I’m about to publicly humiliate myself by sharing today’s private humiliation. To make a long story short, I took 640-554 (CCNA Security) and got the “We Regret to Inform you, blah, blah, blah…” Actually after I’d seen the first 10 questions or so, I expected the fail. Why is this so embarrassing? Well for one, I am a CCIE Security and I’m expected to know this stuff.
So what went wrong?
The primary issue for me and this exam is that you must know the correct answers to the questions on said exam (tongue in cheek). This would include all items on the blueprint. For example, familiarity with Cisco Configuration Professional (Cisco’s current iteration of management GUI’s) is very important. I basically NEVER use CCP because I find it annoying. Additionally, there are a few REALLY subjective questions. I’m sure asking industry proven security experts these questions would result in different BEST answers.
The bottom line is that I didn’t prepare adequately and shouldn’t have assumed I didn’t need to spend significant time doing so. Fortunately, the exam was free. Like any Cisco exam, preparation (er indoctrination) is important. Luckily, it doesn’t really matter to me (other than hurting my pride a bit).
My final score was 1% from a pass mark and I believe the areas I came up short in are out of alignment with things I need to know. Therefore, I probably won’t retake it. So instead of pouting and complaining further, I bought myself a CCIE Fleece Jacket at the Cisco Live Store. Because, I still am a CCIE (hope Cisco doesn’t decide to re-evaluate that).