Cisco has recently made significant changes to the new CCNP certification. You will have to pass two exams to become certified. There is an enterprise core exam (350-401) and a concentration exam. Cisco CCNP Enterprise Core (ENCOR) also serves as the qualifying written test for the CCIE lab.
Interestingly, CCNA certification is no longer a prerequisite to take your CCNP certification. Cisco CCNA is recommended however, unless you have significant experience. It is important to note that Cisco has removed all lab simulations from CCNP. Instead you will analyze output from show commands and topology drawings to answer some questions.
New CCNP Enterprise Topics!
CCNP Enterprise Core (350-401) new exam includes a significant amount of virtualization, automation and management topics. That is attributed to the popularity of mobile devices, cloud computing and SDN architecture. Cisco is aligning the new CCNP certification with a shift to automation and Cisco DNA Center.
The management and troubleshooting of network infrastructure has been radically changed with open source architecture. Cisco network devices are programmable and network services are virtualized as well for both private and internet cloud connections.
There is a significant amount of theory on CCNP ENCOR exam with words such as describe and explain often used. CCNP configuration topics include routing protocols, STP, security and network assurance. Interestingly, there is only troubleshooting of Trunking and EtherChannel interfaces. CCNP ENARSI exam is primarily the new TSHOOT with all topics and some new topics as well.
CCNP 350-401 Knowledge Domains
- Architecture (15%)
- Virtualization (10%)
- Infrastructure (30%)
- Network Assurance (10%)
- Security (20%)
- Automation (15%)
Cisco Enterprise Core Exam (350-401)
CCNP Practice Tests
Cisco CCNP certification has become increasingly complex with questions from multiple knowledge domains and topics. The following are some recommendations to score your best on the new CCNP ENCOR exam.
Practice tests are essential and when designed properly should verify what you have learned and your exam readiness. They are well worth the cost. You should verify your skills before going into an exam that is $400 USD. Each practice test should include the correct percentage of questions per topic. Practice until you score at least 85% and have honed your time management skills properly.