Would like to discuss the format of some exam questions
(I'm intending this to be a discussion topic. Please keep it constructive)
I've taken Cisco exams for a while now, and have had this topic discussed amongst my colleagues:
Why does Cisco test on the EXACT syntax of commands?
In my opinion, in the field, you will have tab autocomplete as well as the ? to help out. I think that these exam questions detract from what is important in learning the core concepts.
Being penalised for thinking there is a space between fast ethernet (I use fe for short anyways) but getting the rest of the command correct is not the way it should work. IF exact syntax TRULY matters, have the exam taker write out the command (not by using multiple choice) and have it as a multipart score
For example: Say you want to add some interfaces to form an etherchannel group, and have it negotiate a connection with the other side which has the same configuration. Would you change the below command, and if so, which part:
config# interface range fast ethernet 1/0/1 - 1/0/3
conf-if# channgel-group 1 mode auto
Now say I write - The answer is change auto to desirable.
Now going with my multipart score suggestion, I'd suggest giving my answer 2.5 out of 3. I've understood that both sides having auto won't establish a link (auto interface responds to PAgP packets it receives but does not start PAgP packet negotiation) and have fixed it accordingly, but I haven't corrected the space in between fast ethernet. In a real life situation, completing this command would be impossible as the IOS would flag it as an error.
Having a small penalty instead of wiping out all possible points over a negligible mistake is harsh.
TL;DR - the scoring of exact syntax Q & A should be changed, or removed altogether to make room for better questions