BSCI on 29th May

malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
Well I've booked and rescheduled then booked and rescheduled all year for this and the study has been pretty start/stop until the last month mainly becuse I've been so busy at work, but I'm sitting this my first of the CCNP exams a week on Friday. I still aim to have the NP by the end of 2009 and plan to be a bit more aggressive with my approach to the other 3 exams.

I feel pretty good about the BSCI, but being my first NP exam I'm not totally sure what to expect. Lots of labbing and some BGP work in my job has helped me prepare in that area. I was already pretty familiar with route maps and OSPF and had a little bit of experience with EIGRP so I feel in good shape in those areas.

The configuration and troubleshooting isn't really the issue for me it's all the minor details Cisco want you to remember so I'll just need to make sure I swot up on these icon_cool.gif

Still not 100% happy with IS-IS, IPV6 and Multicast but I have over a week to fix that. I've also taken a couple of days Weds/Thurs to do some solid labbing next week so fingers crossed

Any final preperation tips?

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Good luck!

    I'd definitely brush up on IS-IS, IPv6 and Multicast as they are not to be taken lightly on this exam.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Good Luck! icon_thumright.gif

    Your existing plan sounds solid -- make sure you execute it properly!! icon_study.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • SysAdmin4066SysAdmin4066 Member Posts: 443
    I'm having more trouble with OSPF than IS-IS, but multicast and IPv6 are no joke either. Redist is not so fun either. Good luck on the 29th, i'll be right behind you.
    In Progress: CCIE R&S Written Scheduled July 17th (Tentative)

    Next Up: CCIE R&S Lab
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Member Posts: 2,475 ■■■■□□□□□□
    good luck!
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks folks for the good luck wishes, getting close now!

    Went over the quick reference combined with CBT's last night on ISIS, Multicast and IPV6. It's more the theory than the labs especially the addressing on IPV6 but hopefully on track icon_cool.gif

    Doing some EIGRP, BGP and OSPF labs before hammering the multicast and IPV6 stuff for the rest of the evening, I have today and tomorrow off work to prepare.

    SysAdmin4066, persavere and keep practising with OSPF labs and it will fall into place. The most difficult part I found to grasp was and still is a bit the NBMA etc configuring neighbors, point to point/multipoint etc. Everything else is pretty good.

    I'll let you know how I get on, sit the exam at 14:30 GMT
  • redwarriorredwarrior Member Posts: 285
    Good luck! I always hate those last couple of days before an exam...the stress isn't fun and the material really starts to look sickening. Let us know how it goes! :D

    CCNP Progress

    ONT, ISCW, BCMSN - DONE

    BSCI - In Progress

    http://www.redwarriornet.com/ <--My Cisco Blog
  • jason_lundejason_lunde Member Posts: 567
    well? any word yet? Hopefully good news is in the future!
  • malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
    unfortunately bad news, failed and failed badly.

    I scored 533 and got decent scores in ospf and EIGRP but really disappointing in basically all other areas.

    Trying to be fair about the exam but I have to say that Cisco don't get any brownie points from me here in regard to the sheer amount of IPV6 and multicast (at least half the questions) compared to other topics and they're the worst covered subjects in any of the "official study guide" books I used, a bit off if you ask me.

    I knew from reading other posts these were areas to focus on, which I did from the CBT Nuggets, Cisco Press books and the Quick Ref along with docs from the Cisco website. The Blueprint gives you no real indication whatsoever as to how deep to study these topics and I feel they went a fair bit deeper than "explain, Describe, configure and verify" as outlined in the objectives.

    I didn't help that I got thrown a bit by the sheer number of IPV6 and multicast questions in my first 30 then had 30 minutes to complete 31 questions which included 2 sims and a simlet. I just skipped the second sim as I only had 12 mins left and knew it was game over then!

    Overall I know it's just because I wasn't as ready as I thought I was, although saying that I felt I'd studied the materials I used well enough (CBT, 2 x Cisco Press titles and Quick Refs/Cisco SRND's) but obviously not.

