As a professional, when you earn your CCNP Networking certification, you prove your capability of scaling and maintaining enterprise networks to ensure they meet growing demands.
The CCNP certification also helps excel in your career growth and opens up job roles like systems engineer, and network support technician. Network administrator, and more.
This article will cover everything you need to know about the CCNP and the test questions included in the exam.
Cisco certifications are the gold standard in IT training. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an aspiring IT enthusiast, getting certified is a great way to boost your career.
a. What is CCNP?
CCNP is the Cisco Certified Network Professional certification. It’s available for IT professionals and for people aspiring to work in IT roles.
b. The Value of Being CCNP-Certified
The CCNP certification depicts a professional with more knowledge and expertise, as compared to the professionals with a CCNA-certified professional.
Increasing demand for IT professionals is paving abundant opportunities for CCNP professionals to work in several areas, including network engineering, network architecture, and network security.
Before You Dive Into Test Questions
Before we see what the exam includes and what test questions to expect, let’s look at the prerequisites and study materials you’ll need/
a. Prerequisites for Attempting CCNP Exams
There are no formal prerequisites for taking the CCNP exams. However, it is recommended that candidates have 3 to 5 years of experience working in a similar field.
b. Different Tracks of CCNP
CCNP has a total of seven tracks, which include:
This track focuses on advanced networking solutions such as routing, switching, etc.
CCNP Service Provider:
Professionals opting for this track will learn about service provider networking technologies and topics like IP/MPLS, etc.
CCNP Data Center:
This CCNP track covers topics like virtualization, data storage, and automation that mainly address data center networking technologies.
This includes technologie like voice and video communication and similar unified communications solutions.
The CCNP Security includes network security clauses. Firewalls, VPNs, and other advanced security technologies come under this track.
A high-demand track for CCNP, the CyberOps focuses on threat detection, analysis, and response.
For this track, professionals have to focus on automation tools for network infrastructure and topics like APIs, software development, etc.
Picking the Right Track for You
Let’s look at some tips that’ll help you evaluate the right CCNP track for you:
Study Materials You'll Need
Study materials are essential resources that play a crucial role in facilitating effective learning and knowledge acquisition. Here are some of the best resources for the CCNP exam:
Cisco | CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core ENCOR 350-401 Official Cert Guide
The official CCNP enterprise book has an organized outline for test preparation. It has official test questions and relevant chapters that help you prepare.
Cisco | CCNP Preparation Library
Udemy | CCNP All-in-1 Video Boot Camp With Chris Bryant
This course is a superb and extensive video tutorial that covers essential subjects when reviewing the core concepts comprehensively.
Types of CCNP Test Questions
CCNP exams feature various question types to assess knowledge. Three key types include Multiple-Choice, Simulations/Simlets, and Drag-and-drop questions.
1. Multiple-Choice Questions
These questions offer multiple answer choices, with one or more correct options. For example: "What protocols operate at the transport layer?" (TCP, UDP).
2. Simulations and Simlets
Simulations and Simlets present real-world scenarios. Candidates configure devices or troubleshoot issues in simulated environments, testing practical skills and knowledge.
3. Drag-and-drop Questions
In these questions, candidates match elements by dragging and dropping. Tips: Focus on labels and correct placements. Example: "Match the protocol to its default port." (FTP - 21).
Special Focus Sections
Some CCNP tracks are more complex than others. Let’s have a look at what to expect from these questions.
Security Track Questions: What to Expect
Data Center Track Questions: What to Expect
Enterprise Track Questions: What to Expect
a. Essential Books for CCNP Aspirants
Amazon | CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core ENCOR 350-401 Official Cert Guide
This book focuses on CCNP and its questions that give insights and help you see the topics where you need to focus more and gain conceptual knowledge.
b. Must-Follow Online Platforms
CBT Nuggets | CCNP Labs: What is the Best Setup?
This blog covers the essential topics included in the labs. It gives you an overall idea of what to expect in the labs and attempt them.
c. Best Practice Tests
Udemy | Cisco CCNP Enterprise ENCOR (350-401) Practice Tests 2023
This course from Udemy has strategic mock exams designed to test your knowledge according to the CCNP exam.
d. Videos To Watch For Beginners
Youtube | Cisco CCNP ENCOR Primer - Full 8+ Hour Course
This course is an excellent one since it helps to lay a strong foundation for the CCNP and introduces you to the important concepts,
e. Networking Forums to Join
Cisco | Cisco Networking Academy
The Cisco Networking Academy offers certification-aligned courses in different topics. You can engage with your peers, educators, employers, and learners to expand your network.
Taking the CCNP exam is a great boost for your IT career. You can choose different tracks based on what you find interesting and then align your study material, practice questions, and take relevant courses to help you achieve your goal.
With proper strategies, study material, sufficient practice, and hard work, you can easily pass the examination and give your IT career an excellent boost.
CCNP exams can be challenging due to their in-depth content.
The preparation time varies but typically takes several months of study.
Yes, CCNP certifications need to be renewed every three years through continuing education or re-examination.