1 2 3 Previous Next 116 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2019 4:54 AM by Daniel RSS

    My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?

    Daniel

      Hi,

       

      First let me apologize for the rather confusing discussion topic. What i mean is that I just had the unpleasant experience of taking the new CCDP ARCH (300-320) V3.0 exam.

      Secondly, I am always trying to keep an open mind and an objective approach to my discussions. I will say sorry for this in advance since this may look like a complaint because of a failed exam - but it's really not. I just want to share my experiences to other people so they can avoid taking this exam until it's fixed and fair!

       

      So where to start?

       

      I have failed the previous exam ones on a close call, that felt a bit like it was fair and square (talking about the 640-version, version 2.0).

      Needless to say It was a fair fail and it felt like the questions had covered the exam topics fairly well, and i had a good understanding of all the questions asked.

      I didn't expect to pass that one either, it was more to take the exam to see where I stand so i get a feeling about where I am weak. QoS and VPN-technologies is something i don't hit on a day-to-day basis or even monthly-basis, and fair enough this was my weak area.

       

      I work on global enterprise networks on a day-to-day basis, consulting in mostly network Design but also Implementation and Troubleshooting.

      I do my fair share of EIGRP, OSPF, BGP, VSS, STP, MPLS and so on. It feels like i cover a lot of the topics at work, and sure enough I do if you look at the exam topics and compare them to what i end up with at work:

      -Nexus 2000,5000,7000

      -ASR platform

      -Cat 4500,6500 (CATos and IOS)

      -Multiple L2 and L3 platforms

      -DC-stuff like vPC's, MEC, OTV

       

      So I would say i have a fairly good background history of designing a lot of the technologies covered by this exam.

      However I don't deal with SP-stuff or VoIP/Collaboration stuff (QoS) so I know I am weak in that area by nature.

      That said, i did study a lot of QoS and SP-stuff just to be sure to cover that gap.

       

      Now what was wrong with this exam?


      -I can't really describe it with any other way then: This exam did not ask questions from a Design perspective.


      Let me clarify what i mean by that. Let's take a look of the topics excluded that was actually ABOUT network design:

      • Design for infrastructure services
      • Identify network management capabilities in Cisco IOS Software
      • Create summary-able and structured addressing designs
      • Describe IPv6 for campus design considerations
      • Describe the components and technologies of a SAN network
      • Create an effective e-commerce design
      • Create remote access VPN designs for the teleworker



      Those are some very, very good topics that covered some really nice network design-strategies. And what was added?

      • Describe the Cisco Design lifecycle – PBM (Plan, Build, Manage) 
      • Describe the importance and application of Scalability in a network
      • Describe the importance and application of Resiliency in a network
      • Describe the importance and application of concept of Fault Domains in a network
      • Design a basic branch network
      • Describe the concepts of virtualization within a network design
      • Identify network elements that can be virtualized
      • Describe Data Center components
      • Describe the concepts of Network Programmability within a network design

       

      Now this look like some interesting topics I agree, but are they DESIGN-topics? No!

      They look more to me like "do you know what the terminology in this technology is?-type of topics.

       

      I could go on but the reason i would recommend people to stay away from this exam until it's improved is for a couple of reasons that just is unfair for students:

      • -I did not get many Design-questions, and by that I mean questions that actually was asked from a design perspective. I got plenty of "if you don't know what these 3-letters mean and which technology they belong to - then you have to guess". (it's fair - yes, but it was the way they were asked...grammatical, sentence, english-written wise)
      • -At least 50% of the questions had questions like "Out of these options which are cars? (choose 2): bmw, mercedes, volvo, ferrarri". (yeah, 50% questions like that where you literally had to guess!)
      • -Plenty of questions was just poorly written in english and made little or no sense. I had to read almost all questions at least three times and i could still on many of them not figure out what they were asking for.
      • -On at least 20 questions, probably more, they had mixed up the technology you were asked about with the answers from a different technology.

       

      The only questions that I actually felt like they were fair and from a design perspective was the Drag-n-Drop questions. But the MCSA, MCMA-questions needs to be improved a LOT before i will schedule this exam again!

