Took the CCDE Written Beta Test Today

- Insight on the New Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) and Network Infrastructure Architect Certification - Insight on the New Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) - Part II - Insight on the New Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) - Part III I took the CCDE Written Beta Test today. My first impression - that was a LONG test. 170 questions to complete in 3 hours and 20 minutes. It took me just under 3 hours to finish. It's much different from the 75 or 100 questions I am used to in certification tests. Around question #120 my brain started to hurt. The test was not overly difficult. There were tough questions, but I'd say only 10-15 fell into the "I have no idea" category. Most questions I could relate to based on studying or past experience. That's not saying I got 160 right; far from it. But it was not beyond the realm of my skill set. More studying, particularly in key areas listed on the exam blueprint, would've made a big difference (duh, that's how all tests go). The questions felt like Routing and Switching on steroids minus the Switching. Then, add in most of the Service Provider CCIE track to fill out the 170 questions. There were questions about other technologies, but nothing an experienced network engineer wouldn't know or be able to decipher. There were several errors on the exam. For example, the diagram would show routers "A, B, C, and D", but the question would ask about routers "B, C, D, and E". Some questions were very ambiguous (beyond the fact that some are normally written that way) and some answer options were opinionated in contrast to the others that were fact based. In the latter case, if you agree with the option that states an opinion, how could it be wrong? None of the errors were beyond what I would expect from a beta exam. All were fairly typical. Despite its length, I enjoyed taking the exam. It did test core networking skills and concepts. There wasn't a single question that referred to IOS CLI or Cisco router hardware. All questions were based on network theory, standards, design, and technologies - not products. This is information I would expect and like to know at my level. It is also a nice departure from the CCIE Written tests that do test concepts and theory, but also require a lot of specific product knowledge. That was very prominent when I took the CCIE Voice Written test in July. If you're wondering "did I pass", I don't know. Cisco doesn't provide a score for beta tests until the beta period is over. So, I have 8-12 weeks before I will know if I passed. I understand. They want to filter the bad questions and score on the good ones. However, that was the one down side today. I studied for several weeks, spent 3 hours doing 170 questions, and came away with a note saying "we'll get back to you in a couple months". I need my instant gratification!

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