    Off out tonight to have a few beers and have the weekend off, then pick myself up and pick up where I left off at the start of next week.

    This exam is really substantially harder than any I've ever taken but I can't help feeling I was screwed a bit with in depth questions on topics the blueprint and study materials give the impression are only "skimming the surface". Although I scored poorly in some areas it was because there was only like 3 or 4 questions on it so for example if I got 33% in a topic that I was only asked 3 questions......anyway no point in analyzing it, it's done and history.

    I'll try the comeback promotion and see if it works too.

    Another thing I'll add which mirrors what others have said is there are no decent practice tests about for this exam. The cisco press book questions are a waste of time in regard to giving you an idea of how ready you are. I was scoring 90 - 95% on these first time I went through them.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    The upside is that at least now you know what you're in for, and what you should study, and to what depth you should study.
  • redwarriorredwarrior Member Posts: 285
    I think a lot of us were thrown off by our first professional level Cisco exam...I know I was. I took ONT first and I studied the exam guide and did the included practice exam until I thought I had the material down cold. I labbed what I could, did some digging online and then went in to take my ONT exam. I was shocked when I saw material that had barely been touched in the exam guide given very specific, detailed questions in the exam and when I finished with my failing score, I felt like I'd had a punch in the stomach.

    After a week to recover, I dived back in, adding more study sources to the mix and really diving deep into each exam objective, using everything I could find on Cisco's website. I added CBT Nuggets and Trainsignal videos. I tried to find ways to lab everything I could. Even the smallest bullet point on the objectives became a week of study. It was grueling, but I came out of my next encounter with ONT with a Pass and a big grin. The same strategy has worked well for my other CCNP exams so far.

    The gap between the CCNA and the professional level exams can be a painful one to jump, but if I did it, anyone can. I think some of us just have to learn the difference the hard way, but hopefully our battle scars just make us tougher engineers? :)

    CCNP Progress

    ONT, ISCW, BCMSN - DONE

    BSCI - In Progress

    http://www.redwarriornet.com/ <--My Cisco Blog
  • malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Forsaken_GA yeah true enough.

    redwarrior thanks for the encouragement and sharing your own experiences. I'm determined to pass it on the next attempt and happy to say that the COMEBACK2009 promotion code worked fine so I guess that is some conscelation.

    I have until the 16th July so almost 6 weeks where I think I will take your approach of one topic per week in my weak areas on alternate weeks then a refresher week on all subjects.

    I feel a bit better about it now but was really pissed earlier, more at myself than anything else!

    Onwards and upwards :D
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    malcybood wrote: »
    they're the worst covered subjects in any of the "official study guide" books I used
    Did you use both the Cisco Press BSCI Authorized Self-Study Guide and the Cisco Press Exam Certification Guide?

    Some people use Chris Bryant's stuff (thebryantadvantage.com - Ultimate BSCI Study Package) to get over "the hump" of the professional level exams -- and other people go to Doyle's Routing TCP/IP (vol 1 & 2) to get a clear and fresh perspective on the BSCI material for their exam rematch. At the Professional level there is no such thing as too much lab time or too much study. Reading the Cisco Docs isn't a bad idea either.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • btowntechbtowntech Member Posts: 198
    I feel your pain, the BSCI knocked me for a loop the first time I took it. I learned from that exam to work my butt off before stepping foot in the exam room again. Keep working at it and you'll knock it out of the park here soon. Enjoy the break!
    BS - Information Technology; AAS - Electro-Mechanical Engineering
  • malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
    btowntech thanks man icon_cool.gif Hopefully I'll follow your example on my next shot
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Did you use both the Cisco Press BSCI Authorized Self-Study Guide and the Cisco Press Exam Certification Guide?

    Some people use Chris Bryant's stuff (thebryantadvantage.com - Ultimate BSCI Study Package) to get over "the hump" of the professional level exams -- and other people go to Doyle's Routing TCP/IP (vol 1 & 2) to get a clear and fresh perspective on the BSCI material for their exam rematch. At the Professional level there is no such thing as too much lab time or too much study. Reading the Cisco Docs isn't a bad idea either.

