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Thread: My CCNP Journey

  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #201
    Hi,

    Gone through your journey story, I am also on the same track to acquire CCNP Switch. I passed CCNP Route in June2014, since then no studies towards CCNP. The cert will expire by June 2017 so I am planning to complete at least Switch this year and Tshoot before expiration. I have the old Switch OCG but noted the topic changes. I my studying the old OCG, CBT nuggets videos and anything I can get from the internet related to the subject. Don't have any real equipment to practice and I have done enough on cisco commands and the cli, will try IOU if got time to do so. The only issue is that unable to get approval from employer to reimburse the cost, hope I will get it by this year as the approval happens every quarter and may I be lucky in any one of the remaining quarters this year. If that dosen't happens then I have to loose my pocket for it. I remember giving the Route exam back then for $200 and with 15% discount on it so that costs around $170 to me. But now the price raised to $250 for all exams.

    Good luck.....
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  3. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #202
    Quote Originally Posted by bhuwanp View Post
    Hi,

    Gone through your journey story, I am also on the same track to acquire CCNP Switch. I passed CCNP Route in June2014, since then no studies towards CCNP. The cert will expire by June 2017 so I am planning to complete at least Switch this year and Tshoot before expiration. I have the old Switch OCG but noted the topic changes. I my studying the old OCG, CBT nuggets videos and anything I can get from the internet related to the subject. Don't have any real equipment to practice and I have done enough on cisco commands and the cli, will try IOU if got time to do so. The only issue is that unable to get approval from employer to reimburse the cost, hope I will get it by this year as the approval happens every quarter and may I be lucky in any one of the remaining quarters this year. If that dosen't happens then I have to loose my pocket for it. I remember giving the Route exam back then for $200 and with 15% discount on it so that costs around $170 to me. But now the price raised to $250 for all exams.

    Good luck.....
    Thanks man!

    From what I have experienced in my new / old switch studies, the tests / content are nearly the same. I would say don't waste time reading another book if you have the old there isn't much to be gained at all with the new one. You can VERY easily supplement researching the additional items on the new test with online content / videos, etc. If you are looking for some cheap up-to-date material check out Chris Bryant's stuff on Udemy. I've ran through his videos once already with taking notes, and am doing it all again as final prep (my re-test date is Friday the 26th). To be honest I think he has the best video content out there for NP.

    I would definitely get something to lab on. IOU is a free option but has some limitations. I also previously built a cheap physical lab consisting of 2x3550s and 2x2950s, which actually I don't use anymore now that I have IOU in GNS.

    Also a recommendation for CBT videos: Don't just focus on the NP Switch videos. I also went over the R/S Troubleshooting mastery videos for switch topics, as well as the Hands on Lab videos, and IEv5 Switch videos too as further content to help absorb the material.

    I totally feel ya on the cost of things too. I typically don't have much in my budget to spare either.

    Good luck to ya!
    Last edited by Danielh22185; 03-16-2016 at 08:19 PM.
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  4. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #203
    UGH! SWITCH has me frustrated... I have gotten two very close fails... The first attempt I knew I missed a few things on one of the SIMS which I corrected next go round (and I know I did because my scored improved in that category by 30%). However I have noticed some of the multiple choice questions are written VERY poorly. One of which I'd love to discuss here because it seriously drove me nuts, it didn't make a lick of sense. However I won't break the NDA ... (I just have a plan for it next go round). I did leave a comment on the test though specifically for this one.

    But seriously on my 2nd attempt I thought I NAILED IT. I MEAN NAILED IT.... I ended the test with 37 minutes left over!! Even the test prompter made mention I was quick. I did some deep thinking on a few questions I know that I missed and honestly that is what prevented me from passing... just a few stinkin questions!!!

    I did also try to reflect on where I might have missed a few more points which has me wondering... I wonder if I added additional non-required config to one of the SIMS and it counted off points. I image that is a stretch thought though. I assume the grading logic is pretty simple, either you have the required elements or you don't. I think if anything additional is there it shouldn't count against me. Anyway that is just me thinking aloud on that part so... that is all it's going to be...

    Ugh... Cisco...

