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CCNP Collaboration. Worth the frustration?

I recently received my CCNA Collaboration. It was quite the endeavor. I'm afraid the CCNP will be twice as frustrating (even though this is the space that I work within). I saw a post recently lamenting about CIPTV2. Can anyone else provide some insight about the other exams? I wonder if it's worth it to just wait for a revision?

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Just finished CCNP Collab, ask away.

Original Poster2 points·1 year ago

How were each of the tests? Did they feel like they were meaty and "valuable"? Or did they feel like they tested you on many things superficial? Did you use the foundation learning guide, SRND white papers, and labbing it up?

For instance, I felt that the CCNA Collab materials/topics were great. But I also felt like the tests didn't validate the knowledge all that well. Many questions were superficial and simply based on rote memorization of things not built on the foundation of understanding. I don't even know if that last sentence makes any sense.

I want the CCNP to mean something to me. To feel that the CCNP adds value that just simply studying the material does not. I know that's subjective. I guess I don't want it to feel like I just had to memorize a bunch of "readily-googleable" things or menus for half the test. That I had to actually learn and grow.

I would say from the bigger picture of np collab as a whole, vice breaking down each test individually, you are dealing with about 85% things you should know working as a voice engi, and 15% BS that 1 out of 10 voice engineers will every see, specifically your higher end telepresence systems.

As for study material, I sat CIPT1 vice TV1, and used the FLG to fill in the gaps I had with expierence. TV2 is an extension of TV1 (builds on topics more in depth), and really IS the exam that you will probably have issues with. CAPPS/CTCollab, in retrospect were pretty easy. As long as you have VCS experience, and have "seen" TMS, you should be alright. I was freaking more than I should have with CTCollab, especially since there is nothing out regarding this new test, I https://www.amazon.com/Troubleshooting-Cisco-Telephony-Paul-Giralt/dp/1587050757, and while it is over a decade old, still pertains to this day (this is a really really good book btw). As long as you know the tools available, and where things can be found, anyone that actually works in voice should be able to go and sit the exam and be successful.

Overall, I am pretty happy with the exams themselves, I have deff taken exams on other tracks, where I have spent 30ish minutes posting your typical "WTF is this" comments, but no so much with collab.

Something that is a really good tool is the actual IE Collab reading list that was done up by CollabCert, gets you through the bullshit, and focuses you on what you actually need to be successful both on the exams, and in the real world. https://www.collabcert.com/blog/ccie-collaboration-overview/ccie-collab-written-suggested-reading-materials/

Physical gear used for me was no an issue as I work for a cisco collab partner, aside from that costly telepresence gear, I already had everything I needed for NP level. I am now in the processes of piecing things together for the IE topology, of which I think I am just gonna force the powers that be to buy me a bunch of stuff NFR, and then after IE has been achieved just resell it.

Original Poster1 point·1 year ago

Thanks for this info. This is great.

I see threads like this that scare me: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/thread/89403

But your post has made me feel like it won't be so bad. And it would be worthwhile.

3 points·1 year ago·edited 1 year ago

All I can say is that I wrote a lot of Cisco exams (and others) and while has been the occasional bad question, it has been pretty fair to me.

I realize it is a Catch 22 when people complain about questions because of the NDA but if we look at buddies complaints.

  • Questions are in the exam about commands that are simply not covered in the student guide or the lab workbook published by Cisco. I have access to these books as an instructor and went back to check the sections where I knew I had gotten a question incorrect but there was nothing about it. I eventually went digging through the product documentation online and found it in a configuration guide. If you did not own this particular piece of (expensive) hardware, you would never have come across this command.

It is well known to always study off the exam blueprints (we even have a sticky!) the fact is that at the CCNP level your kinda expected to be able to do your own research. Yes it would be nice if the books covered everything but Cisco has always been this way.

  • Questions are grammatically incorrect which misleads the test taker. This should be a test of your technical expertise, not a test of your ability to decipher bad grammar. Also, the old chestnut of "What is not not the answer?" seems to have snuck back into the question style.

