On Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 I took the CCNP TSHOOT exam (Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks exam (TSHOOT: 300-135) to refresh myself on the new layout, technologies covered, and depth of knowledge required to pass the exam.

(And for those wondering...yes, I passed).

On Thursday, April 30th 2015, I will be hosting a live, streaming event for INE All-Access Pass (AAP) Members where I will highlight my experiences with this exam, and some ideas I have for:

The live event (also to be recorded) will take place at 9am PST (12pm Eastern) at http://live.ine.com/chat and last between 1-2 hours.

If you're curious about my experiences with this exam...read on.

Other than a few misspellings and grammatical errors, I was really impressed with this exam. Of all the Cisco online/written certification exams I've taken, I've probably enjoyed this one the most.

Why?

On all of the other Cisco certification exams I've taken, I've always come across at least a handful of questions in which the correct answer was not readily apparent from the choices provided.  This was not due to a lack of technical knowledge on my part, but simply poor and ambiguous writing on the part of the test author(s).

I'm sure all of you who have ever attempted anything from a CCNA to the CCIE Written Exam have come across questions and, after reading through the various answers you've said to yourself, "This stinks! None of these answers are 100% correct!  This one answer here, is the "least incorrect" of all the answers, and probably the one they want me to select...but even THAT answer is technically incorrect in at least a few regards!"

Nothing is more frustrating than knowing that every question counts in an exam, and running across a situation where either a question itself was poorly written...or NONE of the answers seem to be correct. Leaving you wondering how anyone could be 100% confident in answering that, particular question.

I did not find that to be the case when taking the TSHOOT exam.

For those of you who have yet to attempt this exam, most of the questions are in the form of simulations which are called, "Tickets".  When you start a new ticket you are presented with a problem (most of them boil down to Device-A can't ping Device-B) and you have to identify three things (via multiple-choice) within that single ticket:

  1. Identify which device in the topology is misconfigured or lacking configuration.
  2. Identify the technology related to the problem (IPv4 Routing, Network Security, etc).
  3. From a list of options, select an answer that provides the correct configuration to fix the problem.

Although there were a few misspellings or simple grammatical errors in some of the questions, once I had identified the correct device that had the problem and identified the correct technology on that device...isolating the correct answer from the list of possible answers was always clear and left no confusion.

That was very refreshing compared to past exams I've taken.

And I found the exam to be quite technically challenging.  It was neither too easy nor too complex.  I found it to be the perfect level of challenge for a CCNP candidate.

For more information, please join me for INE's live event on April 30th!

Keith