Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cisco exam and accessability

Some general notes regarding my experience in taking the Cisco ICND 1 and ICND 2 exams. As per the NDA and because nobody likes a cheat anyway, I’m not going to discuss specific Questions. For the latest objectives and requirements of any test, you’re best to check on the website.
www.cisco.com

At the time of writing, the ICND1 exam, which successfully passed, gives you the entry level CCENT certificate is exam number 640-822. The secondary exam, which successfully passed, affords you full CCNA status is, 640-816.

If you pass the former but not the latter, you still have the CCENT. You can’t take the latter on it’s own. There is a composite exam combining all test areas, 640-802. It will be your decision whether to take the 1 or 2 exam route.

Each certificate is valid for up to 3 years. So for example, you could pass ICND1 and then take ICND2 nearly 3 years later to gain CCNA.

For the blind Cisco exam candidate. Pearson Vue, Cisco’s test offering partner, will give you a maximum of double time for the test. So to put in obvious terms, a 1 hour 20 minute test can be taken in 2 hours 40. You will also have a reader / scribe. This person will read the information, disclaimers, candidate agreement and of course, the questions. You will need to verbally give them your answers, i.e. Instruct them which option to choose, in a multiple choice question. This person will of course be computer literate but for obvious reasons, you’re not going to get someone who is qualified in the area of study.

*Note of caution: You are of course supposed to read the legal disclaimers, terms and conditions, the entire exam agreement, blah, blah. Be aware it’s a lot of text. In the first exam I took, the test was locked as we’d taken too long going through this material. The invidulator had to phone some tech support guy to get instructions on unlocking it so I could proceed. Whether that was a one off glitch I don’t know.

The reader… I’ll call them the scribe from here on. The scribe will have a plastic wipeable board and marker pen supplied by the test centre, on which they can write notes. You’re not permitted to take in any other equipment into the exam. No jackets or bags. There should be a locker at the test centre reception to stow these for the duration of the exam.

So this being the setup for the test. I’d advise checking the official Cisco exam expectations on their site as I make no guarantees regarding the information here. That said, in general terms the type of questions you’re likely to face include:
Multiple choice. One correct answer.
Multiple choice. Several possible answers.
Drag and drop terms to match the cattery.
Simulation testlets.

*Note:. You can’t skip a question and return to it later. So be very careful to complete all parts. Some of the testlet simulations where you need to enter commands in the simulated IOS CLI, are comprised of 4 separate questions, for example.

A number of the questions are likely to feature diagrams or text output from the CLI. In my experience, these are the trickiest and most time consuming. Especially the teslets featuring the 4 questions as described above. it goes with out saying, you need to really, really know your stuff. Whip through the simpler text based questions but pay careful attention to the wording. But these are where you can save time. And remember, it’s a Cisco test. The correct answer is the Cisco one.

In preparation for the test, specifically with the IOS simulations in mind. Make sure you know the common commands, show commands and so on, absolutely clearly. You can ask the scribe to type them but I prefer to type them in myself and have them read the resultant output.