Question about Route and Switch exams.

javakwonjavakwon Junior MemberMember Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
I just passed CCNA yesterday.

Questions are

1. should I take Route first or Switch exams first?

or it doesn't matter?

2. Is Packet Tracer enough for CCNP or GNS3 is preferred?

Thank you for your help!!!


  • JasonITJasonIT Senior Member Member Posts: 114
    Most people take route first, but I am going to take switch first. I have the lab equipment for switch now, so I am going to work on it. I don't think it matters as long as you take T/S last.

    I also think most people will recommend GNS3 for CCNP.

    Good Luck!

  • KoryKory Member Member Posts: 43 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Route or switch its up to you, I did route first but it really makes no difference.

    Packet tracer is definitely not up to the task of CCNP stuff. I'd say its barely sufficient for CCNA.

    GNS3 is the weapon of choice for doing ROUTE labs, but it can't emulate switch IOS, so you may need real hardware for that. (probably a good reason to go with ROUTE first, then save up some cash for a few switches. You'll need 3 of them, at least one should be layer 3, but two would be better.

    Good luck
  • FloOzFloOz Network Consultant Member Posts: 1,614 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats on your CCNA pass. Currently I am taking Route first because I heard it is the hardest of the three so I rather knock it out first. Packet tracer will not cut it for CCNP however GNS3 will definitely be good enough. You will still need to purchase switches though since GNS3 cannot emulate switches. Personally I have a home lab that I lab on and also use GNS3 occasionally at work.
  • javakwonjavakwon Junior Member Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for your replies!!! It was very helpful.
  • razarrazar Member Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Another vote for Route with gns3 first here. I'm booked in for the exam next month.

    Also now im at a company that has a load of old unused switches in the store room so hoping to make use of those when i start switch.
  • JasonXJasonX Member Member Posts: 96 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm hopefully going to be completing the entire CCNP track tomorrow (taking TSHOOT), and the reading material alone of the Route FLG is about twice as much as the material on Switch.

    Do you have no work experience in Networking? Fortunately for me I have access to tons of equipment so didn't have to buy anything on my own, but did utilize GNS3 for the Route portion of the exam when I was studying at home.

    My recommendation would be Route first than Switch. I think knocking out the harder exam first (IMO) would be the better approach.
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  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Netzwerksicherheit Member Posts: 1,210
    If you are batter than one of them maybe you should do that first? If it is about even I would put my voice for ROUTE for the above mentioned reasons. I am starting with ROUTE too and I just like the material more than the one in SWITCH. GNS3 is definitely the way to go but there is the issue with the switches. Check out options for rack renting.
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  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Senior Member Member Posts: 1,104
    Take Route first, i'm drowning in the deepness that is Switch as I type this. Done for the night but lordy, toooooooons of details.
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
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    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • javakwonjavakwon Junior Member Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for all your advice!!!
  • dmcneil330dmcneil330 Member Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you go with SWITCH then you must remember that it is a highly detailed and difficult exam. Focus on details as they apply to implementation and design planning. Rote memory will not pass you on this exam. Take it from me I just failed my SWITCH exam because of this fact. I have both rote memory and a little experience with implementation. I have a home lab and mocked most every subject, however, I had little experience with implementation as Cisco wants it. Remember this fact!
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think the general conciseness is that Route is the harder exam of the 2, (not counting TSHOOT). Route is tough too, I am studying it and am going to have to push back my test date due to some life events that have impeded on my studies. I work with a lot of NPs and most of them had advised me to get a win with Switch and go after route, then TSHOOT. I had started studying for Route far before I sought their advise so I stuck with it.

    GNS3 for sure or even better real equipment. I like GNS3 for the implementation convince so I can hammer out labs quicker. The labbing aspect is very important. It will help you ingrain the topics that you have learned from reading.
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  • Iceman25kIceman25k Member Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I went for ROUTE first because I didn't have access to the equipment necessary for SWITCH at the time. I'm in the review stage now and will probably book the exam for the end of June.
    11/29/12: Begin CCNP ROUTE.
  • dmcneil330dmcneil330 Member Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have heard that the SWITCH exam was the hardest. At least over on CLN people seem to say so.
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