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New Member

CCSP Books and exam sequence

Hi all,

I recently passed the CCNA and next want to do the CCSP exams.

I will need to do the preparation by self/home study.

Which exam from the five should be done first ? Is there a recommended sequence of the exams.

Which books are recommended reading and exam practice for each of the CCSP exams?



  • Other Security Subjects
New Member

Re: CCSP Books and exam sequence


I recently passed the SNPA test, both to re-certify my CCNA and to start me on the path to CCSP. The reason I took this test first was because I'm very familiar with the Pix/ASA product, having used them for about 3 years now.

I think many people feel that the SND/SNRS tests are good to start with as they are more general in nature, and the information in them leads to the more specific product related information for the other tests. I'm lucky enough to be attending the SND course at the end of October, and have already purchased a copy of the older SNRS (642-502) study guide to help me get through those two exams.

In November we will be upgrading our CSA installation from v4.5 to v5.2, which will help me to prepare for the HIPS test. For me the last exam will be IDS, as I am not yet familiar with that product, but my organization will probably be evaluating one of the devices as a test during early 2008.

So, that's MY plan for attacking the remaining 4 CCSP tests, though the order in which I've decided to do them is probably a little different than most. Again I think many people start with SND/SNRS, then move on to SNPA and IPS, then finish with their elective.


New Member

Re: CCSP Books and exam sequence

Carl, thanks for this insight. Really appreciated.

I'm also interested to know which ciscopress books are used to study the SND - to start with.

Best regards

New Member

Re: CCSP Books and exam sequence

I can't find a Cisco Press book for the SND exam, which is why I decided to go ahead and go to the class this year. I find it odd that one of the 'core' exams for the CCSP doesn't have an exam prep or self-study guide. As for the SNRS exam, the only Cisco Press book I found is for the older version of the test (642-502) rather than the current version of 642-503.

Re: CCSP Books and exam sequence

I followed this sequence, hope this helps u as well:

SND: u'll be certified Information security Specialist

Thereafter every exam u'll clear, u'll be specialist for the track.

SNPA (PIX): SND + PIX will give u Firewall specialist certification.

VPN: SND + VPN = VPN Specialist

IPS: IPS specialist

Its really motivating to be certified as specialist. The anxiety to be known as a specialist is the self motivating factor for this exams. Thus, I preferred SND first.

Cisco press student guides are the best books. u may get some of them at shared resources.

New Member

Re: CCSP Books and exam sequence

Thanks for this. Which cisco press books did you read? If there are more than one of them which chapters in each does one need to read? is there a route map through the books?