Telepresence install and setup exam 642-188

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Mar 18th, 2010
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hello I have recently taken the Cisco 642-188 exam three time in 3 weeks and have failed.

This exam has alot of errors. The questions sometimes ask about telepresence in general but the answers are model specific. Also there has been question with the exact same answers in the pool of answers. For instance one question was for 2 of the best answers and one of the best answers was duplicated twice in the answer pool word for word. So How do you pick the right answer? I know this is a new exam but someone needs to go over it with a fine tooth comb. I feel I could have passed it if the test was written correctly.  I feel know there were about 20 questions that needed to be re-written. Has anyone else seen this problem?

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Overall Rating: 4 (2 ratings)
gogasca Wed, 03/24/2010 - 20:01
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Hi David,

Thanks for your feedback I have passed this information to one of the Exams proctors

They will verify/ check this

Thanks again

Hi, I have seen no update to this message.

I am about to undertake the exam and would like to know if the exam has been fixed.

The cost of these exams is not insigniicant and I would hate to think I was wasting my time and money if the answers are still wrong.

Also, is there a mechanism for review of the exam if there is a dispute with answers.


harrisn Tue, 03/30/2010 - 15:35
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I just took this exam and I agree that it is very flawed.  In addition to some questions and answers not being written very well, there are a number of questions involving electrical, environmental, acoustic, and lighting that are not covered at all in the recommended preparation materials.  I understand that Cisco wants to ensure that installers are qualified, but howabout providing a resource that one can actually prepare with.

dwilk2008 Tue, 03/30/2010 - 15:54
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Thanks Harrisn for your input.  There are alot of questions that are not in the material cisco suggested to read.

I am sure if they go through the exam question pool in detail that they would have to change or just through some

of those questions. I have logged several comments during the exam and am waiting for cisco to respond.

gogasca Tue, 05/25/2010 - 17:53
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This is the material used for TP 642-185 exam:

I know that both exams are different and 188 covers more in detail RRA process

You may want to take a look at Chapter 8 of TelePresence Book nad last portion of these materials (4 and 5)

  1. TelePresence book
  2. SRND Guide


   3. Certification training under Certification website in

Video 101: Introduction to Video Concepts  - Online Training (optional)
      Troubleshooting Cisco TelePresence - Online Training

4. Room design:

Design Guides and Whitepapers

Room Requirements Guide

  Six NEW Technical White Papers on Room Design

  1. RRA Assessment Process

  2. Acoustics and Lighting Basics

  3. RRA Tools and Proper Usage

  4. Environment, Power, HVAC

  5. Acoustics

  6. Lighting

  7. Continuity

  8. Site Survey

5.  Cisco E-Service Traning

Hi ,

I am aware of all this, however, could you please answer my questions regarding the exam

I am about to undertake the exam and would like to know if the exam has been fixed.

The cost of these exams is not insigniicant and I would hate to think I was wasting my time and money if the answers are still wrong.

Also, is there a mechanism for review of the exam if there is a dispute with answers.


gogasca Wed, 05/26/2010 - 15:14
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Hi Bill I have passed this message to the Exam PM, she will be able to check on this.

What I do know is that all the comments that you submit are reviewed at some point, you will hear back from us soon in regards this with a better answer.

mcotherman Sat, 06/18/2011 - 04:48
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All - The test is not fixed, even a year later.

gogasca - I have had issues with Cisco cert/specialization tests since 1998, I have been an active CCIE for over 10 years.. I just took this 642-188 test yesterday after doing the PEC training and the troubleshooting videos referenced by another post that mentioned issues with this exam. I can say with certainty that things have not changed... I missed by a 13 points, which is probably 1 question. I can recall very clearly many questions that are *improper* in one way or another...   More than enough to allow me to pass if the questions were valid... If the question asks for three answers to be marked and there are four valid answers and I can prove it with a reference on in less than 10 seconds of searching, it should have never gotten past the proofers. I have filled out comments for 13 years and NEVER received any response from Cisco...  Some of these comments were scathing. I used to complain until I got a voucher, but I have given up doing that, not worth my time... Mentioning my issues here will at least warn others that the exams are flawed.

I have even sat in on sessions at Networkers regarding certification exam security and loudly voiced my opininion that if the test were proofed by a competent person, there would be less demand for the 'study guides' found on the internet. The people in that panel holding the session were unwilling to believe that the tests could have those kind of errors..  I am happy to discuss actual examples in a private, proper environment with any exam proofer that reads this.

trunyan Tue, 07/05/2011 - 12:40
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I would like to better understand what you call "improper" when it comes to the questions.  I think one of the issues with the certifications is that candidates are taking the test with little or no hands on experience with the product.    I will tell you that comments left on this exam are reviewed and have caused questions and answers to be re-examined.   I know the actual impact of the comments arent always apparent to the end user but they are reviewed and changes are made.  Watch for an upcoming IP Expert or Facebook session this Fall which I plan on hosting on how to prepare for these test.  If you are planning on taking the test again be sure to read through the SRND listed above and the actual product install guides covered in the exam.   I am tied by the same non-disclosures that you are when it comes to discussing the test.  Where ever possible I've tried to keep the distractors as distractors  and not as another right answer when I have reviewed or authored the questions.   Keep in mind that some answers may be right for product A but not at all accurate for product B - so when considering the answers you have to make sure they apply to the product specifically questioned.  I did not author all the questions but the ones I have and the ones I have reviewed can all be answered from materials off of CCO.  I cannot address any issues with the training materials although I believe they are also being addressed.   Hopefully you should see some improvement soon in the questions based upon the comments and cases that have been opened thus far.


mcotherman Tue, 07/05/2011 - 13:20
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Improper is a question whose answer is dependant upon the software version and that software version is not given..

