This is by far one of the hardest exams. I have ever done for a Cisco now, If you've been following me at all. You know that I left I T back in 2013 and I'm just preparing to get back into IT and I'm working on my CCIE in order to do that to kind of create a you know, Create a resume or just the the appearance that I know what I'm doing, And I feel that one of the best ways to do this do the CCNA. So that's kind of my goal: I'm working on that now for the past seven plus years I left IT and I was pursuing a business that kind of turned one of my passions into a business. I'Ve been doing that for a while, But recently my wife became pregnant and after years of trying and all kinds of insane amount of money spent on the effort, We're finally pregnant and it just it felt like it was best for the both of us.

What I experienced and then we'll talk a bit about what I used to prepare. I'm sorry, I just ate a couple of Nutter butters. My mouth is all salivating. Nutter butters tasty, I haven't eaten anything all day. Like I don't know, I wanted to be just liked when I go into the exam, So I hadn't eaten anything and I took this exam at 10:15, So it's just starting to get hungry by the end of the exam.

So I thought I just want to sit down and make this article, So it's real quick! There was a package of Nutter butters on the counter in the kitchen, So I grabbed a couple and now I'm salivating alright. First off, If you haven't done one of these Pierson online exams, Just talk about that real quick, You need to basically wait works. You go in when it's when it's time for your exam, You log in to the website the website, Send you a link to a to your phone. You then use your phone to fill out some information. You have to take a picture of your driver's license.

You need to take, I think, It's five pictures of your testing area so from like from the back facing forward from the front facing back from the left from the right. I guess I'd be four pictures and then you also need a picture of yourself in the testing environment so you're. Taking all these pictures, I had trouble with it recognizing my driver's license and here in io the driver's license has like Holograms on it. So you know it's, I'm sure, That's what was causing the problem, But I don't know what you can do like any kind of light.

That hits you need light to be able to take a picture and any light causes the Holograms to show and and block that, Whatever it eventually took it once you do that you log in now, A few weeks ago I took my CCNA and I sat there After completing the process, I sat there for an hour and a half waiting for someone to come on. Someone never came on. I eventually just logged out, I opened a trouble ticket and then I said you know. Let me just try again, Even though it's an hour and a half after an hour after my scheduled time, I tried again went through the whole process, All the pictures and everything and someone came right on and I took the test.

So if you know you've been sitting there for twenty or thirty minutes waiting for someone, I would recommend just logging off and doing the whole thing over again. It only takes a few minutes to take the pictures and get in there. That process was fine. T come on, You know you have to have a webcam, T read through the entire time, And this oh and you can't have multiple monitors, So you have to like take if you have multiple monitor, Go, Take one down and make sure there's no pens or paper Or anything I will say for the CCNA exam. I wish I had a piece of paper because there was some subnetting questions.

Luckily t were t work too bad. You could do it in your head, But for this encore exam I was fine. I never even once thought about a piece of paper, So so that was fine, T did have. T took an issue with me.

I was sitting here like this looking at the screen and t took issue that came up by. T opened up a chat window and told me to remove my hand from my face, Or t would fail me so . So no even none of this none of this - I you know I was sure like , Like you know, T don't want you to cover your mouth really. I thought this would be , But whatever so , So that's that now I do want to give us a little bit of background here, So I've been out of IT for a while, As I've mentioned a couple times here already since 2013, So seven plus years, I'Ve been out of IT and so I'm a little bit rusty, But I do want it when I'm kind of talking about my experience, I do want to explain that I do have a bit of history with Cisco exams with exams in general. Now I started with Microsoft, I kind of went through my MCSE.

I built a whole little career out of that before switching into Cisco, And if we look here, I passed my first CCNA exam in February of 2000 so 20. Over 20 years ago I got my C C and a and here are all the Cisco tests I've taken sense, So I've taken a few tests. I do want to show this just because it was a proud moment in my career from May 12th to May 27th.

So 25 days it was that right, 15 days in 15 days, I passed for Cisco professional level exams to get my Cisco certified security, Professional CCSP and basically is one of those things where the company came to me and said we have to have this for our Cisco partnership: we can't hire anybody because everyone is too expensive. We don't know what we're going to do and I said I can pass it in a month. Just let me work from home for a month.

I can do all four tests, But I wanted $20000 raised and t said , So I went home and I did it in two weeks, So I know how to study. I know how to pass tests and I've taken a lot of Cisco tests. So when I kind of talked about this exam, I want you to know that you know I do have a little bit of history there, I'm not not a complete noob, So so this exam.

What was on the exam? Well, I don't wanna get in trouble Cisco. I actually knew a guy who got in trouble with Cisco. It was more than telling what was on the exam, But he ended up in prison and that was fined two million dollars so which he had to pay. So don't with Cisco, Like that's the whole story.