    I used only the certification guide, CBT Nuggets, Ciscopress Quick Ref and I also got the official Cisco courseware that you get on the BSCI course from someone I know who works in 3rd line support at the telco that manage our WAN to use and send back to them when I'm finished, but I never got it until a couple of weeks ago so couldn't study in as much detail as I would have liked.

    I got the 2 tutorial books and a lab book and the material is really in depth so I may focus on this and probably purchase the Chris Bryant stuff too.

    Anyone who has bought the Chris Bryant BSCI guide

    1) did you bother with the lab time for an extra $30 or just use GNS3?
    2) did you purchase the video package or just the study package?

    Also anyone know if the transcender tests like for the BSCI? I've heard mixed reviews.

    Once again thanks for the advice all. I did feel like redwarrior said yesterday like I'd had a sucker punch to the stomach when I seen how badly I failed but you can not really know how much you need to study for these exams until you sit the first one and see the precise in depth questioning techniques which Cisco use.

    This is a good thing as it adds value to the cert though
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,359 ■■■■■■■■□□
    malcybood wrote: »
    I did feel like redwarrior said yesterday like I'd had a sucker punch to the stomach when I seen how badly I failed but you can not really know how much you need to study for these exams until you sit the first one and see the precise in depth questioning techniques which Cisco use.


    IMO, a lot of people underestimate multicast and just read the theory and don't put in enough lab time with multicast. I don't mean hours of multicast labbing, but enough time to see it in action (well, as much as you can..). This got me on my first time as well.

    Look at it this way, you got a peek at the test (legally), and you now know what is being tested...brush up on those areas and knock it out.

    I second mikej's words on reading cisco docs. I can't even express how strongly I feel that anyone going for pro-level certs should read up on them.
  • miller811miller811 Member Posts: 897
    I feel your pain. I failed the exam on the first attempt, using the office exam guide and Train Signal Videos. Reloaded with the official lab guide and the official study guide, which helped, but did not pass the second time. Ulitimately purchased the the complete Chris Bryant Package, knowing I was in the for the long haul and would need the additional resources for all 4 exams.(did not purchase the lab) and passed on the third time. I think you really need the Cisco lab guide for these exams and lots of lab time. That allows you to see it in action and debugs etc... I did mine with GNS3 and with real hardware. Ultimately seeing the exam three times was a benefit, but should be avoided at all costs...
    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
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Malcolm,

    Hard lines mate. Good luck on the next attempt. I know you will be OK next time. Hope you enjoyed the great weather this weekend...i did :D

    Good luck mate, im rooting for you!
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    malcybood wrote: »

    Also anyone know if the transcender tests like for the BSCI? I've heard mixed reviews.

    I found it.... lacking. I don't find it to be a good measurement of test readiness like most Transcender exams. It'll help, but it's far from a magic bullet
  • mikearamamikearama Member Posts: 749
    malcybood wrote: »
    1) did you bother with the lab time for an extra $30 or just use GNS3?
    2) did you purchase the video package or just the study package?

    I also failed the BSCI on the first pass, after using both the exam and cert guides. I added the Bryant package (minus the online lab time... saved the $30) and it made the difference for me. I didn't kill it on the second pass, but squeaked through.

    If you have a lab to play with, you won't need the online access.

    I didn't know there was a video package... mine came with the study guide and the practice exam. Oh, and access to Chris' special forum (whatever!). The study guide and practice exam were worth the money, IMO.
    There are only 10 kinds of people... those who understand binary, and those that don't.

    CCIE Studies: Written passed: Jan 21/12 Lab Prep: Hours reading: 385. Hours labbing: 110

    Taking a time-out to add the CCVP. Capitalizing on a current IPT pilot project.
  • artanartan Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi,

    I am a new member.
    malcybood, I read about your exam and I'm very sorry.

    On 4th of June (2 days) I will do the BSCI exam, too.

    Could someone, that recently have done the exam, send a PM to me.
    I have some questions.

    thanks
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