CCIE R&S Written – Epic Fail

It’s been a long time, eh? I’ve spent the last month or so with my nose down in a book and my mouse in a Google+ Hangout window studying my rear off for the CCIE R&S Written. Too bad I didn’t pass it.

The exam consisted of 77 questions over a 2 hour window. That’s plenty of time to finish; I think I had 48 minutes left when I was through, so time wasn’t a problem. There were only 2 or 3 questions where I was totally lost, so the technology wasn’t a problem. The big problem, like always, was the usual crap questions that are in these exams. Some didn’t provide all the required information. Some were impractical examples of deployments you would never use in the field. Some were on deprecated technologies. Hell, I had one that involved CatOS. Really? CatOS? Since I only failed by about 2 questions (like I always do), these shenanigans are magnified in my mind. It really irks me how these exams are being done; foggy questions don’t really measure ability.

I did have one great advantage last week that I’ve never had – I took the exam at Cisco Live and had 489247248 CCIEs around me willing to help. Since I took the exam on Sunday, I was able to ask people face-to-face for advise on what I need to do to pass, and the consensus was that I needed to practice how to answer questions the way Cisco wants you to answer them since the material wasn’t really that hard. The suggested next steps ran the gamut, too. Some suggested just firing from the hip for answers – the whole “your first guess is always right” theory. Others suggested that I just brute force the exam. Still others even suggested brain dumps along with the idea that we’ve all put in our time and effort already and that the terrible questions shouldn’t be what’s holding us back.

You guys know me by now.  I’m definitely not going to give up or anything stupid like that.  I’ll probably take a week off to recover from Cisco Live and then head back to the studies.  I’ll do the usual brute force method, but I’m going to grab a copy of the Boson exams (which were also suggested) to supplement.  I would guess that I’ll try again around the first of August, but we’ll see.

Send any beatin’ sticks questions my way.