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:
-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.