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Reminder: Always check the latest exam topics before writing

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!


Easiest test for re-certify ?

Is TSHOOT still the easiest?


MST: brilliant yet confusing

I've just watched Keith Bogart's video on MST and it's pretty amazing but puzzles me a bit.

Firstly, it's an open standard similar to Cisco's PVST but more efficient. It allows for multiple spanning tree on a single switch by use of instances. Where instance 0 is native and doesn't carry an Mrecord and all manually created instances carry one each.

Secondly, configuring MST, 3 things must match:
revision number
Once configured on neighbour switches, MST will be running as the spanning tree mode.

Thirdly, there are 2 types of port? Boundary and internal? Where boundary is connected to a non MST switch and all instances assume port role of instance 0 and internal is when MST switch connects to MST switch and every instance has its own role?

Are my take away from MST correct? If not, what's wrong? Did I miss anything?

Thanks in advance!


Beginning CCNP :)

For me personally, it has been nearly 2 years since I have done my CCNA R&S and just over 1 since SEC - Now I got the go ahead from work to do CCNP R&S, so I am ready to get cracking!

My material are going into this:

Chris B's All in 1 CCNP NetSim labs Lots of OCG books and videos from Safaribooksonline on all 3.

Don't have a timeframe this time to pass- but I would like to pass Switch by end of the year - I am quick learner and I love networking.

Anything else those who have passed it can suggest? :)


passed ROUTE w/ 823

Failed it last week with a 726, but studied hard and pulled it out. My suggestion for study is to take the exam objectives and place them in a word doc or one note and literally go line by line documenting everything you can about the topic, then go lab and lab again. On to switch! Any advice on study material? I have Chris Bryant's videos and that's about it.. My score breakdown:

Network Principles: 50%

Layer 2 Technologies: 50%

Layer 3 Technologies: 93%

VPN Technologies: 83%

Infrastructure Security: 57%

Infrastructure Services: 69%

Edit: forgot the last one.


Start now or wait?

Hi all,

I passed my CCNA R&S exam last week and am wanting to move straight into the CCNP. I'm worried that I but all of the study materials and then the exam changes gets updated.

Should I just do it or go for something else e.g. CCDA while waiting?


CCNP Switch [840/790]

Holy, this was a hard exam. I actually got half way through the exam thinking so many picky details and very specific questions except the labs. The labs were straight forward and didn't seem to run into any issues, I would like to think I got all the labs 100%.

After half way, I got a bit more confident but felt like I was going to fail because of the first half of the exam.

L2: 62% :(

Inf. Security: 92%

Inf. Services: 67%

I took route around October last year and it was so much easier than this exam. Had a little break and started studying for switch around 4 months ago but actually started taking it more seriously 2 months ago when I was about to book the exam. Booked the exam thinking it would be nice to pass a day before my birthday, while taking a week of work so I'm glad that turned out ok!

I used mainly Udemy, Boson, the 3750 configuration guide and skimmed through the OCG. I didn't actually get through the whole of the OCG but did read a lot of blogs online.

I'm sure this doesn't break NDA but you really need to know some objectives on the exam blueprint inside out like STP, FHRP's, VLANs, AAA etc...

I'm planning on booking tshoot on the 1st week of August and need to review loads of route topics but I'm looking forward to it!



My first attempt I scored a 834, falling 12 points short of a passing score. The next five days were mentally tough just waiting for another crack at the test.

During those five days I used the test experience to research as many things I could remember that I didn’t feel confident in my answers that I provided. I also reflected on some answers to realize I played into a couple of deceiving tricks.

I used the Cisco digital learning site and Boson in that order. If I didn’t experience Boson to get a feel for how the simulations were, this exam would have taken me 3 attempts. Boson prep was great, can’t speak highly enough about that program for the material related to this test.

For others looking to take this test, my biggest suggestion is to stay calm and if you find yourself thinking sporadically, mentally hit the “reset” button and work from the inside of the topology outwards or vica versa.

