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Preparation Hints

Become familiar with the official SWITCH exam blueprint and its list of objectives. A cisco.com login is required. The basic blueprint sounds simple enough:

  • 1.0 Layer 2 Technologies
  • 2.0 Infrastructure Security
  • 3.0 Infrastructure Services

However, you will find a long list of familiar features and technologies under the Layer 2 banner. VLANs, VTP, EtherChannels, and Spanning Tree are all there. The new exam adds other Layer 2 technologies such as SPAN and RSPAN, as well as StackWise and VSS for switch platform high availability.

The Infrastructure Security category covers a variety of technologies to secure access through a switch and to mitigate spoofing attacks. The exam update adds AAA feature coverage to access the switch itself.

Where are the Layer 3 or multilayer switching features? In Infrastructure Services, all the First-Hop Redundancy Protocols (HSRP, VRRP, and GLBP) are covered. Layer 3 switching is also implied. It is worth noting that the exam update adds IPv6 and DHCP coverage.

With the 300-115 exam update, you can expect to find that technologies such as wireless, VoIP, and video have been removed. You will still have to know how to configure switch ports to support wireless access points and IP phones, as well as Power over Ethernet to power those devices.

The SWITCH exam is loosely based on the Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (SWITCH) course, offered as instructor-led training from a Cisco Learning Partner. Although the 5-day course covers a multitude of LAN switching topics, it can’t cover everything. Because of that, the exam might have questions about topics that fall outside of the course. Even further, the exam might cover topics that aren’t listed on the exam blueprint.

Hands-on experience is a great asset for the SWITCH exam, especially on the simulation and scenario-based questions. This allows you to configure, validate, and interact with the simulated switches more efficiently without having to use the context-based help to search for and guess possible commands and keywords.

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