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BlueWolf's Howl

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February 03, 2006

Oh no, it's bolo time...

Yup, I did it again. I blew another test. *shrug* Oh well, at least I'm not as upset about it as I have been before. In some ways I knew it was inevitable. I studied. I studied hard and I knew the material available. But even after all that, I still really had no idea what to expect from this test. It's hard to prepare when you don't know *what* to study. Sure, there are "exam guidelines" on the Cisco site. But, it's about as vague as ... well, let's just say that political election campaign promises are much more specific. So basically, I took and flunked the test mainly to find out what else I needed to study to pass it.

I guess I'm in good company -- I saw this on one site: "I'm a CCIE with almost ten years of experience, I had to pass the CIT in order to teach the course : - first try : FAILED - second try : PASSED" and "The Cisco Press CIT Exam Certification Guide, 2nd Edition is largely worthless. It, along with the practice questions, lead one to believe the test is much more general than it is in reality. This, coupled with the ambiguous questions, led me to fail my first CIT attempt."

It is some consolation that others had the same difficult time. And I didn't really miss the test by much. I got a 737 and needed an 804 to pass. So, just a little more and I'll get it next time. [right now would be the time to give me a chuck on the chin and a wink] Luckily, Cisco has returned to the practice of performance reports on the test results. In the category "describe and implement effective troubleshooting strategies," I attained a 91%. When I take these things into account, it helps me to cut myself some slack. Also, there's no time limit pressure, which helps immensely.

I probably won't see the same exact questions on the retest. But, some of the questions will be repeated. The upside is that now I know the *type* of questions that will be on the exam. I can review the material and be able to pick out what is and isn't a subject for a possible test question.

There's one simulation question that was especially freaky -> and I'm sure it'll probably be on the retest. I've been thinking about it all evening and I still can't come up with any ideas on how to defeat it. To give a non-technical analogy (keeping within the non-disclosure agreement): Imagine you're a plumber. You've been called to a house to troubleshoot a plumbing problem. The plumbing has broken to the point where water is pouring out of the windows. You know there's a problem and you can see the problem, however you are required to FIX the problem without entering the house. You are not allowed to use any tools to do this and can only fix it by looking at it. You must make the running water stop, drain the excess water, and make the water in the house flow properly. Oh, and you should only spend about 5-10 min on this or else you won't have enough time left to finish the exam. I actually did take a stab at this question for a few minutes. I'm going to look it up to be sure, but I think the proper command is: show magic spell password bibbity-bobbity-boo. I hear it's an undocumented Cisco command.

Since I expect the Sphinx to ask that same question on the retest, my goal is to get enough of the *other* questions right to pass in spite of it. As a hands-on simulation, it's probably worth quite a few points. [Each question is weighted according to some secret formula known only to the Cisco question squad. Rumor has it that it's based on the I Ching. ] I'm going to be on the safe side and budget 100 points for that one question - so my goal is to shoot for a 900 without it. This may take some time and might be unrealistic. I'm hoping that even if I fall short of that goal, it might be enough to push me over the 804 mark.

Well, enough about all that.... it's back to the books!

buried in books

Posted by BlueWolf on February 3, 2006 07:59 PM