I found it to be a challenging and extremely fair exam.


Passed CCNP SWITCH 907/1000

Didn't think I made it when I pressed end exam. But I'm happy I was wrong.

Studied using Boson exams. First try I had like 300 score but didn't care because I use their explanations for studying. I recommend their product because it is quite close to the exam questions.

Sometimes Boson's explanations had me curious for a bit more details though. I recommend filling those gaps with the actual online Cisco documentation.

The last day before the exam I studied using a certain site which has questions even closer to the actual exam ;)

Didn't practice any labs except Boson's, but I have a few months of experience managing a nation-wide Cisco network. I think I got 100% on the 3 labs I encountered on the exam.

All-in-all it took me about a month of studying 1 hour a day on average.

Started studying for Route today. I installed GNS3 for some actual labbing this time, and just purchased Boson's Route course.

Oh and shout-out to you guys here at r/CCNP , everytime before studying I gave this sub a quick glance and it got me focused somehow.


Career Advice

Hi guys I need some help on this one.

I am asking this for a friend of mine who is considering a career change and looking into cyber security degrees/paths. He has been told its pretty easy to get in and make good money. However this was advised by a CC Advisor.

His position:

Zero IT/Helpdesk/Technology Experience of Any Kind. (Cannot assemble a computer)

4 Year Degree in Bible

25 Years Old

I am reading up on how to help advise him. I am under the impression that while cyber security is an awesome field, with many incredible paying paths, nearly all of them need a large amount of experience in technology related fields. He is expecting to make 50-60k out of school with a 2 year degree in "cyber security" alone. (Massachusetts)

Please advise and add thoughts. I am hoping to help direct him, either to encourage or shine a light on this potential career change.

He is a good friend, and I want whats best for him. I know literally nothing about this field and its many facets which is why I am coming to the source.

  • Sdknighted

Wanted to renew CCNA, took SWITCH: Passed, with 8 points to spare.

About a year ago I decided to change my career paths to something I had more fun doing and wanted to do since childhood. I wanted to check up when my CCNA expired since it had been so long, well it expires end of July 2018. Even though I had changed paths, I didn't want all that work on getting my CCNA to be in vain, and the last thing I wanted to do was pull out the old stone slabs and refresh my knowledge on Frame-Relay if I ever wanted to do Networking again. So I did what any sane person would do and elected to take the CCNP Switch exam a few weeks before their CCNA expired.

It wouldn't have bothered me if I failed, and I wanted to pass, but I did want to at least try to go for the gusto. Well... it paid off, I took SWITCH and passed... with 798 points. There's nothing like sitting in that chair, reading "CONGRATULATIONS" Then a score that seems suspiciously low.

I pretty much exclusively use my networking knowledge for my home now, but I still love it.

Anyway, I used Chris Bryants CCNP Switch Udemy course, some quick lab work with my 4948, and my prior knowledge on what these tests really like you to know ;) If I had to do it again: P R A C T I C E TESTS.

Good luck to the rest of you, guess I'll have to try my hand at ROUTE next :D


CCNP starts today

hey guys and gals, i have a question. It's been a month since i've earned my CCNA RS and now it's time to follow through by starting my CCNP journey. The question being, should I watch videos first? or read the OCG then watch the videos? Video source: INE Keith Bogart and Text: OCG


Has anyone used Cisco VIRL?

Is it any good/worth while?




From what I understand MPLS and VPN like a site to site VPN gives the same solution. May I ask why would companies still use MPLS? if VPN is a free and secured solution


Passed TSHOOT 948/1000

Finally passed the TSHOOT today on my second try. The first time I failed by 20 points.

