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CWAP, not for the faint-hearted! #CWAP #CWNP


CWAP is one of the professional exams required to qualify for the title to be CWNP (Certified Wireless Network Professional). This blogpost will particularly focus on the CWAP-403 exam released in late 2018. From my personal experience and many in the wi-fi community have regarded it as the hardest of the professional level certification exams. It is also recommended to take the exam after CWNA one wanting to purse towards CWNP track. CWAP focusses on wireless analysis end to end troubleshooting and one needs to learn the about Wireshark, Pcaps, and the wi-fi spectrum.

How I studied for the CWAP exam?

If you can get to attend Peter Mckenzie’s training course for CWAP you should be in a very comfortable position to nail this exam however I was not fortunate enough to be in the right time/place for the training. You can find more resources from his blog post here.

I’ve purchased the CWAP workbook from wifitraining which is quite useful in understanding the pcaps and the topics covered by the exam.

If you are transitioning to wifi after being a network engineer for a while content of CWAP might seem overwhelming. Some of its contents are quite theoretical and require a lot of concentration and reading. This exam should not be taken easy, I’ve failed very closely getting to scores like 67 and 68 but ultimately getting 82 when I passed.

  • The best place to start the preparation is to know the objectives for the CWAP-403 exam from the official CWNP website.
  • CWAP exam guide is a great book, although if you are like me learning the concepts from the scratch the older version of the Sybex book is recommended.
  • For Pcaps and analysis, I would suggest using any Macbook (as it has built-in wifi sniffing capabilities) and Wireshark, Airtool are free to use tools for sniffing.
  • For spectrum analyzers and signatures best to use Chanalyzer by Metageek and helpful links are available on their website to follow.
  • Some recommended resources/blog for CWAP
    • CWNP Practice tests for CWAP – Highly recommended.
  • Lastly, I’ve condensed the topics in my blog posts as well. The CWAP links can be found here.
  • It is recommended to run Wireshark captures from different locations to analyze the packets e.g. from a coffee shop, office locations including roaming, and perhaps from your home wireless too. You can use https://packets.arista to help you analyze the packet captures.

What Next?

I have been preparing for CWDP exam while failing at CWAP and thanks to the COVID19 lockdowns which have given some time to dedicate to the studies. So, will be focussing on completing that exam soon.

Good luck with your studies and feel free to reach out to me.

Twitter: keepcalmandping

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