Yesterday I sat the TSHOOT test and passed comfortably which completes my CCNP studies. I'm glad to know that the long nights have paid off and I have to say that the TSHOOT test was actually pretty enjoyable. The layout was pretty much as others have said - you get a trouble ticket and have to identify the device where the issue is, the technology that's problematic, and what would solve the issue. Here are some points that may help future test takers:
- I work in an environment where I troubleshoot daily and am comfortable with the troubleshooting techniques. As long as you have worked with networking and are comfortable with the ROUTE and SWITCH info you should be set.
- I did not read the TSHOOT book for this test - my thought is that it's testing my abilities to understand how the technologies SHOULD work and how to validate they're working correctly. Studying for ROUTE and SWITCH solidified this information.
- I downloaded the TSHOOT layout from Cisco and recreated it in GNS3 - my thought was that if I couldn't create this environment without having to reference any material I'd be good for the test (which I was able to do). One thing I did have to modify was the Layer 3 etherchannel between DS1 and DS2 since the 3725 with 16 port switch does not support a L3 etherchannel - I created a VLAN that I only allowed across a L2 etherchannel between the devices and created an SVI on each DS so I could create that L3 connection between them.
- When sitting the test, know that completing a ticket means you can't go back. NOTE (and this is something that I think bit me in the ***) that under the technologies there may be more that you have to scroll through. There may be 12 categories but only 7 could show up in the window and you have to scroll down.
- Trust your instincts - this test is not designed to "trick" you. If you are troubleshooting a layer 3 issue and think it's the trunk but don't see an issue, then chances are it's not the trunk. I spent 25 minutes on one issue sure it was something I was missing on a connection when that wasn't it at all.
- Know this layout - understanding the layout will help shave time off the troubleshooting process.
All-in-all if you are comfortable with the ROUTE and SWITCH material then TSHOOT should be no problem for you. Keep in mind that if you're one of the cheaters who prefer brain-dumps, this is going to be a VERY tough test for you.