    Re-take is next week. Time to own this test! (I am so done with NP right now... I just WANT to finally be officially done
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  5. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #204

    Default Passed switch!!!

    2 down 1 to go! I finally passed Switch with a great score this last Friday! I actually ended the test with 55 minutes left!!! (that's what happens when you take the test multiple times ) I initially fumbled with understanding a few items which cost me some valuable points in my last 2 attempts at the exam but finally passed and what a nice feeling of relief!!!

    My prep materials for Switch:
    ===================
    * OCG (read front to back, took extensive notes)
    * CBT Nuggets (Official CCNP Switch videos, CCNP Troubleshooting Mastery Videos, CCIE L2 / Switching videos), paired with taking extensive notes
    * Chris Bryant Videos (my favorite videos honestly), also took extensive notes over this content
    * Boson Exam simulator (I actually thoroughly enjoyed this. I felt it helped me understand things a bit better as well especially since I hadn't sat for a Cisco exam in a while since my route studies a while back).
    * LAB: Originally started with a couple 3550s and 2950s, ended up setting up GNS3 w/ IOU. Used a TON! Lots of lab hours.

    Overall I feel the test was fair. I did however find some grammatical errors, and of course struggled in some areas trying to interpret what Cisco is trying to convey through their questions. Overall studying for the exam has vastly increased my knowledge of switching content which I am grateful for.

    TSHOOT I am softly planning for the end of May. I will be busy in May though so it might look like near June. I want to brush up on my routing as I am rusty with the concepts.
    Last edited by Danielh22185; 04-25-2016 at 12:02 AM.
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    #205
    Congrats mate! I just finished recently my CCNP too - it's an awesome feeling!

    My suggestion: spend a few days reading your notes on route and go do the exam. You're gonna nail it.

    One piece of advice for tshoot: Send some probes and follow them!
    Last edited by joetest; 04-25-2016 at 08:53 AM.
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  7. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #206
    Quote Originally Posted by joetest View Post
    Congrats mate! I just finished recently my CCNP too - it's an awesome feeling!

    My suggestion: spend a few days reading your notes on route and go do the exam. You're gonna nail it.

    One piece of advice for tshoot: Send some probes and follow them!
    Yep doing so now. All my study right now has yet to really slow down. I actually started reviewing Route stuff before I even took the switch exam. I am not going to lie I am rusty and don't feel terribly comfortable with it all yet. For review I have fired up the Bryant videos and have been doing the route tailored labs in the 101 labs book. After I finish those two items I am going to build out the TSHOOT topology in GNS3 and heavily familiarize myself.

    For now I am treading lightly as I don't want to rush into a $250 exam and fail. I also have my daughter's 2nd B-day coming up in a couple weeks which my wife already has a list of things to get done prior to that; so that will distract me a bit from studies and obviously spending another $250 right now could be better used for that. I plan to sit for the test after all that to be distraction free.
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    #207
    If you do the 101 labs tshoot will be a breeze if you also know the diagram.

    I did the same.
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  9. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #208
    Quote Originally Posted by joetest View Post
    If you do the 101 labs tshoot will be a breeze if you also know the diagram.

    I did the same.
    Nice good to hear! Thanks for the pointer!
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  10. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #209
    TSHOOT Scheduled!

    I just went through a week long training session provided by Global Knowledge and paid for by my work for troubleshooting IP Networks. Although it wasn't really anything tailored directly for the test it was a massive and great review for me.

    For other preparations, I have also been doing the Boson Exam Simulators to work down a consistent plan of attack for troubleshooting the test. This I feel has specifically given me the opportunity to really plan out what types of checks I will do in a specific ordered format and how I will use such strategies on the test. Other than using Boson I have paired up some sporadic video watching from Chris Bryant / CBT Nuggets and doing some labbing in the 101 guide as review.

    Overall I feel great, and very confident in myself to take on this test. Through Global Knowledge I also have my finances in order (vouchers) to give the exam a couple attempts, hopefully just one attempt needed.

    I am very excited at this point to potentially bring this journey to a close. Once I get the pass I will post a write up that outlines my entire experience (the good and the bad).

