Failed CCNA 250-125 - 6/14/19
I took the exam this morning at my local test-center and I failed. Actually, I timed-out, so for me that's even worse.
I took ~2 months to prep for this exam using my 4-year old access to Netacad courses that distinctly covered material for this cert. Additionally, I had access to a multitude of Packet Tracer labs.
What I came to find about this exam is that it didn't exactly cover the things I thought it would. I even purchased official practice exams from Pearson's third-party and I still wound up overwhelmed.
I achieved 30 points below the passing score (i.e. I was close). Half of the questions that were not Simulation-based were what I was expecting. The other half was not. I don't even think I covered it in my study references.
Personally, I found this exam to be more enjoyable than what I experienced with the CISSP. The only thing I felt lacking with this exam was not having adequate time to complete the more lengthy-process type questions. Mind you, it's not like you can skip the problem statement before attempting to answer the questions. It's all done sequentially.
I recall spending nearly 10 minutes on just one of those advanced simulation problems and the reason for that was because a) the scenario was lengthy and involved multiple nodes b) the test interface required me to click through every screen (be it problem statement, console windows, etc.) and c) it was not an ideal setup.
Here's the thing:
I can ...
- Configure switches & routers
- Understand/Explain distinct routing protocols and their differences
- Configure basic security on both switches & routers (be it ports, processes, ACLs, services, whatever)
- Understand/Explain the components of TCP/IP stack and their specifics
- Understand/Explain methods created to support various levels of service for varying sizes of organizations (e.g. routing protocols, loop prevention, ROaS, etherchannels, etc.)
- Understand/Explain the different WAN/LAN components, methodologies, and their specifics as it relates to Cisco products and technologies (VPNs, IGP/EGP, interface types, link types, etc.)
... the list can go on but I'd rather not.
The point is, I felt prepared for this exam. Was I expecting a perfect score? No, but I was expecting a on-the-dot pass-mark—that's for sure.
I studied the heck out of my reference material. I knew the commands when it came time to supply them. That wasn't my particular issue.
My issue is that Cisco cherry-picked what I got asked and while half of the questions were indeed familiar to me, the other half were not. Now comes my dilemma.
If I cannot properly ascertain what it is Cisco is going to ask about, I'm pretty much a fish out of water. I don't expect to get a copy-paste type of ordeal—I know this isn't college.
However, I also can't be paying for legitimate material only for it to not actually prep me for everything I would see on this exam for which I am also paying for.
No, I don't expect them to give away some actual concrete study-guide but if I start getting asked about stuff I didn't see posted in anything Cisco mentioned for this exam, how is that fair?
The notion that only people who deal with Cisco on a regular basis are likely to pass is very rigged---IMO. Who's to say what one person experiences for which another does not?
Anyway, now with the new cert going up in February, I don't know if it's worth trying again. I want to, but without proper study material, I won't be getting anywhere obviously.
Kudos to the folk who designed the exam though. I think more time would be acceptable for this type of exam but the format was better than the CISSP (which I did pass oddly enough).