       

      I created this as a discussion to see if anyone else is having simular experiences?

       

      Note: I did not have this bad experience with the old version at all, i failed that one becuase i went into it knowing i was weak on QoS and SP-technologies.

       

      But this new one i felt that after 10 questions i KNEW i was going to fail because the quality of the exam was just bad.

      Could i have flipped it the other way around and gotten a pass?

      I honestly don't think i could do anything more than I did, and with these type of quality on the exam it's impossible to say where I stand since the score just shows how good you were at guessing - more or less.

       

      -HTH

      Daniel

         
        • 1. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
          David P.

          As i told you before. That happened to me when i was taking CCDA exam (v2). IDK how the CCDE exam is, but if its this way, its a way too unfair. Seems that we need to wait until it gets reviewed and corrected.

          • 2. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
            Rigo - Community Moderator

            Hi Daniel,

             

            I'm sorry to hear that your experience with your recent exam attempt was not satisfactory. I strongly encourage you to submit feedback about your exam experience by opening case through the Certification & Communities Online Support site. The support team will ask for information/details about your experience and you will receive periodic updates until the conclusion of the investigation by the exam developers.

             

            All the best in your certification endeavors.

             

            Regards,

            Rigo

            Cisco Learning Network Moderator

            • 3. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
              Daniel

              Rigo - Community Moderator wrote:

               

              Hi Daniel,

               

              I'm sorry to hear that your experience with your recent exam attempt was not satisfactory. I strongly encourage you to submit feedback about your exam experience by opening case through the Certification & Communities Online Support site. The support team will ask for information/details about your experience and you will receive periodic updates until the conclusion of the investigation by the exam developers.

               

              All the best in your certification endeavors.

               

              Regards,

              Rigo

              Cisco Learning Network Moderator

              Hi Rigo,

               

              Thanks for your input. I am aware that i can open a case for this but I hope i get some other opinions as well.

              I did use the comment button more frequently then you would expect, mainly to point out all unclear things . So I'm sure someone is looking into it during the exam-maintenance or review at some point.

               

              Even though I am very certain that this exam was not ready to be released, It would still be good to know how other people are feeling - maybe everything is OK and I'm just terrible at reading or not skilled enough in the english language!

               

              Regarding the topics that was removed that actually was about design, and topics added that didn't make much sense from a design perspective - I'm sure Cisco has reasons to going with that approach given the new ACI-stuff coming into play very soon. I will not judge any decisions behind that since I don't know the reasoning behind those decisions.

               

              So I will wait a bit and see if anyone else have different experiences.

               

              -Daniel

              • 4. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                Tim

                Daniel,

                 

                I had a similar experience and thoughts. I almost passed, if I would have had more knowledge on a specific DC protocol operation I wouldn't be on this forum right now. Unluckily, I have 7 days to pass a CCNP level exem for recert or my 3 CCNP's expire

                 

                Thanks,

                Tim

                • 5. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                  tommarcoen

                  I had a somewhat similar experience with the CCNA Data Center exams when they first came out. Although I did pass both exams, I spent most of my time filling in the comments because the questions either used bad English, were ambigious questions... or just plain wrong.

                   

                  Too bad I never received any feedback from Cisco on these comments. So I didn't bother anymore when I found some mistakes in questions on the CCNA/CCNP Service Provider exams.

                  • 6. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                    Daniel

                    Tim wrote:

                     

                    Daniel,

                     

                    I had a similar experience and thoughts. I almost passed, if I would have had more knowledge on a specific DC protocol operation I wouldn't be on this forum right now. Unluckily, I have 7 days to pass a CCNP level exem for recert or my 3 CCNP's expire

                     

                    Thanks,

                    Tim

                    Thanks for your input Tim.

                    Yes i had a rather close call though, 800+ score.

                     

                    Did you also perhaps had "broken" questions?

                    And do you remember if you felt like it had very little to do with actual Network Design?

                     

                    -Daniel

                    • 7. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                      Daniel

                      tommarcoen wrote:

                       

                      I had a somewhat similar experience with the CCNA Data Center exams when they first came out. Although I did pass both exams, I spent most of my time filling in the comments because the questions either used bad English, were ambigious questions... or just plain wrong.

