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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default Where to start first with CCNP?

    Hello all, recently got my CCNA renewed after a long time of letting it expire and getting ready to work on my CCNP track. I am just wondering if anyone could give me some advice as to what of the two main tests I should focus on first. I understand that TSHOOT is best taken last since it goes back to things learned on the previous two.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    I'm personally starting with ROUTE.
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    #3
    The route exam probably won't test you on switching, but the switch exam might test you on "layer-3 switching." I recommend route first.
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    #4
    I started with switch because it was what i had most experience with.
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  6. Senior Member iamme4eva's Avatar
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    #5
    I did route first. Although the two other CCNP's I know did switch first.

    TSHOOT definitely last.
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  7. Network Consultant FloOz's Avatar
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    #6
    I did Route first as well
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  8. Senior Member bermovick's Avatar
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    #7
    Most people will say route, for a couple of reasons:

    First, Route is the largest of the 3 exams, material-wise. It took me 4-5 months of seriously studying, while switch only took me a month. Had I done switch first, I would likely have gotten rusty and lost some by the time I got around to TSHOOT.

    Secondly, the Switch material is ... lacking in some areas (to put it nicely). Some of those you would have covered as part of ROUTE if you'd done it first (notably SLAs, if I remember correctly)

    Opinionally: I found ROUTE more interesting. I swear nearly half of the SWITCH OCG is about spanning-tree. I found ROUTE quite a bit more difficult though, and actually had to use more sources than I normally do.
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  9. Netzwerksicherheit Master Of Puppets's Avatar
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    #8
    I did SWITCH first because 1)it was easier and 2)it was much less interesting. I'm going to take ROUTE in a week or 2. I agree that SWITCH is boring compared to ROUTE. You may want to decide which one you are better at and make your decision based on that.
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    #9
    I'm doing SWITCH first mainly because I have more experience with switching and more knowledge of the topics. I'm actually sitting for the exam on Friday and I've spent about two months studying for it. I used the OCG, CBT Nuggets, and labbed some of the topics like AAA, Dot1x, private vlans, HSRP etc. here at work that I wasn't familiar with. All of the wireless and voice stuff are gimme topics IMO.

    My employer will pay for training once a year so I am going to do a week long ROUTE course in mid December and hopefully be ready for the exam shortly after.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by powmia View Post
    The route exam probably won't test you on switching, but the switch exam might test you on "layer-3 switching." I recommend route first.
    True but I would say if after doing the CCNA, if you can't grasp the layer 3 switching covered in SWITCH, you didn't learn the foundations of routing properly the first time.
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  12. ABL - Always Be Labbin' Iristheangel's Avatar
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    #11
    I took Switch first because I had the Cisco Net Academy class first. The L3 concepts in Switch are only SLIGHTLY expanded past the CCNA-level material by introducing VRRP, GLBP, etc but you don't need to take Route by any means first in order to "get" the very simple routing concepts that are touched upon in Switch.

    That being said, I only took Switch first because of circumstances. I found the material and exam VERY easy to grasp. I scored somewhere in the 900's and didn't feel like I was failing at any point of the exam. I'm studying Route right now and it's great material but there's a LOT to cover. It's going to take you a lot longer to get ready to pass Route than it is for the Switch exam so from that perspective, it might be more useful to take Switch first so you're riding into Route with that "just-passed-my-exam" high.

    Either way, Switch or Route. It's up to you and it didn't make much of a difference. TSHOOT definitely last.
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    #12
    Thanks everyone for the responses. I took my switching back in 2002 so I am in the process of starting that ball rolling again. It looks like ROUTE will be the way to go since it touches the Switching test as well.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by aaron0011 View Post
    True but I would say if after doing the CCNA, if you can't grasp the layer 3 switching covered in SWITCH, you didn't learn the foundations of routing properly the first time.
    I haven't even started SWITCH (still on ROUTE) and I have no problem doing basic routing on a switch. Inter-VLAN Routing on a switch is ALOT EASIER than Router on a Stick. EIGRP [and I would presume most if not all routing protocols] is identical to a router. The main difference is that you have to "no switchport" any port you want to be Layer 3 and issue the "ip routing" global config command to enable IP Routing. Trickiest part was enabling IPv6 Routing requires changing the SDM Template. But, I had no problem finding the commands on Google.
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  15. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #14
    If I could do it over again I would go switch first instead of route. Route first seems to be the "cisco recommended" path but it really does not matter which path you take. I have a lot of work colleagues too that went the switch path first. I'm far too deep into route to change gears. I guess for my case I will feel like I've crested the most difficult concepts first and will feel a bit easier towards the end. I just cant spend too much time with switch so I can have that route knowledge ready for TSHOOT.
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  16. Connection Overlord f0rgiv3n's Avatar
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    #15
    I agree with those who say Route first. For some reason it just flowed nicely for me when I did Route->Switch->Tshoot. Good luck!
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    #16
    In the Cisco Networking Academy, all the academies I see teach switch first before route. Switch is also a little less intense and teaches many of the same things CCNA teaches for switching. Routing does review CCNA concepts, but every chapter is much more in depth than CCNA where switch the in the first few chapters is nothing new.
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  18. Connection Overlord f0rgiv3n's Avatar
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    #17
    Just to counter the Cisco Networking Academy thought a little bit. The reason why I recommend route first is actually because it is the hardest test. When you do a certification that requires more than one exam, I find it harder to finish it off when you leave the hardest for last. Take that initial motivation and pound out the toughest exam first!! To each their own though, this is just my two cents.
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by skwira001 View Post
    In the Cisco Networking Academy, all the academies I see teach switch first before route. Switch is also a little less intense and teaches many of the same things CCNA teaches for switching. Routing does review CCNA concepts, but every chapter is much more in depth than CCNA where switch the in the first few chapters is nothing new.
    Our local Junior College does ROUTE first, but their an oddball all around. They also teach their M$ courses in a different order than most places I've seen and have alot of other issues.
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    #19

    Default Switch first?

    Switch made sense for me (way back when) , because the job I had was for a hospital where there are tons of switches in individual buildings. Those skills came in handy more quickly (they weren't letting me touch the routers yet). Just a thought.
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  21. Data Network Engineer filkenjitsu's Avatar
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    #20
    My advice.... You will need to remember all ROUTE and SWITCH in for for TSHOOT.

    Whatever you use the most at work (I do routing almost exclusively) then do that exam first, it will be easier to retain the info.

    Whatever you do the least of at work, do that last before TSHOOT so you can take that test soon thereafter.
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  22. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by f0rgiv3n View Post
    Just to counter the Cisco Networking Academy thought a little bit. The reason why I recommend route first is actually because it is the hardest test. When you do a certification that requires more than one exam, I find it harder to finish it off when you leave the hardest for last. Take that initial motivation and pound out the toughest exam first!! To each their own though, this is just my two cents.
    ^^^ I agreee with this a lot. I know I am probably taking the initial harder path by doing Route first but once I knock out my route exam I am going to feel a lot of weight lifted knowing that Switch tends to be the easier of the two and TSHOOT is just the rehash of the both.

    I also have work colleges that say doing switch first is a great path to take as you get the "win" feeling under your belt and by obtaining 1 part of the 3 it builds up some confidence in yourself.

    I also do more routing than switching at work too so I felt the focus on route first felt more natural.
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