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156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

I'm not sure if this is the proper place to put this, but I'm concerned the current CCSE 156-135.80 test is not coinciding with the course ware.   The testing centers have feedback quizes and comments during the test, but I don't see an avenue to comment on the tests once you get back home and realized things like this.   

There was a specific question on the test I believe about a default value of a NAT feature, maybe connection table or some thing like that, I didn't memorize the question.  But the answers I do remember, and upon doing full text search of the course manual I could not find any of the answers.  I won't post them here, due to confidentiality etc.  Since I failed the exam and can't find the answers I'm rather concerned.  Having missed the passing score by two points and not knowing the weight of each question, this one question could mean the difference of $250!!! 

If there are any checkpoint testing employees monitoring these forums, I'd love to get some discussion going on this.

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16 Replies

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

NAT is covered thoroughly in the official course, so it is very unlikely that something with NAT was not part of the curriculum.

However, there are some things that I would like to point out for you:

 

1. The passing score is 70, which means you can fail up to 36 out of 120 question while still being able to pass. 

2. There might be some "control" questions on the exams that do not have a right answer at all. If you are not cheating by using stolen dumps and spreadsheets, you are bound to answer those questions "incorrectly". 

3. Check Point certification requires some actual field expertise. There is a certain percentage of "real life" questions that were not discussed in the official courseware. This means if you are only starting with the technology, it is advised to attend a course. Just browsing the books may not be enough for you to pass.

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

Valeri_Loukine,
Thank you for the reply. If my message seems negative, please know it is not directed at you personally, I'm just a little frustrated. I appreciate you taking the time to answer.

My goal is three fold.
One: is to expand on my initial post with some detail to clarify some assumptions.
Two: is to give feedback to whoever is creating these tests to make them better and cause less frustration to the test takers.
Three: Possibly by achieving goal two, and making the test align more, I might save other test takers from emptying their bank accounts by having to take it multiple times.

So that all being said, here is my response points:
1. I agree NAT is covered in the course, and in the manual. However "thoroughly" is a bit subjective. My course instructor did not spend much time on it, and I really didn't pick up any new nuggets in this section other than the location of the local.arp file. However, after seeing the "memorable question" on the exam that I did not know the answer, I've re-read the course manual section for NAT, reviewed the Lab, and did a text "find" in the entire document for any clue to the exam answer and it is not in the text. Any real world NAT experience I've had didn't ever breach the content of this particular question. This is why I'm concerned.

So maybe this was a instructor nugget of information that is missed? I guess that is possible. However, I would assume if it was noteworthy, it would be in the course manual?

2. I did take the official course and although I'm new to R80, I'm not new to Checkpoint, It has been many years since I've been deeply involved in a Checkpoint but I'm by no means a green first timer. On the flip side I have learned many new things in the CCSA/CCSE courses and consider it a valuable endeavor for all experience levels.

3. I have questions about these "control" questions you mentioned. If there are "control" questions that you can't get right, do they negatively affect your score? This is a concept that I'm not familiar with. If it does impact the score, this is why I have a problem. Sure, I failed the test, I got some other questions wrong other than the one I'm referring to. I actually had to guess at quite a few. But my point is if there are questions that are not covered in the course. Or they are not able to be answered correctly at all, then the test is engineered to make it easy to fail. From my perspective, they are effectively starting everyone with a negative score. Had it been covered in the official course and backed up by supporting documentation I could have answered this question without guessing and maybe passed the exam.

The sad part is, I still have not learned the answer to this particular question. There were other questions on the exam that I was unsure about and after re-reading the text on those topics, I was able to find the answer and increase my knowledge for next time. I now expect that if I get the same or similar question, I'll be able to answer it without guessing. Certainly not the case with this particular NAT question. I really wish there was a way to communicate with the test creators to discuss this one particular question. This test experience has been very frustrating to say the least, I generally don't fail and it has been a hard pill to swallow.

Regards

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

As a frequent instructor of the CCSE class, based on your vague description I'd guess you were being asked how many times a single "connection" appears in the "connections" table if the connection is NATted.  This was most definitely shown in the book when discussing the connections table, and I always point it out since it can make interpreting the output of fw tab -t connections -u -f a bit difficult.  I also recommend using fw ctl conntab as an alternative instead based on my CPX 2018 presentation.

 

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Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

Thanks for the response Timothy, however that was not the question I was referring to. I do not want to be specific as it might violate the non-disclosure. However I will say is was related to NAT. It was asking about a default setting, and the answer list was numeric in the 1x,xxx to 3x,xxx range. This is why I was hoping to get a response from a Checkpoint employee who would have access to the test questions and offer a explanation rather than having the community speculate.
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Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

Yep know exactly what you are talking about.  That answer is indeed not in the courseware (although I do mention it when teaching CCSA due to it also being mentioned in my book) and is a 20% "real world" question. 

 

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Chris_Hoff
Nickel

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

I'm looking to take the test, and wanted to verify what you stated.

  1. You state the passing score is 70%. If there are 120 questions, that means a passing score would be 84 correct questions - meaning you could actually miss 36 questions. Am I reading this wrong? Is there actually a pool of 120 questions that only 40 questions are pulled from thereby making the passing score 24 correct questions? I guess my question ultimately is: how many questions are given during any given exam?
  2. The control questions in my experience with other exams, are a set of questions that are outside of the actual questions used to calculate your score. Many times these are new questions inserted to find out how "good" of a question they are to determine using them in the future. Can you share how many questions are "control" questions within the total number of questions on the exam from #1 above? Also, can you verify these control questions are not calculated in a given score?
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Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

I'm not really sure about #2, but I just took CCSE and had to answer 100 questions, not 120.

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

Same here, 100 questions in december.
Regards, Maarten
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Chris_Hoff
Nickel

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

I just took the CCSA Exam yesterday. To provide additional information, the test explicitly states there will be 100 questions pulled from a pool of ~300 questions. Of that, 90 are scored questions, while the other 10 are non-scored control questions. So, based on simple math, you need to answer 63 answers correctly to get a passing score. 

I don't know about failing scores, but when you pass, they do provide a breakdown of how you did within each of the sections so you know where you may want to focus additional attention to expand your knowledge. 

Chris

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Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

I was unaware of the concept of "control" questions on the exam, but it would certainly explain some that seemed to come out of nowhere with answers that either didn't seem correct or didn't apply!

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

I had 100 questions as well. I'm have no idea how the 120 questions comes into play along with being able to miss 12  to get a score of 70? Who knows what algorithms they could be using or if that information is even accurate.    At the start of the CCSA I thought it went into an explanation of x number out of 100 were scored, but I don't recall, as I wanted to jump into the test.  And at the start of the CCSE I read even less. Again, I was again anxious to start the test.  I have no more room in my memory for non-essential info anymore. I need a bigger hard drive in my head.

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

@paloaltofan I stand corrected, 100 questions it is. Each question is equally weighted. You need to fail more than 30 to flank.  

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

Yes, 100 questions it is.
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Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

@Daniel_Taney There an option to comment on questions during the exam. You are welcome to flag those you do not like and explain why, if you have time, of course

Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

Indeed i did this during de CCSA exam
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Re: 156-315.80 Question that was not covered in the course or course manual?

Hi i am a checkpoint instructor in Mexico, I see and analyze the material of the official courses, and effectively the exam includes many questions that are obtained from the material and the laboratories, and another minority are questions of experience in the field. and other questions are poorly formulated and confusing. If you have any questions about the material, send an email to courseware@checkpoint.com or courseware@us.checkpoint.com.
Maybe they can help you by communicating with the exam staff.
Greetings.
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