I used the Boson ExamSim, that I'm sometimes very critical of, but they got this one absolutely right. I also used

The OCG INE Kevin Wallace videos PluralSight CLN And numerous random internet sites

Total study time was 2 weeks. The first time I studied for only 5 days, just to find out that this no longer the wash give me trivia free TSHOOT of the past. You will want to look at all aspects of the topology and do a deep dive into them. Some of the question were pretty ambiguous. The tickets however, with some practice under your belt and knowledge of the topology are a breeze. Finally got my CCNP. Onto the CCDP, wish me luck.

P.S. There are some tickets with different outputs depending on the commands, you're best best is to see which has the most evidence of causing the problem. I went against my gut feeling and missed one part of a ticket, giving me a 948. Be careful there is little room For error. Also I'm decently new to networking and completed it in around 40 mins if that gives you any ideas of the complexity of the tickets. KISS.


MST vs. Layer 3 Segregation?

I must be missing the point or something. Why would you move to Multiple Spanning Tree instead of dividing the network at layer 3? As I understand it, the purpose of MST is when you have so many L2 connections, and so many vlans that it becomes necessary to aggregate your instances of STP, and segregate STP domains to prevent unnecessary re-convergence during remote topology changes.

Are there really networks with L2 domains big enough to needs this? Wouldn't an L2 domain large enough to need this already be inefficient?


SPAN source and destination ports

Hi everyone! :)

Does anyone have a comparison table of SPAN source and destination ports (what can be a source and destination)? I'm surprised that I can't find this online or in Cisco documentation. I can certainly find description of what can be a source/destination, but I'm really looking for a YES/NO matrix of what port can be what (as a quick 'cheat sheet' while studying). I'm using this as a source: But reviewing a wall of text isn't the easiest (for me at least).

In the case that this matrix doesn't exist, I've started one (below). Is there anything that I'm missing?

Thanks in advance and happy studying! :)

Type Source Destination
Physical Interface YES YES
Multiple physical interfaces YES YES (depending on switch model)
Secondary PVLAN YES NO
PVLAN host/promiscuous port YES NO
Member of an Etherchannel YES (only monitors traffic travelling across that interface) YES (port is removed from Etherchannel while a destination port)
Entire Etherchannel YES NO
Port security interface YES NO
Routed interface YES NO
Switched virtual interface (SVI) NO NO


EDIT 2: Added multiple interfaces + SVI + PVLAN + PVLAN host/promiscuous ports


CCNP ROUTE: Higher section percentages, but lower overall score?

Recently failed ROUTE for the second time and I am struggling to make sense of the marks I achieved. These are my results:

FIRST EXAM (Overall score = 762. Needed 790 to pass)

NP: 50%

L2 Tech: 33%

L3 Tech: 63%

VPN: 67%

Infra Sec: 57%

Infra Serv: 31%

SECOND EXAM (overall score = 736)

NP: 67%

L2 Tech: 33%

L3 Tech: 74%

VPN: 50%

Infra Sec: 71%

Infra Serv: 54%

So on the second exam I increased scores in four of the six sections, score stayed same in one and dropped in one. But my overall score was 26 points less, despite improving in four sections. I am struggling to rationalise how that is possible and wondering if there has been an error in the score calculation.

Can anyone possibly explain how this is possible and if it is worth appealing?




Ahh I'm sad and mad, I got ~730 out of 790, ahhh I should have pushed a bit more on the studies.


CCNP Security thoughts?

Anyone done this recently? I need to renew my CCNP within the next couple of months so will need to do at least 1 professional exam before then. What was the training material like for security? Did it prepare you for the exam? SITCS 1.5 seems like a nice one to start off with?



Passed TSHOOT Today!

Just got back from the testing center so it's time for the customary Reddit report.

Score Breakdown

  • 948/846
  • Network Principles: 67% (0.0)
  • Layer 2 Technologies: 100%
  • Layer 3 Technologies: 96%
  • VPN Technologies: 33% (whoops....)
  • Infrastructure Security: 100%
  • Infrastructure Services: 100%

I'd say the test and resulting score breakdown paints a pretty good picture of my experience (at least how I feel about it). VPNs are definitely my weak spot and I've been avoiding that topic so far in my studies. Not sure why I scored lower on Network Principles, but I'm just going to guess that was where all the multiple-guess questions were scored.

