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Failed BCMSN

Discussion in 'Routing & Switching' started by conwaya, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. conwaya

    conwaya New Member

    I have just failed the BCMSM exam for the second time and would welcome any ideas to help me pass.

    I have been using The Bryant Advantage material along with Train Signal and the Cisco Authorised Self-Study Guide. I also have a home lab with 2950/3550 switches so have been able to get plenty of hands on practice. For exam practice I have been using Transcender and the Bryant Advantage test engine.

    On the first test I got 683 and the second one 680 so seem to be going backwards and trying to review where I'm going wrong. I have been working in IT for 10 years although it has mostly been on the server support side - I realise this has some impact on the amount of study that I may require.

    I have dedicated many hours to studying and taking practice tests and thought I had good understanding of most topics. I was getting high scores on the Bryant Advantage and Transcender tests. Yet on both exams I seem to come against some areas not covered in Chris's notes. I also had some problems with the simulation questions - I really need more practice with these types of questions.

    The Transcender practice tests don't have any simulation questions and once you go through the preset exam questions a few times it loses its ability to test you. Does anyone know of any better test exam software or other BCMSN Study Guides?
  2. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

    Have you checked to see if Boson do a Sim for the BCMSN?
  3. -Mercury-

    -Mercury- Byte Poster

    One suggestion would be to print out the official exam objectives from the Cisco website and to tick them all off when you feel comfortable with that task.

    Any weak areas, do extra study on the web to fill in any gaps in your knowledge.

    Is all your study material up to date?

    Certifications: MCSA|MCDST|A+|Net+
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, I will say that there IS better test exam software out there. Boson has a network simulator called NetSim and a practice exam simulator called ExSim. And the ExSim-Max product for the BCMSN *does* include simulation questions.

    In order to be as transparent as possible, I will reveal that my opinion is quite biased, as I not only work for the company, but I'm also one of the writers of Boson's ExSim-Max for BCMSN (along with BosonJosh). I will also reveal that Josh and I are former writers for Transcender (we both left of our own volition, as we saw where things were headed with our former employer).

    It is my (biased) opinion that our product is the highest-quality practice exam simulator available. But don't take my word for it... download a demo and see for yourself! :thumbleft

    You are correct that a practice exam loses it's ability to test you after you've seen the questions... so don't rely on taking them over and over and over and over until you score well, because that's not going to be a good indicator as to whether you are ready for the "real thing". Here's what I recommend:

    1) Purchase a high-quality practice exam with multiple, unique exam forms. These exams will often be labeled ExamA, ExamB, ExamC, etc. Most will contain three or more unique forms.
    2) Take ExamA. After receiving your score, read through **ALL** of the explanations - even the ones for which you knew the correct answer. After all, the live exam might test you on why one of the wrong answers is wrong. Plus, you might have just guessed correctly without understanding **why** the answer is what it is.
    3) Study other sources (books, white papers, hands-on practice) regarding the sections where you are weakest. When you think you are ready...
    4) Take ExamB. Follow the same process as Step #2, reading through ALL of the explanations.
    5) Study your weak areas again. When you think you are ready...
    6) Take ExamC. Important: if this is the last unique exam form, do NOT take ExamC unless you think you are ready for the live exam!!!! As before, read all of the explanations.
    7) You can continue to take randomized practice exams, but realize that the scores you get will NOT be indicative of whether you can pass the real exam. After you've seen a question even once, the exam cannot accurately gauge your ability to pass an exam filled with unique questions. After all... you won't see the exact same questions on the live exam, even though they ARE questions that cover the same topics.

    Hope this helps. If we can answer any further questions, feel free to post them on the forum. :)
    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!

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