Today my WikiHow of the Day was none other than - How to Study for an Approaching Exam. What an appropriate topic as I peered from my laptop onto the sold-out Tampa 12-day Bootcamp students that were all wrestling with a brutal IPv4 Multicast scenario.
I thought I would share the tips in this WikiHow with our blog readers, and try and tailor it for the CCIE R&S Lab Exam specifically. I hope you enjoy, and can tailor a couple of these to benefit yourself in your own preparation.
Step 1 - Calm down. Yes, that's right, relax. As I talk about in "Secrets" to Version 4 Success, the proper psychology can have a lot to do with whether you pass or fail. Keep focusing on the fact that you might fail, and that makes the possibility all the more real.
Step 2 - Determine what material needs to be covered. Well this is certainly easy for us - we have the Expanded Study Blueprint to guide us!
Step 3 - Make a study plan. Some students make the plan real rough - others like to get down to a very high level of detail for each study session. Consider using tools to help you like MS Outlook, MS Project, etc. Notice that Petr just outlined a study plan for Version 4 customers in a recent blog post.
Step 4 - Figure out your study methods. For some students, they love tools like SimpleMindX and SuperMemo, other students find them a waste of time. Some students prefer learning by our many videos, other students prefer to read workbooks. It is imperative that you find the methods that work best for you in your learning, and stick to those.
Step 5 - Take notes and ask questions. We can always learn so much from our peers that have gone before us, and those that are currently on the journey with us. Check out the IEOC when you have a chance and examine some of the threads there.
Step 6 - Find your resources. OK, we all know where those are...www.ine.com, but...if you purchased EVERY single item we sell for R&S, you would never be able to go through it all. Be sure to use your instructors and sales contacts to obtain the resources that are perfect for your needs.
Step 7 - Ask for help. Forums, your instructors, your sales reps - be sure to speak up.
Step 8 - Memorize as much as possible. Sure the DOC-CD is there in the lab; is is even available in the Troubleshooting section. But how much time are you going to have to use that resource when you only have about 10 minutes per Trouble Ticket?
Step 9 - Sneak in study time. Why do doctors always have to make me wait about 30 minutes before I am examined? Well, I will be ready the next time. I will have my iPad handy and I will get in a great Tier 1 study session on some new technology!
Step 10 - Reward yourself. "If I make it through Vol 1 QoS this week, I will take a day off with the family and enjoy no thoughts of CCIE!"
Step 11 - Organize yourself for the test. For me personally, I needed snack items to eat and my own beverages that were caffeine free. Be sure to plan for this during your exam.
Step 12 - Eat properly.
Step 13 - Get some sleep before the big day. You have taken an INE Graded Mock Lab and scored very well. You know you are ready for this Cisco "Mock Lab". There is no reason to lose sleep! You will pass this thing.
Step 14 - Turn up ready for the test. We have had some recent horror stories of hotel shuttle and tax drivers getting lost trying to find the testing center. Be sure to arrive at your testing destination a day early and go find the exact building you test in. Also, be sure you are completely aware of the actual arrival and start time for your facility. Those times have been known to change since your last visit.