CCNP certification exam

When the computer screen shows “Congratulations”, I can’t help feeling a sense of relief with the thought that it is finally done. Here I mean that I finally finish the CCNP exam. Four months of study may be too long for some people. But for me, it is just the beginning of really mastering the content of CCNP. Looking back on my own learning experience, I want to write it down on paper, hoping to be helpful to my friends who are and will be engaged in CCNP learning. My exam experience mainly includes the following aspects:

Participate in the training

If you want to get CCNP, it is more than necessary to participate in relevant tutorial classes and training classes which can help you systematically master knowledge of CCNA and CCNP. Attending the training is helpful to deepen your understanding of the basic knowledge points and difficulties of the course. By combining theory with practice through a certain period of practical operation, the training is also conducive to a firm grasp of various commands and concepts.

Choose textbooks for the exams

When it comes to the preparation for CCNP, the first thing to notice is the textbooks. The selection of textbooks has a directly effect on the efficiency of your learning. To learn CCNA and CCNP, Cisco’s standard certification textbook is undoubtedly the best choice no matter you want to learn knowledge or pass the exam. But it not available on the market and cannot be purchased directly. Students can only get it through attending training.

In addition to these two kinds of textbooks, there are some popular relevant study guide published by Sybex, Publishing House of Electronics Industry, Machine Press and other publishing houses and certified Guide on the market. Some of these are good textbooks. But in my personal opinion, they can only be used as for auxiliary learning and it is better to choose the official student guide of Cisco as the main learning textbook. Sybex textbook is suitable for beginners to get an overall impression of some agreements and basics.

I only read it when I was preparing for the CCNA exam and didn’t do the practice questions seriously. When I was taking the CCNP exam, I just felt that I couldn’t manage it. So I bought the original textbook of Cisco later. The biggest reason is that there are a lot of agreement details in the new CCNP exam, which are included in the Sybex textbook at all. In addition to textbooks, other learning materials are also essential. Here are some common learning materials:

PPT for Cisco official training

Each subject of Cisco official training is equipped with a corresponding PPT, which is a good material for learning and reviewing corresponding courses. You need PowerPoint in the office suite installed on your system when using PPT. Although the content of PPT is not large, it is very refined. Some of the questions encountered in the exam can be found in PPT.

Cisco CIM

Cisco Interactive Mentor (CIM) is an official online interactive course of Cisco, and matches some of Cisco’s training courses including ICND, BRACN, BCMSN, ISDN, Voice IP, etc.

Cisco Documentation CD

Cisco Documentation CD has totally two CDs and mainly includes some related documents for reference, which can be read on the official website of Cisco:

Arrange time for study

Because of different reading efficiency, it’s hard to set a unified timetable for everyone. I insist on reading every day. But due to my work, the reading time is not fixed. I suggest that you should spend at least 1-2 hours reading every day. Remember to insist. If I read the book every two days, I will find that I can’t remember what I’ve seen before. Maybe I’m just not clever enough. As for the English questions in the exam, actually, the key is words, especially some terms instead of grammar. So it depends on reading English textbooks to help. In addition, doing simulated exercises can also help you overcome your phobia about English.

Practice with simulated experiments

The simulated exercises are similar to the CCNP exam questions. The key of doing simulated exercises is to find out the knowledge points that you have missed in the process of reading books. Because the CCNP exam questions are very detailed, candidates should be familiar with the contents of the textbooks. However, we may have missed some knowledge points or just forgotten some in the reading process. Therefore, we need to do the simulated exercises to help us test our understanding of knowledge points.

Fortunately, SPOTO provides the conditions for hands-on experiments and offers laboratory machine for students. Therefore, this part is not a problem for me, and the experiment is generally not difficult. But people who have no experience in doing experiments or contacting with Cisco equipment may have to make efforts. It’s better to have an experimental environment for this part.  You can buy CCNA, CCNP and CCIE experimental machines separately from SPOTO and the simulator costs $0.77 per hour. It is necessary to do experiments. After all, even after you get the certificate, you still have to conduct practical operation.

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