BCMSN passed

Bert McGertBert McGert Member Posts: 122
BCMSN passed - 938

Used the Official Exam Cert Guide (4th ed; read it 2.5x), Authorized Self-Study Guide (4th ed; has some good bits the other doesn't), and a pair of dusty 2950's.

Gave the CBT Nuggets stuff a try, but found that it really wasn't for me.

After some brews tonight, I'm gonna get BSCI with it.


  • ColbyGColbyG Member Posts: 1,264
    Congrats! Nice score, too.

    I'm taking ONT tomorrow, if I pass I'll be a CCNP, woot!
  • Fish!Fish! Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hey, congrats on the pass! Like you I did BCMSN first. Glad I did. I am pounding on BSCI now. icon_thumright.gif

    Just curious, how long did you spend preparing for the exam?

    Are you a strong visual learner, or was it just the way the information was presented that turned you off to CBT Nuggets? I used both CBTN and Train Signal for BCMSN. I found CBTN to hold my attention better (Jeremy Cioara's presentation style I guess), but Train Signal BY FAR was much more useful to me in preparing for the exam. No question, TS covered more material that was actually on the exam.
  • NetwurkNetwurk Member Posts: 1,155 ■■■■■□□□□□

    Also doing BCMSN first myself - I'm worried about the wireless stuff since I always lab everything and can't afford a WLAN controller

    I guess I'll just have to try and get by on book knowledge with the wireless

    But anyhow this is your thread


  • Fish!Fish! Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Netwurk, after having done both CCNA:Wireless and BCMSN and having a WLC in my lab, my experience is that book knowledge is MORE than enough to get through BCMSN. CCNA:Wireless would be darn near impossible without some WLC hands-on. I didn't even touch the WLC once for my BCMSN studies.

    Also, BCMSN covers more Cisco wireless product knowledge than actual wireless implementation knowledge. Know the difference between lightweight and autonomous architectures and you have like 60% of the wireless material covered. CCNA:Wireless, OTOH, doesn't even touch autonomous architectures.

    I think it would be much more useful if you could get your hands on a Cisco laptop wireless card and the ACU software. Playing with configuring ACU would be much more cost-effective and just as beneficial as WLC-hands on for BCMSN.

    Good luck!
  • ColbyGColbyG Member Posts: 1,264
    Fish! wrote: »
    Also, BCMSN covers more Cisco product knowledge than actual implementation knowledge. Know the difference between lightweight and autonomous architectures and you have like 60% of the material covered.

    That's not true at all. The wireless only encompasses like ~20% of the exam. The meat of the exam is switching, wireless is just one of those pesky things they threw in to round it out, I guess. And, WLAN controllers are touched on much more with ONT than BCMSN.
  • Fish!Fish! Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sorry, I meant 'Cisco wireless product knowledge' and '60% of the wireless material covered'. My bad! icon_thumright.gif
  • luke_bibbyluke_bibby Member Posts: 162
    What wlc did you use just out of curiosity?

    To the OP, congrats:D
  • Bert McGertBert McGert Member Posts: 122
    I spent probably 2-3 months. Long days at work certainly don't always leave you in the mood to jump into Cisco texts when you get home.

    I've never tried TS before, but I can say that Nuggets stuff was just distracting to me. Kinda like Costanza and the "Risk Management" book-on-tape, but not because it sounded like me... I guess it just wasn't my thing.

    As for the wireless material on BCMSN, I can say that I scored 100% on the wireless questions and I never touched an AP in my studies. The Cisco materials are sufficient, for sure.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    Well done on your pass.

    I have been using the Official CCNP Study guide, CBT Nuggets, and the BCMSN Lab Portfolio. In my lab I have 2 x 3550 SMI's and 2 x 2950's. Had to upgrade the Flash on the one to be able to run RSTP, so that was good practice back to my CCNA learning.

    At the moment I have been scoring around 85-90% on the official Cisco Practice tests, but know that I have got some more ground to cover, minor stuff like knowing the different port states of STP vs RSTP, some of the wireless again, campus security (though this isnt rediculously difficult)

    The wireless isn't exactly difficult, though I've never used the Cisco wireless PCMCIA card/software and that bothers me, as I suspect there might be some of this in the exam.

    However, the Lab Portfolio takes you through all the setup for these, so I shouldn't really have that many problems.

    The rest of the wireless theory is dead easy, I've worked with autonomous AP based systems for years, so picking up WLC was no trouble.

    Let's hope that I have done enough to pass!!
  • mamonomamono Member Posts: 776 ■■□□□□□□□□
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congratulations! icon_cheers.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • PCHoldmannPCHoldmann Member Posts: 450
    There's no place like ^$
    Visit me at Route, Switch, Blog
  • Santucci4Santucci4 Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats you guys, I did the opposite and took the BSCI first. I thought that the test was going to be hard but I actually thought that is was pretty easy. However, I took that BCMSN exam today and failed. I haven't had any switches to practice on like I did with the BSCI on routers. What kind of switches would you guy advise me getting to practice my conifgs?
  • hollow666hollow666 Member Posts: 50 ■■□□□□□□□□
    A few 2950 enchanced image which should be really cheap or if you got the cash get a couple 3550 for like $200 bucks each
  • Santucci4Santucci4 Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Is there a certain 3550 model I should get? I see a couple of different ones listed on eBay that vary in price.
  • sheikhasimsheikhasim Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    i have been preparing for the BCMSN exam as well for the last 1 and half months, and my plan is to sit the exam in another three weeks or so, i have been practising on layer 2 switches mainly, 2 2950's and have had to practise redundancy stuff on the 2600 routers since i dont have any layer 3 switches, my question is, how important is it for me to acquire a layer 3 switch and if so then how many? or can i attempt to pass the exam without buying a 3550 etc?
    please help, layer 3 switches are very expensive.. £280 on ebay
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    You can pass BCMSN without actually working on a layer3 switch. Some of the functions, like intervlan routing, you can practice with a ROAS configuration instead. You will need to know what you're doing in regards to layer 3 switch configuration though, so if you can't get the hands on, make sure you spend extra time learning the configurations.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    Santucci4 wrote: »
    Is there a certain 3550 model I should get? I see a couple of different ones listed on eBay that vary in price.

    Most of the variations will be in port density and whether or not they support inline-power, so no, it doesn't matter that much for the purposes of BCMSN.

    I personally like the 3550-12T's, as they'll be useful in my home network beyond just practicing for exams.
  • NetwurkNetwurk Member Posts: 1,155 ■■■■■□□□□□
    When I got my 3550's the inline power models were actually cheaper than the non-PoE's


    If you are going for a 3550, I think at least one of them should be a PoE model as they are a big help if you expand your lab

    Look at it this way

    If you ever get Cisco IP Phones or access points, you'll want to be able to power them through your switches rather than have tons of power bricks plugged in

    Just a thought

  • SrAtechieSrAtechie Member Posts: 150 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass! I've just started my BCMSN journey and just cracked the press book. Hopefully I achieve the same happy result you had soon. icon_smile.gif
    Working on: Linux+, CCNP:Switch
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