What is CCNP?

CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) is a certification from Cisco, the world’s most famous company for manufacturing and selling networking equipment. CCNP is the next step after CCNA. However, it is not a prerequisite in taking the CCNP exam. You can take the CCNP exam directly even without passing the CCNA exam.

For the CCNP exam, you can select a core technology track and a focused concentration exam to tailor your professional-level certification.

The different CCNP core exams focus on the various Cisco technologies. Each core exam further has multiple concentration exams where you can choose one to specialize in. The following are the CCNP tracks and their core and concentration exams.

1. CCNP Collaboration

Core Exam: 350-801 CLCOR: Implementing Cisco Collaboration Core Technologies

Concentration Exams:

  • 300-810 CLICA: Implementing Cisco Collaboration Applications
  • 300-815 CLACCM: Implementing Cisco Advanced Call Control and Mobility Services
  • 300-820 CLCEI: Implementing Cisco Collaboration Cloud and Edge Solutions
  • 300-825 CLCNF: Implementing Cisco Collaboration Conferencing v1.0
  • 300-835 CLAUTO: Automating and Programming Cisco Collaboration Solutions

2. CCNP Data Center

Core Exam: 350-601 DCCOR: Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies

Concentration Exams:

  • 300-610 DCID: Designing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure
  • 300-615 DCIT: Troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Infrastructure
  • 300-620 DCACI: Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure
  • 300-625 DCSAN: Implementing Cisco Storage Area Networking
  • 300-630 DCACIA: Implementing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure
  • 300-635 DCAUTO: Automating and Programming Cisco Data Center Solutions

3. CCNP Enterprise

Core Exam: 350-401 ENCOR: Implementing Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies

Concentration Exams:

  • 300-410 ENARSI: Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services
  • 300-415 ENSDWI: Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions
  • 300-420 ENSLD: Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks
  • 300-425 ENWLSD: Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks
  • 300-430 ENWLSI: Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks
  • 300-435 ENAUTO: Automating Cisco Enterprise Solutions

4. CCNP Security

Core Exam: 350-701 SCOR: Implementing and Operating Cisco Security Core Technologies

Concentration Exams:

  • 300-710 SNCF: Securing Networks with Cisco Firepower
  • 300-715 SISE: Implementing and Configuring Cisco Identity Services Engine
  • 300-720 SESA: Securing Email with Cisco Email Security Appliance
  • 300-725 SWSA: Securing the Web with Cisco Web Security Appliance
  • 300-730 SVPN: Implementing Secure Solutions with Virtual Private Networks
  • 300-735 SAUTO: Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions

5. CCNP Service Provider

Core Exam: 350-501 SPCOR: Implementing and Operating Cisco Service Provider Network Core Technologies

Concentration Exams:

  • 300-510 SPRI: Implementing Cisco Service Provider Advanced Routing Solutions
  • 300-515 SPVI: Implementing Cisco Service Provider VPN Services
  • 300-535 SPAUTO: Automating Cisco Service Provider Solutions

6. CyberOps Professional

Core Exam: 350-201 CBRCOR: Performing CyberOps Using Cisco Security Technologies

Concentration Exam:

  • 300-215 CBRFIR: Conducting Forensic Analysis and Incident Response Using Cisco Technologies for CyberOps

7. DevNet Professional

Core Exam: 350-901 DEVCOR: Developing Applications Using Cisco Core Platforms and APIs

Concentration Exams:

  • 300-435 ENAUTO: Automating and Programming Cisco Enterprise Solutions
  • 300-835 CLAUTO: Automating and Programming Cisco Collaboration Solutions
  • 300-635 DCAUTO: Automating and Programming Cisco Data Center Solutions
  • 300-535 SPAUTO: Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions
  • 300-735 SAUTO: Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions
  • 300-910 DEVOPS: Implementing DevOps Solutions and Practices Using Cisco Platforms
  • 300-915 DEVIOT: Developing Solutions Using Cisco IoT and Edge Platforms
  • 300-920 DEVWBX: Developing Applications for Cisco Webex and Webex Devices

 

How to Become CCNP Certified?

You can become CCNP certified by taking and passing two exams, one core exam and one concentration exam. The minimum passing score can vary but will be about 800-850 out of the maximum score of 1000.

