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你准备好攻克考试了吗?

创建于: 2014-10-17 13:27:21          

你准备好攻克考试了吗? 

现实生活中,你开车的方式是否与你当年在参加驾考时的驾驶方式是一样的?你是否还记得当年为通过驾照考试而准备的考试策略?对你来说什么样的考试策略才是更有效?为什么你需要为通过考试而做准备?有效的考试策略是否不只仅限于一种?在考试中,除了技术内容知识以外你还要注意哪些?

 

先前的博客“了解你的敌人”中介绍了一些基本的考试设计属性,这些属性共同构成了全部的考试形式。将这些考试设计属性烂熟于心,能够帮助你有效地指定应对考试的成功策略。

 

现在很多博客,文章,视频甚至图书都在讨论CCIE实验考试策略,而我只想谈谈三个关键的点。希望帮助建立属于你自己的考试策略及规划。个人自习都可以围绕着这三点,根据自己的学习风格及习惯做调整。其他相关的文章内容将会详细具体地对每部分考试模块做深入地探讨。

 

有效地考试策略是怎么样的?为什么你需要提前制定好考试策略? 

 

如果你正在阅读我的这篇博客,那么,我建议你的中长期计划是通过实验考试。这将是一次绝佳的机会,帮助你获得CCIE认证,拥有一串属于自己的CCIE编号。也许每个人想要获得CCIE认证的理由千差万别,但想要真正通过CCIE认证考试,就肯定得通过完善的学习资料的阅读并有上百个小时的思科设备实验训练。

 

因此,你为通过考试提前准备的考试策略就是如何完成目标,获得你的CCIE认证编号的“方式”。第一种可行的考试策略是:通过快速地核查正确答案,反复地练习不同实践实验环境,努力利用记忆各种原始的配置行要求来通过考试。另一种考试策略是:在相对短的时间内反复地参加考试,从每次失败中总结出成功方式,希望最终能够通过考试(新的CCIE重考政策现在应该对此有了更多的限制)。但是更好的第三种考试策略是:建立一套扎实且长期的技术知识及技能来应对考试。只有这第三种考试策略才是帮助你通过考试且在你获得CCIE认证后为你的实践操作提供长期支持的。不论是将来你在哪个工作岗位,你都能表现出如你的上司,同事及客户所期望的CCIE专家的风采。当然,各种策略及最终结果都取决于你的选择。

 

除了以上的这些高级策略,你还需要计划好去学习哪些技术知识才能最大地保障你的通过考试?

 

就像很多国家的驾照考试一样,相对于现实生活中的驾驶来说,想要通过考试你还是需要花很多精力在许多小细节上。这是因为对于考试来说,它必须是公平的,因此必须有一套严谨一致的算分规则。而如此一来,一些现实生活中非常容易快速解决或减轻地失误将会导致你再花上1600美金来参加CCIE实验考试。

比如在配置中拼错单词或在你的路由协议配置遗漏了还回配置的前缀,以及遗漏细小的实验项目要求等。单纯的技术知识及经验很难帮助你避免这些细小的失误。然而,在准备考试策略之时,有意培养自己的应对细小问题的习惯将对你最终通过考试有帮助,同时也会让你的技能走向专业的巅峰。

 

在学习过程中就开始建立考试策略 

 

想要建立有效地抗高压的考试策略,要避免到考试来临之时才拿出应付策略。所以,千万不要在考试前一晚才开始计划考试策略,当你坐进考场之时,不能保证不把前一晚所想的策略遗漏。建议在平时的实践实验之时就思考并应用你的考试策略,使之成为你的一种自然的天性。

 

掌控好你的时间,不要在一些问题上卡住! 

 

所有四项考试模块都有时间限制,所以你需要有效地掌控好你的考试时间。掌控好考试时间意味着什么?为了在所有规定的时间里面最大化完成你的工作并保证质量你需要采用哪些技巧并且怎样规划好你的应对策略?

