Like the title says, I have slain the BSCI dragon.
That was no easy beast to slay. I made my first attempt back in the beginning of February, after a month of hardcore studying. I was close. Very close. My theory was solid. But when it came to applying those in the simulations especially, that was when the BSCI bared its teeth. I wasn’t prepared for the number of simulations and simlets on the exam, nor was I ready for the sheer depth I was expected to know the information.
I won’t make that mistake again. Maybe someone can become a CCNP without more than a little lab time, but I’m not that person. You need lab time, either with a simulator like gns3, your own network rack, or by renting a rack for a few hours and working remotely. I used gns3 myself, and it was invaluable in my in-depth reviewing this past month.
Two months, thousands of pages of reading, hundreds of study questions and practice exam questions, and a dozen or so labs later, I passed the BSCI this morning with flying colors. It was a battle hard-fought, and the rewards will be sweet. The BSCI is largely considered the hardest of the Cisco exams, although the new TSHOOT exam may give me a run for my money (if I don’t take the ONT and ISCW before 31 July, of course).
A short overview of the study materials I used, in no particular order:
- Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI) Authorized Self-Study Guide, 3rd Ed.
- Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI) Official Exam Guide, 4th Ed.
- Cisco Learning Network
- Cisco Bible
- Packet Life
Next stop, BCMSN. See you there!