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Hi all,

Just a friendly reminder that you should always check the latest exam topics before booking and writing an exam.

It is a pretty common complaint that Cisco expects CCNP (and to a lesser degree non R&S CCNA) candidates to do some research to make sure their study material covers all the topics for the exam. Hell some tracks don't even have OSGs.

You don't want to learn about a topic while writing your exam!

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Someone pointed out to me that we need to add helpful links to the sidebar here. I completely agree. Submit your helpful links and reading material. Let's make /r/ccnp great!


Squeaked by on the switch exam with a 790 a few days ago. This was my 3rd time sitting for the exam after a few months studying.

Initially I used the Boson CCNP Network Simulator product materials for prep, but quickly learned that studying the actual Cisco documentation is the best preparation. If I had to do it again I would have bought used switches instead of using the Boson simulator product.

That said, I did use the Boson practice exam as well and I thought the questions were good and helpful with preparing - the material seemed better than the Network Simulator product.

If you've gotten discouraged and have already sat and failed the exam, don't give up.

Good luck and onto route!


I think i'm at a good CCNP level right... ?

  • What TCP does / What TCP doesn't do / How TCP does what it does
  • TCP Header / options
  • TCP Timestamp
  • TCP Control Flags
  • TCP 3-way handshake / 4-way handshake process
  • TCP Keepalive
  • IPv4 and IPv6 (P)MTU
  • Latency / fiber optics latency / satellite latency
  • TCP Sliding Window
  • TCP Window Scaling
  • TCP Global Synchronization
  • BDP / BDP calculations
  • TCP Congestion Control
    • Slow Start
    • Congestion Avoidance
    • Fast Retransmit
    • Fast Recovery
  • TCP Retransmissions



I've heard that studying the config guide is the best way to prepare for the SWITCH exam?

I've already read the OCG for SWITCH and I've watched the INE series for it, as well.

Can anyone agree that the config guide is the way to go next? What model switch config guide should I read through?

Or if you recommend any other materials to study, that would be appreciated. At $300 an attempt, I need to be as prepared as possible.


Just got back from route and i passed :) Super happy fellt very strong on my L2 PPP and frame this time around. And now with Switch down and Route its just Tshoot :)

Link to yesterdays post


Hello, I was sent over here from CCNA subreddit. Was curious if anyone had any recommendations on study materials for this exam set. I have talked with a few people saying the Collaboration exams are changing in October? Has anyone else heard this? I have another friend going to take it but may not be able to get all studying done by October for all 4 exams.


Did route last week a got 739, this time i feel more prepared so i think that i will go a lot better :)

Link to old post


Today I gave my project, and my teacher pointed out corrections that I must do in 2 hours, I just need one thing left, and I can not find how to do it, my question is: How to make the cisco router start in global (global configuration, I believe). Thank you very much for your answers.


Hi all,

I've recently put this video together explaining what VRF's do and why we use them.

I've also included some lab files and config if you want to practice on your own.

I hope you find this useful.


Will CCNP R & S renew my CCNA Security? I know it will for sure renew my CCNA R & S but wasn't sure about security. Thanks!




Currently during my CCNP Switch study I have came across plenty of problems which could be discussed in a group. I think plenty of you have the same feeling about it. So I have came to idea that we could form a study group. I mean like a study group where there are discussions rather than spamming questions to get some answers in easy way. Right now I would like to see if there are any volunteers to form such a group. Right now I would like to focus on SWITCH part for CCNP. Reply here or PM me if you would like to form such a group. Everyone who wants to dig deep into protocols are more than welcome!


Hello fellow networking travelers! I have been working on enterprise networks for about 2 years now and I am at a point to where I need to be able to build labs that simulate new technologies without the expense of breaking the bank in order to expand my knowledge. I'm studying for the CCNP switch exam, but I dont want to just know enough to pass the exam. I want to truly excel. To that end I would like some advice on what kind of hardware some of you may have used to build a virtualization server and what type of software you used. I have researched a couple of different types that are capable of utilizing a virtual environment (VIRL, GNS3, EVE, etc) but would like to know which setup really enhanced your lab experience. Thank you for any advice!


Hey guys. I posted a little over a week ago about how I failed SWITCH with a 734. I went back today and passed with an 899. Thanks to those who spoke words of encouragement. I'm looking forward to ROUTE next.

If anyone is curious how I handled the 9 days between test attempts, I renewed my VIRL subscription and spent many hours labbing and recalling commands from memory, reading a few Cisco guides for some features like MST, and read the OCG front to back while taking notes. I'm going to take the same approach to ROUTE - read the OCG with notes, watch some videos, lab.


