Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:49 PM
When I've done my CCNA exam in late 2003, I did not know that there are exam dumps or CBTs... I was fresh out of college where I took some Networking courses and Aced them, it took me two to three months reading the books, and practicing on network simulator.
While doing the exam, I was not sure that I was going to pass. Actually, at some point near the end, I was just going through the questions in hope that I will remember some of them when I repeat the exam because I felt I will sure fail.
Surprise!!! I’ve passed that day, I did not bother to check the score. Few years later I’ve found my original score to discover that I got 900+ mark that day. A pass is a pass, a high mark is rarely important.
However, until this day I still regret not taking an actual course where I get the chance to practice stuff on am actual router and actual switch, it would have been an enjoyable thing to do. Of course since then, and although I work in server virtualization now and not focused on Cisco networking, I got the chance to configure few simple things on cisco gear and it is always a fun thing to do.
My point is, if the academy will give you a chance to practice labs on real hardware then that is the most important thing. Only school nerds should care about high marks, it does not make any difference in real life.