    Friday I will give my next update, hopefully my last for this thread
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    #210
    I planning on starting to study for my ccnp. And, I was interested in the learning more about the 101 labs book. online I could only find one that was authored in 2011, which seems like it is out of date for the current exam.

    Can anyone help me out in regards to more current material?

    Thanks
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  12. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    *cough*

    How's life treating you, Daniel?
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  13. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #212

    Default TSHOOT Passed!!! CCNP Completed!!!

    As the title states, I passed TSHOOT Friday afternoon (915/1000) and FINALLY completed my CCNP! My ancient, long thread comes to a close!

    What a relief!

    So I said I would give a write up to summarize my experience so here we go...


    I began my CCNP Journey roughly 4 years ago with the intent on passing it quickly and also thinking I had the knowledge and skillset to do it in a short time. As a recap at that time I had just obtained my CCNA in March of 2012, so was looking for the next challenge. Also, I had just started my first ever network job. I was eager to learn and grow.

    So at near the end of that year I gave a test a crack (beginning with Route), boy I was in for a big surprise. I really did not know the content at all. I thought I could approach CCNP the same way I did with NA which was read a book or two, do some basic labbing and be ready...I was so wrong. Needless to say I spent some time re-thinking my approach and focused on really taking in the content and learning it.

    To keep a long story short... over the next couple years I had some life events occur and my studies slowed down (if not came to a screeching halt at times). I got discouraged plenty of times, but ultimately this process was such a huge life lesson for me. I learned more about myself than I ever thought I would, I wasn't even expecting a life lesson. Four years later and through my focus of learning and growing I was also able to make 2 career moves (possibly a 3rd one here soon) within a company doing network support, ultimately advancing my skills and knowledge further with each move.

    Like my thread states, this was my Journey. Sure getting the piece of paper stating I am officially certified is great and it is what I ultimately sought out to do, but the journey is really the value in the certification process. It's not just about learning technical stuff but also learning about yourself and setting goals, then achieving those goals.



    Tips for someone just starting their Journey:
    ============================
    1.) Invest in yourself -- don't approach CCNP as just the next cert to get, make an investment in yourself to learn and grow along the way.

    2.) Discover how you learn and apply strategies (and new strategies) to increase your success (this was a big one for me, I really had to do some serious self-evaluation).

    3.) Don't let discouragement faulty your focus. You are going to have you ups/downs, you are going to struggle to understand certain topics, but don't let that drive you. Focus on finding new ways to learn or approach it differently.

    4.) Read outside materials not directly covered from Cisco Press. (This I found out later in my studies was where I was coming up short in my understandings of some things, but later found as very valuable when I took in these resources). So many times I see threads asking what books are best to study. There is no best answer but don't just stick to the OCGs or FLGs, expand your resources to learn from. This also includes video training, etc.

    5.) Test order doesn't matter but if I had to do it over again I think I would do Switch, Route, then TSHOOT. I feel like Switch drew on many more NA level topics I could relate to. Route definitely introduces many new topics coming from an NA level of understanding that is valuable to have as fresh as possible going into TSHOOT.

    6.) Be curious and investigate! Don't just highlight or try to commit to memory. Learn it! Grow!

    7.) LAB LAB LAB!! Always Be labbing! #ABL!

    8.) Have fun! At the end of the day I would always enjoy myself buried in a book or labbing. If it's fun it won't feel like work and be ever so more rewarding.



    So what's next?
    ==========

    I plan on taking a bit of a mental break (meaning not having to stress about a test date), for the rest of the year. I have a 2nd child to be born next month so getting dedicated study time will be scarce. However the next goal is CCIE. I have already purchased several books and have the entire compliment of INE's video library for the v5 test, as well as their workbooks. I will slowly ramp up for IE until I get to a point where I will be all-in beast study mode.


    Look for my IE Journey thread in the IE forums in the future months to come and thank you everyone for your support during my journey!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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    #213
    Congrats!
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    #214
    I must say I have been inspired by your dedication in reaching your CCNP goal. I have been a follower but never an officially registered user of this forum and kept up to date with your thread. I am studying for CCNP switch right now and I really look forward to following your step onward to the CCIE. Congrats and best wishes.
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  16. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #215
    Quote Originally Posted by kmos22 View Post
    I must say I have been inspired by your dedication in reaching your CCNP goal. I have been a follower but never an officially registered user of this forum and kept up to date with your thread. I am studying for CCNP switch right now and I really look forward to following your step onward to the CCIE. Congrats and best wishes.
    Thanks! It was a long process, longer than I ever wanted it to carry on, that was mostly my fault with staying motivated and dedicated.

