CCNP – SWITCH – Study Notes

I recently passed my SWITCH v2 exam (300-115), that means I now only have TSHOOT left before I get my CCNP.

I thought I would post some of my study notes. This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide to passing the exam but just a list of notes and references that may be useful for a double check.

First, my general study method included:

The BOSON exams that were bought I found to be much better than the ones that came with the textbook. But if you’re trying to save money I definitely recommend using the textbook ones anyway.

I used Evernote to write down notes as I read the chapters in the textbook, after I read the chapter once I only ever referred back to my notes.

On top of that, I used various web sites, particularly to compare 300-115 to 642-813. My experience was that the exam (300-115) was 95% covered by the above materials with a few notable exceptions:

My work is fairly hands-on so a lot of the commands for the exam simlets I was already familiar with prior to starting study, if that’s not your situation it may be worth sourcing some cheap Cisco switches (maybe some 2950s) and setting up various scenarios. Many of the switching commands won’t work on a simulated router in GNS3.

Being quick in the simlets will definitely make the exam less stressful. I managed to complete the exam in under an hour and I think knowing what to do on the CLI has a lot to do with that.

The main list of topics you need to know for for SWITCH are:

  • Basic VLAN and Spanning-tree
  • VTP (Part 1, Part 2)
  • Private VLANs
  • Etherchannels
  • Stackwise
  • SPAN sessions
  • SDM Templates
  • CDP
  • Err-disable and recovery, UDLD and Storm control
  • Port-Security, AAA and Dot1X
  • Various other security features such as DHCP Snooping, Dynamic Arp Inspection and IP Source Guard
  • High Availability features and design
  • EIGRP for some reason

WLANs and IP telephony are no longer really covered in 300-115, except for QoS trust boundaries for IP telephony.

My plan is to post more details on each of the above points over the next few weeks. I will add links in here as they are completed.


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