If you’re studying for your CCNA exam then you may have heard of a company called Boson. These guys provide exam preparation products such as ExSim practice exams for Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA, you name it.
This is a review of the Boson ExSim-Max practice exams focused on the CCNA 200-301. We will go over the product, some practice questions, and also give you some tips to get the most out of it.
What is ExSim-Max?
ExSim-Max are practice exams written and created by Boson. They are designed to simulate a real exam as closely as possible. I’ve included a description from their website.
ExSim-Max™ practice exams are designed to simulate the complete exam experience, including topics covered, question types, question difficulty and time allowed. With ExSim-Max’s accurate and detailed explanations, you don’t just learn the answer, you actually learn the technologies covered. We’ve replicated the timing and difficulty of the actual exam so accurately that if you can pass the ExSim-Max exam, you can pass the real exam — guaranteed.Boson.com
So does it do what they say? Is it really worth it? This review will answer those questions.
Boson provides practice tests for several certifications. Like I mentioned already, this review is focusing on the Cisco CCNA 200-301 practice exams. This is what you get inside.
You’ll use the Boson Exam Environment software (downloaded from Bosons website) to access your ExSim-max practice exams.
Exsim-Max includes three separate practice exams. Exam A, B and C. Each exam contains 102 unique questions. So this gives you 306 practice questions in total. Not bad at all.
Each exam can be taken in either study mode or simulation mode.
- Study Mode – This will show your current score, allow you to see the correct answers and it won’t be timed.
- Simulation mode – This mode is designed to simulate the real thing. You will be timed and you won’t be able to see the answers.
- Custom exams – You can also take custom exams which allows you to change the settings such as showing the answers and even filtering by keywords.
Once you choose an exam and click begin, a new window will open and your exam will start.
On first impressions, the application itself looks quite dated. It’s by no means the most modern or slickest software available.
That said, there is a method to their madness. When you take a real Cisco exam, their software looks very similar to this. So it doesn’t make sense to practice on a super modern environment if it doesn’t replicate real exam conditions.
So for me anyway, their dated look and feel is actually kind of a plus.
Let’s look at some of their practice questions. Boson has kindly agreed to let me share a few with you.
Which of the following networks is not defined by RFC 1918? (select the best answer.)
When using the study mode or reviewing your test, you can check your answers. Boson provides detailed explanations and even external resources for further reading.
Which of the following IPv6 prefixes is used for unicast link-local addresses? (Select the best answer.)
SwitchA and SwitchB are connected over an 802.1Q trunk link. The native VLAN for the trunk link is configured as VLAN 11 on SwitchA and VLAN 111 on SwitchB. All of the hosts reside in the same IP subnet.
What of the following is true regarding the connectivity between the hosts in this scenario? (Select the best answer.)
A. HostA can ping HostB
B. HostC can ping HostD
C. HostD can ping HostA
D. None of the hosts can ping each other
E. HostB can ping HostC
How to Prepare using Boson ExSim
So, what’s the best way to use these practice exams? You need to be careful here because if you’re tempted to go through the questions too quickly, you run the risk of memorising the questions.
This is how I recommend you approach it. Once you’ve finished your studying (books, video courses etc) you are then ready to test your knowledge with the first exam. Do this in simulation mode so you’re not tempted to check and change your answers.
Once you complete the exam, you will be presented with your grade and the areas you need to work on. Boson ExSim does a great job of categorising the areas you are strong in and the areas that need work.
You will also be presented with a comprehensive list of resources to go through based on the questions you got wrong. These resources include Cisco documentation and chapters from the Official Cert Guide book.
Go through the resources provided and once you are happy you have improved in these areas, go ahead and take the next exam (exam B), again, in simulation mode. Rinse and repeat the same process.
Once you are comfortably passing these test exams, you are ready to pass the real one and become CCNA certified!
Is it Worth it? Conclusion
The big question! Is ExSim really worth it? YES, 100%. The reason I say this is because I know how it feels to fail a CCNA exam, and it sucks!
Boson in my option (and you don’t have to look far to find others who agree) provide the best practice exams on the market. They are known to be just as, if not, harder than the real CCNA exam. So by giving yourself time to test your skills and see how ready you really are will give you the best chance of passing on your first try.
Of course, you don’t NEED practice exams to pass your CCNA, it just gives you a much better chance of getting the result you want without needing to resit the exam.
How to get ExSim?
As you’ve probably guessed, I highly recommend the Boson ExSim practice exams for your CCNA. I love it so much I have partnered with Boson.
If this guide has given you some value, consider purchasing using the below affiliate links. This will give me a small kickback at no extra cost to you. This is a great way to show your support.
Either way, I really do recommend you pick yourself up a copy. I promise you will not regret it.
I hope you found this review helpful and thank you for reading.