Personally I don't know if I'm smarter or just stupider than people who are hung up on grammar in exams. The real world is pretty terrible at getting you information, you'll get auto corrected emails, text messages in all manner of quality when your trying to figure out what a issue is. Really a misplaced comma shouldn't be your downfall in a professional exam. Just read the question until you know what they are asking you and you know what technology is being tested and you should be fine. It is no ones fault but the test taker if they misread "what is not a feature of OSPF?"

  • There are multiple answers which could be correct and are entirely subjective. Any real world engineer would see that there are multiple correct answers and the scenario is too vague to be precise.

Again I dispute this every time I see it, yes a real engineer should see multiple ways to do something but they need to be able to constrain their solutions around their environment, in the real world this is things like policy and budget. In the exam it is the blueprint and the relative exam level, sure you could setup a Asterisk PBX to act as a SIP proxy so you don't have to by a CUBE but what do think the chances are that Cisco will accept that solution in a exam that tests on CUBE?

  • Questions that are extremely specific and are based on obscure tables that a test taker would simply have to memorise. ie There is no way to use a process of elim

This is endless debate where people claim that you shouldn't test memorization topics because you can google it. I personally fall in the 'if you claim to be a Network Engineer then you had better know what AD OSPF uses on a Cisco router or what SIP 183 is if your an UC Engineer' camp. The fact of the matter is if you don't know the memorization stuff then you probably have gaps in your fundamental knowledge.

Original Poster1 point·1 year ago

Thanks for this!

nailed it

The thing that gets me with posts like that is that, we are in a field that requires out of the box thinking, questions provided (while some are legacy) are worded much better than any CXX, sec lead, or user submitting a ticket to you will ever provide. No reason a tester shouldnt be able to decipher the bullshit, and rule out obviously wrong answers, and make an educational sound guess if unsure. I did this with CIPTV2, still scored around 900 I think.

I think this goes for all the CCNP exams.

It's worth it for the kitty gif

You will absolutely need a full UC lab or use rack rentals to pass it though. I would say it is one of the harder CCNPs

How would you rank them in terms of difficulty?

I would say Wireless is probably hardest for the sheer lack of study material and I hear the exams are (or at least were) somewhat broken.

Collab is the next hardest for number of exams, lab equipment, and topics to learn and it has the least overlap of knowledge.

DC and SP are probably the next hardest, followed by Security.

R&S is kind of the easiest CCNP by design since it is a building block for all the other tracks.

Original Poster1 point·1 year ago

I'm totally okay with picking up a UC lab. I'm just worried about having to memorize menu trees and the like. And that there only are foundation learning guides and the exam blueprint. I almost feel like I'll be thrown to the wolves.

I did upgraded my CCNP voice but there shouldn't be a ton of where in the menu is this option questions in the sense where they ask where route patterns is located but you might get asked the current sequence for adding a hint group etc, I would also expect to be quizzed on IOS commands etc since I can't recall if they have non-IOS sims yet.

[deleted]
-5 points·1 year ago(0 children)

Pretty sure you just posted a dump site based on some of those comments...

The site in general yes, the comments section shows the frustration of test takers and get a vibe on the quality of the questions. I agree with everything that the-packet-thrower posted above in his breakdown. After completing a 2 week bootcamp on NP collab the concerns are valid with the quality of the questions and the published study materials vs the blueprint.

Southwedge Brewing... Rochester? I'm in Buffalo!

I am taking 210-065 in the next few weeks. I passed CCNA voice a few years ago. I am planning on tackling CCNP collab over the winter months and hope to complete it by May. I am still getting my lab together. I just took 2 weeks of Voicebootcamp in Vegas my my head start. I work for a carrier so I can atleast setup a SIP trunk to test with my gateways when I get my lab up.

Good luck on your journeys, Jay

If they give you any trouble, flowroute provides some SIP trunking too.

Time Warner, if you don't mind me asking?

Earthlink, Now Windstream as of Today!

Oh, cool.

Are any of their services competitively priced?

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