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CCNP Study Strategy

You now have an idea what the exams are about, and that it’s best to start with ROUTE, SWITCH and finish with TSHOOT. So where do you start?
pal patil
Rank E3 - BEGINNER

CCNP Study Strategy

You now have an idea what the exams are about, and that it’s best to start with ROUTE, SWITCH and finish with TSHOOT. So where do you start?

Buy some CCNP ROUTE study material like a book or some training videos, whatever you prefer. Of course I try to promote my “How to Master CCNP” books but there are other good books out there. While you are studying for ROUTE you have time to browse Ebay or something to “hunt” for your switches that you’ll need for the SWITCH exam.

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As you are reading, try to stick to one topic at a time, and don’t read the book from front to back right away. As you are reading and learning about a topic or feature, try to configure it yourself on your GNS3 routers or switches and make sure you understand what you are doing. Look at some show commands, try some debugs. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to do labs, labs and even more labs. Most people make the mistake of trying to “brute force” all the theory in their head and doing not enough labs. If you want to know why I’m such a big fan of labs, please read my “How to study Cisco and Networking” lesson.

Doing labs is also a lot more fun than just reading books or watching videos…If you want labs to practice instead of building your own, I built most of the CCNP level labs and you can find them for free on GNS3Vault.

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Also as you are working your way through a chapter, make sure to take notes:

  • Use mindmapping to write down all the “theory” in a structured order, you can learn how to do this in my “How to use Mindmapping” lesson.
  • Take notes (I use notepad) to write down some of the commands that you have difficulty with remembering. This helps to speed up doing labs.

Once you feel you mastered a topic, move on to the next chapter. Try to focus on 1 item at the time instead of reading about everything at the same time, focusing is your friend when it comes to studying.

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