Anyway, So what was on the exam? Basically, Everything in this book was on the exam. It was a hundred just over a hundred questions. Hopefully that's not breaking any NDA thing that you had to sign just over a hundred questions. I think we had two hours. I used just about an hour to get through it and again everything in this book.

I couldn't believe the one of the things about this exam that is different than any other exam. I'Ve covered that I've taken. Excuse me is that the the encore there are so many topics like just I've, Never taken a test that covered such a broad range of topics, And you need to you need to know them all like you really do I mean I barely passed, So I'm not Trying to kind of you know put myself off as if I am the master of everything this book.

I am far from that in preparation for my cci. I will say that the stuff that I didn't do very well, At least that I know that I didn't do well on was things that I know I have a long way to go anyway. There's a lot more in-depth studying. I need to do so.

I'm not worried about that and then the other part. If you've read this book or you're going to, You will find at some point. There are entire sections of this book that read like marketing material. It was kind of off-putting for me, It's like.

here's this platform, And it does. You know it has all the marketing terms thrown in there. I can't even I'm too tired my brains, Fried I'm not gonna pretend to be able to make up funny banter about marketing terms, But I was reading through a couple chapters, And I remember I told my wife at the time I'm like it's so weird.

It's like reading a freaking brochure, It's the weirdest thing, And so I I'll be, I will admit, I didn't take those sections too seriously. I should have everything in this book so in terms of studying here is your number one source, The official circ guide. As always, It's a monster of a book, I will also say at least the first half of the book.

I have never read a Cisco book that was this dense and just it was like it was so freaking dense. It was so hard to get through just to I mean I can't even I've, Never just struggled to read a book, As you know, Going back over here my strategy for when I took these four tests to get my CCSP back in the day. I read the book on day one.

I took the practice test on day two. I took the exam on day three, So I was reading an entire book in one day. This thing took me well much much longer than that several weeks to get through now it was just so dense, Just so freakin dense, So you're I would recommend you know if you're kind of like me, You're used to you, Know like look. Cisco tests are challenging, But you still feel like.

if I read the book and - and you know, Do some prep work, I'm gonna generally be good. I will say this is this is different, So just right out of gate, I will say this test is different. Take your time I wish I'd spent at least another week. My thing is, I I want to get at least a 900 on the exam to feel like I've done good, So I passed it, But - and maybe I just sounds a bit least or ish, But I want to get a 900, So I don't feel good about Passing it I wish I'd spent another week. I probably could have reread this.

I'Ve only read it once I probably could have read it a second time. I'm sure I would have picked up more. So what else did I use to prepare? So this was the big thing the book was number one for me. Secondly, Well so let me talk about this.

300-815 CLACCM Dumps

I I got I sign up for ine, , So I signed up for ine and what a freaking disappointment that was so I spent a hundred bucks. Luckily, I only did the one month plan as opposed to the year now, I'm going to come back to ine when it comes to the CCIE there's just not a lot of other training, This sort of training available. So I don't feel like. I have a lot of choice. I think t kind of know that t got you by the balls.

So when I came here, I t you know, You go to the Learning Path and you've got the CCE NP Enterprise Learning Path. It is two hundred and fifty four hours, Two hundred fifty five hours of articles now a little more about 55 60 percent of that is for the encore exam, The remaining 45 percent or so is for NRC. So it's it's still only about I mean still 120 or 130 hours or whatever that works out to be of articles. And so I spent a week with ine, And that was a week that I wasted I'll just be a front and I'm not trying to on ine the training was good.

It wasn't good for the encore test and here's what happened. We start off with land. Switching a my, My account is expired, So unfortunately I can't show you we start with LAN switching and t go in depth like crazy in depth into a spanning tree and MST, And you know it was all really good information.

The problem was you don't need that level of depth for this exam? So if you're coming to this and you're like well, I'm gonna become an expert and, As a bonus I'll just get around to eventually taking the exam that I Annie. It's probably the way to go. If you want to pass the exam as part of your journey and you recognize I'm gonna prepare for this exam and then I'm gonna move on and do more and more stuff. Then I knees probably not the way to go.

So here's the thing we do land switching we're doing this in-depth stuff about MST and after we've spent eight and a half hours. Then we come over here and we have the introductory course to rapid spanning tree and MST. Think about that for a second, You start off with an advanced level course, A CCIE focused course, And all throughout the course t're talking about the CCIE lab, And then you go into a professional level course where t introduce the concept that you've just done in depth, Seems odd, Then we come here ERP we spend eight hours, 8 hours and EIGRP and it's getting pretty advanced. This is another advanced level, CCIE focused course on AI GRP. Well, If you come over to the exam topics, You only need to compare routing concepts of EIGRP in OSPF.

This is the only mention of eigrp in the course topics. Routing concepts to understand it at a high level be able to understand what makes it unique and different than other. You don't need advanced configuration, So I spent you know a day and a half to let's face it.

