How To Pass The CCNP: The Big Day Approaches
As exam day nears, you know you are on your way to success because you have already completed these steps:
- You decided to succeed.
- You decided on your exam path.
- You scheduled your exam.
- You created your study plan.
- You tracked your UNINTERRUPTED study time.
- You kept your goals away from negative influences.
- You balanced your study between books, practice exams, flash cards, and lab time.
At this point, some CCNP candidates are panicking. They start “cramming”, hoping they can jam all that information into their heads in the last minute.
This is a study technique that needs to be left behind when you leave high school. Cramming for exams is for teenagers. You’re a professional, in a professional field. You do not cram, because you don’t have to. You made a plan and stuck to it.
Now as we approach exam day, use these techniques to maximize your effort.
First, get lots of rest. LOTS of rest. A well-rested candidate is a successful candidate.
Second, if you are not familiar with the location of the testing center, drive to it several days before the exam. The last thing you want to do is drive around like a mad person the day of your exam, trying to find the testing center. (Or, as happened to a friend of mine that the testing center had moved to the other side of town!)
If you have a morning appointment, make sure you allow for rush hour traffic patterns. There’s one testing center in my city that takes 15 minutes for me to get to, except for one hour in the morning – if I go then, it takes 40 minutes. Allow for rush hour!
Do NOT rely on MapQuest or any other “driving directions” website the morning of the exam. They’ve been known to be wrong. (Trust me on this.) Call the center and ask for directions. Many testing centers have directions to the center on their website, but it’s always best to call.
Mentally rehearse your success. See yourself passing the exam, because that is exactly what you are going to do.
Finally, take a practice exam the same way you’ll take the real exam. Time yourself, use a pen and paper, and use only 40 – 50 questions.
(By the way – there is no scientific calculator available to Cisco certification candidates in the exam room. You have to know how to perform conversions involving hexadecimal, decimal, and binary numbers. Get as much practice on this as you can. CCNP exams place an emphasis on VLSM.)