Reflections on the 2021 Network Specialist Exam.

Introduction

  • This post has been translated mainly by deepl.
  • This article don't include much of the content of the exam but the talking about myself

It's been two years since I started operating a server. So I took the Network Specialist exam to test my skills and to reinforce my knowledge, which was uneven due to my self-study.

I've been studying steadily for the past six months, but as it turns out, I made the fatal mistake, so it was impossible for me to pass.

About Network Specialist Examination

It's probably not well known in the English-speaking world and I couldn't find the page about it in English in wikipedia and official site. so I'll add bellow.

  • Network Specialist Examination is one of the Japan Information-Tecnology Engineers Examination forcucing to network-
  • Its price is lower than Cisco's examination.
  • It has 4 section, AM-1, AM-2, PM-1, PM-2.
    To pass that exam, you need to get 60% of the answers correct in all sections.
    • AM-1:
      • Consists of multiple-choice questions.
      • It is positioned as a common basic knowledge for IT engineers, not only for networks, so it include many questions not related to networks and been used in other tests.
    • AM-2
      • Consists of multiple-choice questions.
    • PM-1
      • Consists of descriptive questions.
      • Choose and solve two out of three parts.
        I solved two but choosed only one, so the part not chosen will not scored.
    • PM-2
      • Consists of descriptive questions.
      • Choose and solve one out of two parts.

Result details

I was able to pass the AM-1 and AM-2. I graded myself at 80%.

I made a fatal careless mistake that I forgot to circle for choose second of the three parts in the PM-1.1

There were three causes for my mistake.

The first is I didn't grasp the format of the answer sheet.

The second was that when I solved past questions, I had been focusing on speed to solve in order to try more questions. At that time, I had plenty of time to spare but made a few careless mistakes. So, on the day of exam, I took my time to make no mistake and ran out of time.

The other reason was that I had transcribed the answers to the questions for self-scoring at the end of exam. I should looked back at the entire answer sheet. When the time came, I realized that I hadn't circled question 2, but it was too late.

What I got

Even though it was a disappointing result, I'm still pretty positive about what I took.

Exemption from solving AM-1 next time.

I'm not sure of the official result, but I'm sure that I got 80% of the score. The scope of the AM-1 exam is very wide, and there are many areas that I am not interested in, such as management and law. The fact that I don't have to study for it when I take the exam next year is very thankful!

If I had passed the exam at the first attempt, I wouldn't have needed to take it next year...

Networking knowledge and confidence

The reason I took this exam in the first place was not to get the certification itself, but rather to learn systematically how to operate my home server and this blog. In that respect, it was definitely very useful.

In addition, even though after failing the exam, I felt confident that I could face the afternoon questions. In other words, I realize that my knowledge and experiences gained in the process of tinkering with the servers as a hobby is in line with what is required in the professional.

Of course, I didn't get the certification, so it's just my own opinion and there's no evidence to support it, so I try next year again.

Confidence that I was able to tackle the exam planned

The plan is bellow.

  • Three month before, I started reading the textbook on my way to work.
  • One month before, I started solving the past exam questions.
  • One week before, I started practicing the last two past exam questions I had saved.
  • The day before, I made it a top priority to check my things to bring exam and go to bed early.

That's not dificult, but I've never been able to do this before.

Ordinally my routine was bellow.

  • One month before, I start reading the textbook.
  • One week before, I started solving the past exam questions but got impatient and couldn't concentrate.
  • The day before, I trying to solve the past exam questions, I tried to cram too much, but I couldn't prepare, and I went to bed late.
  • On the day of the exam, I didn't sleep well, didn't prepare my belongings, and was even late.

So, it was a great progress for me to be able to follow the plan like this. 2

That's why it's so frustrating that the grading was cut off due to an ordinary mistake.

What to do in the future

I've reached my goal of learning, but now I'm not satisfied with myself, and I want to have an achievement that I can prove to others. To be honest, one year is too long, so I'm thinking of getting the CCNA before the next exam.

It's good that CCNA is always available, but the price is ridiculously high. It's not something I can take on as a hobby.
Fortunately, my workplace will pay for the certification, but that's a lot of pressure, so I need to prepare a little more.

Anyway, the exam was end, so I'm going to forget about it and do what I want to do for the time being.

1

I remember that I circled question 1 while I was in a hurry to finish solving it because I thought I didn't have enough time.

2

Moreover, the last month of January was full of troubles: the toilet in my house broke down, the coating on my glasses peeled off, and I got sinusitis.