4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2018 6:26 AM by Eric RSS

    200-355 Exam Frustration and Failure


      I am very frustrated after failing the exam for the second time.  I improved by 80 points and was 40 shy of passing.  I am frustrated because I know so much more than the test covers and yet I am failing it.  I am frustrated at the wording of the questions.  I am frustrated at how LITTLE information is in the Cisco study guide.  I've purchased the CWNA study guide and used that to help prepare for this second test.  I am studying so hard.  I KNOW the material and how the networks work.  Yet I keep failing.  $300 a piece is a lot.  I need to put this test behind me.  I am searching for further information about questions I've missed online and it is helping some... I'm just frustrated at Cisco's lack of support and information for their own exam.  I've earned A+, Network+, Security+, CCNA R+S in the past 3 months, using books and teaching myself.  I don't understand why I am having such a hard time with this test (I passed all the others the first time).

        • 1. Re: 200-355 Exam Frustration and Failure
          Rigo - Community Moderator

          Hi Brian,


          So sorry to hear about your difficulty passing the exam. As you probably already know, the exam score report breakdown helps pinpoint the areas where you need to focus in preparation for your next attempt. I would also suggest going over the list of WIFUND Exam Topics again to make sure you have a good understanding of all of the content.


          For your studies, did you use other resources in addition to the official cert guide? We always like to recommend using multiple learning resources to help learn all of the topics. If you haven't already, I encourage you to review the resources in the WIFUND Study Material page for a list of content organized by exam topics.


          Other training options include a self-paced WIFUND e-learning course (with a free trial) or classroom course training with authorized learning partners.


          Please also remember that the study group discussion forums are an excellent resource for learning as well. If you need help understanding some of the topics/technologies before your next attempt, feel free to post your inquiries in this group.


          Lastly, I encourage you to open a support if you would like to submit feedback about your experience, exam content or issues. The Certification & Communities Online support site is the official channel to report exam issues/concerns and also a great way for the exam management team to track and review customer feedback.


          We wish you the best of luck on your certification goals!




          Cisco Learning Network Moderator

          • 2. Re: 200-355 Exam Frustration and Failure

            I realise I'm replying here a little late but I want to add my voice to your frustration, even though I haven't taken the exam yet.


            The "Certification Guide" could use a refresh and a proof-reading, it seems to me.


            Here's an example of confused and confusing  wording, this example being from chapter 11, "Understanding Controller Discovery." Bear in mind that immediately before this, we have supposedly been through the methods by which WLC(s) are discovered, i.e. (1) subnet broadcast; (2) primed (locally stored) WLC addresses; (3) DHCP option 43; and (4) DNS resolution of CISCO-CAPWAP-CONTROLLER.localdomain.


            "Selecting a WLC

            Once an AP has finished the discovery process, it should have built a list of live candidate controllers..."

            Note that well: we now have a list of live candidate controllers because we have already done the disovery process but the book goes on as follows:

            "Step 1. Try primed addresses—If the AP has previously joined a controller and has been configured or “primed” with a primary, secondary, and tertiary controller, it will try to join those controllers in succession.

            Step 2. Try the master controller—If the AP does not know of any candidate controller, it can try to discover one by broadcasting on the local subnet. If a controller has been configured as a master controller, it can respond to the AP’s broadcast."


            So for the selection process we seem to be repeating - at least the book does - part of the discovery process.


            Is this supposed to imply that the primed addresses (if there are any) are always first in the candidate list? If so, this should be stated explicitly.


            The confusion is especially great at selection step 2. We have already done a subnet broadcast as part of discovery; surely then, having built a list of candidate WLCs (as the book says) we should just try to join the WLCs in that list in some order until we successfully do join one. Do we need to do another (at least partial) discovery as part of the "selection" process?


            And that's not all; to add confusion to confusion, step 2 even says "if the AP does not know of any candidate controller..."

            The "discovery" section says explicitly that if the AP fails to discover any candidate WLC, then it will just reboot and go through the whole discovery process again; meaning that the "selection" process will never initiate until and unless there is at least one candidate WLC resulting from discovery. So how can step 2 of "selection" (as described in the book) ever take place?


            The book is confused here between WLC discovery and WLC selection; or else I've failed to understand it.

            • 3. Re: 200-355 Exam Frustration and Failure

              Hi Chris,


              I am also replying late, but the first part in the book is the discovery process.  The second part is the actual order of controller selection.  After discovery, the AP will first choose the primed APs (entered via AP CLI or forwarded from the WLC to the AP), then any secondary and tertiary WLC primed, then the master WLC, then the WLC with the most available AP licenses.  It confused me too, but this info can be found on the PearsonVue practice tests.


              I barely passed the WIFUND CCNA after working on wireless for 3 years in a split-MAC architecture.  I have access to converged nodes for training New Mobility, aka Hierarchical Mobility, a Guest anchor WLC, a 1560 wireless mesh, Flukes, and Ekahau to work and train with.  I have designed networks at many locations.  I felt that I learned all of the OSG material in about four days, to the point that I could answer any Q from the book easily.  The OSG has a lot of good material in it.  However, I don't feel that the OSG was all that useful for the test itself except in base understanding.  Without my experience, there's no way I would have passed the test.  I think they should emphasize that fact in the OSG more, or update the OSG to really cover the material on the test.  


              One can hear warnings like this on-line, but I think many testers go in unprepared.  I believe that Cisco does this to protect the value of the certification.  I'd rather they provide four OSG books of material myself.  Frustrating, mais c'est la vie.



              • 4. Re: 200-355 Exam Frustration and Failure

                Hi Brian,


                Did you ever pass the WIFUND?  You're right, it is a very difficult test for an entry level cert.  I'd rather interview a guy with a CCNA in Security than a CompTIA Security+ cert, so it does lend value to the cert.  Sec+ was a joke in comparison.  That value then motivates one to study Cisco, but at the same time, it is frustrating to fail tests just to learn what to study.  I almost gave up after I failed just the basic CCNA; I had been doing RS for many years.  They're just really hard compared to other certs.  I sympathize and hope you didn't give up.   


                Best of luck,