06-14-2012 10:20 AM
I just passed the JNCIS-SP and I felt like I would have greatly benefited from something similar to the practice exams that one can find for the various Cisco tests. I failed a certification test a couple of weeks back by a few questions. The exam score report really helped me focus on the areas where I needed to improve - which is what allowed me to pass today. In the past, I have found that the various Cisco practice exams helped me understand and figure out where my weaknesses were ahead of time, rather than figuring that out on the day of the test. Are there authorized practice exams for the various Juniper tests?
Thanks for your time!
06-14-2012 10:31 AM
Each Junos exam's webpage (ex. http://www.juniper.net/us/en/training/certification/service_provider_track.html#jncissp) contains a 'Practice Test' link (left side of the page), which links you to a practice test consisting of real-but-unused items from the exam's workshop. The pool feeds 30 items per try, and varies somewhat with each take.
FYI, there is also updated and improved info on authorized study resources for all our exams on the JNCP Resources page @ http://www.juniper.net/us/en/training/certification/resources.html.
Tech Lead, JNCP
06-14-2012 11:31 AM
Thanks for getting back to me. I found that the practice exam questions were definitely in the same vein as the actual test - very much appreciated. But as you know, there's only so much that you can reinforce with a pool of 30-35 questions.
Here's a question for you: If you're in our shoes, how would you judge your overall competency in the various subject areas of the test? It seems that answering the questions in the back of the course material is a good start, but doesn't dig into the detail of some of the questions on the test.
Also, I've heard you speak on the various podcasts and webexs for the JNCIS program. I wanted to pass along a legitimate gripe. One of the reasons that I didn't pass the JNCIS-ENT was because I treated the IS-IS section as it was represented in the Fast Track guides - as a supplmentary appendix. I learned the basic concepts, answered the questions at the back of the chapter and instead focused on OSPF and BGP. I was honestly surprised at the amount of IS-IS questions there ended up being on the JNCIS-ENT. My buddy at work had attended the AJSPR course, and I went through his course material and I literally tripled how well I did on the JNCIS-SP in the IS-IS section because I took it much more serious. My two cents.
06-20-2012 07:45 AM
Agreed, I figured you were looking for a larger bank of items, and the online practice test gets you only so far.
Interesting question, and a very good one.. the best suggestion I can give is to review your study materials until you are 'in front of' the content. So for example, if you are studying the order of BGP route selection (local pref, AS path, origin, MED, etc.) and you are reading through the list and 'following' the list, you are not ready. On the other hand, if you are 'answering' the next step of the order in your head before you even read it, you are in good shape. Same for say OSPF LSA types.. 'following' the text explanations vs. 'answering' before you read them. And same for configuration, you should know where things are configured .. if you are still 'learning' from what you are reading, you're not there yet.
Of course this is all relative, each person will have their own sense of when they're 'ready'. And it's also worth acknowledging that there is no true way to know you are ready (and this applies to using practice tests as well), you study as best you can and then go take a shot at it. But it's important to understand that there is a distinct difference between reading an exam question and then finding the answers amongst the possible answer options, vs. reading an exam question, knowing the answer in your head, and then simply picking it from the possible answer options. Both can work, but the latter is by far a more reliable way to pass the exam. Not to mention it proves you really know your stuff.. while a pass is a pass either way, when it comes time to show your stuff in the real world you will be all the better for it.
Regarding IS-IS on the JNCIS-ENT exam, your point is well taken, and has been a point of discussion in some form or another since the exam was first released. The short answer is that IS-IS was discussed and debated in the room when the exam was written, and was ultimately determined by the SMEs to be relevant and worth including.
IS-IS aside, I will take this opportunity to point out that coverage of content in courseware should not be your point of reference for coverage on the exams. Exam blueprints are your baseline reference - be prepared to answer questions on everything in the blueprint. Any short-cutting of this is done at your own risk.
06-20-2012 08:05 AM
Thanks for the thoughtful reply! I really like that idea of getting ahead of the questions. I've found that going through the test once has gotten my mindset into "certification" mode. And yes, I'm now reading and studying the material wondering how a question would be worded on the test.
My only additional comment to the IS-IS discussion is to give it a chapter designation in the Fast Track guides, rather than an appendix. That may convey that the protocol will be seriously covered on the exam. I think IPv6 as an appendix fits well based on the number of questions on the test.