The Moment of Truth – 350-001 v3 PASSED


I passed 350-001 version 3.0 today.  If you’ve taken a Cisco test before, you know that if you violate the terms of the non-disclosure agreement, Cisco will kidnap your family, seize your financial assets and probably conscript you as an employee to work at a trade show for the rest of your life.  The NDA is a very big deal.  So if you’re looking for a brain dump, you won’t get it here.

What I can say:

  • The test is as challenging as any Cisco test I’ve ever taken, perhaps more so.  You really, really need to know your stuff.  If you’re fakin’ the funk, don’t bother showing up.  You can’t phone this one in.
  • The blueprint for this test is not a general guideline of nifty things Cisco thinks you should know.  The blueprint is what you HAVE to know.  I believe that I got multiple questions from every section of the blueprint.
  • The CiscoPress OECG 2nd Edition is NOT SUFFICIENT to nail this test.  Pass it, maybe, although it would be close.  The IPv6 section of the OECG is particularly weak.  If it wasn’t for some of the questions I got from the NetMasterClass TESTiT database, I would have missed some of the IPv6 stuff.
  • There were a few of what I would consider to be “gimme” questions.  Just bonehead simple questions that anyone with a few years of network engineering under their belt probably knows.  But not many.  Most questions were, like I said in the first point, thought-provoking, multi-discipline, interdependent monsters that made you draw on Super Network Powers to conjure the right answer.
  • You can’t possibly overstudy for this test.  You can’t.  You can’t quiz enough, study enough, read and re-read enough.  I know it was just the written, but some of the questions they pulled out were just nuts.  While not too many, there were a few questions that I just looked at and went, “Huh.  I honestly have no idea” and was forced to make my best guess.  I’m not a “best guess” kind of guy.  I expect to know the answer to every question in detail, and to not only defend why my answer is right, but also explain why the other choices are wrong.
  • I think it might be possible to pass this test just by reading cisco.com UniverCD documentation…but I wouldn’t want to.  I did supplement my OECG reading with cisco.com articles (and just a dash of Wikipedia), but the cisco.com stuff is generally hard to read and understand.  The OECG does a good job of laying out not only the WHAT, but also the WHY.  In that sense, it’s an excellent book…you walk away from a chapter knowing not only what is going on, but the purpose behind that.  Grasping the purpose of the various protocols itemized in the blueprint points is critically important to passing this test.

And now I can enjoy the rest of Networkers.  I plan to start lab prep blogging next week.  I may blog some more from Networkers as time permits.

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.


  • Hi Ethan. Congratulations on passing your written exam. I look forward to your lab blogging.

  • Hi Ethan,

    Glad to know you passed the written exam. I am looking forward to see your lab preparation blogging. By the way, I am also using NetMaster’s DoIT workbook to prepare my CCIE lab. I also have Internetwork expert workbook as well. Right now, I am forcing only on Netmaster as it has good explaination in the solution (Netmaster did a good job).

    good luck…

  • Fantastic news for you and Congratulations! I’m a new member, but your blog is quite inspirational even for a CCNP candidate like myself. Its keeping my eyes on the prize as I navigate the rigor of my four upcoming exams!


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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