I did it! I passed the 642-813 Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks exam today. Together with the ROUTE exam in August I now have two out of three exams done for CCNP.

Since this is the fourth Cisco exam I’ve done, I’m starting to see patterns. I’m pretty sure they hired a psychologist when creating these exams, as some of the questions seem to be put in such a way they completely throw you off guard. My first question was a CCNA-level question which didn’t really relate to the rest of the exam and CCNP-level switching in any way. I also had that feeling with the ROUTE exam: the first two questions did relate to the required skills, but in a completely different way, making me doubt myself.

Fortunately it wasn’t that bad this time as I was confident when starting the exam. I’ve practiced all commands to the point where I could configure the switches in my home lab with every possible command in half an hour without consulting any documentation. Just like ROUTE, I’m sure this saved me. The real equipment in my home lab, reading documentation on the Cisco website, reading RFCs,… It’s a lot of work, but I would recommend it to anyone pursuing certificates to do so.

So, one more exam for CCNP: the TSHOOT. When I started CCNP studies, I had hoped to complete it by the end of the year. So that gives me two more months for one exam. It would be nice if I could do that, and it looks realistic too, but I’m not really using it as a goal anymore. Next week I’ll start studying again and we’ll see how it goes.