 

一项有效的时间管理策略就是心里要有个计时器,为考试的每项内容规定好最大的耗时。它就像是一个显示器一样提醒你,也许在某项考题上花费了太多的时间,需及时地放弃,开始下一题的解答。这种管理策略能够有效地减少在一些问题上卡住的时间或者是意外地发现没有时间去完成剩余的考题。有些考试相对于其他考题来说确实很难,因此在这时管理你的时间是非常重要的。根据你在考试中的完成进度,你需要能够做出艰难的选择:要么放弃,继续答也许简单一些的下一题,要么继续完成这道难题的挑战。

 

除了这些“最多答题时间”的规划,你还需要再规划一项带时间偏差预计的考试各项完成进度。考试完成进度计划是你在考试前事先预测好完成各项考试进度的时间点,可以供你在考试中评估完成进度是否与你预期进度的相同。例如:什么时间该完成考试每项内容?如果没能按照预期进度答题,应该有什么对策?

到什么时间点你宁愿放弃未完成的考题,反而回去验证之前的考题,以保证之前的回答的正确性。再次申明的是,每个人遇到的情况都会不同,但是提前计划好主要的答题策略要比在考试来临之时才做打算更有高效。

 

在任何情况下,都尽量往下答题,避免在某一题上卡住。尤其不要停留在每项考试模块的前半段考题上。如果你小心地管理好你的答题时间,你能自然而然地建立答题信心,更有机会获得最大的成功。

 

请注意细节! 

 

如上面所提及的,设计的考试必须公平。因此,它必须有一套严格的客观算分规则。需明确的是所有CCIE

R&S v5.0考试内容答案均只有两种(对或错)的计分。虽然每题分值可能不同,但是不会出现部分答对给分的情况。只有在所有题目要求都被满足答对解决问题的情况下才能得分,排除了其他任何解决方案的可能。

 

这些规则将会在处理考试细节的关键环节中突显出来。不管是在考试的任何题型中(WR&诊断多选题,TS ticket,CFG inter-dependent item),还是任何考题内容中的信息(包括考题概括,考题要求,考题展示,图例及其他任何资源)都可能成为需处理的相关“细节”。

 

有一种方式能够有效地减少丢失细节的处理,那就是至始至终系统的阅读考题,分析所有相关的资源,相关信息预测可能的选择或修改所带来的影响。就拿实验考试来说,计划好将考题要求仔细阅读三次,然后在细想你的解决方案及多种验证方式。在记录板上记录下这些验证,以便在考试中加快回顾验证的速度。在实验考试中,验证解决方案的结果确实是一项难题,尤其是在TS及CFG模块中,因为验证随后的变化会很有可能会影响到之前解决方案的正确性。

 

小心筛检考题,舍弃百分百完美解答 

 

CCIE R&S v5.0考试是按是否达到合格来划分的-这就意味着,通过考试的分数即达到合格分或超过合格分都算是通过了考试。就拿实验考试来说,合格分数线是有些复杂。它是由三个不同的考试模块得分组成的。每个考试模块都有自己的合格分。不仅三部分模块考试的总分需要达到或超过实验考试总分的合格线,三部分模块的分别得分也都需要达到或超过各自模块的合格分数线。这里的合格分数线就是最低得多少分。

 

在这想算分的逻辑规则之上,三部分模块的合格最低分比整个实验考试合格分数线占每个模块的最高分数的比例要低的多。

 

因此, 例如,如果实验考试的合格分数线是100分里面拿到80分,即80/100,而诊断模块占10分,诊断模块的最低分就要比8/10的数值低的多(实验考试合格分数线比例相对于诊断模块的最高分值),有可能介于在最高分数的30%-60%左右。请注意此处的数值将不作官方公布,因为每项考试都有所不同。

 

