My first lab attempt
I failed my first lab attempt in San Jose the 19th of November. I did this attempt just after the INE R&S bootcamp. It is a hard feeling to know that you have failed but I knew that it was going to be tough. The troubleshooting section killed me. I usually enjoy the TS section when doing mock labs but in the real lab it is a ~28 routers topology instead of 6 (with INE topology). Actually I did 2 of the new TS labs from INE and they are really well done and there are automatically graded (Presentation Video).
In the TS, I got stuck on 2 3 points tickets and I spent too much time trying to resolve them. Then, I had only 15 min left to solve 5 tickets. We were like 4 R&S candidates and 2 Voice candidates in the same room and in the really beginning one of the Voice candidate called the proctor saying that something was not working. 2 min after I suddenly realized that I couldn´t access one of the router on the TS topology so I called the proctor and tell him the issue. After 5 min, the proctor asked everybody to leave the room as they needed to fix the issue. We had to wait in the corridor for 40 min. In this moment, I thought: “what is going on? I hope that they will not cancel the exam as I have to fly back to Europe the next day!”. Fortunately they fixed the issue and we were able to start again. We got credited the 40 min we lost. After the TS I knew that I did not do well and that I may have failed. I think that I have solved around 7 tickets and I may have break the requirements on one of them. When I got to the configuration section I spent so much time on the first task trying to understand what they were asking for and how to solve the task to meet the requirements The task was really basic but I think that I was a bit knocked out after the TS. So we got to lunch after 25 min and I still hadn´t started the configuration section. I spent all the lunch time trying to think how I could solve the task. When I got back I just decided to configure the task without meeting the requirements in order to move on. Once I did that everything went well but I did spent a total of 2 hours on the L2 section so I was really rushing through the tasks and I could only do basic verification which is obviously not enough. When I got to the last 5-6 tasks I got only 40 min left and that was no enough to go through all of them.
I received my score report the same day at night. Overall, I think that the exam is really well done and I enjoyed it a lot. They don´t ask you to configure or troubleshoot stupid things and I think that the exam is based on issues or configuration tasks that you can expect in real life. I will now schedule another date and get ready for my next attempt. I will try to find the best strategy in order to improve my weak areas which are speed and strategy.