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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default very unhappy with Testout's labsim software

    I'm using A+ Certification: Online Training for A+ Certification

    This software is required as part of a P.C. hardware maintenance course worth 6 credit hours at my community college. I was wondering if anyone else is using this software to prepare for their A+ exams? The software bundle I'm using is for both the 701 and 702 exams.

    My problem is with the labs. The labs have virtual computer hardware, cables, and various other equipment that have to be correctly configured in the labs. In the earlier parts of the course I didn't run into any trouble, but now I'm about half way through it and I've seen (in the last several modules) flaws in the labs. In one lab the correct firewire cable was not provided, and I was unable to pass this lab even after 9 attempts. In another lab I took just this morning a KVM switch did not have a port or cable to provide monitor access to the two P.Cs.

    Yes, it's possible I'm a nitwit and have failed approximately 15 labs total because of my nitwittedness. However, I pretty hard and have alot of experience with P.C. hardware. Can anyone confirm my issues with TestOuts labsim software? I can't be the only one...
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  3. Alligator wrestler Moderator Plantwiz's Avatar
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    #2
    Have you contacted the vendor and inquired with them?

    They'll best be able to address any problems with their software or clear up any confusion.

    I'd start there if I had that issue.
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  4. Senior Member
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Plantwiz View Post
    Have you contacted the vendor and inquired with them?

    They'll best be able to address any problems with their software or clear up any confusion.

    I'd start there if I had that issue.
    They emailed me back and said they would investigate the bugs and patch if necessary. I see the term "labsim" used in multiple threads on these forums. Are there other labsims available from other companies? If so, can anyone recommend any other lab sim product from a company other than TestOut?
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  5. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #4
    There are other CBT (Computer Based Training) but labsim is the brandname. There is Trainsignal and CBT nuggets and the old standby learnkey. I used the Learnkey videos while studying for the A+ and thought they were excellent. They went really well with the Mike Meyers All in One book (They should have since Mike Meyers was the instructor in the videos)
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    What's really got me angry is I'm getting graded in a 6 college credit hour class in each labsim assignment. If I were doing this on my own, I wouldn't worry too much about it, and I'm not saying labsim has no value as an aid in helping pass the exams. It does, especially for anyone who has little to no pc hardware experience.

    Testout will know me on a first name basis by the time this semester is over - I'm still finding bugged labs (spending 5+ hours a day on this stuff).
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  7. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ehnde View Post
    What's really got me angry is I'm getting graded in a 6 college credit hour class in each labsim assignment. If I were doing this on my own, I wouldn't worry too much about it, and I'm not saying labsim has no value as an aid in helping pass the exams. It does, especially for anyone who has little to no pc hardware experience.

    Testout will know me on a first name basis by the time this semester is over - I'm still finding bugged labs (spending 5+ hours a day on this stuff).
    Is this an online school or a B&M? If it's a regular B&M scholl then find out if your classmates are having the same troubles as you. Others may be finding workarounds you haven't found yet. If it's an online school then go to the online scholls forum/community and see if others are having troubles with the labs. Maybe communicate with others and find out how they got the labs to work.
    I know by using Labsim for the Net+ and now for the MCTS 70-643 that the labs are really tricky and require some thinking and sometimes redoing several times to get right. I know you can get an explanation of how to perform the labs where it tells you that you haven't completed all tasks, try following the steps given there.
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  8. Sith Lord SephStorm's Avatar
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    #7
    I can tell you that there are reports of disapointments with the A+ testout Labsim. I assumed a new version would have come out by now, but who knows...

    I am watching the CCNA labsim, and I can tell you that I am less than pleased. A few times the instructor uses non-cisco terminology, and it defiantly doesn't cover all the nessesary material, nor are the lessons in a decent order (maybe its just the missing info...) I also have yet to come upon a lab sim yet in this course. I do like the testing engine though.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    I did enjoy testout. I used them for my 291 exam, but like you said. Their labsim was a little too glitchie. If you know you did it right, move on. If school requires you to use it, then run it by the instructor.
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  10. Custom User Title Hypntick's Avatar
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    #9
    Well I can't speak for the A+ labsim. However the Network+ labsim had a handful of issues that I noticed in some of the sims. Although that was the only tool I used for study and ended up doing pretty decent overall.
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  11. Artist's impression mikedisd2's Avatar
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    #10
    It's a pity there's problems with some of the other Testout labs. I thought the MCSE packs were excellent with a really good sim engine.
    Last edited by mikedisd2; 10-15-2010 at 04:07 AM.
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  12. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #11

    Default ???What LabSim are you using???