                       

                      Too bad I never received any feedback from Cisco on these comments. So I didn't bother anymore when I found some mistakes in questions on the CCNA/CCNP Service Provider exams.

                      You don't get feedback on your comments...but when they review and do certification exam maintenance - they look at the comments and hopefully they will use those to improve the overall quality of the exams.

                       

                      I have not done the DC-exams, but i've spoken with a couple of people that was not very happy with those when they came out.

                      I'm impressed that you did pass despite those things. I am really not having any regrets at all for failing the new ARCH-exam.

                      But i am going to wait a couple of months at least to get this one sorted.

                       

                      I had a "50%" score on the "security-topics" and i didn't get a single security question .

                      And I also had a 62% score on the "advanced addressing and routing solutions for enterprise networks" and that's what i do every day at work. Interesting enough as you can see in my first post exactly that (addressing) was taken out of the exam so it's indeed very confusing .

                       

                       

                      -Daniel

                      • 8. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                        marc nufrio

                        I don't think I could agree more Daniel! I just sat this new test(didn't sit the previous version) on the 12th and was furious during the exam. Let me start by saying Ive been doing this work for close to 13 years(design) and 3 of which while employed with Cisco. I have sat about 24 total exams, not including the R&S lab(twice) and this test just felt different.. Admittedly I did no study since I was fairly confident with the content listed in the certification syllabus.

                         

                        Honestly I left like I was taking a Microsoft test, I think you pointed this out in your post but there were at least 3-4 MCSA that had 3-4 correct answers! I had an additional 3-4 questions that were blatantly WRONG, as in ever single selection was incorrect. It was absurd. I failed marginally as well, 800+ which is giving me enough confidence to ramp up on a few topics and take another crack at it tomorrow morning. I am, like Tim, doing this ONLY to re-certify my CCNP certifications and have otherwise moved on to greener pastures(Arista :-))

                         

                        Anyways, sad excuse for a test and I frankly would not be surprised if many more tests to come are of this quality.

                        • 9. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                          Daniel

                          Marc,

                           

                          Indeed it is sad. I did this test during the CiscoLive in Berlin, also on the 12th. I know what you mean by having completely wrong answers, i even raised my hand during that exam and showed one of the guys watching us in the exam-room. He could not do anything, or rather he could not answer at all. I could tell by his expression though that he also knew all answers was wrong .

                           

                          I agree it felt different. It was as if no questions made any sense at all. I was also pretty furious when i realized 10 questions in that there was no chance i could pass, i was taking the next question and the next...hoping it would become better and at least some normal questions. I mean even the subnetting questions that i got, and i can do any scenarion in just a few sec , did not make any sense and the math was impossible to do. Kind of like dividing 0 by 0.

                           

                          Anyway, glad i was not alone!

                           

                          -Daniel

                          • 10. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                            daniel1820815

                            Hey there, thank you all for the detailed feedback.


                            I just passed the CCDA exam v2 at Cisco Live in Berlin and now want to move forward to the ARCH exam. But your comments scarred me a little bit and I think it makes no sense moving forward soon. ;-)

                             

                            For passing CCDA exam v2, I used "Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions (DESGN) v3.0 e-learning course" from CLN because there was no other learning stuff available since now. I was not satisfied with this stuff and I think there is much potential for improvements.

                             

                            Anyone purchased "Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH) v3.0 e-learning course" ?

                             

                            Daniel

                            • 11. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                              Shadowjk - CCNP(R&S), CCNA(Security; SP)

                              Daniel wrote:

                               

                              tommarcoen wrote:

                               

                              I had a somewhat similar experience with the CCNA Data Center exams when they first came out. Although I did pass both exams, I spent most of my time filling in the comments because the questions either used bad English, were ambigious questions... or just plain wrong.

                               

                              Too bad I never received any feedback from Cisco on these comments. So I didn't bother anymore when I found some mistakes in questions on the CCNA/CCNP Service Provider exams.

