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  1. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Is it suggested to take BSCI first?

    Is there a reason why most people (on this forum, at least) seem to study for BSCI first? I assumed because it was the easiest exam, but going over the syllabuses for the exams, it seems like you wouldn't necessarily need to pass BSCI to understand the topics on BCMSN. And quite frankly, I think I would be more interested in BCMSN right now and that if I passed it, it would provide me with more motivation to do BSCI.

    Just curious.
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  3. Senior Member miller811's Avatar
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by /usr View Post
    Is there a reason why most people (on this forum, at least) seem to study for BSCI first? I assumed because it was the easiest exam, but going over the syllabuses for the exams, it seems like you wouldn't necessarily need to pass BSCI to understand the topics on BCMSN. And quite frankly, I think I would be more interested in BCMSN right now and that if I passed it, it would provide me with more motivation to do BSCI.

    Just curious.
    For me the BSCI was the hardest of the 4 exams, and I did it first.
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  4. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #3
    I did the BCMSN first also for the same reason that it interested me more at the time. I think the best route is BCMSN and BSCI before the other two since the ONT and ISCW assume some of the basic routing and switching knowledge. They would all still be doable in any order though, but you just might have to fill in the gaps on a couple things like BGP if you did ISCW first.

    On the topic of hardest or easiest its all relative to your current knowledge. I found the BCMSN the hardest personally, but it was my first pro level exam and I have always worked in mostly routed environments.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    #4
    Having equally minimal experience between routing vs. switching, I took the BSCI first because I thought it was the hardest of the four. I figured if I can get the harder ones out of the way, studying for the others should not be as hard. I could be wrong about that assessment when all is said and done. We'll see.

    However, I'm doing BCMSN right now and I'm finding it much easier to study for than BSCI - albeit my motivation is a little low right now
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  6. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    #5
    I just want to do BSMSN first because I find the material more interesting, I'm more familiar with switched environments and am currently working more with them, and passing it will give me more motivation to study for BSCI and the material I don't foresee enjoying a lot (...like EIGRP).
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    #6
    Plus, exams are only valid for three years, so if you're looking at going on to the IP that also includes BSCI, it might be advantageous to push it out a bit instead of starting with it.

    I'm contemplating doing BCMSN, the associate and pro design exams, BSCI, ONT, and then ISCW and CCNA:S (since those two seem to overlap quite a bit), and then maybe the IP. I'm just starting ICND2 back up, and it seems to be the beginning of a long, downward spiral
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    #7
    I recommend doing BSCI last for a couple reasons -

    #1 - As mentioned, the pass results are only good for three years. BSCI isn't just a CCNP exam, it's a req on a number of Professional level exams. Taking it last gives you the maximum amount of time to leverage those results for other tracks if you're interested in pursuing them.

    #2 - BSCI is the hardest of the exams. If you start with it and have difficulty, it may turn you off or give your motivation a kick in the shins. If it's your last exam, you're already invested, so you'll probably want to kill it no matter what it does to you. I've never been above manipulating my own psychology for my own ends
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    I recommend doing BSCI last for a couple reasons -
    #2 - BSCI is the hardest of the exams. If you start with it and have difficulty, it may turn you off or give your motivation a kick in the shins. If it's your last exam, you're already invested, so you'll probably want to kill it no matter what it does to you. I've never been above manipulating my own psychology for my own ends

    I would recommend BSCI...I agree with #2, it did turn my motivation level to almost 0! i was off the books completely for 7 months! then I realized I didn't want to renew CCNA with another CCNA :P and since I had CCIE in my corsairs I hopped back on and I know a handful of ppl who took it 3 times passed on the 4th ..this will be my 2nd

    I do feel more confident coming back and actually feel like i have a better grasp on things this time around
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  10. Senior Member /usr's Avatar
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    #9
    BSCI is the hardest of the exams. If you start with it and have difficulty, it may turn you off or give your motivation a kick in the shins. If it's your last exam, you're already invested, so you'll probably want to kill it no matter what it does to you. I've never been above manipulating my own psychology for my own ends
    That was my thinking almost exactly. BCMSN is seeming a lot easier than BSCI seems like it would have, but like I said, I've been dealing with switched environments a lot lately too.

    Plus, in all honesty, the other exams just interest me more. Not than WANs and routing protocols don't interest me, I just don't really have the desire to get into it that deeply at this point. If I enjoy studying for and pass the other exams, BSCI will be cake.
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    #10
    Well I speak from the motivation thing from personal experience. Going straight from CCNA to BSCI was such a big leap, and studying for it was draining, and the exam itself was not what I was used to. It was the first exam I actually had some difficulty with. As a result, I didn't touch Cisco material for something like 18 months afterwards (my 'oh man that was hard, I think I'll take a couple months off to let the batteries recharge' didn't pan out quite the way I wanted it to).

