The Green Girl managed to pass Cisco ENCOR 350-401

The Green Girl finally passed the Cisco 350-401 ENCOR Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies exam after 2 years of studying.

I spent the first year reading the Cisco Press CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core ENCOR 350-401 Official Cert Guide (I purchased both the hard copy and ebook – I use Calibre to convert the EPUB file to a MOBI format for my Kindle Paperwhite) and I started out with Pluralsight Cisco ENCOR (350-401) for CCNP Enterprise but became frustrated that the ENCOR learning path was incomplete (not all of the ENCOR topics were covered). I then decided to give CBT Nuggets CCNP Enterprise (350-401 ENCOR) Online Training a try but I found the instruction lacking so I eventually cancelled my subscription.

To supplement the ENCOR Official Cert Guide, I purchased the Cisco Press CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core & CCNP Enterprise Advanced Routing Portable Command Guide: All ENCOR (350-401) and ENARSI (300-410) Commands in One Compact, Portable Resource. I appreciate the concise format of the Portable Command Guides.

After feeling like I’d wasted an entire year of studying cycles, I decided to give David Bombal and Kevin Wallace’s Complete CCNP ENCOR (350-401) Master Class on Udemy a try. (This course is no longer available on Udemy but can be purchased on David Bombal’s site I was pleasantly surprised to see how much the Udemy app had improved on the iPhone. I also discovered what a truly outstanding instructor Kevin Wallace is. I highly recommend this course for ENCOR preparation.

At this point, I decided I needed to put together a game plan to pass this exam:

When I was chatting with Cisco Press author Scott Empson at Cisco Live 2022 in Las Vegas, he recommended Patrick Gargano‘s Cisco Press 31 Days Before Your CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core Exam so I picked up a copy. The book included a perforated tracker which was based off of the official Cisco ENCOR 350-401 Blueprint. I tore the tracker out and used it to track the progress of my studying.

Here’s what ultimately worked for me:

My number one tip for preparing for the ENCOR exam would be to print out the official Cisco ENCOR 350-401 Blueprint and use that as your guiding star instead of allowing yourself to get overwhelmed by the breadth of topics and the size of the Official Cert Guide. Pay close attention to the words and structure your studying accordingly – I strongly believe this is what enabled me to pass on my first attempt. I used the tear-out version from the Cisco Press 31 Days Before Your CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core Exam but you can also just print out the Cisco ENCOR 350-401 Blueprint PDF from the Cisco website.

  • If it says explain or analyze, make sure you are familar with the concept
  • If it says differentiate or compare, make sure you know the differences and can easily list them off the top of your head
  • If it says configure (and verify) or construct, you will want to lab that up until you are comfortable with the commands
  • If it says troubleshoot or diagnose, you will want to lab and make sure you understand how to identify and resolve issues
  • If it says interpret, make sure you can identify valid and invalid syntax (focus on details like opening/closing tags/brackets)

Here are some examples:

  • 3.3.a Describe Layer 1 concepts, such as RF power, RSSI, SNR, interference noise, band and channels, and wireless client devices capabilities just make sure you are familiar with these concepts
  • 3.1.c Configure and verify common Spanning Tree Protocols (RSTP and MST) make sure you know how to configure RSTP and MST and how to manipulate it to influence traffic flow
  • 4.4 Configure and verify SPAN/RSPAN/ERSPAN you know that you will want to not only lab SPAN/RSPAN/ERSPAN because it says configure but also know how to troubleshoot it since it says verify

5 thoughts on “The Green Girl managed to pass Cisco ENCOR 350-401

Add yours

  1. Hello there,
    Congratulations for clearing the test on your first attempt!
    Inspiring efforts!💐
    Thank you for taking out the time to compile your journey and share such helpful instances and interpretations that are crucial to understand.
    I’m preparing for the test and currently reading the OCG for the first time!
    Thank you once again!

    Liked by 1 person

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