Test on the 25th

chmorinchmorin Senior MemberMember Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
Hey everyone. I received my CCNA in November, and with that got a part time job (still in college) as a network technician at my local community college. (Really, I just moved departments from Desktop Support). So I have been working the last month and a half on getting my ducks in a row to take the BSCI exam.

The comments on forums regarding the exam scare me, as people seem to have put in much more time into studying the material than me and have failed. I am not even done learning everything (Still learning BGP). My learning schedule will have me done Monday of next week, giving me the next few days to review.

People claim the BSCI exam is difficult, but to me it is simply more specialized. The CCNA (And A+, for that matter) wanted you to know a little about a lot. Basic configurations and theory on everything from STP to EIGRP and WANs. To me, this has been easier to study for as I can dedicate each day to repeating labs and masterings things on a single topic. This has been my approach.

Do you think I have a shot? I belive I am pretty well polished in the areas, and have been referencing Chris Bryant from Train Signal (Love Chris Bryant, by the way).

I'll let you know how I do.

Thanks,

Chris
Currently Pursuing
WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
mikej412 wrote:
Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.

Comments

  • mikej412mikej412 Cisco Moderator Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    chmorin wrote: »
    Do you think I have a shot?
    Let's see..... you're in school probably working on a degree, you have gotten work experience, you've gotten a good certification (CCNA), you've "moved up" to hopefully a "better job" and should be getting some even better experience. So far you seem to be doing everything right -- so sure, if you understand routing you should have a very good shot at passing.

    And if it turns out you underestimated this exam, I'm pretty sure you'd learn from it and probably not fail another Cisco exam for a long long long time (if ever).

    The only thing that would concern me is your "repeating labs." Cisco isn't about memorizing a few configurations, it's about learning the technology. Once you've learned a lesson from a lab there isn't much to be gained by doing it a 2nd or 3rd time. You may want to practice the technology a few time to make sure you remember the commands, but after the "first time" you should be past the lab and checking out the "other options" or identifying other ways to verify, troubleshoot, or debug any issues you can create.

    The exam blueprint does a good job of telling you what you should know for the exam -- but the people who use the blueprint as the minimum for their studies usually do better than the people who use the blueprint as the maximum of what they need to know.

    If someones running an illegal betting pool on this, I've got $5 for a pass. :D
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • EssendonEssendon Stopped chasing the VCDX Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Top advice there Mike. To the OP : read, re-read and understand what Mike said and you'll go a long way.

    Good luck and welcome to the forums!!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • aldousaldous Senior Member Member Posts: 105
    chris bryants BSCI BGP lectures are probably the best around. i did BSCI as half a module in university this year (the other half is CCNA:S :) ) and despite 2 hour lecture for uni (our guy is ex network engineer for isp's etc really knows his stuff) and watching the nuggets it wasn't untill i watched bryants 4hours on BGP that everything clicked.

    know your material and know it backwards, did the BSCI on monday and it was the most difficult test i have ever done, got stuck on a sim for 40 minutes before i had to cut n run despite all the prep i'd done. still passed though :)

    also dont underestimate IPv6 its on there for a reason, i didn't go as in depth into it as i should of done and it is tested like everything else (unlike on CCNA where it was mentioned but not really tested)

    as you've got hands on i'll contribute my imaginry $5 for a pass as well
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH The Bringer of Light Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    The only thing that would concern me is your "repeating labs." Cisco isn't about memorizing a few configurations, it's about learning the technology. Once you've learned a lesson from a lab there isn't much to be gained by doing it a 2nd or 3rd time. You may want to practice the technology a few time to make sure you remember the commands, but after the "first time" you should be past the lab and checking out the "other options" or identifying other ways to verify, troubleshoot, or debug any issues you can create.

    So agree with this, I have actuly never done an "official lab", and am still not sure what they mean or whats involved. I have always found the best way to lean is to start from ciscos own documentation. Download the switch/rouer config manual, find the relevent section, and just set it up from there. Then start hitting the ? key and see how many ways you can find to break it.

