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Last year at the Linux World Expo 2005 I took and passed the first of the Linux Professional Institute Certification exams LPIC 101.
Today I took the second of the Junior Level Administration exams, LPIC 102. I passed the exam scoring 680 points (required pass score 500). This now qualifies me at Linux Professional Certified Junior Level Administration. The exam was quite difficult. Whilst there were some easy questions and most people that have been using linux for a while should be able to get about 50%, to get the rest to pass certainly needed some revision. Despite my revision there were still some areas that I hadn't really covered, or that I hadn't looked at the specific commands that they asked on the exam. The thing is that the knowledge that you can be tested on is extremely broad, but you only get asked about a small amount of it. Unfortunately you don't know which bit you will get asked about.
There was one obscure question, although I can't remember the full details (and can't give much more than below without breaking the non-disclosure agreement). You need to know about some specific websites including newsforge and lwn.net, there was also one other but I can't remember what that one was. I must have got the question right as I got 100% for that section, but is was partly knowledge and partly guess work. You also need to know the usernet group for linux, but most people that use usenet would probably know that is comp.os.linux.
There was also a question that needed some knowledge of awk (basic knowledge of extracting a single field using awk - similar to using cut), although awk is not listed as one of the things you need to know. The objectives don't go as far as listing everything you are supposed to know, so I guess they can get away with it.
The breakdown of my results is shown below:
100% Boot, Initialization, Shutdown, Runlevels
83% Shells, Scripting, Programming and Compiling
86% Administrative Tasks
80% Networking Fundamentals
94% Networking Services
I had been revising over the last three weeks since booking the exam, but mainly just within the last week. There are a few good resources on the Internet, but as always you have to be careful that you get up-to-date information especially as the exam topics and questions are updated on a regular basis (I think about every 6 months).
I used the ExamCram2 LPIC I revision book again, which I also used when I took LPIC 101. It was certainly helpful, but I'd recommend using other resources as well.
I'm now classed as a junior level, which I find a little insulting considering the knowledge and effort required to reach that level, but it will probably make it all worth while when I reach the level of administrator. At least it does feel like an achievement because it was difficult.
My next stage is to work for the 201 and 202 exams, which I expect are much harder, not least because there are hardly any resources specifically aimed at the exam objectives.