So im doing CCNP route tomorrow, and i have never been this disoriented before a exam. Passed switch in March, and im now doing route. Before switch i was more comfortable because of my work being more related to L2 then L3. So wish me luck before the Route exam not quite sure how it will go. But for the first time in a long time i cant keep my mind going 100 miles a hour. Just thinking about this damn exam makes nervous


As the title says, I passed SWITCH yesterday and I could not feel more relieved. After studying for about 10 months on-and-off and 1 failed attempt back in January it is done. CCNA was renewed so I am pretty stoked about it even though I had plenty of time to get it renewed.

I used the OCG (good reference), GNS3/Packet Tracer, Chris Bryant Udemy Course (CCNP All-In-One), 2 x 3750v2s and 2 x 2960's, and finally the Boson Exams (10/10 would recommend).

However, I think my approach to studying needs a bit more work and I want to fine tune my methods before moving onto ROUTE in the next month. With my CCENT and CCNA I would read the OCG, take notes on the chapters, then lab once the reading was all complete. This time I pretty much did the same thing. Read the OCG, watched the videos, took notes, did the labs. I was all over the place and once I would complete one and move to the other I would sort of forget what I read or took notes on. This time I think I will read the chapters about particular topics and lab as I go and take notes. Seems silly for me to say such a thing but I noticed I had 3-4 sources of notes to study from and it was just a mess.

So about the exam itself. Since I took my first one in January and then my second yesterday there were some similarities. Brushing up on Security really helped me out. Odd thing about it was I felt like I was doing much worse than the last attempt but I ended up with an 865 so I was pretty happy about that. Some of the questions were just oddly worded but I feel like that is a norm.

If you're out there still going for that switch exam pass, keep at it! Having the real equipment and GNS3 was pretty awesome to have and the Boson exams did a fantastic job not only simulating the exam very well with it's layout but the questions really made you think. If you answered any questions wrong it would explain to you why it's wrong in full detail which made things so nice.

Anyway, it's the weekend so it's time for me to relax and not feel guilty about not having my nose in a book or doing labs. I think in a months time I'll be ready to go to ROUTE. Then hopefully finish off with TSHOOT shortly after.



So recent CCNP here, looking for my next cert/learning path.

I did say I would take a few months off but I despise having downtime so I'm looking for my next learning experience, be there a cert at the end or not. I'm debating on whether to go for one of the NA sidetracks but not sure which out of wireless of security


I’m in the middle of reading through the IPv6 and RIPng chapter in the OCG and wow it’s tiring. Without breaking NDA, has anyone seen a heavy presence of IPv6 on the Route exam?

I get nervous just seeing the colons in an IPv6 address...


For those who have recently passed all 3 exams and are now CCNP RS certified, can you rate the exams in order of difficulty? Just curios to see if my preconception is correct.

I've only taken (and failed) the ROUTE exam, but my feeling is that, from easiest to most difficult, the order is: TSHOOT, SWITCH, ROUTE.


Took my TSHOOT test today and didn't pass. Actually if I had a little more time I believe I would have passed but I typically walk into these my brain wants to be overwhelmed with lab + Timed. I'm going to go back and take it one more time.

Anyways on to my griping:

  • wish Cisco would have testing centers to have multiple monitors to test on. I feel that the extra space would help out a lot.

  • I wish cisco would allow more advanced show commands being this is a pro level test

  • I wish cisco would just have a better interface for the labs. I found that one window would cover another up and make things a bit clunky when moving from one screen to the next.

Perhaps everyone needs to simply boycott cisco cert tests until they improve the environment and make it more stable.

The test itself I actually enjoyed the labs, I just needing more studying in some of the areas.

Any thoughts?


if not can you refer me to good seller on amazon or ebay? thanks alot



I was wondering if there is any redditor that has taken this course led by Technical Institute of America in NYC?

I was looking for Sunday classes that will give some time to prep in between during a week. I have videos by Kevin Wallace, as well as my virtual lab (UNetLab) is ready to go, so I can practice enough after work.

Questions are how well does TIA prepare to a real exam, and how feasible is to pass exams (all 3 of them) during the course? How good are their teachers? I can't find any additional information in regards to CCNP provided by them.



