How many times have you failed an exam... or have you ever?

I'm just curious what everyone's thoughts are on failing exams. icon_idea.gif Is it something most people do here and there? icon_eek.gif Or do most people pass them the first time? icon_thumright.gif bowing.gif How many fails do you have?
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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAPosts: 4,170Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I haven't yet, maybe I will in the future. It is pretty common to fail the first attempt depending on the exam
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCSA 7, learning Ansible
    Future: RHCE? VCAP6.5-DCD?
  • remyforbes777remyforbes777 Posts: 499Member
    Fortunately I have not failed any. Maybe I am just that smart. hahaha. Totally kidding. I haven't really taken any tough ones yet. No RHCE, No MCSE so when If I pass one or both of those without failing any test then I can brag. ha
  • amp2030amp2030 Posts: 253Member
    None yet, but I only took three moderately easy ones.

    I have a meeting with the beast next week, so who knows...
  • jnwdmbjnwdmb Posts: 99Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    When I took my 270...it was my first Microsoft exam and I got a 677...i think I was intimidated by the Microsoft way of testing, since I had only taken Comptia exams previous to that. It really wasn't a matter of me not knowing the material because I retook the exam 2 days later and got a 952.

    I did however just fail my 291 exam a few days ago.....I took it after only 2 weeks of studying and I think I was overconfident and admit I was not prepared enough. I am currently studying for the retake which I am planning on taking Monday or Tuesday.
    A+ IT Technician, Network +, Security+
    MCSA:M, MCSE:S
    (MS 270,290,291,293,294,298,299)
    MS Exchange 2003 (70-284)
    MCTS: Server 2K8 Virtualization(70-652 & 70-403)
  • MishraMishra Posts: 2,468Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'll answer your questions first.

    I'm just curious what everyone's thoughts are on failing exams. icon_idea.gif
    It happens.
    Is it something most people do here and there? icon_eek.gif

    Most people pass exams here. However, sometimes people do fail them.
    How many fails do you have?

    Actually I have 3 of them. :) I have problems seriously under studying for exams and over reading the questions. I take the test when I believe I know most of the topics but I miss the fine details which makes me not a great test taker and not as thorough as I should be.


    Failing isn't really a bad thing as I assume you make it out to be. There are many different scenarios. Personally, I am not worried about passing or failing when I take an exam. I read the material and lab scenarios out to learn things I didn't know previously. I don't use videos/practice questions/study guides because I'm frugal and don't want to pay for it... It makes my test scores and pass/fail ratios quite a bit worse. But I don't think I ever want to purchase those things (unless an exam is way too much money) because I feel I retrieve the information better without cramming for the exam.

    So you see, everyone has different experiences and difference reasons and excuses. In my opinion, I would worry about what you are getting out of the exams instead of pass/fails.
    My blog http://www.calegp.com

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  • tdempseytdempsey Posts: 28Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Out the exams I have taken,

    Windows NT 4.0 workstation
    Windows NT 4.0 server
    Windows NT 4.0 server in the enterprise
    Windows Network Essentials
    S+
    now CISSP

    I haven't failed yet. But I came very close on two of the windows tests. ( they give you the score) and I believe I passed one of them by one question. I believe this was a direct result of using poor study materials and not having a ton of hands on experience at the time of taking the exam. I was actually enrolled in classes by this now defunct outfit called Epic Learning Center that was partnered with Kinkos at the time, at least in Seattle, and started giving MCSE classes literally inside of a Kinko's store in a makeshift computer lab. The instructor was absolutely useless. I don't doubt his credentials at all and know for a fact that he was instrumental in the creation of the first N+ exam but the guy could not communicate, let alone teach. At the lowest point, he brought in a friend from the industry to give us a pep talk and the guy staggerred to the front of the class, clearly drunk and held up a hard drive that he shot with a 9mm in his backyard one day when he was frustrated. I don't remember the story but I do remember thinking I was wasting my time in this class and have taken the self study route ever since.

    My good friend who was in the same program as myself and taking the same tests failed two of the MCSE exams on his first time taking them but doubled his efforts and killed them the second time around.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    3 total. I'm a fantastic test taker, but I pressure myself with deadlines, and sometimes that can be good, sometimes not so good.

    It happens. You learn more through failure then success. You're forced to retrace your steps and reinforce the stuff you've learned, and maybe pick up new things along the way.

