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How do I become a CCNP?

This is the best time to become a certified online professional. Most companies offer their services online, increasing their reliance on an internal network to keep the business running smoothly. Cisco, the world's largest manufacturer of networking equipment, has developed a valuable and respected certification program. In this guide, you'll find a brief overview of what it means to be a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and how to become professionally certified by Cisco.

What is a CCNP?

There are 5 levels of certification in the Cisco career path: Entry Level, Associate, Professional, Expert, and Architect. The CCNP certification gets you into the third "professional" level, which is a relatively easy way to earn $90,000 a year.

Tips for Preparing for the CCNP

The following tips will help you pass the exam on your first attempt.

Know your CCNA best

The CCNP is nothing more than an extension of the knowledge you have already gained in the CCNA. Therefore, the CCNA is one of the prerequisites for the CCNP exam. The CCNA exam establishes the basic knowledge for the CCNP and you should know CCNA to the best of your ability in all aspects. If you are not clear on CCNA concepts, you cannot pass the CCNA exam.

Which exam should I take first?

The CCNP Routing and Switching program have three exams that you must pass to become Cisco CCNP Routing and Switching certified. These exams are:

  • 300-101 ROUTE - Implementing Cisco IP Routing.
  • 300-115 SWITCH - Cisco IP switching networks implementation.
  • 300-135 TSHOOT - Troubleshooting and maintenance of Cisco IP networks.

Cisco gives candidates the freedom to choose the order in which they want to take the exam. For the TSHOOT exam, a candidate can take the Route and Switch exams in any order.

Choose your exam carefully. Make sure your first exam is the one you are most confident in. Many network exam candidates fail Cisco exams due to careless mistakes and a nervous approach. Passing your first exam will keep your resolve up for the next exam and boost your morale.

Practical Experience

If you have taken the CCNA exam, you should know that you cannot pass a Cisco exam without hands-on experience. Cisco recommends 1 to 3 years of experience before taking the CCNP exam. This is because you will have a working knowledge of all Cisco CCNP devices.

Set up a lab at home or take a CCNP training course at the Cisco Networking Institute, which has Cisco training labs with all the latest Cisco equipment. Cisco exams require an average of 4-5 hours of practice per day to understand the topologies and concepts. You need to have a good understanding of CCNP concepts and you can only do that if you practice a lot in the lab until you have it all figured out.

Additional Resources

The books published by Cisco are the best guide to passing any Cisco exam. However, it is not enough. Keep your hands in several places at once. Join Google forums to get your questions answered, follow Cisco blogs to keep up with the latest happenings, courses that have been updated, changed, or removed. Find CCIE authors, read their books, and watch their videos as well. There is a lot of material on the Internet to help you.

One topic at a time

Instead of reading a book from cover to cover, learn one topic at a time. Learn, understand, practice, experiment, and move on to the next topic. Make all the settings yourself and practice until you master them. One by one, each topic will build your confidence and help you better prepare for the CCNP exam.

Don't limit yourself to just one book, but explore your options and study accordingly. Make sure you spend all your time gathering information and not studying. This will do you no good. Choose a topic, do your research, understand the general concept and then choose another topic.

 

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