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The RHCE certification exam is a hands-on exam. As such, it is respected throughout the industry as a sign of genuine practical knowledge. If you pass, you will be head and shoulders above the candidate who has passed only a 'standard' multiple-choice certification exam.
There are two parts to the RHCE exam, as follows. The requirements are detailed in the Exam Readiness Checklist later in this Introduction.
Section I Troubleshooting and System Maintenance: 2.5 hours. As described in the Red Hat Exam Prep guide, RHCE candidates need to meet the requirements for both Red Hat certifications. RHCE candidates must complete all five RHCT Troubleshooting and System Maintenance problems within the first hour. RHCEs must also 'successfully complete enough additional RHCE items to earn a score of 80 or higher overall on the section.' As there are five 'optional problems,' you'll need to complete three of five of these RHCE-level problems as well. For simplicity, I refer to Section I throughout the book as the 'Troubleshooting and System Maintenance' exam.
Section II Installation and Configuration: 3.0 hours. As described in the Red Hat Exam Prep guide, RHCE candidates need to meet the requirements for both the RHCT and RHCE. RHCE candidates must get a grade of 70 or higher on both the RHCT and RHCE components of the Installation and Configuration exam. For simplicity, I refer to Section II throughout the book as the 'Installation and Configuration' exam.
Most certifications today are based on multiple-choice exams. These types of exams are relatively inexpensive to set up and easy to proctor. Unfortunately, many people without real-world skills are good at taking multiple-choice exams. This results in problems on the job with 'certified' engineers, who have an image as 'paper tigers' who do not have any real-world skills.
In response, Red Hat wanted to develop a certification program that matters. For the most part, they have succeeded with the RHCE.
Linux administrators frequently debug computers with problems. The challenges on the Troubleshooting and System Maintenance exam are based on real-world problems. As the typical Linux administrator has to work through multiple challenges on a daily basis, the RHCE Troubleshooting and System Maintenance exam provides a credible measure of real-world skills.
Linux administrators sometimes have to install Linux on a computer. Depending on the configuration, they may need to install Linux from a central source through a network. Installing Linux is not enough to make it useful. Administrators need to know how to configure Linux: add users, install and configure services, create firewalls, and more.
The overall pass rate for RHCE exam candidates has historically hovered around 60 percent. However, this includes candidates who are taking the exam for the first time and the second time (and later). In other words, the actual first-time pass rate may be well under 50 percent.
I've taken the RHCE course (RH300) and exam. Everyone in my class has practical experience administering Linux and/or Unix servers. However, I think the pass rate in my class closely matched the published statistics.
|On The Job|| |
This exam is a Red Hat exam. Knowledge of System V or BSD-based Unix is certainly helpful, as well as experience with services like Apache, SMB, NFS, DNS, iptables, and DHCP. But it is important to know how to set up, configure, install, and debug these services under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.
Work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. Install it on a computer that you don't need for any other purpose. Configure the services described in this book. Find ways to make Linux unbootable, study the characteristics of the problem, and find different ways to fix the problem.
As you go through this book, you'll have the opportunity to install RHEL 3 several times. If you have more than one computer, you'll be able to install RHEL 3 over a network connection. Then you can work with the different network services. Test out each service as you configure it, preferably from another computer on your network. Testing your work becomes especially important when you start working with the security features of Linux.
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