Saturday, September 13, 2008

Simon Becomes a CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA)



I congratulated Simon as he recently became CISCO certified, an important goal of his that he has been working very hard for in the past few years. Although Simon triumphed, it was disappointing to learn that for a significant exam such as the one Simon took, the people in charge of administering it did not take it seriously enough to commit to the appointed exam time. If the internet connection was slow, then the exam should have been downloaded earlier, so as to be prepared at the designated time and not hours later.

But even more shameful than this, was the leakage of exam content to others, as Simon describes in his story below. Apparently, the exam's questions leaked to his superior officers, who also had to take the same exam and of course gained an unfair advantage. It reminds me of the 2006 Nursing Licensure (Board) Exams leakage. The Filipinos' reputation undoubtedly suffers due to incidences like these. But even more alarming is the conscience and morals that many Filipinos lack and also that Philippine institutions are so weak and corrupted that they allow for such cheating and graft.

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I woke up early morning to prepare for my CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam. By 5am I received a text from my testing center (MISNet Education) that I need a promotional code, as they can not register my existing code, and I cannot take the exam without a promotional code. I told them that they have to inform me immediately 2 days prior to the exam, so why only now did they notify me regarding a promotional code...

It would have taken days for a promotional code to be released, and I definitely did not want my exam be postponed. I told them that as far as I know my code will expire on September 30, 2008. A minute later I received a text stating they have registered my code. I thanked the LORD everything was fine.

My exam time was at 10am so I arrived at the testing center in Makati City at 9am. I thought everything was fine but still problems came about. At 12pm I went to the lobby to find out why I am still not able to begin the exam. The receptionist told me that they have slow internet connection, and that she is still downloading the exam. At 1pm she informed me, that the downloading process is almost done. I replied ‘ok.’ I did not want my exam to be postponed because my mind, body, and soul were set to take the exam today and whatever the result I was ready.

At 2pm, I went inside the testing room nervous, my heart beating fast, and I did not know what to expect in the exam. I took the exam focused, reading the questions carefully, and making sure that my answer was correct and thought out to the best of my ability, all while monitoring my time to see if I have could maintain the time to respond to every question and enough time for the rest of the questions. As the saying goes, "Grace under pressure."

I thought I failed the exam just because I made a careless mistake (mistyped the IP address) in doing the simulation which has the highest number of points among the items given in the exam. I submitted my on-line exam without looking at my score on the computer screen because I knew I failed the exam. And to my surprise, my examiner congratulated me--I got a high score! And I still can’t believe it... I grasped my printed Examination Score Report, and reread it. I really made it! I was jumping and clapping because all my sleepless nights, sacrifices, and time have paid off.

I reported the other day, and my senior NCO asked why I did not come to office yesterday, and I had no choice than to tell him. I showed him my Examination Score Report. Everyone congratulated me for this achievement. One of my senior officers approached me and told me to report to him after lunch, as he was going to take the exam soon. He showed four sets of questions and one of the set was the same as that on the exam.

To my conclusion, it was a leakage. I felt sad about it because I reviewed hard, but to them they were going to answer the questions without thinking because they knew the answers to the questions and passed the exam effortlessly. But I guess this is what I should be proud of, I am more fulfilled than them because they have not experienced the challenges of the exam, the nervous, exhaling and inhaling deeply, heart pumping, beating the time, making sure to answer correctly, praying while choosing the best answer(s), wrapping up in the review, those sleepless nights, sacrifices, effort, and time. This is what achieving really means!

Anyway, this is the time of my life. I passed my CISCO certification with flying colors.

The photo story starts from passing the board exam, entering the military, meeting friends, spending some time with my family and last is the passing of CCNA certification.

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