then you must know that no Cisco Examination can be cleared without practical exposure. Cisco recommends having 1 to 3 years of experience before attempting for CCNP Examination. This is because, so you can have hands on knowledge on all its Cisco CCNP devices.
Build a home lab or get training in a Cisco networking Institute that has Cisco Training Labs with all the latest Cisco devices. Cisco examinations demand 4-5 hours of Hands on Session a day on an average to get a grasp of its topologies and concepts. The concepts of CCNP must be grasped strongly and that can only be done if you practice a lot in the lab till you get.
The more you practice, more you’ll learn and then more confident you will feel.
4. Additional Resources
Cisco Press Books are the best guide to clear any Cisco Examination. But they are not enough. Keep your hands in many places at a time. Add yourself to Google Forums and get your queries solved over there, Follow Cisco Blogs to keep yourself updated on latest happenings, which course has been upgraded, modified or removed. Look for CCIE Authors, read their books and watch videos as well. There is a plenty of material on the web to help you out.
Try to keep yourself in an informative environment. For example, live with people who are in the same domain as you. This will keep you motivated and bring out interesting expressions in conversations.
5. One Topic At a Time
Don’t read the book from cover to cover rather learn one topic at a time. Learn it, understand it, practice on it and expertise it and then move onto the other topic. Do all the configurations yourself and practice on it till you get it. One Topic at a time will give you confidence and would help in better preparation of the CCNP Examination.
Don’t just stick to one book, explore your options and learn accordingly. Do make sure that you are not wasting your time in collecting information and not learning it. This will help you nowhere. Pick up a topic, do you research, grasp the entire concept and pick another one.
- Cisco Certified CCIE Trainers
Learn from Cisco Certified CCIE Trainers. They have the knowledge, experience, and skills to clear the examination. They know what to train you on and how to train you. They can help you in setting your plan chart and will make you learn all the topics one by one. They have the experience that you don’t; they have been through that path already. They know all the dos and don’ts. Their experience and skills to keep themselves updated will help you in a lot in a great deal.
Also, if you get stuck at one instance, you have someone to guide you through and help you out. This is quicker than searching for the issues on the web and solving everything on your own.
A Bonus Point: Relax! Take a day off once in a while. Don’t overburden yourself with all the networking. All this will do is creating a mess in your head making you do all the careless mistakes on the questions of which you already know the correct answer.
Take a break before going for the examination and keep yourself confident. You have learned everything. You can do it.
These are the 7 Tips on How to pass CCNP Examination in first attempt. All the best!
If you have any questions or experiences which you need to ask and share with other networking aspirants then please let me know in the comments below!
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