ROUTE Exam Take One

Last week I sat the CCNP route v1 exam and came up short…just.

I took the exam early in the day as I was taking some time off work so I got to the test centre about 45mins before my exam was scheduled to start as they usually let you in early to start even if you are there before your scheduled time.

Like other times in the past I was processed quickly and about to start my exam when there were some issue with the pearson vue system, this took over an hour to sort out, eventually it was a quick fix with a call to the help desk but a lot of waiting on hold in the call queue was not a good start to the day.

I was pretty confident going into the exam, I have been getting some good study time in over the past few weeks trying to come up with a good method and sticking to it. This is definitely something that I lacked when I tackled the switch exam, so I am keen to come up with a new and improved study practice especially as I want to eventually continue on with the design and service provider tracks.

After the initial delay I was a bit thrown mentally, I just kept running through my notes in my head and tried to keep a cool head for when the exam started and for the most part I did this so that was a good learning curve.

Starting the exam I got the initial multiple choice questions and I was feeling good, then I hit the first sim…where i basically had a mind blank and spent quite a bit of time on it, as I continued on I hit some of the same road blocks and started to become concerned with my time management, this caused me to speed up a bit on the multiple choice and also “give up” a couple of the sims which in hindsight was a big mistake, at one point I was looking a the clock for some of the questions and then just guessing at which point I knew it was all over.

I didn’t miss the passing score by much, around 5 percent, so I was happy at least with that, especially as I started to panic on a couple of the sims which made it very difficult to think and troubleshoot and on reflection I think I now know the answers to at least some of these questions.

No doubt this is a difficult exam, at least in my opinion. It has been 12 months since I first sat the SWITCH exam so I can’t really compare the difficulty of the two but ROUTE is certainly challenging. One issue I do have with this exam is that some of the questions are VERY vague, which can make it very difficult to understand what it is the questions is asking or the outcome that is necessary to take all the marks, which is a little frustrating when you have a 5-6 router topology and you are trying to work out what the exam is telling you is broken so you can start to formulate where to start to look for the resolution. I do agree that this is the kind of troubleshooting that is very important to learn, at least I know it is very valuable in my current position as problems are sometimes presented in such a vague set of circumstances it is difficult to know where to begin.

I think I am pretty close to being able to pass and I am happy with my study progress, I will be scheduling another attempt in the next week or two. However first I will look at tackling a couple of areas which I think let me down these being IPv6 and redistribution specifically.

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