• Passed the CWSP after a study program in 3 phases.
    1. Read Sybex Study Guide - work about 1/2 the chapter quiz questions. Take notes.
    2. Read the whitepapers & Re-read Sybex Study Guide - work the rest of the chapter quiz questions. Update the notes/study guide.
    3. Work all the packet capture exercises, take the online practices exams (1-4), read the whitepapers or re-read chapters based on weak topics on the online practice exam. Update the notes/study guide.

    This pattern creates "structured interval recall". The goal is to learn in a way that sticks. The notes/study guide have expanded based on features/limits of the products I use day-to-day. So, the notes/study guide will be a long-term reference.

    A final note, it would have been faster I paid special attention to the topics not "used" in daily work. For example, I work on current equipment and don't need Dynamic WEP. I work on standards based equipment and didn't pay attention to Cisco proprietary protocols the first time through (i.e. LEAP, FAST). My home network and devices are already hand configured so I skimmed WPS the first time through. Instead of skipping/skimming the stuff you don't use, I could have paid closer attention these topics.


  • By (Deleted User)

    Well done Brian. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your prep notes.

  • Thank you! I am currently studying for CWSP. I will try to duplicate your success! Lol. Very high score, I will be happy with anything greater than 69% Haha. Have you taken CWAP or CWDP?

  • Thanks for the feedback.

    I am reading selected chapters from both the CWAP and CWDP study guides. I'll do the last study & testing just one at a time. Any thoughts on which one should be next?

    The CWDP is more related to my work, the CWAP brings how it all really works into view. Packets don't lie.

  • I went with CWDP first because I design a good bit of wlans and wanted the knowledge from the book. I think it would benefit your wifi skills to learn CWAP first. They say that once you know what the packets are saying then everything else will come with ease.

  • I wrote in another post my approach, but I'd like to add here that I find the CWAP and CWDP books complement each other very well.

  • Great Job Brian,
    After getting a painful 69% on my first attempt I am paying more attention to the peripheral study material and white papers and emphasizing the 20% and 50% exam objectives. I did discover that Objective 2.5 "Describe and Demonstrate the Different Types of WLAN Management Systems and Their Features" in the Sybex study guide mentions that the study material is in Ch. 12 when it is actually in Chs. 9 and 10. I sent an email to CWNP and we should see a correction soon I hope. I test again next week and hope to pass with a much higher score!

  • Ouch.. 69% I'd rather totally bomb than to be so close .... GOOD LUCK!

  • Best wishes on the next run at the CWSP. Instead of just re-reading the CWSP material, you may find the CWAP or CWDP Sybex texts offer a different view, different explanation of the materieals you want to review. It might be worth adding time to read selected topics from these into your study plan.

    After the CWSP, I passed the CWAP.

    My study plans were wildly interupted after scheduling the exam. I passed with a low pass, but a pass is a pass.

    What did I actually do to prepare:

    I've been reading/studying the CWNA, CWSP, CWAP, CWDP texts more or less in parallel. The explanations are very complimentary and this helps. Then I study one text at a time.

    Beyond the Sybex CWAP study guide, preparation included lots of time with Meta Geek spectrum analyzer and with TamoSoft's CommView for WiFi packet capture tools.

    Most of the spectrum analyzer time and packet capture traces were my home network with Linksys WLAN router and "typical" collection of home devices (iPod, iPad, MacBook Air, AppleTV, a few Windows 7 notebooks).

    What would I suggest you add?

    The gaps? QoS packet flows and 802.11n flows/information elements/fields. Perhaps I'd suggest adding a a bit of time comparing WiFi Alliance certifications for devices with the related packet captures. I'm impressed that a lot of the Qos and 802.11n standards are optional for WiFi alliance certification and most of the the home protocol captures don't show the features.

    Adding a lab exercise building a table of which devices actually implement which 802.11 and QoS features and a library of associated packet captures might synthesize a lot of infomration from different chapters of the Sybex study guide.

    What's next?
    This question is easy this time, CWNA, CWSP and CWAP are complete.
    The answer: CWDP.

  • Thanks everyone for the advice, I passed this time. Checking out the CWAP definitely helped recognizing the packets. I also studied according to the exam objectives focusing more attention on the areas with a higher percentage of weight on the exams. I did notice that the exam objectives worksheet is not completely accurate as to where the information can be found in the book, but at least studying according to the exam objectives got me looking for the right information. CWAP here I come!

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