How to pass the CCNP: Choosing Your CCNP Exam Path
Welcome to Your Path To The CCNP! Whether you’re working on your first CCNP exam or your last, this article will help you create a plan for absolute success on each of your exam days!Notice that I said “each of your exam days”. Most CCNP candidates face a four-exam path to this coveted certification. Before we begin working on your plan to get to the CCNP, let’s take a quick look at the different testing options.
Path One: Four Exams
- Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks
- Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks
- Building Cisco Remote Access Networks
- Cisco Internetwork Troubleshooting
Path Two: Three Exams
- Composite exam, combining the BSCI and BCMSN.
- Building Cisco Remote Access Networks.
- Cisco Internetwork Troubleshooting.
The first choice you’ve got to make is which one of these two paths you’re going to take. My personal recommendation is that you take the four-exam path.
For those of you who have read my How To Pass The CCNA article, I recommend to CCNA candidates that they take the Intro and ICND exams separately, simply because there’s so much information you’re responsible for on the CCNA composite exam.
According to the Cisco Learning Pyramid, the CCNP is the middle layer of a three-level pyramid, with the CCNA as the foundation.
Before attempting to build on this foundation by earning your CCNP, solidify the foundation. Review everything you studied for the CCNA, and I mean everything.
This step involves being very honest with yourself. Did you have a particular weak spot that you happened to get by with on the CCNA exam? Cisco exams are very good, but they’re not perfect. My point is that if you have a weak spot, or a technology you’re not comfortable with, that weakness is truly going to be exposed at the CCNP level.
These weak spots will cost you dearly on the CCNP Troubleshooting exam. Fix them now, not later.
It’s better to fix a weakness now rather than waiting until after a $125 exam. Take a strong, honest look at your Cisco skill set, and make a list of any areas that you need to strengthen your skills in.
You pay a price for everything you believe that is not true. If you have weak spots left from your CCNA study, take the time to repair these weak spots before beginning your CCNP study.