    When I realized that I'd let it lay too long and there was no way I was going to pass the other CCNP exams in the three year time period and I would have to retake BSCI no matter what I did, I decided to let it lay until last for both of the reasons I mentioned above.
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    #11
    With regards to the validity of the exams, if you did it in the order of BSCI, BSMSN, ISCW and ONT and from the date you passed the BSCI to the date you passed ONT 12 months had passed, would you have a maximum of 2 years to do the remaining CCIP exams, and if you then wanted to do the CCDP having used the full 2 years you had for the IP, you'd have to resit BSCI and BSMSN?
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    #12
    That, or take the composite.
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    #13
    CCNP, CCDP, CCIP, CCSP, and CCVP


    Complete one of the following recertification options:
    • Pass any 642 exam that is part of the professional level curriculum after 01/01/06
    • Pass any current CCIE or CCDE written exam
    Achieving or recertifying any of the certifications above automatically extends your active Associate and Professional level certification(s) up to the point of expiration of the last certification achieved
    Doesn't this mean you just have to pass any exam on a professional track to recertify? So the first exam you take if you went on to do the IP would recertify your CCNP in it's entirity?
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Neeko View Post
    Doesn't this mean you just have to pass any exam on a professional track to recertify? So the first exam you take if you went on to do the IP would recertify your CCNP in it's entirity?
    Yea, but there's a difference between recertifying and how long an exam is valid for. Once you pass an exam, it's good for three years, regardless of what other exams you take.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    Yea, but there's a difference between recertifying and how long an exam is valid for. Once you pass an exam, it's good for three years, regardless of what other exams you take.
    Oh so you can recertify but may still need to retake an exam if it's required for another track and 3 years has gone since you passed it? That's pretty tough, makes sense to do the BCMSN and BSCI last in that case
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Neeko View Post
    Oh so you can recertify but may still need to retake an exam if it's required for another track and 3 years has gone since you passed it?
    Exactly.
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  18. Cisco Monkey strider21's Avatar
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    Exactly.
    I don't know about you guys but the ONT was the hardest to me due to the fact that it was focused more on QOS for both voice and wireless the book may be thin but it was not enough for the exam.On the other hand the BSCI covered the exams subject and grabbed me from the CCNA level to the BSCI level a bit confusing but I was not as confused as I was when I studied for the ONT.
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    Plus, exams are only valid for three years, so if you're looking at going on to the IP that also includes BSCI, it might be advantageous to push it out a bit instead of starting with it.

    I'm contemplating doing BCMSN, the associate and pro design exams, BSCI, ONT, and then ISCW and CCNA:S (since those two seem to overlap quite a bit), and then maybe the IP. I'm just starting ICND2 back up, and it seems to be the beginning of a long, downward spiral
    That is an efficient order but the ARCH exam lists all of the CCNP exams as required knowledge. I think I'll try to clear ONT and ISCW, BSCI and then BCMSN. Do the CCIP afterwards and then the CCDA/DP. If the BCMSN has expired before I can get the ARCH exam done at least then the easier of the NP exams will only have to be retaken.
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  20. Senior Member SysAdmin4066's Avatar
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    #19
    BSCI was much rougher than the BCMSN material is turning out to be. I take the BCMSN August 22nd, maybe sooner and it's a cakewalk compared to the BSCI. Good luck whichever route you chose
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  21. Cisco Addict ITdude's Avatar
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    #20
    I think a lot of it depends on what floats your networking boat.

    If routing is one of your stronger interest areas (as it was/is for me along with security) versus switching, then the BSCI could potentially be "easier" for you than BCMSN.

    That being said, the BSCI is definitely a challenging exam any way you look at it.
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  22. Senior Member SysAdmin4066's Avatar
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    #21
    I dont know, I'm pretty strong in routing, along with security. BSCI was a challenge, one of the most challenging exams I've EVER taken, with maybe the CISSP being more difficult. The BSCI is in the top 5 so far easily, maybe even top 3.
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  23. Member CChN's Avatar
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    #22
    I think a common thought process is "Oh, I've seen OSPF/EIGRP before, can't be that bad", but then you delve into multicast, IPv6, and BGP and suddenly you find yourself retreating to the fetal position sucking your thumb. That's what I did anyways

    I went with ISCW. Something different from CCNA that kept me interested.
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  24. Cisco Addict ITdude's Avatar
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    #23
    Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that the BSCI was an easy exam. Trust me, I am not.

    All, I am saying is that having a strong interest level definitely helps. Plus many people (I am not saying you) go into the Professional exams with the same mentality that they used for the Associate level exams and get a rude awakening after hitting that first exam (whatever it might be) in the Professional track.

    Also, many people underestimate the BCMSN, thinking it is only switching, how hard could it be, and get a interesting surprise too. .
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