I can't sit there and read eight hours straight of articles, So I spent a day and a half that I wasted on material that you know ultimately, As my journey as a network. Professional is good to know absolutely and my journey toward my CCIE is good to know fundamental in fact to know, But for this exam I didn't need any of it. I didn't need any of it so right out of the gate we've wasted in just in the first three courses: we've wasted 16 and a half hours, Almost 17 hours of time.

That was just wasted. So when you look at this and you're like oh, My god, T have 250 hours their competitors, Don't have anywhere near that do not be confused. A lot of this is apparently I mean just by judging on the first few topics.

Here is wasted time now I did actually contact ine and, I said . This is really weird. Why did we go super in-depth on MST, In course, 1 and then introduced MST, In course, 2, And t wrote back to me and told me that, Obviously I wasn't advanced enough to be taking this course and I should probably go spend some more time studying my Ccna, It sounded like a dick response, So I was a little frustrated with with that, And then I also asked him about the HUP.

Why are we spending 8 hours on the air chief I said is this? Was this just like kind of thrown together? Should I go through your topics because if you look at stuff from Keith Bogart he's done a ton of professional level courses, He even has like AIG R, P specific course at a professional level. So why we're doing this anyway? I'm getting off topic here. So my my idea, My takeaway, I Andy, Was a waste of a hundred dollars of my money and it was a waste of a good week of my time. So you know do with that.

What you will alright. So what did I ultimately use what I did end up getting EveDumpsand I've never used EveDumpsbefore. In fact, I'm not even sure t were a thing back when I was still maybe t were. I don't know I think about you know back when I was managing an engineering department and how I had to fight to get my trained, Because every course was three to five thousand dollars, And so it was. You know we were lucky to get a course and every now and then we were Cisco Gold Partner, So we'd get learning credits that maybe we could use toward a course or toward some training lab gear or something but man. It was just such a battle to get a good training and then now to have this EveDumpsfor for sixty bucks a month.

T have all this training. Let me forget about this is Wow, I mean just it's a crazy, But, And you know you could say the same thing about IME for that matter. You know it's just such it's. It's such a game-changer.

This just wasn't available back in the day. To me at least again, I don't think it was. I wasn't aware of EveDumpsback then, But I did their own core training.

It was 50 hours and I would say all of the training with just a tiny bit of exception was really focused towards what was on the exam. It looks like I think some of the courses might have been reused. I'm not you know, I don't know, But even if t were, T were definitely on point and but it looks like the majority of the material was custom-made for this exam and it shows so, Even though this is a fraction of the time of ine, I think It is a significantly more focused and better value. There's like five different trainers. I think throughout this entire program - and you know everybody has different personalities, There is one or two, Maybe that I just didn't love but and then there was a couple that I just like totally.

I was like. I think, That guy and I could be friends . We could be friends, So you know like it's.

This is how it's gonna be right, But overall you could tell that everybody is genuinely excited about the material t genuinely care about training. It really comes through. You know that the the over with the inee, Like this Brian McCann guy his his course was amazing, Because he you could just tell he knows his like really knows it, And that was cool, But it was also lacking in the enthusiasm bit whereas, Whereas with the Cbt Nuggets t're not lacking enthusiasm even to a fault I would say, And the the way that t do it were t break everything down into. I think the longest article I readed was maybe a half hour, And that was with labs. The vast majority are right around the five to ten minute mark, So t give you a concept and then we move on and it builds on itself and it just it flows a lot better.

I think it's a lot easier to retain because t do break it down like that. It's not just like you're sitting there and staring at the screen, And even if you are sitting there for hours on end staring at the screen, It's still broken down. So just it feels like you're making progress, It feels like it's flowing better and it just the process seems better. The other thing about CBT Nuggets, Which is really important, Is t have labs good labs, And so, When you log in to a you know, Some of these lessons will have a lab.

You open up the the lab tool, It opens in a browser and I mean you're right on the command line. So I I didn't even know that was a thing for them and it was. It was great, Really good, Really good.

I enjoyed it quite a bit. So what else did I use now speaking of labs, I used the Bose in netsim and I know some people have a bug up there, But the folks and that's them because t're like oh, Why don't you use viral or why don't you use even G or Something well, I bought a server. I got me a big old honkin used server from Amazon. Let me tell you, If you're, If you're doing your CCIE you're, Not aware amazon, Has this reef server refresh program? So you know Amazon like AWS right. T pull their servers out, T clean them up and t sell them at are pretty good. As far as I can tell price.

So I got I don't remember what the it was Adele. I got 40 cores 192 gig of ram 4 terabytes of disk for 800 bucks shipped, So it's even overkill, But I'm gonna be able to put whatever I want on it. So I think that's a good deal. I just don't have time to.

