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CCNA - Hoping to take 640-802 soon

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Happy Dude, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Happy Dude

    Happy Dude New Member

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    Hello all.

    I'm hoping to take my 640-802 soon and I wondered if anyone could give me any pointers about the nature of the exam software.

    I'm using the Boson Netsim software (with the ICND2 book) which is OK, but sometimes the spelling in questions can be a bit off ("link" instead of "like" - that really puts you off your pace whilst you try to work out what they are on about) as well as at least one plain wrong question (verified by CCNP who is studying for CCIE, details on request if any Boson people would like to fix it).

    I'm specifically wondering if it is possible to mark questions for review and go back to them later (either in the software, or just keeping a list of stuff to review on paper)? Do you actually get paper for working in them exams or, as I have heard, a whiteboard tablet? Supposed reason for this is so you can't take notes out of the room - can anyone verify?

    Timing is the thing I am having most problems with - maybe it is just that I have a particularly diagram heavy corpus of questions downloaded from Boson, but I'm just not getting enough simple "Which of the following is true" type questions to catch up from the complex questions which take up so much time. Can anyone give me some idea as to the balance between diagram/exhibit type questions and simple 10 second job questions? Any tips on strategies for tackling questions - eg. run through the simple ones first then go back to the sims and diagrams?

    Anyway, that's probably enough for my first post, I'm sure a lot of the questions are answered elsewhere on the forums if I take the time to look, but I thought I might as well ask whilst introducing myself - any links to the answer thread would be most gratefully received.

    Thanks!
     
    Certifications: BSc Hons
    WIP: CCNA
  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi Welcome :)

    BosonMichael or BosonJosh may be around later on who maybe able to answer your questions since they work for Boson.

    As for the exam if its like other exams you'll get either some paper & a pen or and erasable marker board and pen and yes you will be able to make questions for review and go back to them at the end.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    First off, welcome to CF! 8)

    You say you're using Boson... I am pretty sure (there was on the ExSim Max I used) the facility to feed back any issues to Boson. Have you actually tried doing that?

    Do you work on CISCO kit as part of your day job, or are you self-studying using the NetSim?

    Again, in terms of the Sims themselves, I found the one I used (for Vista) to be spot on when it came to the look, style and feel of the Sim versus the real exam. Again, I haven't tried the NetSim but I would imagine it is as close as you're going to get.

    Cheers

    Giddy
     
  4. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Welcome to the forums...

    You asked about balancing the questions in the test so that you had an adequate number (based on time, not easiness) of 'quicker' questions in relation to the 'time consuming' questions.

    Interesting, but I don't think it works like that. I didn't do the CCENT path, just directly to the CCNA. It looks like you're doing the same. The real exam is a bunch of questions from a large pool of questions. There's probably an algorithm to ensure every candidate gets a fair number of sim questions, etc... However the Cisco exam is adaptive. It will evaluate your answers in real-time and start hitting you with questions to exploit your weakness.

    If you're not finishing the practice tests in the given amount of time, you're likely to have problems in the real deal. When doing practice tests in preparation for the exam, I'll reduce the clock by 10-15 min. This is to ensure I can do the exam in less than the given time and I'll have spare time in case of a time-consuming question that needs more attention than I intended. 8)
     
  5. Happy Dude

    Happy Dude New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Hoping it's not a markerboard - that'd be like trying to eat dinner with plastic cutlery ...

    Yes, there is a feedback form. I guess I should actually use it. I'm just a laaazy man.

    I've used some Cisco kit for my day-job, but generally it's been a hetrogenous environment and fairly low end kit, so the more interesting routing protocols, VTP, etc have been right out.

    I've got a 1841 router and a 2950 switch at home which are terribly useful for making notes on IOS commands and trying them out, and I was fairly impressed by Packet Tracer initially, but on finding that it didn't seem to support quite a few commands (can't remember which they are now, but they all worked on my real kit fine) and that I couldn't seem to copy/paste configs from a text file to it I went off it a bit. Still pretty useful though. I am exclusively a Linux user usually, so to be fair it may be that I am just missing something with this crazy Windows thing ;-)

    Must get round to using Dynamips sometime soon too.
     
    Certifications: BSc Hons
    WIP: CCNA
  6. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Unless they've changed this in the past 6-months or so, the CCNA does not allow you to go mark & go back to a previous question. Once you've answered (and click <next>), you've committed! Be sure to read the question correctly and answer with confidence.
     
  7. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

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    Don't worry about the style of questions on the exam. There is a short practice session on the exam itself which gets you used to the way the simulators etc work.

