This exam has been one of the most talked about (bitched about) exams for a while now as it was declared to be riddled with errors and generally NOT passable. The great news is, based on my experience today – this has changed!
Have some patience and explore the many valuable links and resources awaiting you from the exam homepage below. You need patience because some of them can be a bit hidden across several different websites. But this starting point is still a great one.
The 400-101 Exam
You can expect 100 questions on this 400-101 exam with a passing score of about 804. You have 120 minutes for the exam. Time pressure is NOT an issue. I say this even as a very fast test taker and an author of a text on how to pass.
The exam breaks down accurately into the following sections. Notice the percentage breakdown of the number of questions you will face! This seemed very accurate per my experience with the actual exam.
- 1.0 Network Principles 10%
- 2.0 Layer 2 Technologies 13%
- 3.0 Layer 3 Technologies 37%
- 4.0 VPN Technologies 13%
- 5.0 Infrastructure Security 5%
- 6.0 Infrastructure Services 12%
- 7.0 Evolving Technologies 10%
So the 400-101 exam is biased toward L3? YES! Sorry for all of you that were excited about Evolving Technologies! Here are the topics in that L3 domain if you want to start your studying right away in the most important area:
- 3.1 Addressing technologies
- 3.2 Layer 3 multicast
- 3.3 Fundamental routing concepts
- 3.4 RIP [v2 and v6]
- 3.5 EIGRP [for IPv4 and IPv6]
- 3.6 OSPF [v2 and v3]
- 3.7 BGP
- 3.8 ISIS [for IPv4 and IPv6]
Know these – and know them well. I can confirm plenty of questions from each subdomain were there! Also, be sure to remember new features in addition to “classic” capabilities.
What types of questions can you expect? Here they are:
- Simple multiple choice – this is the most common question type you face
- Multiple correct – multiple choice – you will not face any “Choose all that apply”; you will always be told exactly how many are correct
- Drag and drop – I love these!
Here are some important things to know about how the exam functions:
- There is a countdown timer in the top right corner! Keep an eye on it! While I do not think time will be an issue, be aware of how many questions remain, and how much time you have left.
- There is no ability to go back. Once you click next to answering your question – THAT IS IT!
- There is no review of your answers possible at the end of the test.
- There is a comment button if you want to send Cisco a nasty note about the question. 🙂
Here are tips and various thoughts I have for you on this exam:
- For each section of the exam blueprint, I am making free study resource links available for you. For example – see here: IOS XE These really should be all you need to pass, especially if you are recertifying as an existing CCIE in R&S!
- Resist the temptation to do most of your studying in the blueprint areas you are already well versed on! Attack those areas OUTSIDE of your comfort zone. For me, these were:
- Implement and troubleshoot PPP
- Describe WAN rate-based ethernet circuits
- Describe 802.1x
- Network services
- Internet of Things
- Be ready to be a bit off balance with the level of difficulty variation in questions. For example, you might get two that are CCNA level on STP, but then get one straight out of the documentation that really makes you think and think hard!
- Some of the more difficult questions are actually easier than you think if you really read carefully and examine the exhibits closely.
- I found no errors or grammatical mistakes or technical errors in the exam. If those did exist for this exam as reported, they have been cleaned up.
- Enjoy the study for this exam and the experience! Outside of the $450, I really did love refreshing on these technologies as I prepared.
I am sure you have questions for me if you are still reading at this point. Hit me with those in the comments area below! Thanks!