不过,在这里我想说的就是通过考试的最主要方法就是达到合格线并得到实验考试的附加最低分规则。当然你获得完美的分数确实是通过了考试,但是如果仅仅是为了要先通过考试,那么完美的分数确实是不必要的。我们不会像大学入学考试那样,为得分做排名,例如考试得分挤入x%的最高分数才能通过。在CCIE考试中,只要能够通过合格线就算是通过了考试。你大可不必做到最完美!这是很明显的规则,但有时,我总是能遇到一些考生因为忽视这个规则而没有足够的时间来完成考题,最终导致失败。

 

在实验考试中,所有内容都在每个模块开始之时已经可以供查看。这意味着考生可以选择答题的顺序。默认的考题顺序通常是随机的:第一项考题可能是关于路由协议的而第二项考题有可能就是LAN交换的等。

这并不意味这考生需要按照这种出题顺序而答题。每道题基本都是独立的(在CFG模块中),但是即使在这种情况下,所有的考题要求是最有可能不同样相互依赖的。因此,考生可以选择快速地配置完考题#2的核心要求(或使用禁止的解决方案)从而来完成考题#1的需求,即使考题#2没有被完全解决。

 

这些都突显考生可以自行筛选答题。哪题先答都是个人选择:你是喜欢先把“容易得分的题”都先解决掉,建立自己的信心,然后再去攻克更高分数的那题呢?还是喜欢用相反的方式解决?所以在计划考试策略中还应当考虑到万一无法按照原答题计划进行时的解决方案-比如说,答题到最后所剩时间太少而还有很多题目未答,那么在所剩题目众多的情况下,先答哪类题?

 

考生应该在考试中制作一个简单的答题表格,里面包含了他们的分数值及自己的实际答题进度,从而管理自己的考试时间,这将是非常有效的。

 

自然而然地,自己就知道在考试中,如果在这个表格上标记已完成的,将会如期得分。那么就能大致估算出达到合格分数线~80%时或稍微高于合格分数线时自己的答题进度是什么样的。

然后,这并不意味着你需要达到100%满分。请区分清在压力下通过考试并不意味着每项考试内容都必须完成。

 

此外,新的CCIE路由和交换 v5.0考试的计分模式允许考生在多个模块中的能力互相弥补的情况。(例如 考生TS模块明显强于另一个CFG模块)。这意味着,即使你觉得自己的TS模块答题不够理想,但基本能够达到单个模块的合格分数线时,你依然有可能会通过考试!在这种情况下,请不要放弃!在R&S v4.0考试中,如果你在TS模块中失败了,你就全挂了,但如今v5.0的考试已经有所改变。

 

 如果你在TS模块机和诊断模块都取得了最低合格分,你依然有机会通过考试,只要能够将CFG模块中的主要内容完成。

 

 下次的博客中,我们将讨论如何在每项考试模块中将这些高级的考试策略应用到实践中。我希望我所讲的这些能为你建立自己的考试策略提供有用的思考价值。

 

感谢你的阅读!让我知道你对这篇博客的建议。

 

--------------------------------------------英文原文----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

What Is Your Plan of Attack?

Did you drive in the exact same way when taking your driver’s license test compared to how you drive in real-life? Did you ever think of what strategy and which tactics are going to help you reach your end goal of passing the exam? What does an effective exam strategy look like? Why do you need one? Is there only one way of approaching the exam? What else besides the technical content should you think about when taking the exam?

 

The previous article “Know Your Enemy” introduced some fundamental design attributes that collectively define the overall format of the exam. Having these attributes in mind is definitely essential to building an effective and successful strategy for approaching the exam.

 

While there are many other blog posts, articles, videos and even books specifically about overall CCIE Lab exam strategy, I’ll attempt to discuss three key recommendations that will hopefully help you develop your own strategy and tactics. Your homework will be to adjust them according to your own personality and study style. Subsequent articles will dive into more detailed and specific tactics for each exam module.

 

What is a strategy and why do you need one?

 

If you are reading this post, then there is a good chance that one of your mid- to long-term goals is to pass the lab exam and earn your CCIE number. The reason why you do it is very much personal, but the means to reach it should definitely be through studying legitimate material and practicing hundreds of hours with Cisco devices. 

