I recently started studying for the 642-813 (CCNP SWITCH) exam. I've been using the Cisco Press Official Certification Guide as my primary source, as well as doing hands-on labs on Cisco switches. By this point, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp of the topics covered in the 'Official' guide. That is until I started browsing the forums a few days ago... and reading some comments from people failing the test and encountering questions on topics not covered in the Official guide at all. Some examples:
- IP SLA
- In-depth network design questions not covered in the book
- In-depth VoIP, WLAN and QoS questions also not covered
I also took some practice tests here in the Cisco Learning Network (https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-6378), and, already in the first two modules, noticed questions that were not covered in the Official guide at all, such as questions about the Cisco SONA architecture. Should I be learning about that as well for this particular exam? And what about VoIP, WLAN and QoS, is it really necessary to only know, say, the most basic QoS configuration commands, or should I be looking into the more advanded classifying, policing and queuing strategies as well?
It seems that there is a slight discrepancy between what is covered in the Official guide, what is specified in the exam blueprint, and what people having taken the exam are saying (in the forums, at least). So.. if you've taken the exam --- please say it ain't so :-) Also, if you agree with me, would you mind specifying what additional topics one would want to look into in addition to the Official guide. I know you can't divulge any specific questions, but pointers to some additional reading material are appreciated.
And finally --- yes, I know, it never hurts to know more than what is mentioned in one specific book, but for the purpose of Cisco exams, I think it's also important to know which areas to really focus on. Some questions on the tests - I think - require memorization of Cisco concepts rather than anything else... as opposed to testing how you can apply your knowledge into design and configuration tasks.