I didn't want to mess with all that just yet. I'Ve never installed a virtual server. I'Ve never messed with even G. This is all gonna be a new journey.

For me, I wanted something I just sit down and use, And, And the other thing is even if you do have that even G or that viral you, You don't have lab scenarios and especially if you're trying to learn how to troubleshoot. My point of view is that how do you learn to troubleshoot a system that you just set up from scratch and then, Even if it's broken you're the one that broke it? So maybe there is some scenarios out there that are available. I haven't really been able to find him yet, But this this tool has it right for you. T have the topology. Not everything works like you can't do just anything you want from the command line, But anything that is necessary for the lab works.

So that's good and then between this I will say that quite honestly, Though I had bought this before I signed up for CBT Nuggets. I don't think I would have got this and this isn't cheap. This was like 150 or 180 bucks or something it ain't cheap and again. I know you can get viral for 200 bucks or something through two or three hundred bucks.

It seems like such a waste of money, But you're you're buying the the scenarios you're buying the the you know when you finish when you open up a the instructions that walks you through. It gives you a little here's all the commands you need for this. A thing: here's what we want you to do and then it walks you through the solutions and shows all the output and everything and as you're doing the quill even ask you questions like: why did you do it this way? Why, When what? What is the feature or functionality that necessitates you doing it this way or that necessitates it being configured in such a way and those questions are all answered down in the lab results. So I do think this is a good study solution.

I would not have purchased it if I had known that CBT that I was going to get EveDumpsat the time and as you can see, I didn't even finish half of these, So this ultimately, For me, Was a bit of a waste of money. I just was running out of time. I wanted to take the test and I didn't want to do this and, Quite frankly, I was running into a problem where, With a lot of these as the technologies are getting more advanced, You know, CCNA was pretty good as far as this tool goes, But for This encore test there was a lot of Labs.

There is more than one way to do it to get the desired result. I was sitting in on a Cisco call about the CCIE and t specifically said we don't do show runs. We don't compare configs. We compare at the result, So can you communicate is the is the desired functionality functioning properly? T don't look at show, Runs and, Of course, Not because there's just so many ways of doing things when you get to these advanced or more advanced levels.

So what I was fighting was, I would do a lab everything would work and then I would go to grade the lab and it would say that I had gotten it wrong and here t didn't, Like. You know how I had done something, Even though it's perfectly valid, So I do like it as a tool in general. I don't know, I don't know if I'm gonna get it again, We'll see we'll see what happens and then the final tool that I used is, Of course, The the bosun exam sim and I gotta say I have. I have been such a huge fan of bosun. Ever ever since my Microsoft days so for over 20 years, I've always as long as there was bosun, Was an option I bought the bosun. I think there was a dark period where t weren't doing too good, Maybe around the mid to late.

, It's not what he said, But the CCNA exam prep was right on. I thought that was right on this encore. Prep was close.

It was definitely very good, But there is so much material that t did not cover, And that was just. I was not prepared for when I got into the exam, So luckily between the the three tools so between the book, The EveDumpsand the bosun, I was just barely, As you saw my score just barely prepared enough, But I was a little disappointed with the Bosun this time around - and you know I don't know how much I can fault them because again, There's so many topics you know t're there I think t're their tools. T have like 306 questions or just over 300 questions in the entire thing that t you know, Mix and match for the different exam practice exams, But I feel like to be really prepared. You would probably need 500 questions, There's just so so many things t didn't cover and in a lot of the stuff that t covered, That I thought when I was doing the practice exam was covered.

You know in depth enough, As I was doing, The actual exam. Nowhere near so, This is what I would say if you're getting preparing for the test, You need to be able to do the practice tests and get over 95% or 950 on your score and here's the other thing when it comes to doing these practice exams. If you're doing it more than twice you're, Basically cheating, Because your brain is memorizing the questions and answers, Even if you're not actively trying to so, If you had, I only ever take the test twice. The first time you know kind of prepare, You know shows you.

What's on there and then, If you're not aware oops, Not that no, I didn't mean to do that. Sorry, It's try this again. If you're not aware one of the the reason that bosun is so fantastic is that if you hit show answer so you get this massive explanation and oftentimes there's links to pertinent documentation, So I mean the thing I love about. Bosun is I learn so much just by taking the test, Because it's not just memorizing questions and answers.

You say: I got that wrong and then you you learn about why it was wrong or you got it right and you learn about why it was right in detail. So it is such a valuable, Valuable, Real, Not even showing it to you. Let's try this again yet such a valuable resource.

If I can, If I my second time through if I'm getting ninety ninety five plus that's what I'm gonna get on the test, This time, I was getting ninety five plus on the practice test. When I took the real test, I barely passed so while very good great resource is not quite as good as it needs to be, In my opinion, , So we hit about a half hour way too long, You've probably lost interest.

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