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  1. Senior Member dontstop's Avatar
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    #1

    Default For those who aced their CCNP, what are your study tips/study plan?

    Just curious, I've been looking through many of the "I passed" posts and was just wondering if any of the people who achieved high marks could expound on the following:

    * Resources used (OCG, FLG etc)
    * Time taken (Total time, time per day)
    * Study process (Reading then Labbing, Reading everything then labbing at the end)
    * Do you believe that extremely high marks are sometimes left up to the luck of the questions selected?

    I'm fairly happy with my study techniques at the moment but I'm always looking to learn from those who seem to have a firm grasp on studying and the processes they use.
    Last edited by dontstop; 12-04-2017 at 02:37 AM.
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  3. Member esr0159's Avatar
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    #2
    hmmm

    * Resources used (OCG, FLG etc)
    -FLG over OCG, CBT nuggets, INE
    * Time taken (Total time, time per day)
    -Route and switch 6 months each (1-2 chapters a day, actually depends on my energy I have left after work)
    * Study process (Reading then Labbing, Reading everything then labbing at the end)
    -I usually read then lab
    * Do you believe that extremely high marks are sometimes left up to the luck of the questions selected?
    -really depends on the questions...but a pass is a pass
    CCNP R&S | Planning to hit IE R&S or JNCIA or Security path|
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  4. Member
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    #3
    Only passed SWITCH so far, but:
    • Chris Bryant videos
      • Take notes and follow along with labs
    • CBT Nuggets videos
      • Fill in gaps in notes and follow along with labs
    • Read How to Master CCNP Switch
    • Complete all labs on gns3vault.com several times
    • Read 3750 config guide for trivia-looking info
      • bullet points, tables, lists, etc
    CCNP - Switch [X] Route [ ] T-Shoot [ ]
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  5. Network Engineer Hondabuff's Avatar
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    #4
    People who are scoring 930+ are using brain dumps or are going to a instructor lead class where they are outlining all the material and paraphrasing all the questions for you. I attended a boot camp a few years ago for my CCNP and passed in the high 900's on both the Switch and Route exams. I just recently passed the CCNP switch again to renew my CCNP by using just the books, CBT and Bryant videos while doing the labs and only got by in the mid 800's. I found a lot of the questions on the V2 exam to be just obscure questions where you read a running config and have to know some off the wall detail like reading a hexadecimal HSRP mac address to determine which vlan its associated with. I have found over the years of taking Cisco exams its easier to scan the answer first then read the question. Normally your first gut instinct is always right but the question will try to mislead you down another direction. I have also found over the years of being an Engineer that even if you don't know it 100% it will atleast jar a memory of "oh, I remember reading about that" and you know which reference material to go look at to validate your decision. I do a good job nowadays of keeping field notes and old configurations for reference material.
    “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you can’t always be sure of their authenticity.” ~Abraham Lincoln
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  6. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #5
    Not everyone who does well is cheating. I believe most of my Cisco exam scores have been 900+ outside maybe one. Learn the objectives. Practice, practice, practice. It's like any other exam in your life. Proper planning prevents poor performance.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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  7. Network Engineer Hondabuff's Avatar
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    #6
    I was even told at a bootcamp that some of the questions on the dumps are "Flag" questions that are only out in the Braindumps and don't count against your score. This was coming from a 5x CCIE instructor who is on the advisory board . If a proctor location is pumping out high scores "950+" consistently and students are even passing these "flag" questions that other students from other countries don't pass then you can have your test center credentials revoked. Might be complete B.S. but Cisco is really trying to crack down on the cheaters. My CCNA:S class which was Cisco sponsored had books that you can only get from Cisco if you take the class. I already read the new OCG and the updated CBT's prior and there were questions that were 100% only found on the Cisco Sponsored class material. Multibillion dollar business with those brain dump sites that are taking money out of Cisco's pocket and devaluing the certifications. I will continue to use Cisco sponsored classes since my company will pay for it. There is alot more validation of your certification and training when you tell a employer your were trained a authorized Cisco training facility vs. self study. With my first go round with the CCNP I had a years worth of studying in before I attended the bootcamp. The instructor even recommended if this is your first exposure to CCNP material to "not" sit the exams at the end of the week and hold onto the vouchers until you were ready.
    Last edited by Hondabuff; 12-07-2017 at 01:53 PM.
    “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you can’t always be sure of their authenticity.” ~Abraham Lincoln
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  8. Senior Member bharvey92's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Hondabuff View Post
    People who are scoring 930+ are using brain dumps or are going to a instructor lead class where they are outlining all the material and paraphrasing all the questions for you. I attended a boot camp a few years ago for my CCNP and passed in the high 900's on both the Switch and Route exams. I just recently passed the CCNP switch again to renew my CCNP by using just the books, CBT and Bryant videos while doing the labs and only got by in the mid 800's. I found a lot of the questions on the V2 exam to be just obscure questions where you read a running config and have to know some off the wall detail like reading a hexadecimal HSRP mac address to determine which vlan its associated with. I have found over the years of taking Cisco exams its easier to scan the answer first then read the question. Normally your first gut instinct is always right but the question will try to mislead you down another direction. I have also found over the years of being an Engineer that even if you don't know it 100% it will atleast jar a memory of "oh, I remember reading about that" and you know which reference material to go look at to validate your decision. I do a good job nowadays of keeping field notes and old configurations for reference material.
    That's true on the Route/Switch exam, but in Tshoot it's not difficult to hit a high score if you have experience in the 'real world' and networks..

