Hour 0: CCNP and Study Plan

62 days, ~350 hours studying, 139 pages of notes and 3 exams. Today, I passed the last of the 3 exams needed to become a CCNP:R&S (Cisco Certified Network Professional: Routing and Switching).


I know the gap between CCNP and CCIE is fairly large so I’ve been preparing the transition into the CCIE studies.  Here’s a quick overview of my study plan.

Phase 1

I need to read several books to prepare for the written portion of CCIE and give me a good foundation for the CCIE Lab training. This portion will be fairly easy as I’ve covered most of the topics in CCNP other than the Advanced Technologies.  Here’s a list of the books I will be reading:

Routing TCP/IP Volume 1, 936 pages

Routing TCP/IP Volume 2, 976 pages

CCIE Routing & Switching Exam Certification Guide 4th Edition, 1080 pages

MPLS Fundamentals, 672 pages

DOC-CD, selected topics

Cisco 3560 Configuration Guide, 892 pages

Phase 2

At this point I will use Boson CCIE Written tests to identify my weak areas and be able to buy specific books to polish those areas. Here are some of the recommended books to polish QoS, IPV6, Multicast and BGP.

Cisco QoS Exam Certification Guide 2nd edition

Cisco Self-Study: Implementing Cisco IPv6 Networks (IPV6)

Developing IP Multicast Networks: The definitive guide to Designing and Deploying CISCO IP Multicast Networks

Internet Routing Architectures (2nd Edition)

Once I’m done with this, I’ll take the CCIE written exam and move to Phase 3.

Phase 3

CCIE Lab training starts. Material used: INE Workbooks 1 through 5.  24 week program, ~42 hours/week. This is basically a compressed INE lab training program.

Week 1 [Practicing Fundamentals] – Vol1

Bridging & Switching: 1.1-1.15

Frame-Relay: 2.1-2.8

IP Routing: 3.1-3.11

Week 2 [Practicing Fundamentals] – Vol1

RIP: 4.1-4.11

EIGRP: 5.1-5.10

Week 3 [Practicing Fundamentals] – Vol1

OSPF: 6.1-6.14

BGP: 7.1-7.12

IPv6: 9.1-9.9

Week 4 [Practicing Fundamentals] – Vol1

Multicast: 8.1-8.10

MPLS VPN: 14.1-14.7

Week 5 [Full Scale Lab’s Practice]

Lab1-2 + ATC Videos – Vol2

Week 6 [Full Scale Lab’s Practice]

Lab3 + ATC Videos – Vol2

Lab1-2 – Vol3

Week 7 [Core Training]

Lab4 & Lab5 + ATC videos – Vol2

Week 8 [Core Training]

Lab6 – Vol2

Lab3-4 – Vol3

Week 9 [Core Training]

Lab7 & Lab8 – Vol2

Week 10 [Core Training]

Lab9 – Vol2

Lab5-6– Vol3

Week 11 [Core Training]

Lab10 – Vol2

Lab7-8 – Vol3

Week 12 [Final Training Core]

Lab1-2 – Vol4

Mock Lab 1 (60% expected)

Schedule LAB EXAM 13-14 weeks later

Week 13 [Advanced Training]

Lab11 – Vol2

Lab3-4 – Vol4

Week 14 [Advanced Training]

Lab12 – Vol2

Mock Lab 2 (70% expected)

Week 15 [Advanced Training]

Lab13-14 – Vol2

Week 16 [Advanced Training]

Lab9-10 – Vol3

Lab5-6 – Vol4

Week 17 [Advanced Training]

Lab15-16 – Vol2

Week 18 [Advanced Training]

Lab17- Vol2

Mock Lab 3 (50% expected)

Week 19 [Review Weak Areas]

Vol1 Missing Topics

Week 20 [Advanced Training]

Lab18- Vol2

Lab7-8 – Vol4

Week 21 [Advanced Training]

Lab19- Vol2

Lab9-10 – Vol4

Week 22 [Advanced Training]

Lab20- Vol2

Mock Lab 4

Week 23 [Review]

Missing Training

Week 24 [Review]

Missing training

Week 25 [EXAM]

The journey will take as long as it takes but I will try to keep these time constraints. I’ll be updating my progress a couple of times per week.

I challenge you to invest in yourself.


  1. Hi,
    Your study plan seems very well planned; also is inspiring 😉
    Could you please give me some details about “DOC-CD, selected topics” ?
    Are there some particular titles from DOC-CD or will you use them as you need ?
    Good luck with your CCIE journey.
    All best wishes,

    1. Thank you! To answer your question, I’ll use the Cisco documentation as I need. It is very important to familiarize yourself with the DOC-CD because it is the only documentation available during the exam. Also, the search function is disabled so you must know exactly where to find the pieces of information you need.

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