I”m a CCSE again

So I”ve gone dark again because I was in a panic studying for  my CCSE renewal. I totally suck at taking tests, freeze up like a popsicle.

Got an 85. Ugh. Test was easy and I swore I was going to get 100% because I knew every answer and could almost see the answer in the manual where the answer appeared. So I’m a little freaked that I got 13 wrong – is it me or the test?

Overall the practice test and real test I felt were 75% fair. I still think they test you on the minutiae like “what file VTI custom routes in” instead of “What are the sequence of steps that occur during cluster failover”…”How to debug cluster failure”…”How to copy rules and objects between Domains”.

Here are some hints:

1) Major topics to know

  • Clustering modes
  • Cluster commands – fw ctl pstat, cphaprob stat, list, if, set_ccp
  • Cluster upgrade modes
  • Upgrades and tools to upgrade and how they work
  • Smartevent – The components and what they do
  • VPN – How to debug, domain vs route mode
  • PKI – The components
  • Route based VPN and VTIs
  • VPN command line –
  • Smart center and HA mode
  • Backups vs snapshot
  • SecureXL and commands – fwaccel
  • CoreXL
  • SmartWorkflow

2) One or NO questions on:

  • QOS – 1
  • LDAP – 2 – LDAP groups
  • SmartLSM – 1
  • IPS – 1 or 2
  • SmartMonitor none
  • SSL VPN none

3) Studying

  • ALL the questions are online. I got a 600 question sampler from a testing firm and the first 300 questions covered the whole test. 90% of the answers were correct…so you never knew what was correct/wrong so I still researched each question.
  • You will get a better score if you never touched CheckPoint. People in our group that barely touch CP were getting in the 90% because they just memorized things. Our experienced people were getting 70-80% because they know the real answers


I would say go for it and take the test. Great for your resume and if you study it should not be a problem.




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  • Alex  On April 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    What firm did you go with for the sampler?

  • FCNM  On April 19, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Heeya i’m foor the first ttime here. I found this
    board and I find It reallyy useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope too give something back and help others like you helped me.

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Helen's Loom

"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." - Kurt Vonnegut

Life Stories from Dreez

These are stories from my travels. Generally I like to write stories about local people that I meet and also brag about living the retirement dream with my #1 wife Gaby. She is also my only wife.

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