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Embarking on the Cisco Cert. Journey: CCNA to CCNP

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

Introduction to CCNA and CCNP: Before we dive into the study plan, let's start by understanding the significance of the CCNA and CCNP certifications. The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is an entry-level certification that validates foundational knowledge and skills in networking. It covers a broad range of topics, including network fundamentals, routing and switching, security, and more. Achieving the CCNA certification demonstrates competence in building and managing small to medium-sized networks. Moving up the certification ladder, the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is an advanced-level certification that builds upon the CCNA knowledge and focuses on in-depth understanding of network infrastructure and advanced networking concepts. The CCNP certification is divided into various tracks, such as Enterprise, Data Center, Security, and Collaboration, allowing professionals to specialize in their areas of interest. Study Plan Overview: Now that we have a brief understanding of the certifications, let's explore my study plan for the CCNP journey. A structured approach coupled with collaboration and regular self-assessment forms the foundation of my plan.

  1. Consistent Study Time:

  2. To ensure steady progress, I have committed to dedicating a minimum of 1 hour every other day to studying the CCNA and CCNP certification guides written by Wendell Odom. This consistent reading schedule helps me absorb the material effectively.

  3. Study Partner Collaboration: Collaboration is a powerful tool for learning, which is why I have teamed up with a fellow enthusiast named Blake, who is also pursuing the CCNP certification. Every weekend, we meet for at least 2 hours to discuss our progress, review key concepts from the certification guides, and challenge each other with practice questions. This collaborative approach enhances our understanding and keeps us motivated.

  4. DIKTA Quizzes: To optimize my study time, I employ the DIKTA (do I know this already?) approach. At the beginning of each section, part, or chapter, I take a DIKTA quiz to assess my existing knowledge. Depending on my performance, I adjust the time I allocate to each section. If I score well, I skim through the material, focusing on critical points. However, if I perform poorly, I allocate more time to thoroughly grasp the concepts.

  5. Setting Definitive Goals: Setting clear goals is essential for progress. I establish specific timelines for completing sections, chapters, and practice exams. By holding myself accountable to these goals, and with the support of my study partner Blake, I ensure that I stay on track and do not fall behind.

  6. Transition to CCNP: As a milestone for progressing to the CCNP certification, I utilize the final review chapter from Volume 2 of the CCNA certification guide. Based on my performance in this comprehensive review, I evaluate my readiness to tackle the CCNP curriculum. If I score well, indicating a strong understanding of CCNA concepts, I move on to the CCNP certification guide. However, if I score poorly, I revisit the sections of the CCNA that require further review and reinforcement.

By following this study plan and leveraging collaboration, self-assessment, and defined goals, I aim to navigate the path from CCNA to CCNP with confidence and comprehensive knowledge. Stay tuned for future updates on my progress, insights gained, and challenges encountered as I embark on this exciting journey of Cisco certification pursuit. Together, we will unravel the complexities of networking and witness the growth of my expertise. ;) Thank you for joining me on this adventure, and I look forward to sharing more soon!

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