    This is where the "An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made" signature comes in...failure (and subsequently learning from those failures), shouldn't be frowned upon too much.
  • ThunderPipeThunderPipe Posts: 120Member
    Thanks guys. I'm going for my MCP ina week or two. Its my first Cert. I was originally going for my CCNA, but my boss told me to quit that and get my microsoft first. I'm feeling the pressure. I was procrastinating for the longest. My boss purchased the transcender tests and I bought the Microsoft Press book. Doing online stuff here and there. I think I'm ready, but after reading all the worries and fears and failures on here, its beginning to make me wonder.
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    The only failed exam to my name so far was the beta exam for the HyperV stuff. Completely my fault as I didn't find myself the time to actually use the technology before taking an exam on it.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • techster79techster79 Posts: 169Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I failed 70-270 a little more than 4 years ago. It was my first Microsoft exam, I'd already passed a few Comptia tests and the CCNA. I thought I could walk in and pass it blindfolded, didn't do any reviewing.

    In 2006, I failed 70-291 mostly because of a lack of doing labs for remote access and dns which I didn't have much responsibility doing in my job. I passed both tests after taking them the second time.
    Studying for MCSE: Server Infrastructure (70-414 left)
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    It took me three goes to clear a version of the written back in April 2007. What clinched it was Odom's book. Full immersion for five weeks sorted a lot of nagging details out there. I studied hard enough but too much reliance on old knowledge and the recommended CCO whitepapers cost me back then. I really needed the Odom book to pull it all together properly.

    Aside from that the Novell Upgrade to Netware 6 exam took three goes to clear. Mind you I only had three and a half weeks to prepare for that one before the expiry deadline for the Netware 5 track so I was really pushed for time for that one. I don't recall failing a test when my preparation has been really good and I have put the time in.

    It took a while to miss out on a test. Years back I cleared all 6 tests for the MCSE and the CCNA first attempt. I studied hard and used books that were well put together. My first 'stoppage' was the CNA exam. I put the time in but the book I picked up was way off the requirements for the test. I changed books and got through second time. I then found subsequent Novell exams difficult often requiring a second exam. Again my choice of book by Clarke let me down. A big enough book and I certainly spent a lot of time reading the material but I just wasn't prepared properly for the tests with his study guide. The Novell Self Study kits were the way to go for first time passing, but they were expensive back then. What I learned was my process was good enough to pass exams but it wouldn't compensate for inadequancies in the learning material. I left Novell studies half way through and embarked on CCNP, clearing all four exams first time with books that followed the syllabus and exam closely. I returned to Novell last year to complete the track after a few years out of CNE studies. Self Test Software did the trick and Novell Press books.
  • skrpuneskrpune Posts: 1,409Member
    *knocking on wood...* So far, so good, but I haven't taken any advanced exams yet - only A+ & Network+ & the Vista 620 exam.

    There are so many factors that go into not passing, and they're not all related to how well you know the materials. Like others have said, you can easily psyche yourself out or be affected by other things going on in your life and not quite make it even though you know the stuff cold. That being said, sometimes there are people who just bomb out on exams because they underestimate them or because they under-prepare or are over-confident.

    My take is that your best bet is to prepare as much as possible and be confident in your abilities but don't go walking in there like you own the world...because the world has a way of slapping ya down back into reality when you're all cocky without the goods to back it up...
    Currently Studying For: Nothing (cert-wise, anyway)
    Next Up: Security+, 291?

    Enrolled in Masters program: CS 2011 expected completion
  • LizanoLizano Posts: 230Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Haven't failed yet...but I know people fail all the time...
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Posts: 2,073Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Failed ICND and 70-284. VERY VERY close to failing 70-291.
    -Daniel
  • NetAdmin2436NetAdmin2436 Posts: 1,076Member
    I've failed twice and it happens to be my last to attempts on the 70-293 exam. Eh, oh well. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. It just tells me I need to take a step back and look at what areas I'm weak in and my study habits. Persistence pays off, I remember someone on here failed an exam like 10 times before finally passing.

    If you fail, just roll up your sleeves and dig deeper. As long as your not cheating and are giving it honest study time and preparation, you have absolutely no reason to feel ashamed if you fail an exam.
    WIP: CCENT/CCNA (.....probably)
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    I remember reading an article about a CCIE candidate who failed the lab 18 times. That is persistence.
  • Mmartin_47Mmartin_47 Posts: 430Member
    Failed 291 twice. icon_sad.gif
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy SABSA, GCFA, GPEN, CISM, RHCE, Security+, Server+, eJPT, CCNA Posts: 3,982Mod Mod
    yes at college, I failed

    1. Electric Circuits Second exam (10/25)

    2. Probability First exam (9/20)

    I still remember icon_lol.gif
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Posts: 1,090Member
    I failed the 2nd half of my CCNA the first time I took it. I rushed it and wasn't ready when I took it. In some ways I am glad I failed.


