CCIE R&S Written – Epic WIN!

The wife and I had a romantic day driving several hours to a small town to take Cisco exams.  If this doesn’t get me some action, I don’t know what else to try.

I’ve already used the phrases “skin of my teeth” and “a pass is a pass” on Twitter today for good reason.  Passing is a score of 790, and I blew that away with a 790.  One more lapse in concentration and I would have been making up more excuses instead of smiling.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have this weird reaction to taking exams where I don’t get nervous at all until after I’m finished.  Walking into the testing center, I was fine.  Walking out, I was shaking like Northern Virginia.  It was so bad that I could barely hold on to the door knob when trying to leave, so I guess that I’m really prouder than I thought I was.

The exam was a total piece of crap.  Nearly every diagram was so compressed and blurry that I couldn’t see them at all.  Most of the time I can infer what the diagram is showing, but, when your bridge priorities are listed there, it’s pretty hard to find root ports.  Absolutely horrible.  There were the inevitable spelling errors in there, too.  Most of those are fine, but were talking about, but it’s pretty unacceptable to have spelling errors in this exam.  Of course, there were also the questions that I feel are unanswerable.  Switches in VTP transparent mode behave differently from version 1 to version 2, eh?

After being recommended at Cisco Live this year, I added the Boson ExSIM-Max to the pile of prep materials.  It not only helped teach a few new things, but it cleared up a bunch of foggy details.  I’m sure that using any other study materials will do the same to some extent, but the Boson stuff provided something else – it helped to teach me to take the exams.  I was able to go through the questions and practice figuring out what was being asked, which choices were completely wrong, and how to not get utterly frustrated with the questions.  Practice makes perfect, right?

The wife came with me to take her ICND1 exam.  She did better than she thought she would, but, alas, no dice this time.  She says that she’s glad she’s been through it now and knows exactly what to study.  I’m trying to convince her to start her own blog since she’s starting up her cert journey from such a unique place.  We’ll see how that works out.

What’s next?  I have to find a company to help me prep for the lab now.  I’m sure that’s not cheap at all.  Maybe I should just blindly sit the lab and see what happens.  Maybe not.  🙂