    Under no circumstances skip some questions and try to go back to them at the end. The software doesn't allow it. You must answer there and then. If you really don't know the answer have an educated guess.

    You will most likely be issued with a marker board and pen. Ask for a spare marker board and a fine tipped pen. Use the spare board to write down your subnetting tables and any other information you can remember and sit it to the side of your monitor. Use the other marker board for general use.
    One top tip I could give you which might save you time is during the sims, draw a quick sketch of the network diagram on your board as it gets a bit annoying having to leave the router/switch screen to have another look at the net diagram to check your work.

    Good luck.
     
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.
  8. Happy Dude

    Happy Dude New Member

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    That's the two things I'm worried about - not having enough space, or having to draw up subnet tables with a fat marker pen, and not being able to skip questions 'til later. Best to know about this kind of thing in advance.

    I think my initial timing worries were down to the short practice exams I was doing. I think it was trying to get coverage for all the topics in, and as a result biased the test towards more verbose questions. When I upped the duration of the exam it seemed to give me a better balance of long and short questions.

    Thanks :-)
     
    Certifications: BSc Hons
    WIP: CCNA
  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Wow! Where to start?

    NetSim or ExSim? NetSim is the network simulator; ExSim is the exam simulator.

    If you're talking about the ExSim, could you give me QID (three-digit question ID) numbers for the items that contain those spelling errors? I'm looking at our master document, and I see no instances of "link" where it should be "like" (or vice versa).

    If you have a question that is technically inaccurate, by all means, please let us know. You can submit comments to us by clicking the Feedback drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can contact me by PM or e-mail.

    No, it is not possible to mark items for review on the live Cisco exams. Yes, it is possible to mark items for review in the Boson ExSim Max product - just click the "Mark for review" box.

    Time management is key for Cisco exams. They don't give you a lot of time to "figure it out". Being able to quickly subnet in your head is absolutely crucial, as is fluency within the IOS.

    If the questions are heavy in the Boson ExSim Max product, it is highly likely that you will receive a similar percentage of "heavy" questions on the Cisco exam - we do factor that in when creating items for the ExSim Max products. You may get lucky and not get that many... or you may get more than we provide. As stated by others, the questions are drawn randomly from a pool.

    Hope this helps. If you'd like to contact me directly, I've provided my e-mail address to you in PM.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  10. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Many people use Dynamips. However, know that Cisco's licensing does not allow their IOS to be used outside of their hardware platform, and they've confirmed that as it relates to Dynamips: http://www.certforums.co.uk/forums/thread20669.html

    Certainly people are going to continue doing it, and to date, Cisco has not pursued action against anyone - they may never do so. Just making you aware of Cisco's stance on the issue.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  11. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Just skimmed through Exam A and did a rough count of "long questions" vs. "short questions" - two sentences or less. Came out a roughly even 50/50 split between them... which is consistent with what you should likely expect.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  12. Happy Dude

    Happy Dude New Member

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    Gah, my bad: Boson Exam Environment 1.4.4.

    Try CD-I2-4-51-005-1 about Link-state protocols and the phrase "features link split horizon" which I can only assume means "features like split horizon".

    As far as I can tell everything is all up-to-date, as of yesterday anyway. I'll contact you about any others.

    Many thanks.
     
    Certifications: BSc Hons
    WIP: CCNA
  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Ah... is that from the CD in the back of the Cisco Press book? Unfortunately, that was written by the Cisco Press guys... we at Boson really have no control over it, and it is *not* indicative of our ExSim Max product. :(

    I am currently working to rectify that situation to prevent these sort of misunderstandings from happening in the future.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  14. Happy Dude

    Happy Dude New Member

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    Ah, fair enough. In that case the other question I just sent via mail will be down to them too. Gosh, that's quite bad form from them. I'm sure glad I got the errata for the books too, otherwise I'd be *seriously* confused about a lot of stuff, they even have a few of the "Do I know this already" section answers incorrect. They had me scratching my head for a while until I went to look for errata.

    Thanks for the feedback - I really didn't mean to impune your product, sorry ;-)
     
    Certifications: BSc Hons
    WIP: CCNA
  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Not a problem - it's a concern that certainly needs to be brought up. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  16. Happy Dude

    Happy Dude New Member

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    Managed to pass my CCNA today.

    Just.

    Lost it a bit in the exam - I really didn't do enough practice exams.

    Anyway, need to go meet friends now, and try to avoid getting *too* comatose ...
     
    Certifications: BSc Hons
    WIP: CCNA
  17. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Well done :)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Congrats!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  19. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Congrats... :thumbleft
     

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