    Quote Originally Posted by SephStorm View Post
    I can tell you that there are reports of disapointments with the A+ testout Labsim. I assumed a new version would have come out by now, but who knows...

    I am watching the CCNA labsim, and I can tell you that I am less than pleased. A few times the instructor uses non-cisco terminology, and it defiantly doesn't cover all the nessesary material, nor are the lessons in a decent order (maybe its just the missing info...) I also have yet to come upon a lab sim yet in this course. I do like the testing engine though.
    The LabSims for A+ are fine...the material covers what is on the exam, but the sims are a clear compromise. You just can't adequately virtualize physical troubleshooting...

    CCNA LabSim is STRONG. I used it as the primary study tool when I was training for CCNA. I also used their material as my primary study tool for CCNP. The material not only helps you prepare for the exam, it also prepares you for doing the JOB (much more important IMHO). I also used the MCSE material before I achieved that cert and use it to train new system administrators. I do think there are bugs in some of the simulations, but I have completed EVERY simulation. Sometimes you need to step away for a few days to figure out how LabSim wants you to complete it. Of course, it is the same with the actual exams. The only complaint I have ever had is that the way Cisco wants you to answer a simulation on the exams takes a different solution path than solving a simulation in LabSim (and both are different than how I approach the same problem on a production network). But both can ALWAYS be solved.

    Stop complaining and just STUDY, STUDY, STUDY...PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE.

    The next step is to use GNS3/Dynamips/Dynagen with a real IOS...but these can't emulate IOS 15 or any Integrated Services router. There are always trade-offs and obsticals to your training.
    Last edited by Songsmythe; 11-13-2010 at 12:51 AM.
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  13. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #12

    Default LabSim CCNP

    Anyone wondering,

    LabSim for BSCI (642-901) still works to train for the ROUTE (642-902) exam.
    LabSim for BCMSN (642-812) still works to train for the SWITCH (642-813) exam.
    Both LabSims include good troubleshooting simulations, but they are not geared towards the TSHOOT exam. You will need additional material especially to get used to the trouble ticket format.

    These LabSims are no longer available from TestOut and the company told me that they are going to concetrate on other companies certifications. They feel that Cisco's certification life cycles are too short. I think that is a shame as I love how comprehensive their programs are. Anyone looking for new CCNP material should look to TrainSignal and Bryants Advantage (no this is not a paid advertisement).

    Anyone training for A+ needs to get hardware. Broken equipment is ok as mostly you need to recognize components and associate them with concepts. Alternatively, you could build a couple of workstations &/or servers. Software troubleshooting can be done on any computer.
    Last edited by Songsmythe; 11-13-2010 at 12:47 AM.
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  14. Junior Member KMYost's Avatar
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    #13
    Yes, there may be a reason that testout is messing up that doesn't have anything to do with labsim. They are totally reliant on microsoft silverlight, only there is a glitch that pops up because of an error in windows 7. Reload silverlight and see if that does it, if not, ask about the silverlight error in win 7, I don't remember exactly what file that was. But when the error pops up, it tells you that you got the lab wrong no matter what you do!
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  15. Senior Member Dragonranger's Avatar
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    #14
    So far im pretty pleased with testout. Ive seen a few bugs myself but overall i think its good resource. Though I think Prof Messer is WAY better. Ive used testout alot to study for my A+ certification test and have successfully passed the 701 thanks to it and other resources such as Exam cram and Messer. The only thing i dont like is I dont feel the practice tests help alot with the actual tests. I was consistently scoring high 80s low 90s on my 701 practice tests but didnt do anywhere near that well on the real test.
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