                              You don't get feedback on your comments...but when they review and do certification exam maintenance - they look at the comments and hopefully they will use those to improve the overall quality of the exams.

                               

                              I have not done the DC-exams, but i've spoken with a couple of people that was not very happy with those when they came out.

                              I'm impressed that you did pass despite those things. I am really not having any regrets at all for failing the new ARCH-exam.

                              But i am going to wait a couple of months at least to get this one sorted.

                               

                              I had a "50%" score on the "security-topics" and i didn't get a single security question .

                              And I also had a 62% score on the "advanced addressing and routing solutions for enterprise networks" and that's what i do every day at work. Interesting enough as you can see in my first post exactly that (addressing) was taken out of the exam so it's indeed very confusing .

                               

                               

                              -Daniel

                               

                              I've had this on the SPNGN1 exam but understand that there might be 2 or 3 questions related to the security topic implicitly and getting 1 question wrong will cut your percentage from a 100% to 70% so don't be too disheartened by the score weightings. It's all relative

                               

                              Josh

                              • 12. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                                R2C (CWNE/CCIE)

                                I also remember how frustrated I was with the formulation and grammatical errors of the questions. Reading this discussion sounds all to familiar since I still think this was one of the most annoying tests to pass simply because there were wrong answers according to Cisco´s own books. I had a feeling that the questions if pronounced would be with a certain dialect from an Asian country delivering cheap and pore work. When I finally passed Cisco had given me free exams and to almost every question I had commented with the exact page of their book where the answer could be found. The trust surrounding Cisco´s certifications can sometimes be hard to find. Another "fun" story during my CCIE Cisco implemented the retake policy between lab attempts which led to me having to wait 120 days between 2 and 3rd attempt. 90 days because of their retake policy and 30 days because of only 1 CCIE wireless lab most of their locations. Passed on my 3rd attempt and 3 months later they removed the retake policy, thank you once again Cisco.

                                • 13. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                                  Kevin Longo

                                  Thanks for the feedback Daniel.  I'm planning to take the new ARCH exam within the next several weeks.  I started studying for the previous version and then put the studying on hold.  You mentioned you'd advise people not to take this version exam.  That's fair but for those who might have to due to expiring certs or other circumstances, what advice would you offer them?  Do you feel the exam outline fairly represents what is on the exam (whether or not they're design related)?  Are there any topics / technologies you'd recommend people study more closely than others? 

                                  • 14. Re: My Experience with the ARCH v3.0 300-320 exam - Stay away it's bad! Anyone else feel the same?
                                    Daniel

                                    Kevin,

                                     

                                    What certifications do you currently hold?

                                    If you have CCNP i strongly suggest taking CCNP TSHOOT over the new ARCH-exam.

                                     

                                    Do you feel the exam outline fairly represents what is on the exam (whether or not they're design related)?

                                    No I don't. I think the exam was unfair from any aspect, but if you think objectively on this - then yes, the exam blueprints aligned good with the TOPICS of the questions. However it was the way the questions were asked and the options you had to choose from of the answers were just plain wrong!

                                     

                                    Frankly put, almost ZERO of the questions i received was about design at all. I can't describe in words how....not related to design they were. Many questions were asked in a very strange way about extremely unimportant facts about technologies - not how they interoperate with each other or how they are to be designed to work properly.

                                     

                                    Many questions were literally "choose two cars from the list" and then you were presented with 4 different Trucks as the answers.

                                    And many questions you could also not even figure out what they were asking for because they had mixed up names like STP with FHRP in BOTH the question AND the answers!

                                     

                                    Are there any topics / technologies you'd recommend people study more closely than others?

                                    Yes. There were tons of DC-questions. To the point where if you don't have Nexus 9k deployments and use all the latest beta-features (ACI) you possibly could not know the concepts. That was one thing that stuck out when i think back on it. They did not ask how you can typically solve L2-connectivit in the DC across multiple IP-domains (OTV). Instead the questions were more aimed at DC-stuff that most of us have probably just heard at CL or any WebEx by Cisco :/.

                                     

                                    But sure, just shoot your questions and i can help as best as i can .

                                     

                                    -Daniel

                                    1 2 3 Previous Next