My CCNP certification (Story here, if interested) was expiring at the end of June. I’d taken a number of professional and expert level exams at Cisco Live over the years, but hadn’t passed anything that would renew my CCNP. It was time for the (almost) sure thing. TSHOOT.
The TSHOOT exam is my favorite Cisco written exam because it is all hands on. You don’t actually configure anything; you are just looking and analyzing. This exam is unique in several ways, including:
- The network topology is available for download.
- You really can score 1000 (that’s a perfect score).
- It’s actually fun.
The exam is set up as a series of trouble tickets in the topology mentioned above. There is a problem description and you have access to the consoles of simulated equipment to try and determine the cause. After you have investigated, you answer three questions to narrow down the cause and the solution, then you move on to the next ticket. If you know your stuff, it’s a pretty easy exam. That said, don’t get too comfortable. I started running out of time because I was taking too relaxed of an approach and ended up using almost the entire time to complete the exam.
If you’ve taken the previous version:
- The topology is the same (as best I can tell)
- The question style for the tickets is the same.
- You are no longer allowed to abort a ticket. You must finish once started and you must answer in the order delivered.
- The simple multiple choice questions are spread throughout the test instead of all being at the beginning.
- The interface is different. There are no tabs for the tickets. You just click “next” when you are finished with your answers.
I’m pleased to report that I did pass and even had a perfect score. I’ve never done that before and I doubt I could do it on any of the conventional multiple choice exams, but it was satisfying to achieve on this one. With my CCNP R&S recertification complete, I can concentrate on other studies without worrying about it!
In case you are looking for study materials, you may want to investigate the CCNP Routing and Switching TSHOOT 300-135 Official Cert Guide Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test or the Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT) Foundation Learning Guide.