The exact number of questions you will get on the exam also varies, but it will be around 100 questions for the core exam and approximately 70 questions for the concentration exam. The core exams are 120 minutes long, and the concentration exams are 90 minutes long.

The two exams are taken separately. You can take either core or concentration exam first, and the other exam to follow as long as you take it within the validity period of 3 years to be a fully qualified Cisco Certified Network Professional and earn a CCNP certification.

 

Where to Take the Exam?

To take the CCNP exam, you have to schedule a test appointment through Pearson VUE, an electronic testing company. Pearson VUE has many authorized testing centers throughout the world, and you can locate a test center in your vicinity. Since the COVID pandemic, it has also been possible to take the exam at home using your own laptop. If you want to take the home option, you need to meet the testing requirements, including being monitored through your webcam.

The exam is available in English and Japanese. After finishing the test, you will immediately get the results. Cisco provides just the basic information about your score, so you can’t be sure which questions you got right or wrong!

 

Preparing for the Exam

There are several ways in which you can prepare yourself for the exam:

  • Attending a CCNP course – Cisco courses are offered by various educational companies and institutions. You can use this online tool to locate an academy in your vicinity. These courses usually last a couple of months and include a lot of hands-on activities. Prices vary depending on your location, but the courses can be quite costly (up to $1000).
  • Self-study with textbooks and online courses – another popular way to prepare for a CCNA exam is by self-studying. There are lots of high-quality online resources and tools such as GNS3 or Packet Tracer that enable you to study without actually buying expensive equipment. Of course, this website is one of these high-quality online resources :-).
    Many people use websites like eBay or Amazon to find CCNP kits that will enable them to work on real equipment. We recommend using Cisco CML as a cost-friendly tool for CCNP lab exercises. This gives you the flexibility to build any lab topology with as many devices and types of connections as you want in minutes, rather than being restricted by physical devices, interfaces, and cables.
  • Concentrated boot camps – intensive, week-long live classes that cover months of materials in just a couple of days. This is not recommended for beginners.
NOTE
You don’t need to attend an official CCNP course from Cisco in order to take the exam.

Types of Questions

There are seven types of questions on the CCNA exam:

  • multiple-choice single answer – you need to choose only a single correct answer:

  • multiple-choice multiple answer – you need to choose multiple answers:

  • fill-in-the-blank – this type of question requires you to type the correct answer:

  • testlet – you get a description of a scenario and need to answer a couple of multiple-choice questions related to it:

  • drag-and-drop – you need to drag and drop items to the proper categories:

  • simulated lab (sim) – a lab scenario where you can access and configure the devices. You job is to fix the problem by reconfiguring the devices:

  • simlet – combined sim and testlet question types. You get a network topology, a lab scenario, and can access the devices. There will be multiple-choice questions based on the information contained in the scenario:

NOTE
Cisco has reserved the right to change the exam topics guidelines at any time without notice.

 

Recertification

The CCNP certification, both core and concentration, expires after three years! To recertify for the CCNP core certification, pass one of the following exams before the certificate expiration date:

  • Pass one technology core exam
  • Pass any one CCIE written exam
  • Pass any one CCIE Lab/Practical exam

You can also:

  • Pass any two separate professional concentration exams
  • Earn 80 CE (Continuing Education) credits by attending Cisco Live training sessions or completing online training courses
  • Pass any one CCNP concentration exam and earn 40 CE credits

 

To recertify for the CCNP concentration certification, pass one of the following exams before the certificate expiration date:

  • Pass any one CCNP concentration exam
  • Pass one technology core exam
  • Pass any one CCIE written exam
  • Pass any one CCIE Lab/Practical exam
  • Earn 40 CE (Continuing Education) credits by attending Cisco Live training sessions or completing online training courses
NOTE
The Cisco certification program was drastically changed on Feb. 24, 2020. We’ve covered the changes in-depth here.

Download our Free CCNA Study Guide PDF for complete notes on all the CCNA 200-301 exam topics in one book.

We recommend the Cisco CCNA Gold Bootcamp as your main CCNA training course. It’s the highest rated Cisco course online with an average rating of 4.8 from over 30,000 public reviews and is the gold standard in CCNA training: