July 2007 Time Log


07/18/2007 – 1.0 hour. More test questions and review from my new test database. I should have mentioned yesterday that if I don’t understand the correct answer from the new question database, that I’ll dig through cisco.com or the OECG until I find the answer. I’m finding that a lot of the questions in this new database are taken directly from UniverCD IOS documentation, explaining certain scenarios and how to overcome them. I don’t find as many answers in the book for some of these more esoteric facts.

07/17/2007 – 3.0 hours. More test questions and review. I bought a new sample question database, since I burned out on NetMasterClass TESTiT, and the second one I was reviewing just didn’t cut the mustard. I answered every question in the NMC TESTiT database correctly at least 4 times. So I bought another question database to help with review. This set of questions is quite a bit harder. I’m finding I don’t know my OSPF LSA types as well as I thought I did, plus I’m picking up on more odd little details and nuances from other v3 Written Blueprint topics.

07/16/2007 – 2.0 hours. More test questions and review.

07/12/2007 – 2.5 hours. More test questions and review. I’m going through a different test database now, one that’s not nearly so well-done as TESTiT, but is still pointing out holes in my knowledge. It’s nice to have a question you don’t know the answer to. It makes you think about the concept. Then I go review the entire topic the question was regarding, until my memory has been refreshed.

Another note – I’m finding I’m wasting too much time browsing forum boards again, looking for magic insight from people who’ve taken the written or lab exam. I remember falling into this rut very early in my study – it was just a waste of time. Reading forum posts is about 50% ignorant and/or lazy people looking for free TestKing or Pass4Sure material. Much of the rest is the childish chest-thumping or backbiting of a couple different board members trying to impress everyone with how smart they are, or just how much of a total donkey they can be.

On the CCIE forums in Internet-land that I’ve discovered thus far, there is essentially No Useful Content. And even if the content is useful, I’m reading about someone else’s issues and resolutions, rarely, if ever, discovering something I didn’t already know or that was applicable to my world. My time will always be better spent studying or doing labs. Always. And I need to keep telling myself that. :-)

07/11/2007 – 2.0 hours. More test questions and review.

07/10/2007 – 2.5 hours. I did finish off the OECG tonight. And I did take a couple of TESTiT tests. But my brain’s really not in the game tonight, I have to admit. I did a little scouring of some CCIE forums, trying to find out who’s taken the new v3 exam, and what their thoughts were on it. Or really to hear from anyone who’s very recently passed the CCIE, lab or written. I don’t care. It’s just validating to read that IT CAN BE DONE.

07/09/2007 – 4.0 hours. More MPLS studying, take tests. Finished my MPLS study up through frame-mode operation. Tomorrow night, I hope to have MPLS complete – MPLS VPN is all that’s left. I did a TESTiT test, and also another sample test that I scrounged from the Internet. One thing these tests are good for is shoring up the little detail holes in my knowledge. My brain is toast right now. Got to head for bed.

07/07/2007 – 2.5 hours. Mostly MPLS studying and posting. It’s all starting to make sense now. More or less. I’m no expert, but at least I get the point of MPLS.

07/06/2006 – 1.5 hours. Another TESTiT test, 88%. I think I’ve seen every question in the database now, except for the new MPLS questions. That scares me a little bit, as I know the answers to the questions (mostly), but not quite enough about the “why” on some of them. Meaning that I really need to read up on those topics a bit more. OTOH, TESTiT is helping me to memorize rote details, something I loathe. I’m a concepts guy. The details I can look up, or are self-apparent through a simple “show” command. But you gotta know details, and memorizing is the only way. Anyway – I plan to do more MPLS blogging tomorrow.

07/05/2007 – 1.5 hours. Take a written sample TESTiT from NetMasterClass. Scored 94%, although I don’t think that score quite reflected where I’m really at. There were perhaps 10 questions that I got correct, but not because I was rock-solid on my answer. Rather, those 10 questions were well-informed, but still doubtful answers. Did not do any MPLS reading today, but plan to get back to that on Saturday.

07/04/2007 – 6.0 hours. Begin write-up of Appendix C on MPLS – got through about the first third of the chapter. Took another TESTiT sample test from NetMasterClass.com. Scored 88%. Studying up on MPLS (and being really awake) helped a lot. Mental note – really, really need to get a good night’s sleep before taking this test at Networkers.

07/02/2007 – 2.0 hours. Take another written sample test from NetMasterClass. Scored 68%. This was my first attempt with MPLS questions, and I got beat up pretty badly. Haven’t studies MPLS at all yet.

About the author

Ethan Banks

Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.

1 comment

  • Running WordPress thru my Blackberry isn’t going too well. But I think a comment will be okay. Anyway – here I am in Anaheim. Test is today at 2pm PST. To say I’m filled with anxiety is an understatement. Getting dressed felt like suiting up for battle. Let’s hope I win round 1.


Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.

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