Sunday, December 5, 2021

How was the CCNA exam?

The Cisco Certified Network Associate exam was not easy and neither was the Network+ certification when I pass that on November 2019. I had a feeling earlier during the week that I would not pass and had a feeling that I should have rescheduled it.  Why did I not reschedule?    
I was at a point where I was burnt out from studying. I went through the Cisco exam objectives, Boson labs, watched David Bombal Udemy videos, used Todd Tammle's CCNA book as a reference, flash cards, practice exam and even took an official week long live virtual training back in the spring. But none of what I learned was enough to pass the exam. But why did I not reschedule the exam? I wanted to keep my commitment and I wanted to accept the outcome regardless of the exam results. Let me explain my experience with the exam. 

I took the Pearson Vue exam at work.  I was lucky enough to reserve a small huddle room in the human resources building because I have too much equipment in my office to move out for a two hour exam.  In the huddle room it had a small table, an office chair and network jack.  There were no pictures on the walls, no monitors, no computers and it had good lighting.  I used a spare work laptop and had it wiped and reconfigured with no firewall settings or no antivirus.  It had the bare-bone Windows 10 image to make sure I was not blocked or disconnected from the exam since I was taking the exam at work.  Also, with a hybrid work schedule for some people in the building I knew I was not going to be disturbed.  The check in process by Pearson Vue was amazing.  I would highly recommend you take the exam at home or work versus going to a testing facility.  Once I finished my I exam I got the notification right away that I failed.  I was hoping to see the details on the exam but they did not include that in the end but I knew I did really bad.  Halfway through the exam I used up to much time on some difficult questions and guessed on a few questions.  I did not want to end the exam without time and now I know. I was not ready for this exam.

My detailed exam results came in the next day.  Once they did I logged back into Pearson Vue right away and it showed the percentage scores of each category. I wanted to post them here with this blog post but I am too embarrassed to show my results with anyone. I am still upset at myself for not rescheduling the exam with how bad I score but I wanted to keep my commitment to the scheduled date.
I was at a point where I was putting too much pressure on myself for this exam. At the end of the day, it is just an exam. This does not define who I am and what I am capable of doing and if you are in the same just know that you are not alone.  I am thankful for my job and the opportunity they have given me at work, to learn and develop my skills.  I am most thankful to my wife who is always supportive of my goals and I could not be more grateful for her loving support.  

I am happy that I failed because I will get back to my studies after I have take a small break and spend some time with my wife and kids during the holidays.  
Stay strong, keep moving forward and keep on learning. 
Happy Holidays!