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If you are following Group Study you will see an increasing trend in people reporting they’ve failed on account to the OEQ. Now usually one would think ok maybe they just weren’t prepared. Unfortunately the people now posting that they have failed all seem to have years of experience with a ton of time training as well.

Now at Cisco Live they told us the OEQ’s were CCNA/NP basic level theory questions. People are saying that the questions they are seeing are way outisde of that. Has Cisco just run out of questions to ask? Are they grabbing everything from left field now? How is this going to continue into version 4.0? Are enough people going to just stop taking the lab outright? There seems to be a pretty big growing movement towards that right now on the list. They seem to have a point. Does Cisco realize what people are paying to come take the lab? If you want to stop brain dumpers just ask basic core material! A EIGRP Hello Packet is used for what? That would seem enough to fail the people just dumping there way through no? I know a few people that have failed on the OEQ section and there is no way they should of failed. They are top notch people with years of experience and training. Bootcamps and everything were attended. Sooner or later Cisco is going to have to rethink this…

Comments

16 Responses to “The OEQ Dilema”

  1. Yandy Ramirez on September 5th, 2009 3:24 pm

    I don’t think the questions themselves are difficult. For the most part I think it’s the Cisco way of asking these questions. What is the Cisco answer or Interpretation to a question. I’m speaking exclusively on theory as I have yet to attempt the lab with the OEQs.

    But no Cisco written or otherwise exam is that difficult, the difficult part comes at interpreting what they want and how they want it answered.

  2. David on September 5th, 2009 10:19 pm

    I took Narbik’s class with you, and I failed on the OEQ. I found the wording of the questions quite unclear.

    Honestly, the right place for OEQ is on the written exam. The lab exam is the right place for troubleshooting and configurations. If Cisco wants to prevent braindumpers, just bring back physical cabling and configurations, and toss a bad cable or two in the pile.

  3. CCIE Journey on September 5th, 2009 10:27 pm

    @ Yandy – No idea why they can’t just ask the question in plain english…

    @ David – Good to hear from you! Sorry about the lab attempt… I will be joining you in 30 days tomorrow ;)If you didn’t make it through the OEQ’s I am toast 😛

    There was a good suggestion that they should just have the proctors ask you why you used a certain solution on your lab. Whether this is during the lab or after…

  4. Yandy Ramirez on September 5th, 2009 11:44 pm

    no idea why they can’t ask in plain english..they never have. I don’t agree with the questions at all, difficult or not. But that suggestion you just quoted sounds like a pretty good idea.

  5. H paydar on September 6th, 2009 2:55 am

    Injustice is that one takes easy questions of their database and one takes hard ones.
    At least comparing two of my friends.
    I have the exam on 28th Sep and think that chance has been added to the factors that you can pass ccie with!
    Seeing the OEQs,there are also some ambiguities on the questions ,however they they`re just looking for the keywords in your answer.

  6. Darby Weaver on September 6th, 2009 10:17 am

    Hey…

    The OEQ is great – but all CCIE’s – including current CCIE’s need to ride this train.

    🙂

    Seriously, I asked an reputed OEQ of quite a few notables… and they did not respond in the 30 minutes and when they did they noted a symptom and still failed to nail the “why” part of the exam.

    Quite frankly – if Cisco plans on decertifying the guys I asked…

    It’s time to shut down the CCIE Program because it has failed.

    I can mention names but they know who they are.

    Truth is I only asked one question – had I asked the other 3 I suspect my esteemed test group would have gotten those questions correct.

    However if they got two obscure questions on a common protocol and faltered just one iota on re-cert…

    We’d need some new CCIE DEMI-GODS to worship cause we’d have lost most of our favorites to such a calamity.

  7. MeToo on September 7th, 2009 1:36 pm

    Maybe we should start a petition among CCIE candidates asking for a change in the OEQ.

    At the very least it seems that they should increase the number of questions so that two measly question wouldn’t sink you.

  8. Mike on September 8th, 2009 3:13 pm

    I failed on the OEQs as well, I am probably one of the dudes you’re referring to.

    It totally sucked and I can’t tell you what my questions were obviously because of the NDA rules.

