Friday, November 18, 2011

Well, it's been about 3 weeks since my last post. I finished my crazy 35 day schedule and sat for my CCNA exam. I failed the exam scoring just shy of the needed percentage points. The reason I failed was due to poor time management. I got stuck with a multi question simlet that took a lot longer than I would have liked and time simple got away. Not to mention the 1st time Cisco exam jitters.

So, the last week I have spent sharpening up the skills on the sims as I lagged on them and taking nightly pretests. I figure if I would have had an extra 10 minutes I would have finished the questions and passed. That 10 minutes was soaked up by the sims, so the simulation topics are my focus.

A good source for recognizing the troubles of passing the CCNA can be found on Wendell Odom's blog. He did a 4 part series on why the exam can be so tough. You can find those articles here:

Why is Passing the CCNA so diffucult
Why is the CCNA so diffucult, part II
Why is the CCNA so diffucult, part III - Time Pressure and Exam Options
Why is the CCNA so diffucult, part IV - Time Management

Here's an excerpt -
"Background: CCNA, per Cisco's web site, has 45-55 questions, with 90 minutes to take it. Let's say each testlet, simlet, and Sim require... 6 times the amount of time a multichoice question takes. I want to do some math and figure out how much time I get per MC question and for the longer questions, so I'll do some math ahead of time to find a normalized question time (term I made up). For example, if your exam has 52 questions, and 4 end up being time eaters:
  • 52 questions
  • Add 5 for each time eater, to make each look like they take 6 times as much time as an MC question
  • (52 + (4*5) =  72)
  • 90 minutes/72 normalized questions = 1.25 minutes (1:15) normalized question time"

So, I have rescheduled the CCNA and will sit it again in a few days. Then its on to the Comptia Security+ SY0-201. I'm hoping to finish that off before years end.

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