Becoming an expert at anything takes time, dedication, hard work and sacrifices. All of that and more is what it takes to become an expert in the IT world. Luckily, becoming an expert in the IT industry is pretty straightforward. You study, become really good at what you do, obtain various certifications and voila – you’re an expert.

As you know, IT is a huge field and not every road to success is going to be the same. Software developers will do things differently from, say, 3D or animation artists and so on. On that note, becoming a networking expert usually means passing Cisco Certified examinations.

There are several different Cisco examinations like CCIE, CCNA, CCNP and so on. Today, we’re interested in the CCNP exam – more precisely, CCNP Data Center. What we’re going to talk about today is exam preparation and what you have to do to make sure you pass the exam. Essentially, we’re going to give you foolproof study tips so you can be confident come to the examination date. Your road to becoming a networking expert begins here!

Get Familiar With The Exam


By obtaining this certification, you become qualified for a high-level job position in Cisco data center technologies. To do so, you need to pass the test. To obtain CCNA Data Center certification, you need to pass both parts of the exam, or two exams, if you will.

The first part is called Core CCNP Data Center Certification Exam and it includes implementing and operating Cisco Data Center core technologies and consists of 90 to 110 questions that you have to answer in 2 hours. The second portion of the exam are the Concentration CCNP Data Center CE, which are narrower, more area-specialized exams and there are 5 of them to choose from.

Another thing to remember is that there are no official requirements or prerequisites for taking the CCNP Data Center examination. However, without substantial, preexisting knowledge and a few years of experience in implementing enterprise networking solutions, you probably won’t stand a chance at obtaining the certification

Start With The Plan


You should always start with a plan. Just grabbing study materials and randomly reading it won’t amount to much. Preparation is key and it can very well be the difference between passing and failing. So, what do you have to do?

First up, start by answering the important questions like how much prep time do you have on your hands, your budget, your schedule and so on. After you’ve answered all those questions, devise a study plan that you’ll be able to follow.

Make sure you make a reasonable plan. You’ll need time to get through all the study materials so don’t try and cram it all in two weeks. We’d recommend organizing your study material, starting with “simple” stuff and working your up towards more complex issues.

Also, make sure you stay away from distractions. Forget about studying for CCNA Data Center with a phone in your hand. Allow yourself a couple of hours per day only for studying and you should see solid results sooner rather than later.

Obtain Proper Study Material


Without proper learning materials, you won’t be able to pass this exam no matter how hard you work. The field of networking is always changing and evolving and you must always stay on top of it.

That is one of the main reasons you should pay special attention when selecting study materials. Many, including Spoto, would advise that you start with CCNA Data Center exam dumps. The exam dumps are arguably the best way for you to prepare for the examination.

Most of these exam dumps cover all possible questions that could be asked during the certification examination, therefore, preparing alongside these is almost guaranteed to yield impeccable results, provided that you do your part of the job and study hard.

Get A Tutor Or Join A Study Group


Some of you may work best when left alone, but in this case, it would be more than advised to seek help from a tutor or enrolling in a study group. First up, having a tutor that is already Cisco Certified expert in networking means you have someone in your corner that has already passed the exam and knows what you can expect.

A piece of good advice can go a long way and an experienced tutor can really point you in the right direction, tell you what to pay close attention to, what to focus on and so on. Additionally, study groups for CCNPs aren’t your typical study groups.

These are, more or less, training camps for up-and-coming networking experts, where you work together towards a common goal which is passing the CCNP Data Center exam. Naturally, these study groups will be led by certified tutors, so you’ll have both the guidance and power of a group at your disposal.

Write It All Down


Now, let’s talk about some actual study tips. One of the best ways to memorize, connect and understand complex networking concepts and mechanisms is by writing them down. Whether you want to write down simplified footnotes or draw mind maps – it’s entirely up to you.

We would, if you’re willing to take our advice, recommend using mind maps. They are a great tool to help you visualize the problem and an even better way for you to learn. As you already know, networking solutions can be very complex and a visual aid such as a mind map could really come in handy.

Don’t Forget To Take Breaks


Studying hard is the key to passing this exam, but you can’t study effectively if you’re tired or overworked. You’re going to progress much faster if you study at a natural pace, without overworking yourself, so don’t forget to take regular breaks. Study for 45 minutes, then take a 15-minute break. Do that a few times a day and you should be golden.

One final piece of advice – don’t revise the day before the exam. Use that time to relax and unwind and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. One day won’t make a difference, especially if you’ve spent the previous 60 being responsible and studying diligently.


As you can see, studying for the CCNP Data Center exam shouldn’t be too hard. It will take some time and sacrifice, but if you follow our advice, we’re certain it will be a lot easier for you. Good luck!