    Finding novel and new ways to break something, and then spending time to trouble shoot what you have done, and finding out why that broke the system, is a great way to get understanding of a topic. I find by the time I have spent a few days on any one topic doing this, then picking up a text book again and sundely what seemed confusing before all makes perfect sence.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • chmorinchmorin Senior Member Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Thank you all for the friendly replies!

    I will try and take them to heart and move forward in my education.

    Concerning repeating labs:

    My approach is doing a particular lab until i get the basics down pat. I will then configure a custom network with the knowledge I have gained from reading, and break something (sometimes not even knowing I was doing so). Then I will try and figure out a sign of what is wrong, and how to fix it. Rise and repeat, with unique situations.

    Trouble is BGP... I'm having a hard time emulate it as I don't have anything that can support it available to me. Any solutions?
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
  • mikej412mikej412 Cisco Moderator Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    What sort of lab do you have access to at school?

    Dynamips with Dynagen (or the GUI GN3) can let you emulate enough routers on a hefty PC/Laptop for BSCI -- but you need access to a supported IOS image (1700, 2600, 2691, 3620, 3640, 3660, 3725, 3745, 7200), which unfortunately isn't a valid licensed use of an IOS image.... icon_pirat.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Senior Member Member Posts: 4,024
    chmorin wrote: »
    People claim the BSCI exam is difficult, but to me it is simply more specialized. The CCNA (And A+, for that matter) wanted you to know a little about a lot. Basic configurations and theory on everything from STP to EIGRP and WANs. To me, this has been easier to study for as I can dedicate each day to repeating labs and masterings things on a single topic. This has been my approach.

    Eh, I wouldn't say it's more specialized. It's covering a good many routing protocols, each of which have their own nuances, and how those protocols interact with each other. It's easy to get lost in the details, or to miss them entirely.

    I'm sure you'll do fine, just don't underestimate it. Taking BSCI as your first non-entry level exam can be a gutshot if you don't know what you're in for.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Senior Member Member Posts: 4,024
    mikej412 wrote: »
    The only thing that would concern me is your "repeating labs." Cisco isn't about memorizing a few configurations, it's about learning the technology. Once you've learned a lesson from a lab there isn't much to be gained by doing it a 2nd or 3rd time. You may want to practice the technology a few time to make sure you remember the commands, but after the "first time" you should be past the lab and checking out the "other options" or identifying other ways to verify, troubleshoot, or debug any issues you can create.

    I think of lab scenarios as like magic tricks. Once you've learned the trick, the only thing it's good for is impressing your friends, or selling it's performance to other folks to try and make some money off it.
  • SysAdmin4066SysAdmin4066 Senior Member Member Posts: 443
    Eh, I wouldn't say it's more specialized. It's covering a good many routing protocols, each of which have their own nuances, and how those protocols interact with each other. It's easy to get lost in the details, or to miss them entirely.

    I'm sure you'll do fine, just don't underestimate it. Taking BSCI as your first non-entry level exam can be a gutshot if you don't know what you're in for.

    When I read that part of his post, I was thinking the same thing man. Dont underestimate this exam. It will eat your effing lunch ;)
    In Progress: CCIE R&S Written Scheduled July 17th (Tentative)

    Next Up: CCIE R&S Lab
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH The Bringer of Light Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    What sort of lab do you have access to at school?

    Dynamips with Dynagen (or the GUI GN3) can let you emulate enough routers on a hefty PC/Laptop for BSCI -- but you need access to a supported IOS image (1700, 2600, 2691, 3620, 3640, 3660, 3725, 3745, 7200), which unfortunately isn't a valid licensed use of an IOS image.... icon_pirat.gif


    I was informed by a CISCO engineer that if you have access to an IOS (ie your company runs it on live hardware or has a licence for it) then as long as you don't use it twice in a production network, they are not going to come down on an indivual using it for lab/learning purposes. In fact when I asked where to get hold of an IOS we did not have a licence for for training purposes, I was told to down load it through our support login to CISCO, and just make sure it never goes on to a live or development system.

    However he did say that is of course not Cisco's official view.

