Jon from USA - studying for ccnp route

Hi Everyone,

I should be a good case study for networklessons.

I’ve been preparing for ccnp route for about 7-8 months now.

I’ve been through Cisco partner training for 1 week in a virtual class, watched all of the np route ine videos, watched all of the cbt nuggets np route videos, read the official cert guide several times, read another book from (author with last name of Bryant), completed the Ocg lab book, as well as went through labs on cbt nuggets. Probably done one or two other things that I’m forgetting.

Yes I know, I should be more than prepared for the exam right?

Well, I don’t feel like I am.

I took several practice transcender exams (through cbtnuggets), and while I didn’t fail horribly, I didn’t pass either.

I jotted down the topics from the practice exams that I didn’t feel too good about and starting googling all of those topics to try and find clear and concise information on each topic that I could study up on to refresh myself on what I learned months ago but had somehow forgotten. Alot of the little detail pieces of natting and various other topics other than the big 3 routing protocols had slipped through the cracks.

My problem with doing this is I have ended up with hours and hours of youtube videos or Cisco white papers that are several pages long to study. I feel like the studying will never end for this exam, because like all Cisco exams, you never know what they are going to ask, or what source they are going to use to get the question, it feels pretty hopeless.

So, last week while trying to find documentation for some of these topics, I stumbled on networklessons, and I found that alot of the more specific information I had seen in the practice exams was on here.

Just about every topic I felt weak on was on this site and was explained in an easy way, and the topic included some of the more detailed information I had seen on the practice exams. This gave me hope because in all honesty I was starting to consider not even taking the exam, as stupid as that sounds. There is just so much the exam covers, and the first time you take a practice exam, you get humbled very quickly.

I hope that by going through all of the information included for the route exam on this site (most should be review at this point since I’ve already studied so many other sources), that I’ll be ready to give the exam a go in the next 2-3 weeks.

This is my last exam for ccnp route/switch. I passed the switch exam in Fall 2016 (on the third attempt-hard exam), and I passed the tshoot a little over 1 year ago with 1 attempt.

Funny thing, my plan if I failed the exam on the first try was to buy Rene’s book off Amazon and use that to go through and try to prepare for the second attempt, so this site is still Rene’s material but in an easier to get through format than reading another book (I’m sick of reading books at this point!)


Hello Jon

Thanks for sharing your experienes with us. It’s always refreshing to hear that the content found on Networklessons and the forum through which questions are being answered is helping networking professionals in their careers.

I believe your experience confirms that Rene has achieved the right balance between videos, lesson texts and labs, as all three are vital parts of the studying process for Cisco certifications. Too much of any one of these three and not enough of another can throw off your studying.

I wish you success in your exam and in all of your career endeavours! As always, we’re here to help you along the way in any way we can.


Thanks! So far I’ve been really pleased with this site. I read through all of the bgp lessons in the ccnp route section yesterday, and almost read through all of the info in the standalone bgp section.

I was wondering, is the information in the ccnp route section mainly for ccnp studies, while the standalone bgp/ospf/eigrp sections are mainly for ccie training?

In your and Rene’s experience, do you think Cisco may ask any questions on an exam for ccnp route that are found in the standalone bgp/ospf/eigrp sections?

From my other studies, the subjects in the standalone bgp section seem to be ccie level, because I haven’t read about some of those topics in other sources for np route.

Hello Jon,

Welcome on board!

You spent quite some time at it, I can imagine this can get frustrating.

Of all the time spent studying, do you have an estimate of how many hours you spent reading vs watching videos vs doing labs? It’s hard to tell by just reading your story but I get the feeling you spent most of your time on reading and videos? If I’m wrong, please let me know :slight_smile:

I think by now, you have seen/read enough. There is only so much you can learn from watching videos and reading.

When a topic is new to you, you have to read or watch videos to understand the basics but when you get a grasp of it, boot up a lab and set a goal for yourself to create a working solution. A lot of students spend 80% on reading/videos and 20% on labs. It should be the other way around :slight_smile:

For example, to prepare for BGP for CCNP ROUTE…you can try something like this:


With the following goals:

  • Configure a loopback interface with IP address X.X.X.X where X = router number on each router.
  • Configure OSPF within AS123
  • Configure EIGRP within AS245
  • Configure OSPF within AS678.
  • Don’t advertise the links between ASes in your IGP.
  • Configure iBGP within AS123, AS245, and AS678.
  • Configure eBGP between AS123-AS245, AS245-AS678, AS245-AS9, and AS9-AS678.
  • Use the weight attribute so that R9 uses AS678 to get to
  • Use local preference so that R7 prefers R6 to get to
  • Use AS path prepending so that AS245 enters AS123 through R2.
  • Use MED so that AS245 enters AS678 through R4.
  • Use regular expressions so that AS9 doesn’t become a transit AS for
  • Configure an IPv6 address on the loopback of R5 and R9.
  • Advertise the IPv6 prefixes on R5 and R9 with MP-BGP.

The topology is just something random I came up with. The tasks I made up when looking at the BGP topics on the ROUTE course page. See if you can configure all of this on top of your head. If you get stuck, try some debugs…read up, watch a video to get your answer and continue labbing. This really helps to get rid of knowledge gaps and to see if you really understand something. It will be much easier to remember things when you do this compared to just reading/watching videos.

If you do a practice exam and you don’t really understand what it’s about…lab it up, do debugs, see it in action.

There is, of course, some stuff that you just have to memorize…things like administrative distance values, timers, etc. I think it’s best to use some flashcard app for this and to review these daily.

About the sections, for CCNP ROUTE you really only have to focus on the stuff on the CCNP course page:

The separate sections are for those that just want to learn more about one protocol and who don’t care much about the certifications. I create material for CCNA/CCNP/CCIE so these sections are collections of everything related to one topic like BGP, OSPF, EIGRP, etc.

I hope this can help you but if you need more help, let us know ok?

You also might like this:

Good luck studying!