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13356 Views 23 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2009 1:47 PM by Andrew - Community Moderator RSS 1 2 Previous Next

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Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

May 12, 2009 9:18 AM

Kerry LeBlanc 333 posts since
Jul 29, 2008

Well, I was hoping to make this a poll, but I do not see that option in our boards yet.  I am curious to learn which exam people found to be the most difficult while obtaining their CCNP cert. It may be useful to others when they start planning their attack on the books.

http://www.cksinfo.com/clipart/education/teachers/Exam-in-Progress-.jpg

 

 

  • Jared 5,502 posts since
    Jul 27, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 12, 2009 11:03 AM (in response to Kerry LeBlanc)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    hmmmm....    I think that depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the test taker.  For me, BCMSN and ONT were the easier ones BSCI and ISCW were the harder ones.  Now, I do a little bit of everything in my job, which is why I went for the CCNP in the first place.  But there were several areas in my studies that were way deeper than what I do on the job, so it was a good learning experience.

     

    BSCI went into the depths of various routing protocols.  I only use one in the job so there was a lot of new material for me to go after.

    ISCW was the same.  I knew some VPN basics and how to harden devices, but did not have the depth and knew nothing of MPLS.

     

    BCMSN is the switching exam and I do that every day!  ONT is the QoS/Voice/Wireless exam.  That exam had lots of new material, but because I do wireless, my feel my experience helped me pass the ONT.

     

    It really all depends on where your stregths are.  If you have no experience, then they will all be hard.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    2. May 12, 2009 11:29 AM (in response to Kerry LeBlanc)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    I found the BSCI to be the most difficult as at that time, my day job was mostly switching and wireless, not so much routing. Thankfully when I took ISCW and ONT I had exposure to almost everything but MPLS at that point so they were not so difficult.

  • Rickey 1,062 posts since
    Jul 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 12, 2009 11:40 AM (in response to tnewshott)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    I found that the BSCI was the hardest as well.  I consider that exam mainly tailored to the service providers, so a lot of the routing stuff was way over my head.  Most of the stuff I consider myself to never see again.  I thought it was interesting, but it was definitely the hardest.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    4. May 12, 2009 11:49 AM (in response to Rickey)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    Be careful - I used most of what was on the BSCI on a daily basis in a previous position working on a large private network. Lots of BGP, OSPF, redistribution, route filtering, et cetera.  I didn't think I'd use all that knowledge so quickly, but I did!  I actually went beyond just the CCNP level on certain technologies simply due to the scope of their deployments.

  • Jared 5,502 posts since
    Jul 27, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. May 13, 2009 5:53 PM (in response to tnewshott)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    The cool thing about the BSCI was that there were some things that I could apply to my job, even though it does seem to be a service provider type test.  Learning some advanced features of eigrp and summarizing routes was great for me.  Learning about BGP was also very helpful.  So when I call my ISP for work, when they talk about BGP I at least now have a basic understanding of what they are tallking about.

     

    The suprise for me was learning about multicasting and how helpful that was for my job.  After learning about some multicasting basics, I ran with that and improved the performance of a 40 building campus!

  • Scott B. Pickles 1 posts since
    Sep 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. May 14, 2009 11:03 AM (in response to Jared)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    BSCI for sure - a tough exam.

  • Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE 8,398 posts since
    Oct 7, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. May 13, 2009 8:02 PM (in response to Kerry LeBlanc)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    The hardest is that which you have the least experience/knowledge of!  

     

    Everyone will likely have (and has had) a different answer.

     

    Scott

  • Rickey 1,062 posts since
    Jul 3, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. May 14, 2009 7:42 AM (in response to Kerry LeBlanc)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    I agree....I think it kicks the NDA out the window......someone needs to edit.

  • htman47 13 posts since
    Dec 13, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. May 14, 2009 8:24 AM (in response to Kerry LeBlanc)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    Any exam where you don't have remember why the leds are blinking With proper study plan & execution every exam can be fun and possible. I am not saying  they are going to easy or hard.   If you read & enjoy the exam books just like you do with any good novel you are there:)  As I my dad used to say if you start any work with thinking "**** this is going to hard" Then it's hard as you already lost your "own" support.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    12. May 14, 2009 1:20 PM (in response to Kerry LeBlanc)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    Another point is that BSCI covers a lot of information - and several very diverse protocols that within their inner workings can sometimes contradict how others work.  Lots of details, lots of nuances, lots of lots, lol. BGP and OSPF and RIP are three protocols that work entirely differently, and carry seperate nuances and caveats and their uses even differ to large extents.

     

    BCMSN seemed to cover many technologies that all flowed together, at least to me.  They all behaved similarly in my eyes - most of the features are complimentary.

     

    But, I haven't taken the latest revisions of those tests - I passed mine in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

  • Jared 5,502 posts since
    Jul 27, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. May 14, 2009 8:56 PM (in response to tnewshott)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    Travis,

     

    I think the main difference in the BSCI that you took and the latest BSCI was multicasting and IPv6.  I was in the middle of studying for BSCI when the new one came out and the CCNP changed to what it is today.  I actually used the older BSCI books to study for the new BSCI exam.  Other than IPv6 & multicasting, the old book was pretty sufficient with regards to IPv4 routing protocols.  But it has been 2 yrs ago since I took it myself so there may be more differences that I don't remember either.

     

    Even with the fact that I failed the BSCI my first attempt, it was a test I enjoyed studying for and enjoyed passing even more!

  • Melih Kulig 30 posts since
    Mar 31, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. May 15, 2009 1:21 AM (in response to Jared)
    Re: Which CCNP exam is the hardest and why?

    I thought BSCI wasn't that bad, except for IPv6 and multicast part. There's a good amount of overlap with CCNA, and now that I'm almost done with ISCW studies, I fail to find anything common between ISCW and CCNA and think it's harder than BSCI. Maybe the exam will make me think otherwise if I'm overprepared for it. Hopefully these two were the hardest as everyone says, so I can get my certification sooner.

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