ONT – Epic Fail Part 2

I took the ONT again today.  The stench of failure is upon me for a second time, and I’m beginning to think I’m not the god-like person that everyone thinks I am.  I went into the test very confidently.  I did extra time on my weak points from the last attempt and knew it inside and out.  I put hours and hours of lab time in and got other books and online materials involved.  I was absolutely convinced that I would blow this thing away, but, alas, it was not to be.

If you ignore the wireless questions, the test was pretty fair.  There were questions in the usual poor wording that made you doubt things that you know are absolutely true.  Unlike last time, though, I didn’t find any questions where I was totally lost.  There were some questions that were very ambiguous, but only one was out of realm of possibility (it actually required a calculator to answer correctly).  All in all, it was a good test sans the wireless stuff.

Ah, the wireless questions.  I complained last time that there was one needlessly-obscure questions about WLC CLI, and that exact question was on the test today.  The additional CLI questions were downright sadistic, though, and the question about how to do initial configuration was really uncalled for.  Oh, I almost forgot about the question asking what model of WLCs support feature X.  Really?  Has there always been a requirement to know the features of each model in a product line?  I think I got two (maybe three) questions about the technologies like WPA and DCF.

Yes, I know it sounds like I’m making excuses, but I’m not the kind of person who shifts the blame.  If I’m the cause of the problem, I’ll fess up to it.  If I thought I could have done better, I’ll admit it.  If I chose to ignore a topic and get bitten for it, I’ll happily say it was my fault.  In this case, I did more than what I thought was appropriate and still failed.

I believe this puts me far enough behind my schedule to have to take another path to CCNP.  My first reaction would be go the ROUTE/SWITCH/TSHOOT path.  Since I’m already scheduled to take a ROUTE class, it seems the obvious choice.

Hear the Director’s Commentary on this post:

[audio:http://aconaway.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ONT-Epic-Fail-Part-2.mp3|titles=ONT – Epic Fail Part 2]

Aaron Conaway

I shake my head around sometimes and see what falls out. That's what lands on these pages. If you have any questions, the best way to contact me is through Twitter at @aconaway.

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9 comments for “ONT – Epic Fail Part 2

  1. March 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    dude, don’t be too hard on yourself
    don’t get me wrong, failing is not fun but it is only an exam and in my mind the main thing is to learn from your experience. do you know more about VoIP and QoS today than you knew a month ago? this is what its all about!
    take few days off and a date or two with the wife and you’ll get a different perspective on things 🙂
    I hate to see you change your path because of ONT but unless Voice is part of your work (and I understand it is not) maybe it is the better choice.
    anyway, liked the Director’s Commentary, cool idea and your voice is not that bad (you see, you can deal with voice ;))

  2. Black Jack
    March 19, 2010 at 2:48 am


    What Materials you use to prepare the Exam?

    Did you use the book ‘CCNP -ONT Portable Command Guide’?It will be helpful for you to understand and pass the exam.

    I will be sitting on it next Tue.

    Good luck to you!

  3. March 19, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Rofi: Thanks for the words. I think I’ll stick with the ONT path for now; I’m trying to get another sitting scheduled for next Friday. As a Twitter friend said, the tests don’t reflect skill, and I’m not bummed at all, so we’ll just see what’s going on. I did notice some jitter in my voice on the audio, so I may have to do some troubleshooting to see why my voice is shaking! Heh.

    Black Jack: I used the cert guide book the first time; I knew it inside and out. The problem was that about 1/4 of the questions were on stuff in the book. I took my mental notes and did extra research on the topics on CCO to understand the technologies that I didn’t really know as well as I should. I also checked out some other Cisco Press books like _End-to-end QoS Network Design_ and _QoS for IP/MPLS Networks_ for some additional insight. I have a digital copy of the Portable Command Guide that I skimmed over, but I never really studied it. Perhaps that’s what I need to do this next time. Thanks!

  4. wayne
    March 19, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Wise words from Rolfi, I passed BSCI on the second go and writing BCMSN for the second time next week 🙂 seems I need to do them all twice haha.

    Good Luck with the studies!

  5. March 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    wow Aaron I am sorry for you. but actually I would blame it more on cisco than on yourself…. hm…maybe I should really aim for the TSHOOT as wireless is a topic I really dont like… I wish you all the best for your next attempt

  6. Black Jack
    March 20, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Hi Aaron,

    I personally prefer that current path of CCNP syllabus cover more details than the new version. Only brief topic Remote Access and VPN topics are moved into ROUTE, since no more ISCW in new CCNP. For IPSEC newbie, ISCW still a good reference.

    Why don’t give yourself 3rd try? Sure you can pass the exam if you stick to the Study Guide (do at least 1 browsing, do all questions at ‘DO I KNOW THIS’ sections), browse the Cisco Academy Labs and understand Portable Command!!

    All the best to you!

  7. March 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks, again, for the encouragement, Wayne and Sebastian. And thanks to Black Jack for the advice on the study path to look at.

    I’ll be taking the test again for sure. With a little luck and some study suggestions from new friends, I’m bound to pass this thing! 🙂

  8. March 25, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I would advise you to stay away from the Cert Guide. For all CCNPs it is the WORST resource, ironically so. I’ve passed both BSCI and BCMSN and I found plenty of things not covered in the book.
    Maybe the cert guides were good for the questions in 2007 when they got published, but now they are just outdated and incomplete.
    I found that the Student guides are more complete as related to the exam topics and questions.

    I’m not going to touch ONT and ISCW, going for TSHOOT all the way. At least there’s nothing outdated yet and it’s not yet bloated with fillers.

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