Today we're continuing our series on my journey through the ccnp encore exam in this article. I wanted to go over some of the tools and tips and tricks that I have for you that I follow with . While we're going to this exam journey together, The first thing I'd like to say is that I don't really like reading now.

That's not to say I don't enjoy a good book, But when it comes to certification material, I get so bored reading through all the textbooks and the manuals that I fall asleep and I really don't absorb things that way. So I like finding great article resources in order to pass the exams now. The easiest example of where you could look is you can look on youtube. There's a lot of great free content on youtube if you're on a budget and you're looking to pass your exam that you can look out there and find.

But let me go to my screen here and let's just take a look at some of the things that you would want to look for when you start your exam journey. The first thing here you can see this is on cisco's website. These are the exam objectives and, When you're taking a certain vacation exam, There's a ton of information out there on cisco certifications. But in order to focus your exam training on what you really need to learn on the exam. You need to get the exam objectives, And here t are, You can see here.

I'Ve broken them out, It's all broken on little tiny steps. You can see what you need to do at each one, The things you need to learn and I recommend that you actually download the pdf format and then transfer this into an excel spreadsheet, Where you can track if you've covered the topic. How familiar you are with it! This was actually a suggestion that I got from anthony sakura from the it pro tv site that I'm going to show you in a bit and it's great. If you, You know exactly what you're looking for you know some of those network technologies, You can go off the deep end and get lost, And it's really good to be able to focus yourself on these exam topics.

So the next thing I think that you should get is you should get some kind of lab environment now. I know not. Everyone has a lot of money out there and it's hard to get a physical lab. Physical labs are obviously the best. I have a home lab.

I built here. Cost me a little bit over a hundred dollars might cost you a little bit more because I got retired equipment for my job that I was able to utilize in that in building this lab. All the stuff you know is available on ebay and amazon. You can get some really good deals on some used equipment.

Now, If you can't do that - and I know a lot of people can't the next best thing, I would say - is get a virtual lab environment and thankfully, Now that so many people have downloaded it you've got cisco packet, Tracer, Cisco packet, Tracer lets you simulate An entire lab environment with routers and switches and wireless client controllers endpoints anything and you can build it out and you can lab it out. It's super great now keep in mind. This is all virtual, So there are limitations with these things. T don't do all of the commands that you're going to need to do, Especially when it comes to things like automation and the fabric path, And all these new advanced technologies.

That cisco is coming out with through the cisco dna center, Which will obviously be getting to very late in the article series, Because automation is one of the last exam topics that this exam covers. So I have packet tracer here I'll bring it up. You open this up, You can you can say, Drop in a switch here.

I can open the switch up oops and go to the clI and look at that. I'Ve got a switch. You can program it like any other thing.

While that's loading up. I can drop in, Let's see I'll, Do 2960 we'll drop that in there and I can go in here and get a ethernet connection and connect it to fastether zero one. Two, Oh fast, Even at zero one.

There we go and now we have a connect. Two connected switches that we can work on and practice things. So this is great and it's free. Now all you have to do is sign up for an account. You do have to do some short, Some for short training articles from cisco.

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In order to get that going, But it's great it's free just sign up for it, It works. Another thing that's great is cisco devnet and I encourage everyone to open a cisco devnet account it's all tied in together with their with their cisco account and the account that you'll need to eventually to register for the exam. So it has articles on here, But the greatest thing about this is the devnet sandbox and by going to the sandbox you can actually log in and you can practice stuff with the new automation technology through cisco dna center.

That's where everyone's going now so really great. This is free, You don't need to spin up amazon, Web services, Environments or anything like that. It's all built in provided to you for free by cisco because t want people to learn this technology. Now, When it comes to me, I really like a more structured learning environment and that's why I actually go through a couple of learning companies in order to read the articles and - and it's really how I've gotten so far in my certification exams. That I've done so far so the first place.

I went and keep in mind, I'm not sponsored by any of these companies. These are things that I've done and I've found success in it and I'm passing the information on so you can be successful in the future. So the first place I went to is cbt nuggets. T'Ve got a great website. One of the great things about their product is that t break things up into little tiny chunks.

You know five to ten minute articles at most . Some of them are even shorter. You'll have two or three minute articles. T could.

