well i'm miserable

smcclenaghansmcclenaghan Posts: 139Member
790 on ccnp switching today.

i read the cisco cert guides several times and practiced with the pearson practice exams and the boson practice exams & labs.

i swear some of that stuff either wasn't in the cisco cert guide and definitely wasn't marked with the little "objective icon" which marks the information you can count on being tested on (for the CCNA at least).

i found a handful of the questions to be deceptively ambiguous. the premise is that a certain configuration has been verified and then one of the answers suggests a problem with that configuration.

i also thought that the ? wasn't working quite right although it could have just been stress. it seemed like options weren't available but then if you entered a command which normally comes earlier in the sequence, then the options appeared. i also noticed it wouldn't take fa0/3 for example, but would take FastEthernet 0/3. the interface range commands were also funny. usually you can do interface range fa0/3-4, but that didn't work here (i mean FastEthernet0/3-4 didn't work either). you had to use commas.

i'm a little discouraged. i really felt like i knew the material and i just don't know where to begin except to read the whole damn book again.

without getting into specifics, did any of you (who've taken/passed the 300-115 exam) feel that the cert guide didn't cover everything? if so, what else did you focus on?

Comments

  • koz24koz24 ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 766Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sorry to hear the bad news. Looks like you were real close though. What was the passing score?

    I'm currently studying for this exam and I'm using the FLG and SWITCH Simplified in addition to the OCG. Maybe some of the questions came from the FLG?
  • bharvey92bharvey92 Posts: 419Member
    Sorry to hear about your exam result mate. One tip I can give you is that don't use just the OCG to read from for the CCNP in my opinion - it's useless and misses key information. I used Chris Bryant materials, INE, CBT and the Simplified series and this covered everything. Also some people say that ? does not work in exams so that could be the issue you experienced.

    Pick yoursel back up, try and see if you can get them additional books/videos and you'll get it next time icon_thumright.gif
    2018 Goal: CCIE Written [ ]
  • smcclenaghansmcclenaghan Posts: 139Member
    Yeah I will. It was just a little devastating. I'll start again I guess and hit those CBT and some of the other sources you suggested.

    I think that's obnoxious that you can't count on ?. Ugh...
  • quickman007quickman007 Posts: 195Member
    Did you only use that book for studying? I haven't done a CCNP exam yet, but two different study materials + labbing seems to be the minimum.
  • smcclenaghansmcclenaghan Posts: 139Member
    I used the CCNP cert guide (very familiar with it), used the enclosed practice exams from Pearson, used Boson labs and four practice exams from them. The Boson labs did me a disservice, I feel, because the ? was reliable and shortcuts (like interface range fa0/1-3) worked. Those don't work in the exam. Useful commands like 'sho arp' or 'sho cdp nei' are enabled in Boson labs but arbitrarily disabled in the CCNP exam so you have to dig for something that's implemented in order to get a MAC or IP you might need.

    I really just wasted too much time on the sims. The second to last question was a sim and I was struggling with commands I thought sure were right, but it wasn't taking them for some reason. I had about seven minutes left and decided to cut my losses and move onto the last question, in case it was another sim. Sure enough, it was a simple multiple choice which I answered in 5 seconds and then I just had to end the test 7 minutes early. I was so pissed off.

    I'm ranting more to myself than any of you. Time to break out all the routers and switches in my house and take this thing seriously I guess. Now I know what's on it. I won't eff it up twice.
  • koz24koz24 ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 766Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    The Boson labs did me a disservice, I feel, because the ? was reliable and shortcuts (like interface range fa0/1-3) worked. Those don't work in the exam. Useful commands like 'sho arp' or 'sho cdp nei' are enabled in Boson labs but arbitrarily disabled in the CCNP exam so you have to dig for something that's implemented in order to get a MAC or IP you might need.

    This is very useful information, thank you. I too have the Boson NetSim for CCNP and have been using it to prepare. ? being disabled on the exam is huge. I guess we'll just have to know the commands down cold.
  • smcclenaghansmcclenaghan Posts: 139Member
    It isn't disabled, but it isn't reliable. Definitely don't count on it. Learn as many of the commands as you can, cold.
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Posts: 879Member
    i read the cisco cert guides several times and practiced with the pearson practice exams and the boson practice exams & labs.
    ...
    i'm a little discouraged. i really felt like i knew the material and i just don't know where to begin except to read the whole damn book again.

