It took me around 12 months to finish my CCVP. But I am a newly-married full-time-employee doing his MBA…
You can still finish it in a reasonably short time with good understanding and skills if you are dedicated and ready to put the effort.
CVOICE, GWGK and TUC needs around 3 weeks each… CBT Nuggets for Cvoice is GREAT, and I advice you to go through Knet Express for the CVOICE, GWGK and TUC. Then read the Quick Reference Sheets and go for the exam.
CIPT needs much more time… it took me around two months of hard study for this one… I’ve practiced using VMware on home PC and work Laptop (which I started to carry home everyday for this)… it is not advisable to skim through this one, you need to know this application as good as you know MS Word if you are to succeed in this business.
You may be able to do your CCVP faster, but it should achievable in: 3 weeks (Cvoice), 3 weeks (GWGK), 4 weeks (QoS), 8 weeks (CIPT) 3 weeks (TUC)… i.e. total around 5 months [4 if you do not count QoS].
The Important Skills You need to master in each exams. If you master those skills, then you will be able to do well as a CCVP:
CVOICE: Dial Pears
GWGK: Gateway, Gatekeeper configuration and gateway registration with gatekeeper
CIPT: Is all about the Call Manager; learning the menus, submenus, their locations and what they do… the most boring stuff you can imagine… it is like memorizing where to find ”insert table” in MS Word, what it does and few of the different tables you can create!!! The best way to learn about Call Manager is to do some live installations and test everything (this is the way I’ve done it, and the only way to make some sense out of it).
QoS: I felt this exam is more about concepts than skills, it will tack some time to study (around 4 weeks of hard work) but it is enjoyable…
TUC: You need to become really skillful in tracing logs.
What to use for study:
I did not read any of Cisco Press books for any of the exams; I usually use CBT Nuggets (if available), then go to Knet Express for more details.
When I do not understand the explanation of a slide (or doubt it, because some of them are wrong) I go to the Student guide and read the explanation from there (I anyway listen to explanation from the Knet Express while following it from the student guide as they may neglect very important info and tips).
I hit the dumps as a last step; I hate printing papers (as I hate killing trees) but I usually print AT, I read the question while hiding the answer to test myself... AT provides explanation to some answers which acts as a review… P4S is a last night preparation, at this stage and after all this reading I score more than 85 easily in Virtual Exams.
I also read the Quick Reference Sheets before I do the exam, sometime before or after P4S. I keep reviewing those Quick Reference Sheets every few weeks after I pass the exam just to keep the info present in my mind.
About IP Phones:
You will be surprised how little CCVP has to do with IP phones … It is not the focus of any of the five exams; you get to learn something about them in the CIPT exam, but not enough to get you going in the field for sure, and it is not an objective of the exam.
There are no simulators for IP Telephony; kNet Express has some good practical scenarios where you can apply the commands… I imagine you can practice for GWGK and QoS on Dynamips, but I believe there is no need to be that extreme…
You can use Virtual Machines or real servers to install Call Managers:
What is really important if you are going to use VMs is to have fast PC(s) with a lot of RAM and able to run few Virtual Machines to host your Call Managers and Soft IP Phones; this what will enable you to acquire the needed skills for the CIPT and TUC exams and the real life...
Of course, this setup may not cover the entire cvoice exam subjects, but it is more than enough to give you decent practice on the basic concepts.
Exams in order:
The different ”logical” orders and why anyone would chose any of them are:
If you are a CCNA, aiming to achieve your CCVP in the easiest way by building each step on the previous step, and since CVOICE and GWGK has a lot in common, the best way to go is:
CVOICE -- > GWGK -- > QoS -- > CIPT -- > TUC
If you are already a CCNP or a R&S person with exposure to QoS, then it will be very easy for you to start with QoS, i.e.:
QoS -- > CVOICE -- > GWGK -- > CIPT -- > TUC
If you are already or will be soon employed in the VoIP flied, and in desperate need for a crash course to handle the day to day work or get things going then you may start with CVoice then CIPT; as they contain most of what is needed for a single site and centralized call processing model with few sites, then move on to the ”more advanced” stuff. In this case you will find yourself forced to go for:
CVOICE -- > CIPT -- > QoS -- > GWGK -- > TUCIt depends on your needs… but I do not think that anyone will advice any other orders.
What I felt about each subject:
CVOICE the most useful exam
GWGK the hardest to master
QoS the most interesting one
CIPT the most boring
TUC the easiest to do.
Edited by adabbas, 24 May 2008 - 08:04 AM.