Blog Posts

Back for an ENCOR

It’s been a while since I last posted.

My last post was for the CCNP Troubleshoot exam when the CCNP R&S was 3 whole exams (Route, Switch, and Troubleshoot). Cisco revamped their certification programs and now the CCNP R&S is no more. It’s now called CCNP Enterprise — and is now 2 exams instead of 3.

I won’t get into specifics on the new certification career paths. However, if you’re interested you can check it out here:

Originally, back in late 2019, my plan was to knock out the old Troubleshoot exam and then take the ENCOR exam when it came out in the late winter/spring of 2020. If I finished the ENCOR exam then I’d have the CCNP Enterprise since the old Troubleshoot exam + ENCOR = CCNP Enterprise.

But…I got involved with Cisco SD-WAN and started going in that direct for the rest of 2020 and then ultimately studying for, taking, and passing the 300-415 ENSDWI (Enterprise SD-WAN Implementation) Specialist Certification. Later on I’ll probably end up writing another post with details on how I passed ENSDWI. But right now my focus will be on the ENCOR exam.

I’m going to try to pick up where I left off early last year when I began seriously studying for the ENCOR. I don’t remember exactly where I left off but I do remember I was about 1/3 of the way through the material . Boson was still in the process of updating their Exam Simulator for the ENCOR exam so I was just doing some of the OCG/Pearson practice questions and piecemealing whatever training resources I could find from Kevin Wallace, CBT, INE, Keith Barker, etc.

So here I am, exactly 1 year later. The ENCOR exam is now 1 year older and I feel I have more than enough legitimate study material to help me get through the exam.

Goal: See how much studying I can get done in 30 days and make my 1st exam attempt by or right around April 1st.

Now, I know giving myself only 30 days is a little rough. But, I think I can get a good crack at it if I put my mind to it for just 1 month. If I come close I’ll just push a bit harder for another couple of weeks. If I airball it then I’ll know I have a lot of work to do.

Looking at the exam blueprint every topic is important. However, if I want to maximize my limited time window I need to focus on the topics that I either forgot or need to brush-up on. With that said, I feel like I know the SD-WAN, SDA/DNAC, and most of the Virtualization topics well enough to skip them for now. The routing/switching material I know well but I’m worried I’ll get asked an oddball question for some minutiae on a routing protocol, etc. Therefore, I’m going to review all of it again.

I’m going to take it one topic at a time: Read topic in OCG > Watch videos from 1-2 different sources > Lab/Boson….repeat for the next topic. This is different than how I typically do it: Read OCG front-to-back > Watch entire video course start-to-finish > Lab all exercises in order from start-to-finish > Boson.

I’ll try to update this every week to log my progress.