In an article by Dave Barry, “Cisco Certification Verification System Failure,” he claims that “a third party investigator” hired by Cisco employees “with no professional credentials to verify their competence” gave the exam in a two-day period. He further states that the investigator “made clear his intention to be fully inspector-friendly.” The results? A pass for all three tests!

Dave Barry made sure that someone other than himself had done the exam, and he got it wrong. So who did it? Mikes Ajemba, a low-level manager for an IT team working for Cisco, took the exam with no preparation time. He received a “D” for his work. Mikes Ajemba did not hire someone to do the CIsisco Certification Verification System Exam, but instead he employed someone else to do it for him.

Now, we all know that this type of situation happens all too often in the IT world. When people know they are going to fail, they usually do it without even planning it. Someone takes a course and then realizes that they’ve forgotten something. They try to go back to take the class, only to get further behind. Someone notgoing2fail wrote of a similar experience: “I started taking the CCNA again [the second time] after getting a C certificate three years ago. The second time around I didn’t keep notes and I just completely forgot what I was going to answer on the second day.

This is what happened to me. I took my ICND1 Cisco Networking Certification test the first time around, completely forgetting what I was going to answer on the second day. I did manage to get through all three sections (ICND, CCNA, and CCDA), but not the third one! I ended up passing on the first try, but only because I studied so hard.

Luckily, I learned my lesson. I took the CCNA, CCDA, and CCNP courses to refresh my memory on everything. I made sure to take plenty of practice exams, and I reviewed my ICND and CCNA classes for additional knowledge. If I hadn’t taken those three years worth of study and training, I wouldn’t have passed my Cisco certification tests.

What’s the big deal? Well, the Cisco Certification Verification System is supposed to protect you from cheating, right? Not really. In fact, there are actually several really easy ones you can take, and some resources are even allowing you to complete them without ever using the Verification System.

The CCNA is your basic foundation, and is the foundation to most of the Cisco certifications out there. For most people, it’s all they need to get going, but for others they should seriously consider taking the CCDA or CCNP. These two certifications, along with the ICND and CCDA, are much more difficult to get before having to take the Verification System.

I was actually surprised that Mikejctory member wasn’t offering the easy ones yet! He has many in his library, and he said he was getting requests for the easy ones to help those people who didn’t pass the test the first time around. I would encourage you to get a book on Cisco and take a practice exam first. It will be the best thing you could possibly do for yourself.

With that said, however, if you are already a Cisco engineer, then this shouldn’t be hard. The CCDA is the one that is required, but if you have the test for the ICND you are on your way. You can always go back and take it after the CCNA one if you feel like you have enough knowledge to move on. Either way, you’ll still have some Cisco experience under your belt.

If you don’t have all the required experience though, it’s not the end of the world! There are other paths to take. The CCNP is recommended for most people, as it is the next most advanced level. You also have the choice between the CCDA and the CCNP.

Like I said before, the Verification System isn’t going to be necessary for most people. The CCDA is the most difficult, and the CCNP is recommended for most engineers. If you have the certification however, then you will be able to validate your Cisco certification. If you do not have it, or you need to verify your Cisco certification, then the Cisco certification verification system is something that would benefit you immensely.