In a discussion on the Cisco Networking Professionals Connection a candidate recently failed his lab. He received a 0% grade on the new “open-ended question” portion of the lab even though he was sure that he got at least 2 of the 4 questions correct. If he got two of the four questions correct then he should have received a 50% mark in that category, right? Well, it turns out that this is NOT the case:
Replied by: lohaver – Marketing Programs Manager, CISCO SYSTEMS – Feb 10, 2009, 4:30pm PST
I work on the CCIE team. The short answer section is graded on an “all or nothing” basis. If you answer the minimum number correct you will get 100%. If you don’t achieve the minimum, your score shows as 0%. It is indeed possible that you answered two questions correctly.
What the fuck??? Honestly, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? What is the “minimum number correct”? I would have to assume that in this case it’s three. Lora states that he could have correctly answered two and still not passed the section. If it were four then she would (well, ‘should’) have said that you need to answer all of the questions correctly. This “minimum number” gets more interesting in that some candidates have received 4 questions while others have received 5 questions.
This gets even more interesting. From the responses on this thread it looks like the questions are worth a total of 21 points and the remainder of the lab is worth 79 points. That means that you need to pass the question portion of the lab in order to pass the entire lab as the passing grade is 80 points and the most that you can score on the lab portion is 79 points.
I’ve fully supported the addition of the questions to the lab, but this new scoring “revelation” pisses me off. IF the questions are worth 21 points towards your total score and they are graded on an “all or nothing” method based on meeting some undisclosed “minimum number of correct responses” then this is more than just a minor addition to the lab and Cisco really owes it to the candidates forking over $1400 to explain this better. This “all or nothing” scoring is especially important for candidates to be aware of because if they aren’t aware of it, then they may be likely to request a reread of their exam. If you get a 0% on a section that you are sure that you had at least half of the questions correct, then you’re most likely going to assume that the lab was graded incorrectly and request a reread ($250).