    Cisco has posted no example questions; samples would help alleviate some anxiety and give folks direction on how to study for them.

    I haven’t taken an NP level exam in years – I have recertified my NP since 2003 with the CCIE written exam. I don’t know if the 3 hard balls I got in my exam were CCNP level or not but from what I recall of my own CCNP certification – they were not.

    It was upsetting and frustrating, I knew I had failed before I even opened the lab. If cisco wanted to keep brain dumpers out – then they should not let those who do not pass the OEQs take the lab – period. Fail the OEQs, go home. Letting folks who fail the OEQs go onto the lab does not prevent them from memorizing the lab and dumping it.

    It prevents those who have read those dumps of course but that’s it – I guess there is some value in that but I would think that the Written is the place to implement these changes.

    Oh well, it’s their certification – not ours. They can do with it as they please. We are the ones who have to cope with that.

  9. CCIE Journey on September 8th, 2009 3:39 pm

    You know they told us at Cisco Live and when these first came out that if we properly prepped for the lab they would be easy… Now it seems you have to have the whole blueprint theory memorized…

    Sorry to hear about your lab attempt Mike :/

  10. Dave on September 10th, 2009 8:37 am

    It took me 3 attempts to complete the lab successfully. My first attempt I was just unprepared (prior to OEQ). My second attempt I rocked the configuration part but Cisco did not like two of my OEQ responses (although they did not seem tricky). My third attempt the OEQ’s were tough and I have major doubts on one question.

    My view here is that they are not CCNA level at all but could be CCNP. It just seems like they have some pretty obscure stuff on there.

    My advice is take your time and have a complete answer. Write as much as you think is necessary. I think my second attempt I didn’t write enough.

    Cisco is really doing themselves a disservice with the grading being all or nothing. Simply giving partial credit and expecting those missed points to be made up on the rest of the test would be a better way to approach it.

    Additionally, they provide _NO_ feedback for that all or nothing. If they aren’t going to use the questions again then there should be some feedback or at least a method to get a re-grade on those.

  11. John Spaulding on September 15th, 2009 4:05 pm

    I failed becuase of the OEQ…I raised enough hell for them to grant me a re-read that they did. It got pushed to the CCIE Lab manager and 3 weeks later I was CCIE. She over looked the questions with two other poeple and said that I should have passed. Just raises alot of questions regarding these. I was confident that I got 3 out fo 4 of them right.

    CCIE #25143

  12. CCIE Journey on September 15th, 2009 6:30 pm

    @ John

    That is kind of worrisome. I know at Live they said after our lab ends here in the states they are busy setting up the labs for the next day. Now our labs get looked over by the proctors across the pond. Wondering if they read the OEQ’s too over there, or are they graded here…

  13. mostafa on January 6th, 2010 11:03 am

    I had failed in the OEQ question as well on December, i take this OEQ an checl with two CCIE guys and they thought it can answered with many ways, i think we should ask the proctor for more clues and as Dave say above you had to write more because i write little, even the proctor told all of the candidates before the exam to write the answer without explanation.

  14. mostafa on January 6th, 2010 11:03 am

    I had failed in the OEQ question as well on December, i take this OEQ and check with two CCIE guys and they thought it can answered with many ways, i think we should ask the proctor for more clues and as Dave say above you had to write more because i write little, even the proctor told all of the candidates before the exam to write the answer without explanation.

  15. amlendu on March 17th, 2010 5:47 am

    I am seriously thinking is it worth spending the money for the lab if the result is hinged on 4 questions which could have any amount of explanation or answers.

  16. Darby Weaver on March 19th, 2010 1:20 am

    In my humble opinion the OEQ have been a crap shoot all along.

    I really think they should be abolished across the board.

    Got a dumb idea… I can’t break my NDA of course…

    But I can write some insane OEQ’s and lab them out over on my blog.

    Not a bad way to kill off time.

    Darby Weaver

    http://www.darbyslogs.blogpsot.com

    I may have some free time this weekend.

    Maybe we just need to have people like ourselves write questions on everything that is OEQ-able…

    Sure we still have to do the OEQ, but collectively we can produce more that under 20 proctors ever could.

    Might be a great learning experience.

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