Plan of attack for the Cisco SWITCH Exam

By | February 25, 2012

So, to achieve my goal of Cisco CCNP status, I need to pass 3 exams:

  • SWITCH – Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks
  • ROUTE – Implementing Cisco IP Routing
  • TSHOOT – Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks

There’s no right or wrong order to take the exams in although it makes sense to take TSHOOT last. my plan is to start with SWITCH, mainly because of it’s relevance to projects I’ve been working on recently.

I’m very lucky in that my employer is great when it comes to training and development, so I am attending the official Cisco instructor led course starting next week. My usual method of tackling certification exams is to attend the course, and then spend weeks going over the course material, practice labs and practice questions, and then taking a shot at the exam. I’ve had reasonable success using this method in the past, but this time around I’m taking a different approach.

For SWITCH, I’m going to almost reverse the process by doing as much work as possible before attending the course. Specifically, I’ve been working my way through the following titles from Cisco Press:

  • CCNP SWITCH 642-813 Official Certification Guide
  • CCNP SWITCH Portable Command Guide
  • CCNP SWITCH 642-813 Quick Reference
  • CCNP SWITCH Lab Manual

My theory goes that having read through the above, and worked through the associated lab exercises, the actual course should bring all the information swirling around my brain together, thus allowing me to tackle the exam fairly soon afterwards.

That’s the theory anyway, so let’s see how it actually works out in reality…..


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About admin

I am a UK based Network Engineer, working mainly with Cisco, Juniper and Check Point technologies. I gained Juniper JNCIA-Junos certification in March 2013, and am part Cisco CCNP certified having passed SWITCH in 2012. I'm now working towards ROUTE. I also hold CCNA and Check Point CCSE (R65) certs.

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