ROUTE – Epic Fail (#1?)

I took the ROUTE test today and failed like I usually do.  That makes me 3-4 on these P-level tests if you’re scoring at home.  Don’t worry, though.  I’m not giving up.  🙂

In atypical fashion, I must say that the ROUTE test was a good test.  Let me say that again.  The ROUTE test was a good test.  I said good, though…not great.  There were a few problems with it that I’ll get to, but, overall, this is the best test I’ve ever taken for a Cisco cert.  The questions were very well-written and there were no obvious omissions or wrong details.  I failed this test because I simply didn’t put in enough work.

It wouldn’t be a complete test experience without a workstation crash, though, and I had one right away.  The test guy logged me in, and I started the test.  Like all of the Cisco tests, this one started with the same tutorial that walks you through how to use the interface and whatnot; I’ve gone this enough times, so I didn’t need to look at that again.  I clicked “End Tutorial” and was asked to confirm.  When I clicked “Yes”, the desktop (sans icons) was showing unexpectedly, and nothing was happening.  I waited for 3 minutes before asking for help.  This center hadn’t ever given a Cisco test (they just got the stuff to give Vue tests), so they called up Vue’s support for some answers.  It seems that this is a known problem (with this test?), and a hard reboot would fix it.  It did, and I found myself back in the game.

Like I said before, the test was good.  I might even give it a very good if not for the lockup.  Every question was clearly written by what seemed to be an English-speaking author.  There were no difficult phrases that I had to read over and over again to interpret.  When I read the question, it was obvious what I was being asked to do.  I didn’t have to guess like a lot of the questions on the SWITCH test, and, let me tell you, having a verb in every sentence makes things easier.  I also only had one or two questions where I had to infer a piece of missing information.  It usually helps if you have all the information, and this test did a really good job of doing such in comparison to the last 8589248 tests I’ve taken.

There was one particular question that I found annoying, though, and I let someone have it in the comment section.  A diagram showed a about 10 routes all interconnected in various patterns with the Internet and data center connected into the mesh.  Each link had a number on it with no description of what it was…it was just a number.  The question asked how many possible paths there were from the data center to the Internet if a certain setting change was made (I don’t want to violate NDA here).  Well, the setting had a lot to do with routes submitted to the RTM, and question didn’t ask about routes.  It specifically said paths.  I counted 18 different paths from one end of the network to the other.  Too bad the answers were in the low single digits.  I just guessed at that one since I had no idea what they were asking.

As you figured out by now, this is yet another testing center.  I think this makes the 7th one I’ve tried over my testing career, and it was a duesy.  This one is only 30 minutes away, so it’s much more convenient than all the others, so it’s got that going for it.  The building it’s in is pretty old, but the room is well insulated from the outside.  On top of that, the town it’s in is a sleepy little fishing/tourist village, so all the traffic is at the other end of the road which makes for a very quiet facility.  The people were great, too.  They were helpful and apologetic about the lockup (even though I assured them it was a Vue problem like I’d seen in the past).  Plus, do you know any testing center with a view like this?  🙂  I’ll definitely go back there again for my tests.

Moral of the Story:  Cisco put out a good test, but I’m too lazy to pass it.

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