Starting Over

To start off I failed my last attempt at the CCNP switch exam. I came close was about 60 points off the mark but I still missed out on it. I was not very impressed with the testing centre’s processes this time. I arrived 30 minutes early, they were not setup, ready or even interested in being there it seemed (it was a Saturday), the workstations a very long time to boot (they tried multiple machines) and when they finally got one up and running the testing centre login to the exam application was not working.

The staff then told me that they were “locked out” of their account and seemed to expect me to accept this and leave.  I calmly explained that it was a near two hour drive for me to get there so this was not an option and they would need to attempt sort it out. After about 45 minutes they finally got me logged in to start the test, by this time I was feeling pretty flustered, to add to this shortly after the exam started multiple people started streaming into the exam room and making a lot of noise, I am not sure if they were sitting for other exams as some of them only stayed for about 30-40 minutes.  After this episode it took me about 20 mins to finally focus back on the test which in turn was about 20 questions.

In hindsight had I been able to stay calm and focused from the beginning, I probably would have been able to get into a rhythm quicker and I might have had a better chance at passing but this was not the case.  This is definitely a lesson learnt and for all future exams I will be prepared for anything so as to not break my concentration.

I haven’t been studying much lately and that is because I’ve changed jobs. I started working for a hosting company/small service provider as a network administrator, which has been challenging but quite good. We have several datacentres and a large routing and switching infrastructure to look after and grow which is a challenge I am looking forward to. It is good to finally be able to put some of the things I have been learning into practice.

Tonight I finally sat down and had a good study session, I will be doing some more labbing in the coming weeks and hopefully going back for another crack at the Switch exam soon.

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