 

The strategy you’ll use to pass the exam is the “how” part of reaching that goal of earning your number. A legitimate approach may be to study by repeating many practice labs, quickly looking at the answers and trying to memorize various requirements for raw configuration lines. Another technique might be to take the exam repeatedly in a relatively short period of time, learning from mistakes, in hopes of eventually passing by chance. (The new CCIE Re-take Policy should now prevent this.) But a better method may be to develop true and long-lasting technical knowledge and skills. This last option is more difficult but will likely be the only one that will serve you after you’ve earned the number. It will enable you to perform on the job at the level that your boss, colleagues and customers will expect of a CCIE. But this is your call, of course. 

 

Regardless of the above high-level strategy, what else besides technical studies should you plan to do best in order to maximize the chances of passing?

 

Just like with the driving test in many countries, you will want to pay extra attention to the details compared to how you perform in real life. This is because it is just an exam, and as such it, must be fair, so it must have strict and consistent scoring rules. As a consequence, some small mistakes that you may quickly fix or mitigate in real life might unfortunately cost you a 00 lunch at the CCIE testing facility. Think about small mistakes such as typos in configuration lines, missing a loopback prefix in your routing protocol, or missing a small requirement in an exam item. Pure technical knowledge and experience are not going to help much to avoid these small mistakes. However, developing an effective exam-taking skill is the solution and will help you to reach the ultimate goal of passing the exam, provided that your technical skills are at the expected level.

 

Build your strategy when studying

 

For the strategy to be effective under pressure, you’ll want to avoid having to think about it during the exam. So don’t just build a plan of attack the night before the exam, as it might disappear from your brain when you’re sitting in front of the exam workstation. Consider trying to apply and refine your strategy when studying with practice labs so that it becomes a second nature.

 

Let’s take a look at three important and often-overlooked tactics that are applicable to all four exam modules and that could be used as a starting point for an effective exam strategy.

 

Manage your time, don’t get stuck!

 

As you know, all four exam modules are limited in time so it is expected that you efficiently manage the exam time. What exactly does that mean? What measures or tactics can you plan in order to maximize your work quality and quantity within the overall time limit?

 

An efficient measure is to set a mental timer with a maximum time per-item, which is just an indicator that you spent too long on any specific item and it is time to move on to the next one. This minimizes the chances of getting stuck and accidently ending up with too little time for the remainder of the exam. Naturally, some items will be more difficult than others and it is exactly for these difficult or tedious items that managing your time is vital. Depending on your progress in the exam, you will want to make a difficult decision: either move on to the next and hopefully easier item, or keep working on the challenging one.

 

Along with this “item max-time”, plan some milestones and anticipate deviations. These milestones are pre-defined checkpoints where you can evaluate whether or not you’re progressing as expected in the exam. By what time should each section of the exam be completed? What should be done in case things are not going as expected? At which point should you go back and verify the work you’ve done so far rather than starting a large new item? Again, it all depends on the situation, but planning the main options in advance is most likely going to be a valuable advantage when taking the exam.

In any case, you’ll want to keep moving and avoid getting stuck, especially during the first half of any exam modules. If you carefully manage your time, you will naturally build confidence and maximize your chances of success.

 

Pay attention to the details!

 

As said above, the exam is designed to be fair, and therefore it must have strict and objective scoring criteria. Remember that all CCIE R&S v5.0 exam items have only two possible scoring opportunities (true or false). Though they may be worth one or multiple points, partial scoring is not allowed and item scores are granted only if all of the item’s requirements are met by the solution provided, regardless of any alternate solutions.

 

These rules should illustrate the importance of the “details” in the exam. Any information that is provided in the content of an item (including guidelines, requirements, exhibits, diagrams and any other resource) may be considered as a relevant “detail”, regardless of the item format (WR & DIAG multiple-choice, TS ticket, CFG inter-dependent item).