    But the feeling i got was that CISCO are happy for people learning, to use "leagle" copies of an IOS. I think they see it in the fact that people who are learning are more likely to pick up new ideas that in turn require more hardware to be purchased for the "live" network.

    I know you can just as easy download from various other "icon_pirat.gifsites", but if you don't like to do this, then above is another option.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • chmorinchmorin Senior Member Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    When I read that part of his post, I was thinking the same thing man. Dont underestimate this exam. It will eat your effing lunch ;)

    I have learned from Netacad never to underestimate what Cisco has to throw at you.

    Also, it seems you took your last CCNP exam today! Tell us how it goes!
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Senior Member Member Posts: 4,024
    chmorin wrote: »
    I have learned from Netacad never to underestimate what Cisco has to throw at you.

    Well let's just say BSCI has earned it's reputation, and you can take from that what you will. But I suspect you'll be a bit surprised when you go to sit for it.
  • chmorinchmorin Senior Member Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Well let's just say BSCI has earned it's reputation, and you can take from that what you will. But I suspect you'll be a bit surprised when you go to sit for it.

    Never surprised, only disappointed in myself. Cisco does not lie to you about what could be on the exam. I can only kick myself If I do not know every one of the questions topics.
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
  • mikej412mikej412 Cisco Moderator Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    chmorin wrote: »
    Cisco does not lie to you about what could be on the exam. I can only kick myself If I do not know every one of the questions topics.
    I'm in for another $5 on a first time pass :D
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • chmorinchmorin Senior Member Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Well crud now I have pressure! Haha
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
  • chmorinchmorin Senior Member Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Today is the day! I'm not going to lie, I feel like I am a little weak on some subjects. Regardless of the results of the test, I'm going to be review some things. However, what I do know I know very well. So let man vs test begin!

    Test is in two hours. Will probably be a few after that I post on here. Wish me Lu-, I mean, skill and competence!
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
  • 416_guy416_guy Street Fighter Member Posts: 70 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck man, man must beat test !!!
  • mikej412mikej412 Cisco Moderator Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    chmorin wrote: »
    Will probably be a few after that I post on here.
    Should we be worried that you're drunk in a ditch somewhere from the celebration? Or passed out on the floor of a friends apartment with a brand new magic marker tatoo on your face?
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • billscott92787billscott92787 Senior Member Member Posts: 933
    So did you destroy the test or did the test destroy you? What was the outcome :P
  • qplayedqplayed Senior Member Member Posts: 303
    so did you get hit wiha left hook? or did you dodge it and gave BSCI an upper cut?
    If you cannot express in a sentence or two what
    you intend to get across, then it is not focused
    well enough.
    —Charles Osgood, TV commentator
  • chmorinchmorin Senior Member Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'm proud to say I failed!

    Let me explain.

    I got my CCNA in November, and decided to take a break. I had a goal in my head in November to get my BSCI exam in late February. I made this goal with no clue what the BSCI exam would encompass. I really started to study for the exam mid January. I thought it was realistic for me, assuming that the course material stay this same path.

    Mid February I hit BGP.

    Now, I will never run away from a goal I set, I just push harder into it. However, BGP was ALOT more detailed than I thought it was going to be. I spend the next two weeks on it. I am proud to say I got 77% of all the BGP questions correct in that time frame.

    However, now that I know what is actually on the test, I know that from where I started, to where I set my goal, it was a bit of an unrealistic goal.

    The BSCI exam didn't kick my ass, we shook hands and went our separate ways so that we can one day meet again for a more interesting fight.

    Also... I'm very happy with where I am in life, and want to concentrate on my job for the moment. I have been studying hard-core for all of my certs the month I got out of high school. I need a brake XD

    Thanks for the support!
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
  • miller811miller811 Senior Member Member Posts: 897
    It is a big step moving from NA to NP level exam. If you were close to passing, you should double down, (giving yourself enough time to revise on your weakest areas) and retake the exam. It will be much easier to pass this exam, with a little more hard work, instead of shelving it for now, unless you plan to take the new 3 test NP track... Just my 2 cents...icon_thumright.gif

    BTW it took me three times to pass the BSCI.

    Good luck..
    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
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