Just took 642-902 ROUTE Exam and failed

I have been slapped on my face when I started the exam. My CCNA Certification was about to expire. I do not need certifications deadly but I wanted to keep the achievements, which I already had. I booked the exam and leave two weeks for preparations. In the end, I failed.

I used mainly Cisco learning network. Some practice question sets gave an impression about the exam. There are some preparation documents too. I also found some web sites most of them were prepared for BSCI exam that could also be helpful for new route exam. Of course, these statements were valid until exam date.

To keep it short I will summarize my findings.

  • It would really help to have official training documents for ROUTE exam (at least the book CCNP ROUTE 642-902 Official Certification Guide)
  • Things like BGP properties , OSPF LSAs should be memorized (to know something about them is not enough)
  • You should made some configuration examples on a lab or simulator on all subjects
  • You should examine all related show commands (I mean in lab or simulator environment)
  • Some of the questions can be time consuming, You should be steady, sure about your answer and do not paused after answered

I am not sure if I will be able to enter this exam again before my CCNA has expired. However, I am sure I will continue to study on these subjects as I mentioned above. This is something more than certification for me now. I realized that I am dulled in years and I have to fix this immediately.

The new 640-802 exam & CCNA

I just took 640-802 exam and got my CCNA certification. It may sound funny, but I have taken this exam after 10 long years of practical experience in networking and was very nervous!
Why do I need a Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate?
Actually, I did not have plans for certification. If I get a CCIE certification, then it would be good for my career (not for salary but to change my job). On the other hand, I was afraid of to take the CCIE exam. I do not have a good history with exams. I took ten years to finish my Computer Science degree (normal period is 4 years)!

Two months ago, I heard that 640-801 exams will be expired and Cisco added one more milestone to career path as CCENT. I told my wife about it and she gifted me exam fee to take up the exam. I had all this pressure on me.

Preparations and exam
I managed to get two days off, one day for preparation and one day for the exam. I also spent the last three evenings for this purpose. I did not attend any Cisco training class and use only CCNA Prep center (Exam Study tab) for preparation. This web site is very useful and the content provided is sufficient enough for experienced professionals. If you start from scratch, then it will be good for you to attend a Cisco CCNA class, but not a CCNA bootcamp. This is not a big deal. Don’t waste your money.

Exam day did not start very good. Whether was rainy. There was a traffic jam. I reached the exam center just 5 minute before my reservation. A cute girl told me that I can start two hours later because of some technical problems. I spent that time in a café (well known chain), near the exam center. I realized again, these cafes are not as good as people believe them to be (tables, pictures etc. fine but what about the taste). When I returned back to exam center another cute girl told me that they are just downloading the exam. I had to wait 15 minutes more. Cable paths caught my attention, I easily came to know that bad materials were used and it was installed by an inexperienced staff.

Lectures / Lessons Learned
– Time is enough, don’t hurry
– You need to know basic configuration of RIPv2,OSPF,EIGRP
– Basics of routing algorithms
– Be able to configure NAT
– Be able to configure DHCP
– Understanding of ACL
– Basics of wireless network, how WPA works
– No questions like binary equivalent of something
– But be able to calculate subnets
– Match given IPs to given topology/schema
– Differentiate the terms MAC,IP and TCP/UDP ports
– How a packet travels within network(ARP, encapsulation)
– OSI layers vs. TCP/IP layers
– Chose the exam center with pretty girls , they keep you lively!

In general, exam went better than I expected. Questions were mostly meaningful and for me it required just two days to study.