As mentioned in my previous blog post, I was uncertain on setting the exam date but encouraged by few folks who posted comments on my blog I thought it over and decided to set the exam date. Maybe I am prepared enough or maybe I will fall little far short, but the only way to find out is to set the exam date and take the exam.


I really did get a wonderful message from the webinar: Best practices for Exam Preparation. In this webinar the two presenters—Dr. Stephanie Burns—an expert in self-study learning, and Anthony Sequeira, a CCIE, VIP and Cisco Certified Instructor—came up with the concept of “four pillars”. These four pillars are key elements for exam preparation and for mastering any exam. The message that I got from Stephanie is when you have set aside a specific time to study you should not waste it on thinking negative thoughts—For example: I wonder if I can pass the exam? What if I can’t remember the material and make a bunch of silly mistakes? Instead tell yourself that those kinds of thoughts are not useful. You should focus instead on studying—worry about the exam when you are taking the exam. Every moment spend on negative thoughts chips away at your confidence and keeps you from focusing on the material itself.  When I concentrated my attention this way, I felt newly confident in my study efforts. It was just what I needed.


State of mind plays a very important role for me when I’m studying. I don’t want to let my fear of failure interfere with my readiness and cause me to perform poorly when I’m actually in the exam room with the questions on the screen in front of me.


I liked the message that Travis posted on my previous blog, Uncertainty on my exam date; he said: “This is all a journey: It is not the end result that matters most, but the process by which you arrive. Studying pays dividends even before you pass the exam, keep that in mind, stay committed, and drive on!” Thank you, Travis! I also truly think Cisco Learning Network has been a great resource. I’ve been able to share my thoughts and concerns in this blog, but everyone can do the same in the discussion forums  and get help from folks who have already made this journey.


That said: I am going to schedule an exam date today!