Failed CCNA 250-125 - 6/14/19

That Random GuyThat Random Guy Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello,

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).
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Comments

  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,732Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Nice write up but I think your trying to place blame. If you were close there is nothing to blame. CCNA covers a lot of material and there are a lot of resources available.

    As for taking it again or waiting the one thing I will point out is it will probably take a year for materials to catch up to the new exams. So if your worried about accurate study material now would be the time to make your move.
  • That Random GuyThat Random Guy Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Jon_Cisco said:
    Nice write up but I think your trying to place blame. If you were close there is nothing to blame. CCNA covers a lot of material and there are a lot of resources available.
    My issue is that I gained access to things that should have allowed me to at least barely pass. If Cisco's official stuff isn't going to prepare me, why should anyone be confident to pass?

    There were some bits that I only came across via Pearson's third-party and only found again in maybe 2-3 questions on the actual exam. There were other things I never had found in my reference material.

    My concern is that Cisco is deliberately adding in questions most CCNA technicians wouldn't be familiar with even with all their "experience" and only doing so to make the exam difficult.

    I find that as cheap means to make your product appear more worthwhile when you're only really playing with skewed logistics.

    The CCNA should only cover what Cisco themselves decides to focus on heavily. Making us recall something that was mentioned only once, very briefly, in a chapter of a series of books/lectures is not very fair. I call that rigged. I suppose we can agree to disagree but I can't honestly be expected to remember everything I find for the mass content found in the topics covered. That's just ridiculous.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,732Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I don't see your logic. You came close but failed. If you didn't come close I could certainly understand why you would be concerned about the content. It's not an easy exam for most people. Simply put you know what to expect now and you can step up and finish it.

    I have failed several Microsoft exams. I did not fail them because the exam was wrong I failed them because I tried the test before I knew the information. 

    I agree we should agree to disagree. Good Luck on your next attempt.
  • iyareiyare Posts: 43Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think he is basically saying will the Cisco provided content adequately prepare a student for the exam and do they purposefully put things not provided by the Cisco provided content.
    CCENT, CCNA(EXPIRED), BS Electrical Engineering (Communications/Optics/Nanotechnology)
  • That Random GuyThat Random Guy Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    iyare said:
    I think he is basically saying will the Cisco provided content adequately prepare a student for the exam and do they purposefully put things not provided by the Cisco provided content.
    That's exactly what I'm suggesting. Granted, I did recognize stuff I only came across from Pearon's content, there were some other things I had no recollection covering.
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek 70-410, 70-411 Posts: 337Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Training guides can't cover every little bit of information on a subject. I haven't taken the CCNA but on all of the Microsoft certification exams I've taken, there was always details they asked that were not covered by any training guide I read or any videos I saw. I don't know if this is your first vendor specific exam you've taken but always dig deeper into the exam topics than just the book or videos.
  • That Random GuyThat Random Guy Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    AvgITGeek said:
    Training guides can't cover every little bit of information on a subject. I haven't taken the CCNA but on all of the Microsoft certification exams I've taken, there was always details they asked that were not covered by any training guide I read or any videos I saw. I don't know if this is your first vendor specific exam you've taken but always dig deeper into the exam topics than just the book or videos.
    The issue I have with this is not knowing how far into the rabbit-hole I stop.
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek 70-410, 70-411 Posts: 337Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 22
    Cisco seems to be pretty good about that. They at least say something like "not including" or "up until". Do you have an fuzzy example of something they asked about that wasn't in the coursework? Keep in mind, I've heard that Cisco will throw a question in here and there that isn't covered by the exam objectives as kind of a beta to see how it goes over. I also heard that those don't count against your final score. I'd book it again ASAP and brush up on any areas below 50%. What were your percentages?
  • That Random GuyThat Random Guy Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    AvgITGeek said:
    Cisco seems to be pretty good about that. They at least say something like "not including" or "up until". Do you have an fuzzy example of something they asked about that wasn't in the coursework? Keep in mind, I've heard that Cisco will throw a question in here and there that isn't covered by the exam objectives as kind of a beta to see how it goes over. I also heard that those don't count against your final score. I'd book it again ASAP and brush up on any areas below 50%. What were your percentages?
    I was just about to mentioned that in my response. I recalled seeing that note before taking the exam and at this point I'm still not sure what was supposed to be "normal" and what wasn't.

    I'm just going to assume the things that seemed real outlandish were the "prototype" questions.
  • emmaganlpwhiteemmaganlpwhite Posts: 2Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    You need do more practice.
  • That Random GuyThat Random Guy Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    You need do more practice.
    Sure I do.
    httpsiimgflipcom1hd5dyjpg


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