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BlueWolf's Howl

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November 03, 2009

Last Lap to Go

Today I passed the SNAF [642-524]. One more test to go and I'll have the CCSP!

Gotta admit - this was a HARD test. I only had 10 min left at the end and that was after putting a little pep in my step. At the halfway mark for time, I was nowhere near halfway through the questions. So I put a little sense of urgency while going through the later questions. At the end of the exam, I was mentally exhausted. There were a lot of loooooooong questions. And there were a lot of 'attention to detail' questions. You know -- the kind where two or three of the answers are very similar except for one little difference... You read answer A and then answer B and it looks like it says the same thing. Then you look closer. It still looks like it says the same thing. Then you have to sit there and compare word by word until you get to the one word that's different. Sheesh. I sat there with two hands on the monitor pointing word by word to find the difference. And then there was the back and forth with the close answers that were in the question that you had to figure out from the simulation. It was WORK.

But that's all behind me now. Onto the next test... Oh, yeah - it's the Advanced test on the same ASA! For this one, I had to up my Safari Subscription to "Library" - just so I could read the Rough Cuts book. This lovely little 1200 page book isn't even available in print until December. I'll have it read by then. From what I was looking at in the reviews, the Huckaby book [ASA, PIX and FWSM Handbook] is good prep for the SNAF. Yes, it was. Between that and the SNAF Quick Reference - the two adequately cover the material. Neither book is sufficient by itself.

For the SNAA, I'm reading the Rough Cuts All-in-One book, SNAA Quick Reference, and the SSL Remote Access VPNs book. That should cover enough ground - from what I'm seeing in the Exam Topics. This one looks more like it should be called the VPN exam. But, I'm sure once I get through all those pages, I'll know a lot more than just that. I'd really like to be super-prepared for this last exam. Once it's completed, not only will I become a CCSP, but the SNAF and the SNAA are the requirements for ASA Specialist. So I guess that's a two-for-one exam...

And...if passing a test today wasn't enough : I reached and passed my reading goal for 2009!!!

I have to admit - I'm looking forward to completing the CCSP and finally getting back to the CCIE Lab Prep. I was working on my 'lab' as 'break time' between studying sessions this weekend. I now have two Windows boxes and one Fedora box to run Dynamips/Dynagen. Along with that, I have four routers, a frame relay switch and two LAN switches. That should get me through the first round of Lab prep. Once I outgrow that and do as much as I can, then I'll turn to rack time to polish up. No sense in wasting expensive rack time in the beginning stages of studying. And it's going to be odd going back to physical books. I already have the hardcover Vol I and Vol II of CCIE Practical Studies. [Yeah, there's another 2000 pages of reading...]

But for tonight - I'm taking a break. I went out to dinner and now I'm going to HULU!!!


Posted by BlueWolf on November 3, 2009 09:42 PM