Nightmare exam!

bobobbobob Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
Just finished 640-801 about an hour ago. It was not a pleasant experience: I ran out of time with 2 questions left and there were many questions I felt that I had struggled on. At the end of the test, I was sure I'd blown it, but no, I passed with a 935 - much better than I thought possible! I've done MCSE exams before, but this was definitely much harder.

Basically, all I did was study the Sybex Lammle deluxe book (with simulator and tests) for 3 weeks and go through all the practice tests on Celtic Rover. I had no prior Cisco experience other than configuring a PIX firewall at my last job, but I have many years Unix and Windows admin, programming and general networking experience to draw on.

I am currently unemployed, but right after my test I got a message on my phone saying I have an interview with an ISP for next week for a senior job managing Linux and Windows hosting servers. Man, things are looking up at last!


  • Orion82698Orion82698 Member Posts: 483
    Congrats to you! That is awesome news. Now, go out and get you some "Bling Bling" icon_wink.gif

    icon_rolleyes.gif Just kidding!
    WIP Vacation ;-)

    Porsche..... there is no substitute!
  • TechGeekProTechGeekPro Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    :D Congratulations!
    icon_confused.gif: How, specifically, were they harder than the Microsoft exams?
    Not only am I certified, I'm certifiable.
  • bobobbobob Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    :D Congratulations!
    icon_confused.gif: How, specifically, were they harder than the Microsoft exams?

    For a start, I've never struggled for time on a Microsoft exam before. I've always plenty of time left to go over the questions and check my answers on the MS exams. With the Cisco exam, you can't go back, so I think I had the tendency to dwell on stuff I wasn't sure about, but didn't want to skip because the pass mark of 85% doesn't seem to leave much room for manoeuvre.

    It didn't help me that my first couple of questions were simulations and I spend way too much time making sure I nailed them. My time management was poor; that's for sure. By the last 10-15 questions I was really starting to panic then I got a simulation on access lists for my third or fourth last question that I had to rush through.

    I also think the Cisco exam requires you to apply your knowledge in deeper ways - lots of subnet calculations and debug outputs to pour over before an answer becomes clear. There seemed to be a fewer questions that just tested your ability to recall facts, and there were questions that I thought I should be able to handle, but the answer didn't come leaping out at me. Given I did quite well even though I didn't complete the whole test, I think a lot of my educated guesses must have come good. Not being able to skip and return to difficult questions really makes this exam tough to judge timewise.

    I'm going to do the Solaris 9 Admin exams next. Those are 105 minutes for 56 questions with a 64% pass mark - should be an absolute breeze in comparison. icon_mrgreen.gif
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