From review published in TechRepublic, September 23, 1999
Get in the "Zone" for your certification needs
by Kevin Eikenberry
Working towards a Cisco Certification? Check out Certification Zone, a
site with a stated goal of "helping networking professionals and
students score higher on Cisco CCIE, CCNA, CCNP, CCDA, and CCDP
Well, if you're going for the latter three certifications, you won't
find much at Certification Zone. The site only provides detailed
information about the CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert) and
the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) titles. In these two areas,
however, the site is heaping with support and information.
Subscribe and learn The site is built on a subscription model, and, to
its credit, the company stands behind its service. For $90, subscribers
receive a six-month subscription and get access to all the site's tools
and information. After six months, if you aren't able to pass the test
and receive your certification, Certification Zone will extend your
membership for free.
Specifically for CCIE and CCNA certifications, subscribers receive:
A White Paper on a topic of interest
Sample questions and answers from an exam
Laboratory scenarios, if appropriate
A full simulated exam.
These offerings change on the first business day of the month. Outside
of the full subscription model, you can pay a one-time $25 fee to take
one of the simulated exams.
If you sign up for a subscription before Oct. 1, 1999, your subscription
is just $80.
Simulated exams - a great learning tool
While I don't have the skills and knowledge to be granted either of the
featured Cisco certifications, I was granted a temporary membership for
review purposes. The test is a simulation of the real exam; the only
thing you have to do is keep track of the time elapsed. Once you have
completed the exam, which is a valuable learning process in itself, the
benefits of the simulation really come through.
You receive a report of your results in total and by exam section. Then
you get each question, your answer, the right answer, and a detailed
rationale for the correct answer. This part of the service is very well
Kevin has reached a verdict Along with the "Study Zones" for CCNA and
CCIE certification, the site offers a nice links section, a fine FAQ
area, and an opportunity for certified professionals to contribute to
the site. Professionals who have one or more of the certifications can
become "Zone Masters" by writing their White Papers. These Zone Masters
receive recognition, an honorarium, and other benefits for contributing
to the Certification Zone's content.
This is a highly specialized, well-designed site. The costs of
membership are reasonable, especially when considering the performance
guarantee. The chance to use some of the services for a one-time fee is
also a nice touch. If Cisco certification is in your future, or in the
future of people in your organization, I recommend a visit to the
Are you working on your Cisco certification? If you have a training tool
or Web site that you'd like to share with other Cisco professionals,
please post your comments at the bottom of this page. If you have a
favorite Web site you'd like for us to review, please send Kevin a note.
Kevin Eikenberry is president of The Discian Group, a learning
consulting company in Indianapolis.