starting Self-study of CCNP

Posted on 2011-03-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello Guys,

I want to start the self-study of CCNP. I've recently passed CCNA. I've emailed my tutor to ask him and he replied. To make it easier, I'll show you my email and his reply. And I'm awaiting for your comments.

My email:
After our conversation, I now wish to study for my CCNP. I don't have time to take courses as it takes 6 months, do you think I can learn CCNP by self-study ? Which books do you recommend for me to learn from ? Which software should I use for simulations ? Is there a CCNA Network Simulator but for CCNP ?

His Reply:
CCNP Study Guides are different than CCNA Guides. u should try to get Student Guide or Reference guide. both of them Great and helpful, u will find them in websites and so on, if u didnt find any of them just contact me.
About the order of courses. It could be either:
1 - Route , 2 - Switch , 3 - Troubleshoot
1 - Switch, 2 - Route , 3 - Troubleshoot

Troubleshoot course should be the last one to take, it doesn't matter which one of the others you will start with.

about simulation. the best one is  GNS3  this is an Emulator to emulate cisco Routers, u can download it for free from their website

So basically my question is, what resources should I study from ? what simulators ? Any links for either ? I've got the full version Cisco Packet tracer 5.3 ? Is that not enough for CCNP ?
Question by:heiba
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • +3
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Istvan Kalmar
Istvan Kalmar earned 50 total points
ID: 35056997

I advise to view a chineese page:

If you write on the botton right CCNP you able to find a lot of stuff!

Best regards,

Assisted Solution

GridLock137 earned 125 total points
ID: 35057413
you can beging with the self-study books from cisco press, anything with the author Wendell Odom or any of the other authors from cisco proess. try to stick with those and not the third part publishing companies. in regards to sims, you can try and get cisco packet tracer which allows you to design network by dragging and dropping routers, switches, end clients on to a desktop enviroment and access the CLI and configure them. also, as an extra you can try to get ahold of some of the CBT nuggets videos by Jeremy Ciorra which are extremely helpful as part of the self paced training method. you should be good with these tools.

Accepted Solution

macoronat earned 250 total points
ID: 35057426
Your tutor is right. Switch or Route should be first (I'm personally studying for Route now), TSHOOT should be last since a lot of the knowledge acquired on the other 2 exams is required for TSHOOT.

Also, I recommend you to get the FOUNDATION LEARNING books.  They are very easy to understand and  they tackle all topics in a very explanatory form.

About simulators, GNS3 is the best.  It works with actual IOS files, so there are no restrictions for command use. There are a lot of tutorials on the official site for different configurations, topologies, and even for CDM or SDM.  You can also emulate Cisco PIX, ASA, and Linux based computers.

If you would like for us to do some studying together, just let me know ;)
PeopleSoft Has Never Been Easier

PeopleSoft Adoption Made Smooth & Simple!

On-The-Job Training Is made Intuitive & Easy With WalkMe's On-Screen Guidance Tool.  Claim Your Free WalkMe Account Now

LVL 13

Assisted Solution

kdearing earned 50 total points
ID: 35057478
Boson has been doing Cisco network simulators for years.
They used to be the standard when it came to studying for Cisco certs.

Expert Comment

ID: 35057715
agreed with kderaing, i have those at home as well. forgot to mention those, good one KD

Author Comment

ID: 35058482
ok thanks for all your answers

just one simple question, then I'll reply to each of your comments

what is the code for the certification ? For example, CCNA is 640-802, what are the certification codes in CCNP ?

Assisted Solution

GridLock137 earned 125 total points
ID: 35058715
for the routing and switching i believe it is:

642-902, 642-813, 642-832

Expert Comment

ID: 35058722
the above includes troubleshoot as well.

Author Comment

ID: 35059039
thanks, got it, I'll reply to you all soon enough

Assisted Solution

question01 earned 25 total points
ID: 35064255
Look up GNS3.

If you don't have access to a big lab filled with routers and switches you will struggle with CCNP.

GNS3 is a cisco emulator, it virtualises the IOS just like vmware does with servers.  you can actually set up and run a network of routers.

Author Comment

ID: 35070509

Thanks for refering this website, it looks so dodgy lol, but I found everything in it, I won't use them  (cause I didn't pay for it), but atleast I know the title and have an idea what the books are like. Thanks a lot.


Thanks for the book suggestions, I think I'm gonna stick with Cisco Press. I already use Cisco Packet Tracer, so thanks for confirming how brilliant it is :D. Thanks a lot for the CBT nuggets suggestion, never used them before, but I'm definitely gonna give it a try. Also thanks for confirming the codes.


Thanks for suggesting Foundation Learning, i.e Cisco Press. I'm sticking with them. They are by far the best. I prefer Packet Tracer rather than GNS, but I know how to use GNS, it's a bit hard, Cisco Packet Tracer is the same and you don't need to have your own IOS. I'de love to study with you. Please feel free to contact me or share your contact details with me, and I'll contact you.


Thanks for suggesting Boson. I'll try it, although it's too expensive to buy.


Thanks for suggesting GNS3, I already know it though.

At the end, thank you all for your time and help. I've got a lot of what I want, but I'm gonna open a new question dedicated to the simulators and labs to use to study CCNP, it seems there are lots and lots of suggestions, and I've got many questions for each suggestion.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 35070664
Thank you all

Expert Comment

ID: 35071085
I've been looking all around my profile options and can not find how to contact you or how to share my details :(

I hope I'm not violating any rule on doing this, but you can contact me through:




Featured Post

Are You Using the Best Web Development Editor?

The worlds of web hosting and web development are constantly evolving. Every year we see design trends change, coding standards adapt and new frameworks/CMS created. With such a quick pace of change it’s easy to get lost trying to keep up.

See if your editor made the list.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article will inform Clients about common and important expectations from the freelancers (Experts) who are looking at your Gig.
This article explains the fundamentals of industrial networking which ultimately is the backbone network which is providing communications for process devices like robots and other not so interesting stuff.
In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…
Michael from AdRem Software explains how to view the most utilized and worst performing nodes in your network, by accessing the Top Charts view in NetCrunch network monitor ( Top Charts is a view in which you can set seve…
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month11 days, 5 hours left to enroll

631 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question