    Your studying process seems pretty weak to be honest. When you read the book, take notes that make sense to you, and then refer to those notes later on in your preparations. Leave some room on each page where you can fill in additional relevant information from other sources later (easier to do with digital notes, obviously). Alternatively, make a mind map or something of that nature. The point is that you need to condense the textbook material into a more manageable form, and then only go back to the textbook for clarification if something in your notes doesn't make sense.

    Then there's the issue of lab practice. I haven't tried those Boson simulations, but I can't imagine that it's comparable to actually sitting down with a proper lab environment and configuring everything that's on the blueprint in various ways. A good additional resource is the configuration guides for the access layer switches.

    I'd also stay away from practice exams because if you need those, you probably don't know the material well enough. The exception would if you use them to expose some kind of weakness, but I feel like you should probably know that just by looking at the blueprint.

    Anyway, if you scored 790 just doing what you describe, you'll probably pass pretty easily if you study better.
  • xnxxnx Do they matter? UKPosts: 464Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Easy option: try and memorise the sims you had and study those topics, every cisco exam only has a limited number of sims so there's a good chance they'll pop up again

    Best Option: Try and get as much labbing / real world experience on all the topics on the blueprint..
    Getting There ...

    Lab Equipment: Using Cisco CSRs and 4 Switches currently
  • smcclenaghansmcclenaghan Posts: 139Member
    fredrikjj wrote: »
    Your studying process seems pretty weak to be honest. When you read the book, take notes that make sense to you, and then refer to those notes later on in your preparations. Leave some room on each page where you can fill in additional relevant information from other sources later (easier to do with digital notes, obviously). Alternatively, make a mind map or something of that nature. The point is that you need to condense the textbook material into a more manageable form, and then only go back to the textbook for clarification if something in your notes doesn't make sense.

    Then there's the issue of lab practice. I haven't tried those Boson simulations, but I can't imagine that it's comparable to actually sitting down with a proper lab environment and configuring everything that's on the blueprint in various ways. A good additional resource is the configuration guides for the access layer switches.

    I'd also stay away from practice exams because if you need those, you probably don't know the material well enough. The exception would if you use them to expose some kind of weakness, but I feel like you should probably know that just by looking at the blueprint.

    Anyway, if you scored 790 just doing what you describe, you'll probably pass pretty easily if you study better.

    Sorry but I just don't agree with you at all, especially about practice exams.

    My complete study method was the read the entire book twice, take a 70 page spiral notebook and fill it completely with notes (front & back) highlighting the truly significant stuff, and then do labs/practice exams to make sure I knew the material from the memory.

    I didn't use my routers and switches as well as I should have. I think I relied on the boson sims because they seemed pretty damn accurate. That killed me. No argument there.

    Other than that, the problem isn't that I studied poorly in general (with the excepting of Pruning, which I know I just didn't give the attention it needed). The problem is that the Cisco Cert guide, by itself, doesn't cover everything on the test. And I'm sorry, but it should. The "Key Objective" icons are also pointless because material near them and nowhere near them was all testable and didn't even seem to be particularly weighted towards the key objectives.

    Not quite getting your point about not taking practice exams because that proves you don't know the material. I think the point of practice exams is to sanity check that you actually do know the material and identify gaps in your knowledge if you don't.



    xnx: agree. Not using my routers/switches that I used for CCNA killed me. I'd have better memorized the commands if I did it that way and wouldn't have relied on "?" so much.

    I still contend the test isn't a fair test if you can't rely on "?" and it sources material beyond the official certification guide, but I understand this just sounds like sour grapes until I actually earn the cert.

    Anyway, the routers & switches are set up now and the real studying begins.
  • dsgmdsgm ■■■□□□□□□□ Posts: 228Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I used only the OCG and CBT videos along with the 4 switches i have in my lab, i failed the first time because of two sims but i just went ahead and studied the topics from those sims and retook the test about 2 weeks after and passed, pretty sure the route will be much harder which i am on right now.


    Good luck next time
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Posts: 1,195Member
    Keep at it man, defiantly a bummer and I know the feeling well. Good luck on the next attempt!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
  • xnxxnx Do they matter? UKPosts: 464Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I sat mines today and got 811 so I know how you feel!

    It feels like I failed...

    The simulator is terrible and I don't your study techniques are bad, just the sims..
    Getting There ...

    Lab Equipment: Using Cisco CSRs and 4 Switches currently
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Posts: 464Member
    Just don't give up. I also failed the SWITCH exam.
    Go ahead and take another shot.
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