T call nuggets and t're, Very bite-sized piece of information that are easy to digest. You know if you're taking a break at work and you want to quickly read a article you can do that without having to go sit through. You know an hour long, Article about spanning tree protocol same thing with books. When I'm reading a really long article, I tend to get distracted, And you know these short little bites and nuggets that t have are really great.

T have a whole bunch of certifications. As you can see here, And I highly recommend it - it is very expensive - it's about 55 a month, But it comes with the really great stuff and. You know such as you get virtual lab environments. You have check questions at the end of every single article that allow you to show that you're actually learning the stuff that you're you're learning, Hopefully and then it also has a lot of the certification exams, And this is includes the ccnp enterprise content. Um has links to other places where you can get exa questions example, Questions obviously not real exam questions, Because that's against the law but sample questions that can help you prepare for the exam and cover all the material that you're going to be needing to Know in order to pass your exam really great stuff, Another place that I go to.

Is it pro tv t have more of the longer article formats, And this is I like, Using these longer article formats to kind of play in the background kind of passively absorb the information? T do have virtual lab environments, But I can't say anything about those environments, Because I use the lab environments through cbt nuggets. It is an additional cost in it pro tv in order to get the lab environment and that's something I didn't want to spend the extra money with considering that I was already getting the lab environments with cbt nuggets, And I also have the cisco packet tracer. A lab environments and devnet environments that I was working through as well, So there's a couple of tips and tricks that I have in terms of certification.

The thing is is when you're studying for a certification exam. You really need to set time aside to study. You need to say I'm going to spend an hour each day or I'm going to spend a half hour each day or even 5 or 10 minutes each day to work on exam objectives, Shut everything off turn your phone off sit there do your stuff always make Sure you want to be laughing all the time if you're learning a concept like spanning tree protocol or ospf or any of the other newer, Technologies that are be especially the newer technologies that are being introduced by these lab these objectives. Is you really want to sit down and try to work on them in a lab environment, Because doing is always better than reading? In my personal opinion, So let's go to go back to my webcam here.

Sorry, I'm still kind of new to this. So well, You really want to pay attention to making sure you're staying on topic. One of the things that tends to happen to me. A lot is, I will go into rabbit holes.

You know I'm a network engineer by trade, So a lot of times I'll go in and I'll start learning something about say spanning tree protocol and I will be like. You know what I could use that at my job. Let me look up what you got to stop yourself. You got to make sure you're staying on the exam objectives, Because you know, Even though this is a professional level certification, There are much much deeper levels to these exam objectives than you will see in work environments.

So you know you could take some of these exam objectives like . Bgp is a perfect example of that, Because bgp is huge, There's a ton of stuff with bgpa. The exam objectives only cover a very small portion of the bgp routing protocol, And you can go super deep into this and you could be looking at ccI level stuff that you may not be prepared for now. If you want to go for your ccie go for it, But if you're, Just focusing on passing the encore exam focus yourself pay attention, The exam objectives make sure you're staying on topic, Work on multiple things.

Um, You know if you like, Reading pick up an exam objective book from cisco pick up an exam objective book from some of the other people out there who have published things like I'm not thinking of any examples of it. I don't read sorry find someone else to look for books, I'm not great with books. To be honest, Look at youtube articles. You know you want to do multiple things at the same time, You don't want to just .

You know that was one of the mistakes I made when I was taking my network plus. I readed a article series on network plus on youtube and then I failed the exam because I really didn't know. I didn't absorb everything by doing practice and stuff like that. So this article wasn't really scripted very well, Because I tried to upload the first article in this series, Which was scripted and all my adobe stuff needed updating, Because I haven't done youtube articles in a while. So I'd like to thank you for reading this article, I'm the in the next article I'm going to start actually getting into the exam objectives, And looking at some of this stuff.

So let me bring up the exam objectives again, So I am going to start with objective 10 architecture and start explaining the different design principles used in an enterprise network network, Which you see here so. If you've been waiting for us to start getting into the exam objective, So you can start learning stuff. This is where we're gonna start. I'm gonna be working through the exam objectives, One at a time until we get to the very end of all these objectives and then at the very end of those objectives, I'm gonna try to take the exam and see where it goes so. Um, Like I said, Thank you again for reading if you you like this article, Please like it.

If you know anyone else, That's going through this CCNP exam journey, Please share it with them, Because it's only a benefit to them to be able to learn more material and if you want to see more of this content, Please subscribe our site.

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