Why did you fail your exams?

ParmenidesParmenides Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
For those of you who have experienced a failed exam, I'm asking this so that I can learn from people's mistakes. (I make plenty of them myself) I haven't taken an exam yet. I'm just wondering what I should be focusing on.

I'm just wondering what was the main reason why an exam was failed. Here is sort of what I'm wondering about:

Did you failed because you.....
...studied only one book?
...study from a book that turned out not be be helpful/thorough enough?
...your study habits were not good?
...your reading of a study book was not very thorough?
...you learned everything but forgot a lot when the test came?

.... or what else?

Comments

  • GT-RobGT-Rob Member Posts: 1,090
    I have only failed once, and I was pretty expecting it, almost wanting it.

    I had passed A+ and Net+ with pretty much ease, and passed CCNA intro by a hair (not enough study). I started into ICND but was pretty burnt out from the studies that I didn't take it seriously. I half-read the book, did about 10 practice questions, and was total slacking. I booked the test in hopes to "get my arse in gear" but it did work, I wrote it, and bombed.

    So I say the reason for my failing, was no hands on experience, and not enough practice questions.
  • dstock7337dstock7337 Member Posts: 95 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Parmenides wrote:
    For those of you who have experienced a failed exam, I'm asking this so that I can learn from people's mistakes. (I make plenty of them myself) I haven't taken an exam yet. I'm just wondering what I should be focusing on.

    I'm just wondering what was the main reason why an exam was failed. Here is sort of what I'm wondering about:

    Did you failed because you.....
    ...studied only one book?
    ...study from a book that turned out not be be helpful/thorough enough?
    ...your study habits were not good?
    ...your reading of a study book was not very thorough?
    ...you learned everything but forgot a lot when the test came?

    .... or what else?

    Ahem, where to begin. Being me I guess, lol.

    I've studied only using one book. I've taken tests and studied while extremely ill (sick in the way that I shouldn't had been going to work and studying - should have been in bed). icon_sad.gif
    I also lacked experience overall, so I'd say a lack of hands-on experience (I'm big on visuals and hands-on experience - I learn easier that way).
    I'd also chalk up the fact that I have self-taught a lot to myself and when I went to sit a test, I really should have studied and practiced more. icon_redface.gif

    Books that are simple and don't look very thick are exactly that. Books that make full-size dictionaries look like a grocery list are better material. It's easier to skim through what you already know versus having no substance at all to choose on reading or skipping.

    I've paid for the costs of my mistakes (quite literally for exam and study materials costs). Hopefully this will help those (including myself) to make reasonable decisions on when to or not test. Don't get me wrong, if you feel you're ready, you probably are. If you're uncertain, you're probably not ready yet and should take a bit more time to study. That's just my opinion and my experiences, everyone is different.

    icon_cool.gif
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates
  • mrjmrj Member Posts: 85 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think one of the largest mistakes, especially as a greenhorn in the industry in general is to..

    STUDY ONLY THE BOOKS FOR THE EXAM, AND NOT MORE INDEPTH TOPICS RELATING TO IT.

    What I mean is, John, who has no r+s experience, and no IT experience whatsoever grabbing a CCNA book, memorizing it, and going to take the test. Sure, you might pass it, but really, what did you learn?

    I personally want to go in with a more indepth understanding of the topics. I don't want to be "exam trained" -- I want to be knowledgeable on the subject matter. For my CCNA (which I have to re-do) I have been reading a lot of "Anatomy of __protocol__" books, and other books that branch off from the main topic at hand to give you a more intimate understanding of related topics.

    You can definitely answer questions on the exam by just knowing the basics of OSPF/RIP/etc, but what if one comes up that you didn't practice? Imagine having that happen, but having a strong understanding of the ins and outs of the topic, as opposed to having just a strong understanding of the CCNA/whatever.
  • PashPash Member Posts: 1,601 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Complete lack of study time and practice, failed the 70-290 with a very poor score. I was kind of hoping I was going to pass if I got some lucky subjects, but this was just a fools hope, and tbh if I had of passed I would of felt I cheated anyway...because i didnt learn the subjects properly, just breezed em.

    Now I have the CBT's for 290 + Security+, I have been watching and practicing, so time should be near.
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    There's a couple of reasons why I've failed exams in the past. The sole reason I didn't pass 70-291 the first time around is because I gauged it based on the difficulty of other exams I'd taken. I passed 70-290 pretty easily, I wasn't too worried when I clicked that "Finish" button, and I was pretty happy with my score. I went into 70-291 with the same feeling, studied about as much as I did for the 70-290, and ended up failing by about fifty points. It was a reality check for me, and I went back and really hit the books and did a whole lot more hands-on practice before I tried it again.