 

One way to minimize chances of missing a detail is to consistently approach each item with a reliable process that includes systematically reading and analyzing all resources involved, and then correlate information and anticipate effects and consequences of possible choices or changes. For the lab exam, plan to triple-read all requirements of an item, and then plan your solution as well as multiple verification procedures. Keep track of these verification steps in a notepad in order to speed up backward verifications when progressing in the exam. Verifying the solution’s outcome is definitely a crucial step in the lab exam, especially in TS and CFG where changes made later on could very well impact and invalidate previous solutions.

 

Cherry pick and don’t target 100%!

 

The scoring logic of the CCIE R&S v5.0 defines a cut-score – that is, a passing score – and reaching or exceeding this score results in passing the exam. For the lab exam, this cut-score is a little more complex as it has three separate component scores, one for each exam module. Not only must the sum of these three component scores meet or exceed the lab-level cut-score, but each of the three components must also meet or exceed the corresponding module-level’s cut-score, which is called the minimum score.

 

On top of this logical rule, these min-scores are set to a [much] lower value compared to the lab-level cut-score proportional to each module’s maximum score!

 

So, for example, if the lab-level cut-score is 80/100 and DIAG is worth 10 points, the DIAG’s min-score is going to be much lower than 8/10 (lab-level cut-score proportional to DIAG’s max-score), probably somewhere in the 30 to 60% range of the max-score. Note that these numbers are not released publicly because they vary per exam questionnaire.

 

Nonetheless, the point I want to make here is that passing the exam mainly means to reach this cut-score with the additional min-score rule for the lab exam. While a perfect score will of course result in passing the exam, it is certainly not required in order to pass the exam! We’re not dealing here with a ranking exam, such as a college entrance exam, that would pass only the x% of the best performers, where the final score has a crucial importance! With CCIE, anyone who scores more than the cut-score is eligible to pass the exam; you do not need to ace it! This seems obvious, but unfortunately, I frequently meet candidates who failed mainly because they forgot this rule, along with poor time management.

 

In the lab exam, all items are readily available when starting each module. This means that one can select the sequence of addressing items. The default sequence might very well be arbitrary: the first item might be about routing protocol while the second one might be about LAN switching, etc. This doesn’t mean that they have to be completed in that order. They may very well depend on each other (in CFG), but even in that case, all requirements are most likely not equally inter-dependent. So one can choose to quickly configure the core requirements in item#2 (or use prohibited solution) in order to make item#1 work even if item#2 is not fully completed!

 

It all comes down to the fact that candidates can (and should) cherry-pick items. Which ones to address first is a personal choice: do you prefer to collect many “easy points” first, build your confidence and then address the more difficult items worth more points? Or do you prefer the opposite? The strategy should also plan what to do in case something goes wrong – like ending up with too little time to address all remaining items. Which one(s) should you address first, if any?

 

For this to be really useful, one should keep track of his/her progress within the exam with a simple table of items, their score value, and their actual progress status.

 

Naturally, one would not know during the exam if the items marked completed on this list are all going to be scored as expected – and therefore should maybe not target just the cut-score of ~80% but might rather target slightly above the cut-score.

However, that doesn’t mean one should target 100%, and that makes a big difference when working under stress to realize that not everything must be working or completed.

 

Furthermore, the new scoring logic of CCIE R&S v5.0 allows compensating weakness in a module (e.g. TS) with strength in another (e.g. CFG). This means that even if you feel like TS didn’t go too well and you probably scored around the min-score but not the proportional cut-score, you still have a chance of passing the exam! Do not give up at that time! In R&S v4.0, if you failed TS, you failed the whole exam, but this is not the case anymore.

 

If you scored the min-score in TS and DIAG, you still have a good chance of passing the exam, provided that the main CFG scenario is completed.

 

We’ll see in the next articles how to expand these high-level recommendations for each exam module into useable tactics. I hope this gave you some food for thought  as you start building your own strategy.

 

Thanks for reading! What questions or comments do you have at this time?

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