    On the topic, I would rather fail 10 exams than pass one with a ****. As long as you are learning from it, failing isn't a bad thing (just maybe not the BEST thing lol)
  • loxleynewloxleynew Posts: 405Member
    Nope never failed an exam. At least IT related. I find with the second shot however, failing is not that bad of a thing. You can see the areas you need to work on and if anything that first exam can be used as a practice exam.
  • draineydrainey Posts: 261Member
    Failed twice. 70-215 Server 2000 and 70-292 to upgrade mcsa2000 to 2k3. First time I didn't even have a server setup to do labs with (total over confidence). The second time I was pushed for time and relied to much on the practice exams. This is bad because if I would take the exam and then review the question I missed and read the explanation for why, eventually I got to a point where I knew the answers to the questions but not the material. So I was under prepared and paid for it.

    Now I study, lab when I feel like I need the hands on experience and then take a practice exam. If I don't pass, I just look at the results to see where I'm weak and hit the books again. Take another practice exam and keep repeating until I can pass every practice exam I can get my hands on by a good margin.
    The irony truly is strange that you're the only one you can change. -- Anthony Gomes
  • LarryDaManLarryDaMan Posts: 797Member
    No fails yet. I tend to obsess and study too much. As I move into these CISCO and MS exams, I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities to stumble. Failing a test is not the end of the world though.
  • gojericho0gojericho0 Posts: 1,060Member
    Failed CCNP - BSCI exam, got back on the horse and passed it
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,337Admin Admin
    So far I've only failed IT certification beta exams, but not the real thing. Maybe I'll have something different to report after I take the CISSP exam next week. icon_sad.gif
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Breezed through A+ and Network+, failed CCNA first time around by 15 points. The simulators on the exam got me. I got them right, but it took me forever to figure out what the heck they wanted me to do. So I had to rush through the last 20 questions and it cost me. Passed with flying colors the second time around.

    At the time, taking the two tests in one sitting saved you $150. So I wound up paying the same as I would have if I went the two test route. These days, you might as well take two tests, as you can pad your resume with the CCENT.
  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Posts: 1,940Inactive Imported Users
    My first fail was Windows XP. It was my second MCP exam, and stupid me thought the Microsoft quiz book was good prep. Not even close.

    I've also failed 70-292 once, which was a freaking beast.

    I focus more on knowing my stuff first and foremost, then I focus on being able to pass exams. *Usually*, that means I don't get the highest scores because I don't tend to provide the "Microsoft" answer everytime, but I know the right answer, and I pass.
    Good luck to all!
  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    i failed my 291 first go but i seriously think that was due to lack of serious studying. im not just saying it but iu seriously didnt start to study enough until my cisco exams.

    looking back i feel i sometimes rushed the MS exams
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

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  • miller811miller811 Posts: 897Member
    Failed BSCI twice.....
    Quite the kick in the teeth...
    Almost gave up, but fought my way through it the third time.
    I don't claim to be an expert, but I sure would like to become one someday.

    Quest for 11K pages read in 2011
    Page Count total to date - 1283
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Got VCP, MCITP: SA and MCITP: EA and the only one I failed was 70-620 (vista) mainly because I was too cocky and thought I don't have to study for this one :P
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • duanebatesduanebates Posts: 1Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    First time poster, I was actually searching tonight about problems with Prometric testing centers.

    The day before yesterday, I failed two exams in one day. 70-236 (Exchange 07) and VCP-310 (VMware Infrastructure 3).

    Before that I remember failing 70-073 (NT4 Workstation) and 70-296 (MCSA Upgrade). 073 was the second exam I ever took and 296 was just plain hard. I went back to the books and ended up scoring much higher the second time around.

    I have taken many exams in the past 10 years, and Im very familiar with all of the testing methods. I take total responsibility for failing the two on Friday, but I believe there were outside factors affecting my performance. While I was taking the tests there were many disruptions. One of the walls to the testing center seemed thin, I could hear and understand many of the conversations of the phone sales people on the other side of the wall. The door to the center (right off the lobby of a busy training facility) was open and left open many times. Cleaning folks ran the vacuum in the lobby once during each test.

    As I said, my failure is my problem. I got a little cocky trying to take two exams on two disciplines back to back. Took the VMware class two weeks ago, so I didnt study a whole lot for the exam. I did study a lot for Exchange 2007, but didnt realize 90% of the exam would be on powershell commands.
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