Once your CCNA has been purchased, now is the time to set your sights a little higher. This indicates, of course, preparing to study for the CCNP tests. You should also bring some consideration into the best order for the CCNP examinations to be taken. The CCNP tests are not usually tougher than the CCNA examinations. The CCNP exams are much more comprehensive, but a certain networking element is restricted to the topics. This is a lot more from the CCNA, which is a kind of culmination of all you need to be a technician at the associate level.
CCNA certification is a requirement for the CCNP, so before you start preparing for any higher level certification, you will need to know the programme offered by the CCNA. Frankly, if you do not know the content well, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for subsequent tests. If you have to continually return to your CCNA guide to look up details you should already know, the research time needed could easily triple.
With that being said, here is the best order for the CCNP exams to be taken:
ROUTE: It should probably go without saying, but this is the toughest of the CCNP exams and the core of any Cisco Certification. Once you have the routing concepts mastered, the remaining material will become that much easier. If you don’t understand routing, you will not understand how the remaining exams fit together.
SWITCH: It should certainly go without mentioning, but this is the hardest and the centre of any Cisco Qualification for the CCNP tests. When you have learned the principles of routing, the remaining content can become so much clearer. You would not understand how the remaining exercises come together if you don’t understand routing.
TSHOOT: The troubleshooting exam is also a very challenging examination, as this is where you bring together the principles of routing and switching. Phase one is to classify the piece of equipment that is the most probable culprit when there is an issue on the network. To make this decision, you will use the experience you have acquired in the routing and switching modules. Trying to learn to think the way Cisco needs you to is the greatest challenge to completing this test. They highly prioritise troubleshooting measures. Unfortunately, as they monitor when you pass the test, it is up to them what the correct steps should be.
I decided that this was the safest way to take the CCNP exams. Others believe it makes more sense to swap routing and switching, though. Thinking is some of the data you gain from the swapping module that will assist you in the more complex routing exam. I personally, however, would like to do the hard work in advance and have a smoother time with the reaming assessments. For me, before taking the troubleshooting test, swapping was a good little break. As they are all very demanding, you can never take any Cisco exam lightly. I’m just saying that some tests are more challenging than others, but nothing is simple!