    I tanked the CCNA 640-801 exam as well. I began studying religiously, doing plenty of reading and practice with both physical routers and switches, as well as simulators. I was also doing the TestOut course for the exam as I was going along. The trouble was, I didn't have enough money to register for the exam once I was ready, and ended up waiting another month or so. In that time, I didn't keep up with my studying, and I found myself having forgotten a lot of things on test-day, even with a couple of days of "cramming": doing the same amount of studying per day that I'd done when I was starting out. A lot of things you study, no matter what cert-exam it is, are going to be new to you and are probably not things you'd use every day as you work. It's important to be consistent, or things begin to slip away a lot more easily than you learned them.


    *Note*

    That's not to say you learn nothing as you study for exams. You learn a whole lot, as a matter of fact. However, it's unreasonable for someone to remember every detail of everything they studied for the exam. In the end, you'll forget a lot of details and specifics, but the underlying concepts and technologies should stick. It's like my old math professor used to say, "Even I don't remember every formula, every proof, every equation. I know how they work, I understand the concepts, and I know the things I use every day. For specific details I can't remember, I keep books around so I can look them up."

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
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    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I failed because I didn't answer enough questions correctly. Either that, or I answered incorrectly too many times. :P

    Seriously, the first exam I took was Net Essentials (part of the NT4 MCSE track) which I passed. The second exam I took was NT4. I came down with strep throat the day before the exam, and I failed. I passed it the very next week, which makes me think it was the sickness that bombed it for me, as I could hardly keep my eyes open or concentrate during the exam. But I also only had about 2 years experience on computers at the time which may have factored in.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • PashPash Member Posts: 1,601 ■■■■■□□□□□
    sprkymrk wrote:
    I failed because I didn't answer enough questions correctly. Either that, or I answered incorrectly too many times. :P

    Seriously, the first exam I took was Net Essentials (part of the NT4 MCSE track) which I passed. The second exam I took was NT4. I came down with strep throat the day before the exam, and I failed. I passed it the very next week, which makes me think it was the sickness that bombed it for me, as I could hardly keep my eyes open or concentrate during the exam. But I also only had about 2 years experience on computers at the time which may have factored in.

    Always the way isnt it :p

    I decided to cook steak the night before my A+ Hardware exam, and it was very bad quality, very very chewy. I was chewing away when almost immediately I had a huge pain in my gum and back rows of teeth. I was in soooo much pain, didnt sleep at all. I even downed a quater bottle of whiskey and some painkillers, it was that bad. My exam was at 9.30 in the morning, i went down there like a trooper and passed.....I just concentrated and put aside the pain and tiredness. Went to the dentist in the afternoon and had a scan done, I had two impacting wisdom teeth that had gone un-noticed, caused so much damage i had to have them out + 2 other teeth. Couldnt study for the A+ Software exam in that time so I ended up never doing it icon_sad.gif
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Member Posts: 968
    SO far the only professional exam that I failed was the 70-296 (MCSE 2k to 2k3 upgrade), and that was only by a few points.

    I believe that the 2 main reasons why I failed was:

    1. Got fed up studying - I was burning out icon_sad.gif
    2. While I feel as if I knew most of what MS required of me, some of the scenarios I just couldn't get my head around. By the time I got to the end of the exam, I ran out of time so couldn't review my answers.

    -Ken
  • tomtechtomtech Member Posts: 39 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Failed 70-620 with a 667 (so short 2-3 questions I believe). I retook it a week later and passed with a 746.

    Why I failed:

    1. Only read 1 book
    2. Didn't study enough, did not focus enough on some areas (mobile computing etc.)
    3. I got too cocky. This was my 6th exam and I had passed all previous 5 exams. I kept telling
    myself I would be fine. The day of the exam, I started getting the feeling that I might be in trouble.
    4. I kind of rushed through the exam. Took about 50 minutes. If I had went over my answers again, things might have been different.

    It's an ongoing learning experience for me. Learn from your mistakes and keep trying.
  • ParmenidesParmenides Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for sharing! I'll be sure to take the advice well!
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Member Posts: 1,090
    I think cocky-ness (if thats a word) gets the best of us. We start off with easier exams and pass 4 or 5 without much trouble, we get over confident. Which leads to less studies, taking the exam sooner, and just not taking it as seriously as we should. Which leads to the big Failed :D
  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Member Posts: 1,800 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I failed the CCNA first time up. The only test center in the vicinity was closing for a few weeks through Xmas (it was at a College), I didn't want to wait the extra weeks over the holidays said screw it and sat it before I knew I was ready. I figured worst case scenario was failing but getting a reconnaissance run at it. If I'd had 2 more weeks before taking it I 'might' have passed but I know the exam experience itself practically guaranteed passing it after Xmas.
    We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?
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