Hey guys,

So as the title says, I'm an expired CCNA (if that's a thing) and looking to get my CCNP by the end of the year. I know CCNA is a prerequisite for CCNP so I'd like to know what the best strategy for this would be. I was thinking to go for CCNP ROUTE first, followed by SWITCH and CCNA and finally TSHOOT.

I'm a fairly experienced network engineer with about 7 years of the stuff (damn, that makes me feel old) so I suppose CCNA wouldn't be challenging for me, especially after studying for ROUTE and SWITCH. I just feel studying for CCNA dedicated would be a waste of time. I already feel, a "law of diminishing returns" effect when I watch videos or read stuff, that I already know 80-90% of. Such a waste of time, just for a little extra....

My job doesn't really involve a lot of Cisco IOS stuff. The routing is mostly static, but we do have a BGP setup for VPNs to Azure and AWS. It's mostly other stuff, ASA, Fortigate, Checkpoint, F5, a little bit of Linux.

About two years back, I failed an attempt at CCNP route, just before my CCNA was about to expire, and then I just said fuck it, and let it expire. But now, my company is thinking about giving some bonuses to certified guys and some time to study so that's definitely incentivising me. Plus they'll be paying for the exams as well. I was pretty good at the hard core routing stuff (having done a lot of labbing, and in addition to the OCG having read John T. Moy's OSPF Anatomy of an Internet protocol, and Alex Zinin's Cisco IP Routing, Radia Perlman's Interconnections, and about the inner workings of Cisco IOS, can't remember the name), but the rest of the stuff got me: snmpv3, netflow, aaa and the like. I now feel, I should've stuck to the officially published exam topics, and as I read them now, the hard core routing (EIGRP, OSPF, BGP) is only 40% of the exam, the rest is what I would call miscelaneous. Some that you should be able to pick up just by working in the field, but also some more obscure stuff.

I now feel, my approach was wrong, and my plan now is to stick to the exam topics, not the cert guide or any other book. I also feel I went to deep with the extra material, time that would've been better spent learning about "miscelaneous". I was about to go through Jeff Doyle's TCP IP/Routing and Sam Halabi's BGP book, because I like to have a deep understanding and not just cram for a certification. For example Alex Zinin's book gave me a deeper understanding of how routing works as opposed to the official documentation, that sometimes just oversimplifies and outright distorts, how some things work. Radia Perlman's book, while being more on the academic side, and dealing with other protocols than the ones that came out on top (TCP/IP and Ethernet) gives a lot of perspective and depth into the core problems of networking and distributed systems, and the various possible solutions for them, which you can't just get if you follow the Cisco Academy track.

But now is not the time for classics, so Mr. Doyle and Mr. Halabi will have to wait their turn. I'm hoping this is a place where veterans can share some wisdom about how to best get my hands on the coveted CCNP in an efficient way.

PS: I know now I said now is not the time for classics, but does anyone know a good EIGRP book? Apparently Ivan Pepelnjak of (great blog btw - grumpy old fart, always going on about good design principles, and calling out vendors for their snake oil) wrote one, but I can't seem to find it.


Title says it all. I'm completely deflated, but I've been here before. I had to sit twice for ICND back in the day and 3 times for CCNA Security. I had a huge project at work this past week with 13+ hours days and it kind of took me out of my game. My CCNAs expire next April and I want to check something off that will recertify those but also set me up for success in the future with a P level exam. Instead of throwing my efforts in the trash, I want to try again and achieve this goal.

I see posts about recommendations, but has anyone used VIRL recently? Any value to someone strictly trying for switch right now? I don't have an up to date home lab anymore and Packet Tracer lacks in some of the newer features. I could try Boson Sims, but don't want to waste time and money. Thanks for any input.


Before I start, a little bit about me--current CCNA that expires in a year, working as a Network Engineer, and looking to go down the path to CCNP...hopefully in a year.

I was curious if anyone who is studying or has obtained their CCNP has used things like Anki, mnemonics, the LOCI method, association etc...

The more I dig into these concepts, the more I'm learning how the traditional study method I used for my CCNA may be outmoded. I've applied these techniques to learn a foreign language and they definitely work, but this would be my first time applying it to tech I'm curious if I can "stand on the shoulders of giants" and see what the community here has done :)


I am only missing CCDA to get CCDP certification (took ARCH a while back to recertify CCNP R&S). Would taking and passing CCDA (which would give me CCDP) recertify my CCNP R&S as well? I can't seem to find anything on "How to recertify" that explains this situation.


Do you think it would be possible to pass the CCNP/R after three months of study but years experience working on routing/switching/security ?

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