How To Pass The CCNP: Choosing To Succeed
You need to decide to succeed.
Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. However, I see Cisco certification candidates at every level decide to fail. They’re already programming themselves for failure, and you must not do this.
You must show up on exam day with the attitude that you have already passed the exam. You’re simply there to make it official.
The truth is, you DO pass or fail before you show up on exam day. The exam is simply a tool that gives you feedback on your efforts to that point. We’ve all seen Cisco exam-takers sitting in the lobby of the testing center, or in their car, frantically going over their notes.
You will avoid this last-minute “cramming” by planning your study time NOW, and following through on that plan. You don’t pass on exam day; you pass every single time you turn off the TV and study; you pass every single time you get your hands on real Cisco equipment; you pass every time you make a sacrifice of your personal time to invest that time in study.
Developing Your Study Plan
One question often asked by CCNP candidates is “what order should I take the exams in?” I recommend you consider this order:
- Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks
- Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks
- Building Cisco Remote Access Networks
- Cisco Internetwork Troubleshooting
My reasoning is that you’re already familiar with many of the topics covered in the first two exams from your CCNA studies. While the final order is up to you, I highly recommend you take the Troubleshooting exam last. It’s a difficult exam, and you’ll need your solid CCNA foundation along with everything you learn while studying for your first three exams in order to pass it.
Don’t get me wrong: the Troubleshooting exam can certainly be passed. However, it’s difficult to troubleshoot a technology that you haven’t really studied yet. Leave the Troubleshooting exam for last.
Schedule your CCNP exam now. Today. Right now.
From experience, I can tell you that this technique works as well at the CCNP level as it does at the CCNA level. People complain about timetables and deadlines, but the truth is that people do their best work with a deadline. Pressure is not necessarily a bad thing.