I was confused most of the time with the few actual questions. I feel like they were not covered anywhere in my study materials and were completely useless for real-world application. I can barely see where the information would even be useful in troubleshooting (aside from a few of course).

I am one of those few people who took this test "out of order". I've already taken Switch, but have yet to take the Route exam (I have a good reason.... I think) which is probably why my Layer 2 score was way up there. I guess I should go ahead and take Route soon since I didn't fudge that section, but I feel like the test wasn't very in-depth with the scenarios. What I've been studying to prep and what I actually saw on the test were completely different.

So, now for my preparation. The main reason I went for TSHOOT first was because my employer sent me to a week long bootcamp for this exam. It was the official Cisco one, (if anyone is interested) but I can tell you it went WAY deeper than what was on my exam. If you go through the Bootcamp and can solve the scenarios they have, you should go ahead and take the exam. I lucked out with this class and it definitely pushed me straight towards the test, but it DEFINITELY wasn't my only study. I've been on this track for a long time now.

I used A LOT of GNS3 with both self-made labs and close copies of the labs from the above-mentioned course. I think I spent most of my time labbing on topics that gave me issues during the course (mostly ACLs and route filtering). I also built a topology based on the official one Cisco releases alongside this exam. From looking through some comments here I saw that people had recommended against it since you don't know how the devices are configured or how accurate it really is, but I think it really helped me. At the very least it made me feel comfortable with the topology so I wasn't trying to start from scratch in the two-hour window.

I was about 3/4 of the way through my ROUTE study when I got selected to go to the TSHOOT course and I'd passed SWITCH nearly three years ago (I have until September to finish ROUTE or I'll have to re-certify on SWITCH) and I've amassed quite the collection of study materials to get me this far.

  • Official Certification Books: These were my go-to for the knowledge. I highlighted SWITCH front-to-back (almost, but that's another story on how I failed SWITCH first attempt. TL;DR... finish ALL of the books) and have ROUTE mostly highlighted.
  • INE: I got the complete CCNP package on-sale about a year ago. The videos are pretty dry, but they go into the depth I feel is needed for these exams and topics. Also, they come with lab-guides, practice tests, and rack tokens if you feel like labbing on their system. It's also broken up into "knowledge" and "bootcamp" series. In the bootcamp series it takes everything from the knowledge section and puts it into one big lab.
  • CBT Nuggets: I did a few trial subscriptions during my study. While these videos keep my attention, they didn't go into the depth I felt was needed. I'd much rather listen to Jeremy than the INE guy, but I always felt like there was more underlying information than what was put forward in the CBT videos. Also, I don't know if it's just me, but Jeremy seems to keep getting happier and more excited with each new series. It's to the point where I feel like he's gone mad and I tend to cringe more often with the newer stuff.
  • Chris Bryant's Videos: I recently purchased his CCNP series on Udemy when everything was on sale. So far, I've only used it for BGP. I feel like he did a better job at explaining BGP than INE, but I didn't abandon INE since I paid a pretty penny for that course and can't let myself do that.
  • GNS3: I didn't spend too much time with lab-guides or pre-made topologies, but I definitely took inspiration from them. Mostly, I identify where I know I'm weak, and I create my own lab completely surrounding the topics. I also keep everything in one massive lab instead of breaking it up. I find it helps me see everything together and I have a wider playground to do testing.
  • Some real-world practice: I'm lucky since I work where I have access to some Cisco devices and manage a small network myself. I don't do anything crazy at my job, but the exposure to some "off-the-wall" requests definitely kept some things fresh during my study downtime.
  • This Subreddit: I lurk around here quite often to see what everyone else is using and what they recommend. I wouldn't have bought the Chris Bryant videos if I didn't see him recommended on here. Also, I saw the Boson stuff on here quite often. I never bought the Boson stuff for this round, but my plan was to purchase it if I failed this attempt at TSHOOT. I probably won't go for that now since I've seen around here that it isn't as necessary for the other exams.

