I passed CCNP:SP 642-885 SPADVROUTE

Not much action going on in this forum so I'm just going to pop in and say that I passed this exam today. My thoughts:

- Overall, this is a reasonably fair exam, and the questions are almost entirely on topics from the blueprint.

- No questions had language that was tricky for the sake of being tricky.

- A single question was definitely on a topic that wasn’t on the blueprint, and it was hard enough that I probably failed it despite roughly knowing what that feature did.

- The main topics were BGP, Multicast and IPv6. In terms of difficulty, I found the multicast questions the easiest and BGP the hardest. This may or may not be a reflection of me spending a lot more time on multicast. I was a tiny bit unprepared for the technical details of the XR based BGP questions. I know BGP fairly well on a conceptual level, and while there were some questions that you could call “conceptual”, the bulk of the questions were on the specific BGP features on the blueprint. BGP as a whole is probably tested on the SPROUTE exam that I haven’t taken.

- The simulation style questions were disappointing in the sense that very few commands were actually implemented. I also couldn’t see which commands that I could actually use with “?”, and show run was disabled. This may, or may not, have been an issue with the keyboard layout because in my previous Cisco exams, the keyboard layout was English, and here it was Swedish, but the ? key didn’t actually work. I don’t know if this was intended. I would have been able to answer all the questions easily if I had I real router in front of me, but not knowing what commands that I could actually use, I had to give uncertain answers to several of these questions.

- Too many questions felt like trivia rather than testing overall knowledge of the protocols. In particular, one question gave you CLI output that went something like <name of feature> x y z w. The question was then what each parameter meant. I couldn’t remember the exact order you entered these parameters and I probably failed the question despite knowing what the feature did and how it is used.

- One or two of questions of the type where you are told to pick say 2 or 3 alternatives based on some statement, had either more correct answers than what you were allowed to pick, or less. One question in particular was on a feature that I knew inside out, but I was forced to pick 3 when only 2 were actually correct.

- This exam does have some issues, but if you know the material, you will pass anyway. The passing score is the lowest that I’ve seen on any Cisco exam so far (but I believe that I’m not actually allowed to disclose it), and most questions were actually pretty straight forward.

(shamelessly copied from my blog :))


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