I failed my second CCNP test in a row today. I wasn’t too happy about it.

Unlike last time, I studied very hard for this test. Unlike any of the tests before this, I felt like I actually understood and knew the material very well. Unlike the test before, I had the right book for this test. Just like the test before, I was not at all prepared for the material covered on the test. I would estimate that 60% of the questions were later verified as not addressed in the study guide. Of those, probably half were topics the guide said may come up on future versions of the exam. That means new revisions (like when they changed from the 640-831 test to the 642-831 test, not the 642-831 test just on a different day). There were two of the new virtual router questions, and I’m pretty sure I failed both of them because they disallowed the version of the command I use. (The virtual routers are only equipped with the commands Cisco thinks you need to complete the assignment, with no helper commands allowed. If there is more than one way to accomplish something, even if both ways are correct, standard, and approved, bad on you if you use the method the testmaker didn’t choose.)

I was very frustrated, mostly with myself. The tests aren’t cheap, and I used a lot of time that could have been spent on A Diamond in Snow to study for something I had no real chance of passing, given the study materials I’d chosen.

I’m going to start studying again in March.