    Good luck with your future studies as well!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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  17. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #216
    Congrats Daniel!
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    #217
    Good Job!
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  19. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #218
    Congrats and thanks for the suggestions on studying!


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    #219
    It's very impressive to me that you finally finished despite failing some exams and it taking so long. Most people would have just quit. Congratulations!
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  21. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #220
    Quote Originally Posted by fredrikjj View Post
    It's very impressive to me that you finally finished despite failing some exams and it taking so long. Most people would have just quit. Congratulations!
    LOL! Thanks!

    Ya I feel like I should have gotten a CCIE by now. I drug my feet on several occasions, had some life events happen and get in the way (I let them get in the way and used it as an excuse), fell into some bad habits at times (I'm a long time gamer nerd), and I still struggle on occasion to get my wife on board with understanding my need for study time.

    My time spent with CCNP has definitely been a GIANT eye opener for what it will take to get my IE. Like I mentioned, I learned a lot about myself and my habits and learned what it takes to accomplish the end goal.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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    #221
    Really great stuff Daniel, followed your progress on here for a very long time - and it's great to see you finally nail that CCNP! What's next mate?
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  23. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #222
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielh22185 View Post
    LOL! Thanks!

    Ya I feel like I should have gotten a CCIE by now. I drug my feet on several occasions, had some life events happen and get in the way (I let them get in the way and used it as an excuse), fell into some bad habits at times (I'm a long time gamer nerd), and I still struggle on occasion to get my wife on board with understanding my need for study time.

    My time spent with CCNP has definitely been a GIANT eye opener for what it will take to get my IE. Like I mentioned, I learned a lot about myself and my habits and learned what it takes to accomplish the end goal.
    I used to have a hard time with getting my wife to "get" studying for certs...she comes from a medical background where you only get certified if needed for the job and its alwasy paid for by the hospital.

    Once I got CCNA and got a better job because of it, she was on-board lol.


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  24. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #223
    Quote Originally Posted by bharvey92 View Post
    Really great stuff Daniel, followed your progress on here for a very long time - and it's great to see you finally nail that CCNP! What's next mate?
    IE is next for sure! I am already cracking into the videos from INE. I am though casually through them. My son will be born in 3 weeks so I am not trying to get too hot and heavy into anything at the moment.


    Quote Originally Posted by --chris-- View Post
    I used to have a hard time with getting my wife to "get" studying for certs...she comes from a medical background where you only get certified if needed for the job and its alwasy paid for by the hospital.

    Once I got CCNA and got a better job because of it, she was on-board lol.

    Ya she has seen the progression it has made for my career. 5 years ago I was working help desk and didn't know squat. She just struggles from time to time when I have to lock myself away. With IE I am definitely going to have to hand her a written plan we can expect to keep to allow me to progress my studies.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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    #224
    [QUOTE=Danielh22185;1050103]IE is next for sure! I am already cracking into the videos from INE. I am though casually through them. My son will be born in 3 weeks so I am not trying to get too hot and heavy into anything at the moment.

    Nice one, what videos are you going through? I did start watching the advanced technologies ones, haven't managed to get the normal written exam videos. I'm in the same kind of boat as you, which is watching them casually.
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  26. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #225
    [QUOTE=bharvey92;1050214]
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielh22185 View Post
    IE is next for sure! I am already cracking into the videos from INE. I am though casually through them. My son will be born in 3 weeks so I am not trying to get too hot and heavy into anything at the moment.

    Nice one, what videos are you going through? I did start watching the advanced technologies ones, haven't managed to get the normal written exam videos. I'm in the same kind of boat as you, which is watching them casually.

    Some of the more complex route stuff has escaped me since I haven't had to apply it towards the tests and or real world applications in a while, so I am starting with layer 3 tech, specifically BGP. I am just kinda just going through it in no logical order as a first watch.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
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