I Failed ENARSI Today.... Badly

Today’s ENARSI exam left me feeling utterly defeated. Despite diligently preparing with resources like NetworkLessons, the OCG, Boson practice exams, and extensive lab work—having even successfully tackled the ENCORE exam—I found myself grappling with a different beast altogether.

The exam’s time constraints hit me hard. Unlike the Boson exams, which I aced, or the CCNA and ENCORE tests, the ENARSI questions were lengthier, often requiring multiple readings and careful examination of complex exhibits. Additionally, the inclusion of three labs significantly extended my testing duration, leaving me struggling to keep pace.

What’s particularly disheartening is the misalignment between my interests and the exam content. I thrive on topics like OSPF LSAs, BGP communities, and EIGRP metrics—subjects extensively covered in my training materials. However, the exam seemed determined to test me on obscure details like the implicit-null MPLS label for IPv4 or updating the default-gateway on a DNAC appliance using maglev-config.

Feeling disillusioned, I’m at a loss for how to prepare for such seemingly random questions. Simply throwing money at retakes isn’t a sustainable solution, especially considering the hefty exam fee. It’s a frustrating cycle that’s pushing me dangerously close to giving up altogether :frowning:

Hello Jamie

First of all, let me encourage you by telling you that failing is part of the process. A large portion of exam-takers have failed at some point in their attempts at Cisco certification exams. I am one of them. I failed CCNA on my first try (and on my second, but don’t tell anyone!! :shushing_face:). Approach “not passing” not as a failure, but as a learning experience. Now you have more insight into the exam, and are in a better position to regroup, reevaluate, and prepare once again for your next try.

Granted, it doesn’t feel good, and for a few days it will sting, but in the end, it will make you more prepared.

What benefits do you have now? Experience. You’ve already shared with us valuable insight that can be used to help prepare you for your next try. The time constraints, the focus on labs, and the focus on less “mainstream” topics. All of this gives you valuable insight into how to prepare for your next attempt.

Now having said that, how should you prepare? You have a very valid point when you say you’re at a loss as to how to prepare knowing that there will be obscure details in questions… My suggestion is to do the following:

  1. Be confident in the content you know. OSPF, BGP, EIGRP and so on are all important parts of the exam, so gain confidence from your knowledge in those topics.
  2. Go over the exam blueprint once again, and identify the areas you are weakest in. Use your knowledge of the types of questions you had trouble with in your 1st attempt to compile a list of topics that you need to review and refresh your knowledge on.
  3. Try to speak with others who have recently taken the exam to get a wider experience base as well as a better feel for the kinds of questions you will need to focus on.
  4. Don’t give up on practice exams. Try to determine which practice exams are the closest to your actual experience, and focus on those.

I know it’s not easy, especially if you feel like you’re close to giving up, but it’s worth it not to. Keep going and the rewards will always outweigh the difficulty. I hope these thoughts will help you through this difficult time, and be an inspiration to both you and others reading these posts.

I hope this has been helpful!

Laz

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