CCVP: You Must Choose, but Choose Wisely – Part 2

In my previous posting, we discussed the intricacies of the Linux-based CCVP track. Now, let’s shift our focus to the Windows-based CCVP track. According to Cisco’s website, here are the exams and courses recommended for the Windows-based track.

Exam: 642-642

Recommended Course: QoS  Quality of Service (QoS v2.2)

Exam: 642-436

Recommended Course(s): CVOICE Cisco Voice over IP (CVOICE v6.0) OR Cisco Voice over IP (CVOICE v5.0) AND Cisco Voice over IP fundamentals (CVF v1.0)

Exam: 642-426

Recommended Course: TUC  Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Communications Systems (TUC v1.0) 

Exam: 642-444

Recommended Course: CIPT 4.1 Cisco IP Telephony Part 1 (CIPT1 4.1) AND Cisco IP Telephony Part 2 (CIPT2 4.1) OR Cisco IP Telephony Part 1 (CIPT1 6.0) AND Cisco IP Telephony Part 2 (CIPT1 6.0)

Exam: 642-453

Recommended Course: GWGK  Implementing Cisco Voice Gateways and Gatekeepers (GWGK)

As we discussed last time, be wary of the assertion that you can take CVOICE 5.0 and CVF 1.0 to prepare for the 642-436. You will not be successful on the 642-436 (i.e. the CVOICE 6.0 exam) if your preparation is solely based on the CVOICE 5.0 and CVF 1.0 courses, because the new CVOICE 6.0 course is really a merged version of the CVOICE 5.0 and GWGK 2.0 courses.

That leads to another curiosity with this track. If most of the material in the GWGK 2.0 course is now covered in the CVOICE 6.0 course, why would you have to take both the CVOICE and GWGK exams in this track? Also, why is GWGK not a required exam in the Linux-based CCVP track?

Here’s my guess. Even though there is a tremendous amount of overlap between the GWGK 2.0 and CVOICE 6.0 courses (and exam topics), Cisco might have been trying to keep the number of exams the same, regardless of which CCVP track you choose (i.e. the Linux-based or Windows-based track). It seems clear that GWGK doesn’t offer much information beyond the CVOICE 6.0 course, because the GWGK exam isn’t even a required exam for the Linux-based track.

So, here’s a tip. If you’re going to be going down the Windows-based track, take the GWGK exam very soon after you pass the CVOICE 6.0 exam, because you’ll be tested on many of the same topics.

One other oddity worth noting... Notice that Cisco says you can take the CIPT1 6.0 and CIPT2 6.0 courses in preparation for the 642-444 exam. Again, I have to disagree. The 642-444 exam is for the Windows version of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM), while the CIPT1 6.0 and CIPT2 6.0 courses focus exclusively on a Linux UCM platform. So, the CIPT1 4.1 and CIPT2 4.1 courses offer you the best preparation for the 642-444 exam.

Also, like I did in my last posting, I wanted to give you my recommended order of taking these courses (and their corresponding exams):

1.        1. CVOICE 6.0

2.       2. GWGK 2.0

3.       3. CIPT1 4.1 and CIPT2 4.1 (The 642-444 exam is based on a combination of the two courses)

4.       4. QoS 2.2

5.       5. TUC 1.0

Finally, a big thank you to everyone that responded to the poll in my first blog, asking about what topics you would like me to address. Here were your top three:

-          - Exploring fundamental concepts presented in the QoS course

-          - Setting up a home lab

-          - Entry-level Cisco voice certification: Voice CCNA Concentration

Based on your feedback, I’ll focus most of my remaining postings this month on these topics, beginning next time with the first in a series of QoS postings. By the way, in talking with some of my former students, a significant percentage of them told me they thought the QoS exam was the most difficult exam in the CCVP track. That really surprised me. I would have guessed GWGK (for the Windows-based track) or TUC (for the Linux-based track).

So, let’s end up with a final poll:

See you next time!

Kevin 

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