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Is the study plan for re-certifying different than the original test

Should the study plan for re-certifying as CCNP or CCDP be any different than the study plan for certifying the first time?
The answer to your question, paradoxically enough, is "yes and no." The yes (there should be differences) part comes in as you learn new material that's been introduced since the last time you took the exam and make your way into new topics, tools, and capabilities with which you may have been previously unfamiliar, or about which you may know little or nothing. In that case, it really is like "starting over" and you should prepare for that kind of material just like you did for your first exam.

The no part applies only when material from the previous exam is repeated more or less verbatim on the new exam. In that case, you should only need to refresh your knowledge of the details and eccentricities of its operation and behavior, since you presumably learned the underlying principles and operations as you prepared for the first exam. OTOH, if your memory of the subject matter has deteriorated significantly, you may have to do more than just review your prior notes and materials.

I urge exam candidates to use practice tests as they begin, traverse, and near the end of their exam preparation process, to help them assess those topics where they need the most study and hands-on practice. If you acquire a set of practice exams for the CCNP or CCDP exam and use them in this way, you can let the results of those tests tell you where to put your study effort to the best use. An empirical approach does have the advantage of taking your own test results into account, and is probably therefore the best overall approach to take.

This was last published in March 2003

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