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BlueWolf's Howl

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June 29, 2005

Bits and Bites

I'm hearing a giant sucking sound... Yeah, I "bolo'ed" the BCRAN. $125 down the drain. It really sucks to be me right now.

But, I do believe that I've spent the required amount of time in self-ass-kicking and it's time to drive on and fix it. There's nothing that anyone can do that can change the test that already completed. The only thing that's possible now is for me to find a way to learn from the experience and pass the test on the second shot.

I spent quite a bit of time angry at Cisco. I used the Cisco Press Study Guide to prepare for the exam. I studied hard and long. I did all the questions and worked through all the scenarios. I was getting 96-98% on the CD ROM practice tests. The first thing that shocked me was that my online research indicated that you needed a 700 (out of 1000)to pass. When I sat down, the prep screens said I needed a 790 to pass. I knew after the first 5 questions that I would be in trouble. There were questions on things that weren't even covered in the study guide. And then I ran into a loooooong scenario question that required about 10 to 15 commands to complete....but from the time limit for the number of questions on the test (displayed at the beginning of the test), I knew that I only had ONE MINUTE per question. Answering that one would have screwed me out of several questions at the end of the exam. I gave the one-finger salute to the monitor and clicked next.

Things always happen for a reason. Perhaps it may be years before I know some of the reasons for this event. But, it forced me to delve deep into myself and my past for answers. As the "Battle Status" table on the right shows... I've passed a number of exams. What was different? What changed? I had to go all the way back to the days of NT4.0 to find the answer.

I remember my first few vendor tests. The first one was NT 4.0 Server. I read three different books to prepare for that exam. I passed it on the first shot. Then I took the Exchange 5.5 exam. I read 4-5 books to prepare for that exam. Again, I passed it on the first attempt. Hmmm... For this exam, I used only the Cisco Press book. [insert light bulb here]

Perhaps I was meant to lose that $125? It helped me to wake up to the multiple book idea (again). Who knows? I just might have spent that money to save myself from blowing $300 on the CCIE written exam (later on down the line).

And while I was 'dealing with it,' I went through a pile of things on my desk. One of the things I ran across was the Cisco Network Security Insider's Kit. I had forgotten all about that. I opened it up and found a $10 Starbucks card from Cisco inside. Okay. I'm not mad at Cisco anymore.

Posted by BlueWolf on June 29, 2005 12:39 AM