I only have about a month and a half to finish up my ROUTE study and finish the CCNP journey. I put off these last exams entirely too long, (life gets in the way) but hopefully someone else sees something they can try in here.


failed route :(

man was I surprised at the stuff that was on this exam... I knew I was gonna fail 15 questions in. There was stuff I never seen before, I screwed up on 1 of the sims, I pressed next by accident thinking it was gonna present me questions but no, I just forfeited the pts to a sim...sigh. This is mostly my fault but still annoying. Another sim I swear was busted, but I wasn't sure. The other sims I got were fair and what I would call IP routing and not silly trivia (like a lot of the multiple choice).

Were the questions within the exam objectives....ehh...maybe??? It's kinda grey area. Some were poorly written. I wish Cisco would make clear which books and documentation you need to know before taking the exam...the randomness of this exam is annoying. I'm not sure what resources to use next. I've been studying fulltime (no job) since Feb.

The best advice I can give is don't take into account the percentages the exam topic dictates, e.g.,

  • 1.0 Network Principles 10%
  • 2.0 Layer 2 Technologies 10%
  • 3.0 Layer 3 Technologies 40%
  • 4.0 VPN Technologies 10%
  • 5.0 Infrastructure Security 10%
  • 6.0 Infrastructure Services 20%

Treat all of them as 100%, don't take any topic lightly.

IMO, I think this test is kinda f*cked up, it needs to be refreshed/revised along w/ proper exam objectives, things are too obscure. It needs to have the same TLC as Cisco gives their beloved CCNA exams.

EDIT: I've since setup 1 of the labs at home and can 100% confirm the testing engine was bugged on 1 of my sims! (I still would've failed but still)


failed ROUTE

Just got done sitting route with a 726/790. I let my CCNP expire in 2013 and this is the first time taking the updated exam. All I can say is it was fair and within the exam topics, I just failed to study all of them adequately. I saw a lot more Frame Relay than I would have liked and I didn't really study the EVN stuff which hurt my score. Having previously had my CCNP might have given me some false confidence.. I dunno. I'll be taking it again next week.


Boson's Summer Sale! Save 25%!

Okay, for those of you who have been looking for discounts on Boson's software products, you're in luck!

Save 25% by entering code SUMMER18 during checkout at Includes practice exam, practice lab, NetSim® & Boson Courseware™ (digital) products.

The sale runs from now until July 31, but if you're like me, you'll forget. So don't wait! Take care of all your certification training needs today! :)


Back from vacation...

Did anyone miss me? :)

Sorry I haven't been around to give you guys all the congratulations that are due to you. But I've been exploring the great Alaskan wilderness.

I've got some good news to share with you guys... but I'll be making a new post on it. Oh, you won't miss it... ;)


Passed SWITCH 857/790 - brief thoughts

90% study by YouTube Videos. (Highly recommend Travis Bonfigli search ‘CCNP travis’)

I did have access to PluralSight and watched that series.

I bought 3 x Catalyst 3560’s for my lab.

I also feel like the Boson ExSim added 50-60 points to my score.

Exam experience:

One medium difficulty simulation and then one tough difficulty simulation.

There were issues in the config that is not mentioned in the scenario instructions (just like in real life) and those have to be resolved. Also the wording was purposefully vague in some cases (just like in real life). I felt like it was fair and not trivial.

Be sure to use your verification commands! I don’t think you can completely blow the ‘tough’ sim and pass, but that is just my speculation.

Boson ExSim really helped me fill the gaps for the simulations. Also having the real equipment to lab on was very helpful here too.

Taking some time off work for 4th of July to relax and refresh. After that ROUTE begins!

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