Wow. I feel completely dead. I finished Mock Lab 5 and felt like I had just gone 15 rounds with Mike Tyson (circa 1988). I knew that I did not get 80 points, but I was feeling pretty good about breaking 60. I just went through the solution guide, and I will be lucky to break 40 points. Between points left on the board and simple mistakes, I probably lost 40 points. There were a lot of tasks that I had the right idea, but missed a single line of configuration.
For the second mock lab in a row, I fucked myself over by spending way too much time on some optional (non core) tasks. Right out of the gate I tripped all over myself on this one. I WAY over-thought (and under-thought?) a dot1q tunneling task. I lost about 40 minutes and had to rip out all of my configuration and reload the switches. I eventually caught back up on time. I completed IGP redistribution with 3.5 hours left. Since BGP was already built, I should have been able to finish the lab with some time to spare. It was not to be. I spent another 30 minutes trying to match a BGP debug output. I should have just moved on, but I kept thinking “Oh, this HAS to be it”. I CANNOT allow myself to do crap like that. I have this stupid personality trait where I’ll spend time on something if I think that “I’m just about to get it”. In real life that type of persistence may pay off, in the lab it’s just a long, dark rabbit hole to failure. Needless to say, I missed out on the points anyways. I could have used that time researching ‘service nagle’. :-)
I always seem to lose it around the 6 hour mark. I have no idea why that is. I start getting punch drunk and making stupid mistakes. I lost points on a QoS task because I configured Bc using AR instead of CIR. ARRGH!!!!!
I’m pretty sure that I nailed IGP redistribution and I spent less time on it than normal (still too much time). I missed some easy BGP points because I forgot to add a “permit the rest” type of statement at the end of my route-map. I left another easy BGP task on the board because I didn’t have time to come back to it (yet I found 30 minutes to dick around with debug output). I need to commit to memory who authenticates whom in PAP and CHAP.
I’m not ready for the lab, that’s for sure. I’m thinking that I will keep my October date. I have really had a shitty time over the last 1.5 months. Family and work are gnawing into my already limited study time. I feel like I’ve plateaued in my progress. My first mock lab score was an 89. The next two were in the mid-fifties. This one may well fall into the forties. Granted, the tests are progressively more difficult, but I’m still flailing.
IE opened up beta testing on version 5 of their Volume I lab book (just the Bridging and Switching section so far). I’m going to run through that this weekend and then start repeating some of the Volume III and II labs before heading out to Reno for the Mock Lab Workshop. I can’t believe that it’s nearly June already.
I need to really spend some time on my weaknesses: BGP (I’m slowly getting better), Multicast, Security (I am miserable at this section – at least with Multicast I can fake the funk). There are still some minor technologies that I’m not “aces” at: dot1q tunneling, PPP authentication, OSPF route filtering, and private VLANs. Maybe one more pass through the Volume I labs will sort some of this out.
Oh well….off to bed. Tomorrow I get to go back to work to try to catch up on 5 days of backlog (counting the holiday and the weekend). I can’t believe that I’m taking vacation days just to get my teeth kicked in on these mock labs.