So, your CCNA certification has given you the much-needed platform as a newbie.
It’s time now to move on to the next step in the process. The next step, with a higher level of professional certification is CCNP training.
CCNP, the abbreviation for Cisco Certified Network Professional, is all about
getting into the details of everything that you covered under the CCNA course.
With CCNP training, you will get to know more about switching and routing, as
these are among the eight domains covered under the course.
This Cisco certification assures the recruiters that the professional they are hiring
is nothing short of a competent resource with the ability to handle the toughest
tasks handed over to him. Being such an important step in your professional life,
it goes without saying that passing CCNP is not going to be a cakewalk. However,
if you are ready to work hard and burn some midnight oil, the course will not
seem too hard, as well.
Here are some of the study tips that will help you in your preparations for CCNP.
1. Start by revisiting the things learned from the CCNA course
The first step of your CCNP training is to revisit the basics that you learned at the
time of the CCNA course. The switching and routing taught under CCNP are all
based on the concepts you learned during your CCNA course.
Going over the basics will help you when you are trying to understand the same
topics in detail for your CCNP course. Besides, it might be quite a while now since you had cleared the CCNA certification. It is time to refresh your knowledge,
recharge those skills, and go through those ideas one more time.
2. The choice of the exam to attempt first is important
As you are about to start your CCNP training, you might be thinking about the
CCNP exam that you should attempt first. People usually go for the route first and
then switch and Tshoot. However, you can make the switch first, as well.
The good idea is to select the order between route and switch according to your
level of expertise. Say, you work the most with switch on a daily basis in your
profession. Then, you should make a switch before the route. Passing the first exam with
flying colors will give you the much-needed confidence as you move on to the
3. Have a proper plan in place for the way you’ll prepare
So, you have selected the order of your exams, and it is now time to chalk out a
plan for the preparations. Your CCNP training center might help you with some of
the planning, but the ultimate responsibility lies upon you to select the study path
you’ re comfortable with.
Set your goals based on the objectives of the exam, and keep in mind the amount
of time you have before the exam date. The course is not something that you can
simply mug up in one night. Go topic wise when preparing, and do not forget to
give due importance to the practical part of the exam.
4. Do not stick to only the books at the time of preparing
Though the books for the CCNP course are pretty extensive, they are not the only
things that you should rely on. There are groups and forums for the CCNP exams,
where you will find tips and ideas for better preparations.
You will also find some videos on YouTube about the courses which you can
watch to know more about the topics. A good thing about being part of these
groups and forums is that they give you an opportunity for instant doubt
clearance for anything related to the exams.
5. Be ready to spend some money to make a home lab
You might not have made a lab at your home for CCNA, but for CCNP, it is more of
a necessity. Building a lab at your home is not as expensive as it sounds, and it will
help you immensely for the exams.
The practical aspect of the course is given immense importance by Cisco. Having a
home lab means that you can practice the course material at home, as well.
Besides, if you are someone who is deeply and genuinely interested in solving
complex problems, a home lab would be the perfect addition for you.
6. Get as much hands-on experience as you can
CCNP exam has a good mix of theoretical and practical knowledge. So, hands-on
experience is necessary before taking the exam. You need to have the experience
of working with Cisco products for at least a year or more before sitting for the
Hands-on experience is also important because it helps in validating your
theoretical knowledge. You will find it easier to cram up the theoretical
knowledge if you have practical experience in that topic. Thus, it is important to
make sure that the CCNP training that you go for gives due importance to hands-
7. Relax and take a deep breath because you’ve got this
It might seem like the most common advice that you have ever heard before an
exam, but it is still important. You need to keep those nerves in check before the
CCNP exam days.
You have worked hard and crammed as much as you can in your brain. There is no
reason for you to worry. It’s time to get some rest before such a crucial exam. So,
get a night of good sleep, have a filling breakfast, and set out for your exams.
Acing the CCNP exam is not as much of a big deal if you prepare well and prepare
well in advance. Going through CCNP training before taking the exam is helpful,
and if you feel the need for that, then look for a good training center beforehand.
All in all, you have the most useful tips you need, and it’s time now to start
preparing. All The Best!!