Finally got my CCNP!

Unanswered Question
Mar 21st, 2009

After what has seemed like an eternity I have managed to achieve my CCNP!

It has taken me over 3 years to complete all CCNP exams.

From my experiences I have found the Cisco certification books lacking in many areas with the exception of the ONT Certification guide - my last exam.

I found this book to be right on the money and coupled with the training materials from the instructor lead course helped me acheive a 934 score. I did make the cardinal mistake of pressing "next" on a lab simulation without answering all the questions. This left me a little nervous for the rest of the exam as soon as I realised what I had done!

For me the hardest exam was the BCMSN, which is very strange considering that my everyday working life revolves around switching! I think I found the wireless elements the most difficult in this exam because we do not have any Cisco wireless infrastructure at my place of work, and the study material didnt cover Cisco wireless very well (at the time).

I found both the ISCW and ONT the "easiest" of the four, but still found each exam taxing. The BSCI was equally as hard as the BCMSN (if not harder in terms of technical understanding) but I think I spent far longer studying for this exam due to the sheer depth of content in the course material.

I spent about 2 - 3 months studying for the BSCI (my first exam), followed by the BCMSN which I spent roughly the same amount of time studying for. I spent roughly 2 months for the remaining two. Obivously I had a sizeable gap between each exam hence the 3 year plus completion time. I am sure that many others have completed the CCNP allot faster, but for me, this way was the best for a work / real life balance.

I think my next step will be CCDP, but I will have a break for at least a year before I begin further studies....

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Edison Ortiz Sat, 03/21/2009 - 12:08


Congratulations on achieving your certification !

Your hard work has paid off :)

I think my next step will be CCDP

How about CCIE in R&S? :)



cbeswick Sun, 03/22/2009 - 08:12

I am under no illusion as to the amount of work involved to successfully attain the depth of knowledge for CCIE R&S. For the time being I think it may be a "bridge too far" as the saying goes. Whilst I do personally have an underlying aspiration to gain the coveted CCIE certification, I think for now I will stick with what I believe I am realistically capable of :)

Sachin.bhamra Wed, 03/25/2009 - 04:00


Sounds like you've already thrown in the towel before even starting with regards to the CCIE.

Congrats on the CCNP.. I attained mine last month and it is the best feeling in the world. My complete CCNP (4 exam path) took me 8 months, but with yourself I can only imagine you have other things going on.

I personally am going to go for the CCVP and thereafter the CCIE, whether its in R&S or Voice, that's yet to be determined. However I'd say this, don't think of each exam or certification as a long shot or dream.. think of them as checkpoints in your life. However long it will take, you WILL get there.

Good luck on the CCDP, my advice would be to start straight away. While the momentum is there keep on going.



johnlloyd_13 Wed, 03/25/2009 - 08:20

hi chris,

first of all, kudos on becoming ccnp! we share the same sentiments on following the path towards ccdp after completing ccnp. in my opinion, it'll give us an in-depth knowledge and appreciation on how networks connects and works. aside from having a short exam path (ccda and ccdp), i'm sure it'll greatly help us understand any network before taking ccie.

ccannon88567 Fri, 03/27/2009 - 08:29

Congratulations buddy.

I too am studying towards my CCNP (starting with BCMSN) but like yourself I am balancing it with work and other life commitments.

I pesonally did my CCNA over 2 years and passed first time. I felt that doing it over a longer time frame gave me a more "absorbed" knowledge than rushing it through with multiple fail attempts. I also feel that doing it over a longer period of time prepares you more for the next step up xxNP/xxIE.

I'm sure one day you will reach your goal of CCIE, regardless of whether you chase it now or later.

Congratulations once again,


cbeswick Mon, 03/30/2009 - 09:45

Thanks for the comments gents.

I suppose the CCIE does "scare" me a little, it may be a confidence thing due to the number of highly trained ISP network engineers I have met in my time who have yet to even consider taking their CCIE and I am a mere spec in comparison :)

The idea behind the CCDP is to boost that confidence I suppose and also provide me with a more rounded base before tackling the "next step".


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