jueves, 17 de marzo de 2011

My Lab Experience

Posted by Nicolas | jueves, 17 de marzo de 2011 | Category: , |

Ok, this is going to be the single exception to the rule to post in Spanish, but wanted to give visibility to a wider audience as most of my preparation has been based on things I have read on groupstudy or some other blogs (see blog list at the bottom), so gotta contribute back somehow to the community.
Unfortunately I did NOT pass this time. I really felt like I was prepared, but was proven wrong.

1. Troubleshooting: I did pass this section, I was able to answer all the tickets. I now regret I did not move on to the config part sooner. I knew what I was doing, but in order to secure the points I went through all the tickets once again after I completed them all in order to verify the fixes, burning valuable 25 minutes or so (I did not change anything from what I had done on that time). Overall one or two tickets kept me thinking, the rest of them were pretty clear on what they were asking for.

2. Configuration: I failed this part. More difficult and definitely much longer than what I was expecting to. Dividing the total time for the number of questions, you have less than 15 minutes for each one and in my opinion some of them need a little more thinking than that…but since other people do pass it, looks like I’m just too slow. There are some questions that might be straight forward, but you need to know very well what you are doing and there is no room for mistakes. Then there are other questions that will mix things, so the understanding of it needs to go a bit deeper. And last but not least, questions that will test all your knowledge on certain technologies ..including its “tricks”!!.

I started very slow, trying to make sure I was covering every single requirement on L2. In the middle of L3 I came into something that didn’t work for me at first try, a very challenging scenario. Tried different options until things seemed to be working as requested. Then I had to run through the rest of the exam, which I managed to complete, but skipping some bullets in certain sections that I was not 100% sure of. I would supposedly complete them afterwards. I didn’t do much verifications, just typed as fast as I could what I thought it might fulfill the requirements. Unfortunately I ran short of time, and since there are no partial points I did not reach the 80% goal.

Overall I feel I did my best and not sure what else I could have done to succeed on this attempt. I got a decent amount of points, even a 100% on one section, but certainly not enough to pass the exam. I’m really frustrated after all the hard work. I could work on speed, but there will always be something you don’t know…. We will see.

What materials I have used to prepare the exam?.

a. Several books. I have something around 15 on my bookshelf, but you don’t really need to read them all (I haven’t). The one I do recommend reading for starters is Routing TCP/IP.

b. The first workbooks I ever used were Narbik’s, which I won on a troubleshooting contest.

c. I worked with a couple of workbooks from Internetwork Expert and did 5 of their graded Mock Labs (got an excellent discount). If you want a reference I scored between 60 and 70 on all of them, so you probably want to reach 80 on those before the real deal.

d. I went through the Vol III of IPexpert that the nice banner on the left bought for me :)

e. I based all my studies on the following list: CCIE R/S 4.X Expanded Study Blueprint. I also created an Anki deck, mapping each topic to the most useful commands to implement given feature/technology/etc., that I would review on a daily basis.

f. I’m a big fan of tech blogs, most of the ones I follow are listed on the bottom of this page (some of them are no longer updated, but have very valuable info). I might be missing some, as I lost the original list when changed my blog design template.

g. Don't miss the free sessions the different vendors offer (INE, IPX, Narbik, NMC)... I used to update this list: Material Gratis regularly, but I haven’t in the last months as I was doing labs on my spare time.

h. Don't forget to watch this: CCIE R&S v4.0 Lab Exam Demo, before you go to your lab.

I’m taking a short break now to get up to date at work and to be with my loved ones, then I will start planning the strategy for my second attempt…

I’ll keep posting in Spanish as soon as I get back on my feet…

En total 2 comentarios:

  1. Hola Nicolas, siento mucho que este no haya sido tu turno. Ese gran dia llegara, no pierdas la fuerza y sobretodo pidele a Dios que te guie. :-)

    Mucha gente que no ha pasado, se refiere a que el examen test la base de la tecnologia -como alguien publico - el examen no busca por "superninja configuraciones" como las de los workbooks de los vendors. Es mas, estas personas dicen para preparse para el segundo intento se van a baser en los worbooks que trabajan una tecnologia a la vez... De acuerdo a tu experiencia con el lab y sin infringir el NDA, podrias publicar tus comentarios respecto a este tema? Si estas de acuerdo con esos comentarios, que definirias tu como "basic" y que tan profundo hay que ir en cada una de ellas cuando se este estudiando?
    Gracias por tomarte el tiempo para responder.
    Mis mejores deseos, tu numero es cuestion de semanas :-)

  2. Muchas gracias Frank.

    La verdad es que para cada caso es diferente. Si bien es cierto no diría que las configuraciones del examen son extremadamente difíciles, los requerimientos son muy precisos y el más mínimo desvío te harán perder los puntos, por ende si bien las preguntas NO son tan difíciles, es muy fácil fallarlas. Hay que tener mucha precaución y tener una base sólida de conocimientos.



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