Yes, the time has finally come! Last week we heard from IPexpert CEO Wayne Lawson himself over on groupstudy saying how IPexpert would be releasing a *FREE* core questions simulator designed to give us somewhat of an idea of what the new open ended questions might be like. Mike Down from IPexpert was kind enough to give me a preview of the product for review. It should be released to the public tomorrow according to Mike.

First, the application is a .air which utilizes a product called Adobe Air. I had actually never heard of it. Browse on over to adobe, because you will need to grab the program (free) and install it to run the quizzer.

My first run through the simulator I scored a disappointing 65%. I will say however, that about 10 questions or so were actually right, but were marked wrong due to the grading interpretation. Unfortunately, the new questions in the lab are “open ended” so there is really only one way to design a simulator, and that is by matching strings. So in other words, if you don’t type EXACTLY what it is looking for, you will be marked wrong.

The application itself is very nice and sleek looking. Here is a screenshot! The quiz is 100 questions.

screen

Once you type in your answer and and click “Answer” the program immediately tells you if you are correct. If you are incorrect, it will give you the right answer, and go on to the next question automatically. I found this a little frustrating, because if I got an answer wrong, while I was still looking at the question and trying to figure out WHY it was wrong it went on to the next question. I would prefer it sit there until you hit “next” or something like that. There is also no option to go back to a question, and no links to documentation, or anything explaining the answers.

Generally, I found the questions pretty easy which is a good thing. The questions I missed lugitimately the first time through were mostly little “gotchas” like timers or multicast addresses (for instance the default PIM hello time…??? I guess it is 30 seconds). I also got a little beat up on QoS.

I ran through a 2nd time and put down a solid 86% even with the simulation marking wrong some of my correct answers. The 2nd time through I made some notes that I think could be useful for the developers.

Here are some of the questions that were marked wrong for me, along with my answer and what the simulation was looking for. Some of these could probably be fixed pretty easily to include more user input strings.

Internal routers in which type of OSPF Area will not receive any Type 3 LSAs by default?
I said: Totally Stubby
answer: nssa

This is the one question I am debating the answer to. A Stub area does not receive any Type-5 external LSAs. A Totally-Stubby area will not accept Type-5 external, or Type-3 LSAs. A NSSA will not accept Type-5 external LSAs, but will allow redistribution into the area. Redistributed routes will be Type-7 LSAs and be converted to Type-5 LSAs by the ABR. A Totally-NSSA will not accept type-5 external LSAs, or type-3 summary LSAs and will also take redistributed routes. So I guess my beef is I think that either totally stubby, or totally nssa would be correct answers, and nssa is NOT a correct answer

Which OSPF network type is assigned to Loopback interfaces by default?
I said: Stub
answer: stub host

Which OSPF network type is Cisco proprietary?

I said: point-to-multipoint non-broadcast

answer: point to multipoint non-broadcast

Which type of OSPF External routes increment cost and will be visible in the backbone area?
I said: E1
answer: E1, Type 1

Which PIM mode requires the use of a Rendezvous Point?
I said: sparse-mode
answer: PIM sparse-mode

Which are the names of the two ICMP packet types used when sending Ping traffic?
I said: echo,echo-reply
answer: Echo,Echo-Reply

What are the frame-relay LMI types?
I said: q.933a,ansi,cisco
answer: CISCO,ANSI,q.933a

What are the frame-relay frame types?
I said: Cisco,IETF
answer: Cisco, IETF

What is the default Bc on a frame relay DLCI running Frame Relay Traffic Shaping if no map class is configured, in bits?
I said: 7000 bits
answer: 7000

What percentage of bandwidth is assigned to the class-default class by default in CBWFQ?
I said: 25%
answer: 25

Given the access-list 192.168.0.0 0.0.2.255 will the ip address 192.168.3.55 be allowed
I said: no
answer: No

All in all a pretty good looking and helpful product from the boys over at IPexpert. And hey, for free what do you want? : )