The CCNP, CCDP, and CCIP certifications are becoming increasingly popular. These certifications, which have as their foundation the CCNA certification, form the second rung in the ladder to the coveted CCIE certification. The BSCI exam (642-801) is one of the exams that you must pass to become a CCNP, CCDP, or CCIP. This book will help you prepare for that exam. Professional-level certification opens doors to career opportunities and is a prerequisite for other Cisco certifications, as well. Generally, passing the BSCI exam means that you have mastered the concepts and implementation skills necessary to build a complex IP network of Cisco routers.
The CCNP, CCDP, and CCIP certifications are often referred to as the professional-level certifications . For more information on the differences among the three professional-level certifications and the latest on Cisco exams and certifications, begin at the Cisco Career Certification page (http://www.cisco.com/go/training) at the Cisco web site. From there, you can navigate to the BSCI exam.
The BSCI exam is a computer-based exam, with multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and list- in-order questions. You can take the exam at any Prometric (http://www.2test.com) or Pearson VUE testing center (http://www.pearsonvue.com). Your testing center can tell you the exact length of the exam. (Be aware that when you register for the exam, you might be told to allow a certain amount of time to take the exam that is longer than the testing time indicated by the testing software when you begin. This is because Prometric wants you to allow for some time to get settled and take the tutorial about the testing engine.)
The BSCI exam is not an easy exam. You cannot simply read one book and expect to pass it. In fact, the exam is surprisingly difficult; this is so that Cisco can be sure that everyone who passes the test thoroughly understands the subject matter on a conceptual level and is not just good at taking exams. Cisco is very interested in making sure that passing proves that you have the skills to actually implement the features, not just talk about them.
The exam is difficult in subject matter and also in format. You can expect multiple-choice questions, for example, some with multiple answers. You can also expect questions requiring you to pick the correct answer from output screens and configurations. Since 2001, Cisco Systems has also incorporated simulations into their associate-level and professional-level exams. Be prepared to configure a router or perform other internetworking functions while taking the exam.
Another difficult aspect of the exam format is that you are not allowed to go back and change an answer. Candidates who are unsure about the answer will be forced to guess rather than have an extra 15 minutes to think about it at the end of the exam. Those who really know most of the answers will be rewarded by Cisco's attempts to preserve the integrity of the CCNP/CCDP/CCIP certification. The professional-level certification will mean to everyone that you are highly qualified at the subject at hand.
Although this is a difficult exam, networking professionals can expect to pass if they meet the prerequisites and spend the proper amount of time on training, on-the-job experience, and study. As with most certification exams, you might not pass the first time. Taking the exam a second time, however, is likely to be easier because you have a better idea of what to expect.
There are many questions on the BSCI exam that you might already know through your professional background and experiences, if you meet the prerequisites. This book offers you the opportunity to solidify and build on that knowledge as you make your final preparations to take the BSCI exam. The concepts and commands covered on the exam are not secrets locked in some vaultthe information is available in many places and forms, including this book. So, although the exam is difficult, passing is certainly attainable with study.