CCIE R&S Written — Epic Fail (Again Again)

On Friday, and for the fourth time, I took the CCIE R&S Written exam (350-001).  For the third time, though, I failed.  Let me tell you, I am absolutely devastated.  I worked my buns off for the past few weeks, but I’m obviously missing some important piece to put me over the top.

Not only was I disappointed with my overall score, I was disappointed by my score in some of the focus areas.  For God’s sake, I made a 50% on each of the routing and switching sections, which is just absolutely embarrassing.  I mean, this is my bread and butter here.  This is what I do all day every day, and I could only muster a 50%?

What exactly went wrong this time?  I didn’t go out drinking into the night before just to have to get up early for the exam. I actually studied 2 or 3 hours per night for a few weeks before the attempt.  I was well rested and confident.  It’s all makes for a passing grade, doesn’t it? It seems like it would, but I guess we’ll all wrong.

For the first time, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the depth of the questions.  I usually have some sense of what’s going on (within reason), but this sitting, though, hit me right in the mouth from the very first question.  With the NDA in mind, I can only say some questions went deep, deep into the realm of academia.  Like core-of-the-earth deep.  There’s usually a couple questions that mention some acronym that I’ve never heard, but I had one or two questions that were talking about whole topics that were new to me.  It was that bad.  Absolutely intimidating.

I was thinking back to my previous attempts and trying to remember the scores.  I know I scored a 790 on the one pass, but I think my lowest was in the 710 range.  That tells me that I score about the same no matter what.  If I just walk in cold with no studying, I’ll get close.  If I study more than I’ve ever studied in my life, I’ll get close.  If I half-ass it the whole time, I’ll get close.  It seems, though, that I’ll never pass studying the way I do.  Something has got to change, but, right now, I have no idea how to take it to the next level.

I’m definitely not going to give up, but things have to drastically change.  I have to find another way to measure myself against the exam for one.  The measures I was using put me in the 90th percentile, but that was obviously the wrong type of ruler.  I have some huge weaknesses in my base of knowledge, too, so I’ll have to fill in those gaps.  If I would have done that before this attempt, I probably would have gotten a passing score.  Overall, too, I have a lot more work to do to get as deep as I can in each subject.

I’ll reach out to a few friends for some insight.  I’ll take any input from the general population as well.

Send any ways to make RFCs less boring questions to me.

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.

More Posts

Follow Me:
Twitter

9 comments for “CCIE R&S Written — Epic Fail (Again Again)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.