Thursday, November 29, 2007

1st Mock Lab - 74 %

On past Friday i had my first Mock Lab attempt, which proved easier that expected.

I was expecting IGP redistribution in multiple points, IPv6 BGP/OSPF/RIP routing, DVMRP, etc, but most of the sections where quite "easy". That of course doesn't mean that i passed. I missed 10 whole points in the Bridging & Switching section, which is one of my favorites.

The reason? I was in a hurry to finish the first sections which i have more experience with, in order to have enough time to do the rest. But, many questions were tricky and passing through them in a hurry, proved to be the wrong method. I missed 3 points on a simple task (because i didn't configure a vlan) and another 4 points (in two other questions) because of the first error.

There were only 2 sections that i didn't know at all and i had to improvise (one proved correct with a minor error in an acl entry, the other totally wrong). Also there were another 4 sections that i had to look into the Doc CD. At least i have now learned to use the Doc CD more efficiently. It's surely invaluable in such situations.

Also, when i finished, i had only 30 mins left (according to the actual 8-hour lab, because in the mock lab you're allowed to exceed this time by 3 hours). So instead of looking back all the sections in order to verify them, i decided to reload all routers! What was even more disastrous, was the fact that i reloaded them all at the same time and i didn't look at their logs while booting.

The result? After the reload, something wasn't working as expected. After a quick search i found one router which seemed not to be running OSPF. I checked its configuration (thank god i had saved all my session locally) and i found that there were two "neighbor" commands missing! I added them and reloaded again. This time i watched the logs and there was an error message saying that this particular command is not supported on this kind of topologies (a bug? command is accepted while configuring, but it's rejected after reloading). So i saved my configuration and warned (through email) the proctor about this behavior.

The answer from the support department the next day was to post my "problem" on the forum and i'll get an answer there. Of course, after a week there's still no answer there. And after a quick search on their forum, i found out that many questions remain unanswered. Too bad, because i have heard a lot of good words about InternetworkExpert's training material. I wanted to test their Mock Labs and maybe buy their Workbooks, but this kind of support made me rethink it. If i have one question in the Mock lab (and gets unanswered), i 'll probably have tens in the Workbook labs. Anyway, i still have one Mock Lab from them. If they keep the same -high- price and/or wrong "attitude", i'll have to look at a different vendor.

Let's hope this Friday, i'll have something tougher. The goal still remains for something >50%.

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