Cisco offers a total of eight modules under the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification category with CCNP R&S (routing and switching) being the most popular credential among IT professionals. A Cisco certification gives the assurance to employers that they are hiring the right trained professionals for their organization.

Unlike the CCNA Security certification, passing your CCNP exam is not as easy as it seems. It requires professional expertise as well as theoretical knowledge to pass it in the first attempt.

Cisco's CCNP has a total of three modules.

  1. Exam 300-101: Route
  2. Exam 300-115: Switch
  3. Exam 300-135: TSHOOT

You can take the exams in any order.

However, it is advisable that you attempt the exam you are most comfortable taking first. This will help you become familiar with the exam pattern and will give you a clear idea about the amount of time needed to complete the entire process. It is better to decide the sequence of your exam beforehand so that you can prepare accordingly, without any confusion.

Prepare Yourself for CCNP Certification Exam

The following are some important factors to consider while preparing for your CCNP exam:

1.     Revise the CCNA Certification Course

Before preparing for your CCNP exam, the first thing you need to do is review all the topics that you had covered for your CCNA Security certification, as most of the topics in the CCNP certification exams are interlinked with the CCNA exam. By reviewing the main topics of your CCNA Security certification program, you will require less time to prepare for your CCNP certification exam.

2.     Practice Topics Thoroughly

The CCNP exam cannot be easily cleared by just memorizing the exam topics. It is extremely important that you understand every topic thoroughly. Without reviewing and practicing what you have learned, you won't be able to clear your CCNP certification exam.

Therefore, you need to have a strong command over each topic to successfully pass your CCNP certification exam. Make sure to practice every topic over and over to make sure you have covered each topic not just theoretically but practically.

3.     Use Online Resources

Apart from practicing through study guides and resource books, it is a great idea to join various online groups and community platforms that are affiliated with Cisco to increase your professional knowledge by interacting and communicating with other students and professionals. You can also read tech articles by experienced IT instructors to remain updated with current IT trends

In case you have a busy work schedule and can't invest much time or money in taking a conventional trainer-led training class, you can also try getting professional guidance and help through CCNP certification training online. You can get help from watching interactive video course tutorials online or CCIE professional tutorials to learn the basics about the CCNP exam. In case you are studying yourself, joining online groups is of great help, as fellow members can guide you by giving useful tips and tricks in case you cannot answer a challenging question.

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4.     Obtain the CCNA Routing and Switching Certification

The CCNP Routing and Switching is an advanced-level certification that covers all the topics related to networking fundamentals. To qualify for CCNP certification exams, it is mandatory to pass the CCNA Routing and Switching certification exam first.

After clearing the exam and obtaining this certification, you will have the required skillset to effortlessly plan, execute, verify as well as troubleshoot wide and local enterprise networks.

5.     Gain Some Practical Experience

Since this is an advanced-level certification, it is advisable that you have several months of professional experience in networking operations before preparing for this exam.

This certification is ideal for those networking professionals aiming to troubleshoot as well as solve advanced network systems. This certification gives you the opportunity not only to gain new IT skills but also to fine-tune the IT skills you currently possess.

As mentioned earlier, practice is extremely important to pass your CCNP certification exam. Along with obtaining a CCNA certification, it is advisable to have several years of professional experience before opting for the CCNP credential. This can prove to be quite useful, as you can then acquire first-hand experience and knowledge about all CCNP devices

6.     Enroll in Instructor-Led Classes

To prepare for your CCNP exam, you can either set up a lab at home if you are preparing for the exam through self-study or you can sign up for an instructor-led training class that provides training using all the updated and current devices of Cisco via training labs of Cisco.

To successfully clear your CCNP exam, it is advisable that you practice at least four to five hours daily to cover all the important topics for the exam.

7.     CCNP Routing and Switching Complete Video Courses

CCNP Routing and Switching Complete Video Courses offered by Cisco press provide over 300 video tutorials that cover all the fundamental concepts of the CCNP course.

This program of CCNP certification training online is extremely beneficial for those who want to prepare for the CCNP Routing and Switching certification exam. Every video tutorial is accompanied by interactive quizzes, presentations and activities that will help you memorize and understand every topic in detail for your CCNP certification exams.

8.     CCNA Official Cert Guide Library

The CCNA Official Cert Guide Library contains a total of three study guides: ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT. It also comes with a set of DVDs that are helpful for those visual learners who cannot afford to spend much time reading books. Each study guide comes with a study plan, two mock tests, practice questions, interactive exercises and mind mapping activities.

9.     Foundation Learning Guides

If you lack practical knowledge of networking and want to successfully pass your CCNP certifications exams without any CCNP training classes, then you can benefit from Cisco's Foundation Learning Guides. These guides are ideal for new learners with little or no prior experience in network operations.

Since these books are updated and cover all the new topics for the ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT exams, you can easily prepare for your CCNP exams at home without attending any training classes. However, some of the topics covered in the book might be a little complex for new learners. Therefore, you need to have in-depth knowledge about the topics that you may have covered for your CCNA or CCIE exams.

For more details on CCNP certification study guide, get in touch with one of our professionals right away.

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