    I sat the Tshoot recently, and to be fair there were some bugs in the exam, I literally had to guess a couple of the answers as I think two of the answers were actually in the ticket! So sometimes it is luck
    2018 Goal: CCIE Written [ ]
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  9. Senior Member viper75's Avatar
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    #8
    In my opinion, the high scores does not matter. A passing score whether high or low is still a pass. Just because you score 900+ or even get a perfect score does not make you a better engineer.

    What makes you an better engineer is how you handle issues on real live networks.

    I have worked with some talented engineers and architects who have built data centers from the ground up. And guess what? they have ZERO certifications. I also worked with top talented engineers who cannot pass a Cisco exam to save their lives, but will build you a huge complex environment.

    When you go for a job interview, no one is going to ask you how high you scored in your Cisco exams. They don't care, they just care that you can do the job and that you can back up your certifications. Some employers don't care you have a ton of certifications at all.

    So having high scores in your exams means nothing!
    Last edited by viper75; 12-11-2017 at 01:53 PM.
    CCNP Security - DONE!
    CCNP R&S - In Progress...
    CCIE Security - Future...
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bharvey92 View Post
    That's true on the Route/Switch exam, but in Tshoot it's not difficult to hit a high score if you have experience in the 'real world' and networks..

    I sat the Tshoot recently, and to be fair there were some bugs in the exam, I literally had to guess a couple of the answers as I think two of the answers were actually in the ticket! So sometimes it is luck
    I took the old TSHOOT (642 Series). I think I missed 1 or 2 of the Multiple Choice questions at the beginning. I scored in the high 900s with nothing but the OCGs, Udemy videos, and most importantly experience. The only part that was really hard was one question where I could not find the correct answer on the exam. I was sure of the answer, just couldn't find it. Eventually, I realized there were more answers off the bottom of the super tiny test center screen. The answer was there, I just had to scroll down to it.
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
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    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
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  11. Junior Member
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    #10
    I would say try not to worry too much about getting the highest scores possible.

    There might have been 1 or 2 exams where I made it in the high 900's - but I've been working with nothing but Cisco routers/switches for the last 5 years or so on the job. I also happen to work with an employer that is eager to provide official Cisco training through Global Knowledge and various of options between CBT Nuggets and Safari Books.

    I typically will go with CBT Nuggets to start off my studies on whichever track - just to get the basics and foundation started. Then I will start labbing while going through INE course material.

    Labbing and reading Cisco white-papers on each topic outlined in the blueprint is where the real money is at.

    When I finally feel like I am toward the end of my studies for the exam, that is when I will sign up for a week-long boot camp so I can fill in the gaps and ask questions a bit better. I understand not everyone will have the luxury of all this being offered for minimal cost (if any) - but the main thing to take away is that you just need to find which way works for you.

    I am not huge on reading the official Cisco books cover to cover, instead I try to find out what areas are weak and focus on those parts.. mostly using the whitepapers online.

    Fyi - the last two exams I have taken, NP-Troubleshoot and CCDP, no matter all the training and studying I did.. still managed to barely pass. They were no joke. Everyone is different!
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    As long as you know your stuff, you are OK.

    Avoid this kind of situation:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSON90jlSF4

    LOL
    Last edited by chmod; 02-15-2018 at 10:35 PM.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    Passed ROUTE with a 905 score which I totally wasn't expecting going in or midway through the exam.

    The key to this were multiple study resources (ocg, flg, Cisco salesconnect, Router Gods' Ccnp free 5 day boot camp, CBT course on BGP). These helped get a good understanding of the topics but what helped polish and score were Chris Bryant's CCNP all in one udemy course and Boson ExSim.

    ..oh and a LOT of labing, coffee and sleep deprivation
    2017-2018 goals:
    [ ] CIPTV2 300-075
    [ ] SIP School SSCA
    [X] CCNP Switch 300-115 [X] CCNP Route 300-101 [ ] CCNP Tshoot 300-135
    [ ] LPIC1-101 [ ] LPIC1-102 (wishful thinking)
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