Improper is asking what is the first step and then having one answer that is encompassed by another answer.. both are right, one is not 'more right' or a 'better answer'..

Improper is asking for three required things for somethign to be correctly configured, and not only are there 4 answers that are correct, and 4 things that need to be done, there are 4 variables to the command line that does what you are trying to do...

Improper is asking a question based upon material in one reference, and having two other references contradict it.

Improper is making a test taker decide between two answers, one that looks like there is a typo and the other that is 99% correct

Improper is expecting a high level of knowledge from a test taker, then not having the coutesy to refer to a part of a system by the proper name

Improper is doing a blind find and replace on 'Tandberg' with 'Cisco' (more for the 279 exam)

Improper is having a command line command have a slight diffference between to products, and nto beign specific as to which when asking for the correct syntax for the command

Improper is not taking the time to undestand that when Cisco says somethind is 'acceptable', it is not 'recommended', and then making a question that refers to something that is 'acceptable' as being 'recommended'

Have you taken this particular exam?

MARTIN STREULE Thu, 07/14/2011 - 09:33
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100% agree.

These tests are really, really bad - at least consistently

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPad App

On 26/05/2010 gogasca posted this

26/05/2010 4:14 PM (in response to William Sheldon)

Re: Telepresence install and setup exam 642-188

Hi Bill I have passed this message to the Exam PM, she will be able to check on this.

What I do know is that all the comments that you submit are reviewed at some point, you will hear back from us soon in regards this with a better answer.

Nothing heard back. This is the biggest problem.

I have been actively building TP systems for 4 years having rolled out in excess of 100 endpoints of all types ,including the NPA, RRA and server buids, so believe I am qualified to talk regarding this matter.

I eventually passed the exam at a second try. After the first attempt, I had a better idea of what to study and recap and sat about 2 weeks after 1 fail.

There are several questions on the exam, that are not covered by the training material as such and are really 'experience' questions, ie. you know from your experience what the answer is.

This is simialr to the Tandberg equivalents, where  you have to  determine the answer, rather than have it spoonfed from the course.

This exam should not be undertaken by anyone that has not actually been through a full TP delivery, Tthis imeans not only the actual build, but the Room assesment and infrastructure setup. Experience if troubleshooting helps as well.

I had the same issued with the 642-185, posted comments during the exam and opened a case at Cisco Certsupport.

They forwarded the problems to the BU for analysis but after several months of asking questions I still haven't received an answer (failed with 5 points).

After escalating to our CAM, I received a voucher to have another free try to pass for an exam full of errors....

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

trunyan Tue, 07/05/2011 - 12:08
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I highly recommend anyone considering either of these test should study the SRND and the install/admin guides for the TelePresence products that are covered by the test. 

nick.mueller Thu, 07/14/2011 - 22:00
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Have you taken this exam trunyan?  It is utterly ridiculous, and it hasn't changed.  You can study the SRND and PEC trainings and get quite a few things correct, but there are still questions referencing out-of-date 1.5 and 1.6 technology, much less the questions that are actually either worded wrongly or literally have incorrect "correct" answers.

trunyan Fri, 07/15/2011 - 07:51
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When test are written they are based upon the current software and hardware releases at that time.  Over time the test are updated but it is difficult to keep the test up to date with the most recent releases of software and hardware. This is why it is important to know what software versions and products are being used for the test.   It may not be a perfect solution but it is not a unique issue to this specific test.   I was one of many Subject Matter Experts who helped create the 185 and 188 test.  I have taken enough Cisco certs over the years to know that I am not a fan of multiple right answers nor do I like questions that play word games to confuse people.  I do believe that questions asked about a specific product could include incorrect answers that would be correct for the same question on another product.   For example a question on a CTS1300 might include an answer that would be correct if asked specifically about a CTS1000 but since the question is on the CTS1300 the answer is incorrect.  As a candidate I believe you should know what is unique to a specific product and product lines.  When studying for these exams understand what is common to all products and then review what is unique - especially when it comes to installation and set up.  By unique I do not mean study how many holes are in the bracket on one product versus another but rather how is the setup and configuration unique to the CTS1300 versus a CTS1000 for example.  The comments left on the exam have been reviewed, changes have been made, we are listening and attempting to address the candidates concerns.  For the record I have not taken either exam because as a SME and reviewer of many of the questions I have a much greater advantage than the typical candidate of passing.   


nick.mueller Fri, 07/15/2011 - 11:14
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Hi Tom,

I appreciate your reply, but let me be blunt - you SHOULD take this exam.  Alternately, and perhaps even better, you also seem to be the sort of person who could access the test question pool and the answer key and could therefore really know.   Then you will have an idea what we have all been saying.

Your points are certainly valid and noted, and for many "tricky" questions they certainly are true.  I, nor others who have commented, do not mean to imply the entire test is wrong, but there are a significant number of questions that are highly "suspicious".  We cannot tell from the simple metrics at the bottom of the printouts what exactly we got wrong on the test, but you can certainly make a guess based on the questions.


Elter Picolo Fri, 07/15/2011 - 02:42
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I read a post from a Cisco guy that some changes was made in TelePresence Exams, beggining in July/11.

Maybe theyre better now.

dannymget Tue, 07/26/2011 - 04:22
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They claim, that they have revised 13% of all questions in that test from July 5th. on.

I can assure you, that they have made many new errors in the existing questions and this is very confusing. 

We really wonder who does release such material into the testing.

David Anstee Thu, 12/22/2011 - 08:16
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I'm glad they've finally sorted this exam, it took me 4 attempts, the questions were really bad!


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