BSCI weaknesses & passing the exam

Unanswered Question
Apr 24th, 2008

So, I am studying for the BSCI... I'm finding IPv6 and multicast to be my weakest areas. Does anyone have any good sources for study materials on those two areas?



I have this problem too.
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mjostler01 Thu, 04/24/2008 - 16:52

Hi Julian, I passed the BSCI yesterday with 922 first attempt. I found using the cisco exam guides and CCNP video mentor by Kevin Wallace helped me out with the mulitcast routing side. Also I used boson Netsim 7 for the labs they are good as they get you thinking about what you are trying to configure. As for the IPV6 side I found the cisco exam guide easy to understand with IPV6. Any group of leading 0's can be replaced with : and if there is a group of o's ie 0000.0000 can be replaced with :: The chapter on IPV6 I read about 3 or 4 times so it sunk into the brain.



jrensink78 Fri, 04/25/2008 - 04:43

Where do you seem to be having the most trouble with these topics? With how they work, or with how to configure/troubleshoot them?

I used the 2 Cisco Press books for my studying along with the lab companion and Dynamips for hands-on practice. I also used the practice exam that came with the CiscoPress books. I ended up doing fairly well on those sections, and I really had no prior experience with them.

julianunderwood Fri, 04/25/2008 - 06:17

Thanks for the response guys...

I find multicast a bit confusing regarding PIM sparse and dense modes and how a RP is "elected" or chosen or however it works. Also a bit fuzzy on how different multicast addresses can actually be the same one.

IPv6 I understand the basics with zero compression, etc. Tunneling I understand quite well. OSPF and IPv6 routing I'm a little fuzzy on too.

I'll check out the Cisco video mentor video. I've been using the Cisco BSCI study book. Sybex CCNP study book. Chris Bryant videos and anything else I can get my hands on.

Is there another Cisco press book I should be checking out besides the BSCI one which comes in the "CCNP 4 book pack"?



jrensink78 Fri, 04/25/2008 - 06:46

For the BSCI, CiscoPress also has a Self Study book,which is essentially the BSCI Cisco class material edited in book form. It goes into more detial on topics and also covers some topics not neccesarily on the test to give a more complete understanding of some topics. I read both the Self Study book and the Exam Prep book (which came in your 4 pack). When I was re-reading to get better insight into areas that I was struggling, I primarily read from the Self Study book.

Getting some hands-on practice using a lab or Dynamips will help with your understanding of OSPFv3 and IPv6 routing. PIM practice really needs both switches and routers for complete practicing. I did not have that available to me, but I found that my book studying was sufficient when it came to the test.

julianunderwood Mon, 04/28/2008 - 15:15

Is this the Self Study book that you are referring?

Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI) (Authorized Self-Study Guide) (3rd Edition) (Self-Study Guide) (Hardcover)

I've been using Dynamips... I will go for your suggestion and get the self-study book and possibly the video mentor also.

Out of curiosity how much time did you spend studying for the BSCI before you took it? I think I've spent a good 6 months so far and am "almost" ready (maybe one more month).



jim_berlow Mon, 04/28/2008 - 15:32

Six months on the BSCI, seriously? Sounds like you are badly in need of better preparation materials. Do you have at least a small lab to practice your configurations?

I studied for about 2 months (including test prep) and passed on first attempt. The self study guide is the best way to prepare (the cert guides I think assume you already know the material and just need to "review"). Also, be sure that you have good test prep - I'm talking about prep software such as, measureup, etc. (no - these are not brain dumps).

julianunderwood Mon, 04/28/2008 - 15:37

Yeah, I'm a bit slow :-)--but I'm adamant about passing the first time.

Small lab = dynagen/dynamips.

Which test prep software do you think is better, the boson or the measureup one?

You're the second person to mention the self-study guide, so I will def. pick that up.



jim_berlow Mon, 04/28/2008 - 16:08

Its all good, Julian. You'll get past this thing.

I couldn't think of the company I used when I posted before, but I remember now. The company I used was They are a little more spendy than Boson or measureup, but they do offer a 100% pass guarantee (and they used to be the official Cisco practice test vendor). I don't think there is an official practice test vendor any longer.

So, yes get the self study guide. Start an engineering notebook and enter drawings, configs, and other things you learn. Practice the labs you see in the book. And finally get the practice tests and repeat them until you are passing those tests at 90% or better. Then you are probably ready to tackle the real deal.

Good Luck!

jrensink78 Mon, 04/28/2008 - 16:32

In terms of hands-on, dynamips works great. Grab the self-study guide.

I wouldn't put a lot of pressure on yourself to pass on the first attempt. Failures are one of the best learning opportunities that we have. It took me 2 times to pass the test. Failing the test the first time was a good learning experience. I knew how close I was to passing, and where I needed to study more.

julianunderwood Mon, 04/28/2008 - 16:38

Very true--I've had some of my best learning breakthroughs through failures.

Grabbing self-study guide now.

Thanks guys for all the support and great input!



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