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Trouble Spots

In the SWITCH exam, you might encounter several drag-and-drop questions. To earn all the points for these, you have to complete tasks such as putting a list of things in the correct order or organizing a list of things into groups. Although this might sound simple, it usually isn’t. A good memory for details is required.

The exam also includes one or more scenario-based questions. Just one of these questions includes a long problem description that sets up the scenario, a network diagram, and one or more simulated switches that require your interaction. You will probably have to connect to each simulated switch and enter configuration commands, based on the goals presented in the description text. The scenarios usually require you to verify that each feature or function you have configured is working correctly.

First, a scenario-based question is a time burner. It’s just one “question” out of the possible exam questions, but it consists of so much interaction and so many configuration steps that you’ll spend quite a bit of time on it. How much time will you (or should you) spend on one? That’s difficult to answer because it isn’t clear how many more scenario-based questions you will get as the exam progresses.

The scenario-based questions can also become somewhat of a juggling act. The exam screen doesn’t have enough area to display the description, network diagram, and simulated switch consoles simultaneously. As a result, you have to toggle between reading, viewing the diagram, and entering commands on each switch, as you work through the scenario question and all its parts.

Be aware that Cisco doesn’t publish the required passing score for the SWITCH exam. There is also some discrepancy about the number of exam questions—depending on which of the Cisco exam descriptions you read, there could be 45‒55 or 45‒65 questions. You won’t know the exact number until you sit for the exam.

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