How To Pass The CCNP: Some Final Exam Tips
CCNP candidates have taken a Cisco exam before, but remind yourself of these exam rules:
Make sure to bring your wallet or purse. You cannot take the exam without proper identification. You’ll probably be asked for two forms of ID, one of which must be a picture ID.
Most testing centers hand you a dry erase board and a marker. Make sure that the marker has a fine point; when you’re answering subnetting questions or performing a hexadecimal-to-binary conversion, that will come in handy.
Despite the best efforts of VUE and Prometric, some testing center rooms are afterthoughts. I strongly advise that if you’re taking your exam at a technical school, ask to see the testing room BEFORE you sign up for the exam. If it looks like a converted broom closet, it probably is. Those rooms also tend to be right next to classrooms, which can result in distracting noise during your exam.
If your testing center specializes in giving computer-based exams rather than classes, you’re probably in good shape. Again, feel free to drop by the testing center before your exam to take a peek at the testing room. Most testing rooms have a window that employees use to keep an eye on testers, and you should be able to take a peek through the window.
When you take a Cisco exam, you’ll first be presented with a survey. The survey consists of 10 – 20 questions asking about your background, preparation methods, and comfort level with different technologies. This is a good time to catch your breath before starting the exam. The survey will only take about five minutes, and this time does not count against your exam time.
You’ll then be presented with an exam tutorial, showing you how to answer the different types of questions Cisco may ask. While most of these questions types are common sense (multiple choice, single answer, fill-in-the-blank), I strongly urge you to pay special attention to the router simulator question tutorial.
The simulator questions carry more weight than the other questions; indeed, it’s almost impossible to pass the CCNP exams if you totally miss the simulator questions. While the interface for these exams is intuitive, sometimes students who fail their exam complain that they were not given enough information to answer the question. The real problem is that they didn’t look in the right place for that information. It’s not hidden, but spend a few minutes with the tutorial and do not go forward until you’re comfortable with the simulator interface.
Finally, the exam starts! Remember, you’re not being asked anything you don’t know. If you have prepared correctly with the right tools, you’ll have a passing grade on your screen before you know it.
Speaking of that grade, you’ll be presented with it about five seconds after you answer the final question. Cisco exams no longer allow CCNA and CCNP candidates to go back once a question is answered, so be prepared for that.