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09.07.06


Making The Most Of Cisco's CCNP Program Changes

By Chris Bryant


As you probably know by now, Cisco's making some sweeping changes in their Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) program.

Two longtime exams are being retired at the end of the year, two are being revised, and two new exams will be making their debut in late 2006.

If you're currently working on the CCNP or even thinking about it, the one thing you must NOT do is postpone your studies. On occasion, some certification exam candidates postpone their studies when they hear of an exam change. Cisco has announced these CCNP changes well ahead of time, and you've got plenty of time to pass some CCNP exams by the end of the year - and they still count toward the CCNP!

Let's take an exam-by-exam look at the current and future CCNP programs.

The BSCI exam is being updated, with the current exam being retired at the end of 2006.

The BCMSN exam is being updated, with the current exam being retired at the end of 2006.

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The BCRAN exam is being retired at the end of 2006, and it will be replaced by the Implementing Secure Converged Wide Area Networks (642-825) exam. The CIT exam is being retired at the end of 2006, and it will be replaced by the Optimizing Converged Cisco Networks (642-845) exam.

Any CCNP certification exam you take by the end of 2006 does count toward your CCNP, so there is no reason to postpone your studies. You never get anywhere by waiting!

The one thing you can't do is take the current exam version and then take the new one and have both count toward the CCNP. The CCNP has a three-exam path and a four-exam path, and here are the four exam qualifications you must fulfill to become a CCNP with the four-exam path:

Current BSCI (642-801) or Revised BSCI (642-901)

Current BCMSN (642-811) or Revised BCMSN (642-812)

Current BCRAN (642-821) or New ISCW (642-825)

Current CIT (642-831) or New ONT (642-845)

If your choose the three-exam path, just replace the first two exams shown above with the current Composite exam (642-891) or revised Composite exam (642-892). Cisco expects to release the revised Composite exam in November 2006.

Whether you choose to finish your CCNP in 2006, or start now and finish in 2007, hit those books! Never let exam version changes slow your studies - the only way to progress is to move forward!


About the Author:
Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933, is the owner of The Bryant Advantage, home of CCNA and CCNP tutorials and daily exam questions, as well as The Ultimate CCNA and CCNP Study Packages.

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