Frequently Asked Questions: Cisco Packet Tracer Skills Assessments

Last updated September 8, 2010

Cisco Packet Tracer Skills Assessments
Q. What are Cisco® Packet Tracer Skills Assessments? A. Cisco Packet Tracer Skills Assessments are innovative, formative assessments that measure student
performance and knowledge of networking concepts and skills using the simulation and configuration capabilities of the Packet Tracer learning environment. The online, centrally administrated Packet Tracer Skills Assessment environment presents complex and authentic tasks, immediately scores the exams, and provides rich, detailed feedback, which is also integrated into the course Gradebook.

Q. What types of Packet Tracer Skills Assessments are currently available? A. The first type of Packet Tracer Skills Assessments available is practice exams for Cisco CCNA® courses.
There is one Packet Tracer Practice Skills Based Assessment (PT Practice SBA) available for each CCNA Discovery and CCNA Exploration course. These eight PT Practice SBAs help students prepare for the corresponding final hands-on SBA for each CCNA course. The exams are available in English only. Table 1 lists the CCNA courses and corresponding practice exams.
Table 1. Course CCNA Discovery : Networking for Home and Small Businesses Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP Introducing Routing and Switching in the Enterprise Designing and Supporting Computer Networks CCNA Exploration: Network Fundamentals Routing Protocols and Concepts LAN Switching and Wireless Accessing the WAN ENetwork PT Practice SBA ERouting PT Practice SBA ESwitching PT Practice SBA EWAN PT Practice SBA DHomesb PT Practice SBA DsmbISP PT Practice SBA DRSEnt PT Practice SBA DCompNtwk Practice SBA PT Practice SBAs for CCNA Discovery and CCNA Exploration (English only) PT Practice SBA

Q. What are some benefits of the PT Practice SBAs for CCNA courses? A. The PT Practice SBAs help students and instructors identify areas that need improvement to help increase
student confidence, satisfaction, and success when preparing for the final hands-on SBAs at the end of the CCNA Discovery and CCNA Exploration courses.

Q. Will the PT Practice SBAs be translated from English into other languages? A. While there are no plans to translate the exams at this time, the English versions of these exams are available
for use by all CCNA academies, regardless of the course language version being used.
© 2010 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 1 of 10

com. How can I get help with issues related to downloading or installing Packet Tracer or Java. How do I activate a PT Practice SBA? A. special ports are not required. Note: If you have just installed Packet Tracer you will need to reboot your computer before completing a PT Practice SBA. and on the Assessment resource page in the Course Catalog.2. A link to the PT Skills Assessment Environment Checker is available on the Class homepage for all CCNA courses under View Official Course Material. We recommend downloading the latest version of Packet Tracer from the Packet Tracer resource page on Academy Connection. Q. Instructor Exam Administration Q. For general assistance. What are the software requirements for taking a PT Practice SBA? A. To access the Support Desk. What are the local computer requirements for taking a PT Practice SBA? A. and then choose the appropriate download package for your needs. The PT Practice SBAs were not designed to be a replacement for the final hands-on skill exams. Networking Academy recommends the use of physical equipment for hands-on learning and for the final hands-on skills based assessment. The local computer requirements are the same as the recommendations for the Cisco Networking Academy® CCNA courses.Technical Requirements Q. contact the Networking Academy Global Support Desk. The PT Practice SBAs are designed to provide additional learning and practice opportunities to help students prepare for the hands-on SBA and support student success. Certain hands-on skills can only be validated by configuring and connecting real equipment.java.2. © 2010 Cisco Systems. Q. Q. Inc.6 or higher – The latest version of Java can be downloaded from www. but instructors can reduce this number during activation. No. The opportunity to gain hands-on experience is a key Networking Academy differentiator relative to other programs. log in to Academy Connection and click the Cisco Packet Tracer graphic on the left. No. select Software Downloads. The default exam duration is 2 hours. Q. How can I tell if I have the correct software on my local computer to successfully take the exam? A. then select Academy Support. To access this page. Can PT Practice SBAs be used to replace the final hands-on skill exams? A. or with running the PT Skills Assessment Environment Checker? A. Page 2 of 10 . The default number of exam attempts is 20 to allow students to take the exam as many times as needed to gain proficiency. What exam settings are available when activating a PT Practice SBA? A. which can also be adjusted as needed up to a maximum of 10 hours. Instructors can use the default activation settings or modify them as needed.x or above – Versions 5. All rights reserved. the following software must be installed on your computer: ● Cisco Packet Tracer 5.1. ● Java version 1.x or above are the only versions of Packet Tracer that support the PT Practice SBAs. To successfully complete a PT Practice SBA. log in to Academy Connection and click Help at the top of the page. The PT Practice SBAs are activated from the course Assessment Home page using the normal assessment activation process. Q.1. Do I need to open any special network ports to communicate with the Networking Academy assessment servers? A. This document is Cisco Public Information. The Packet Tracer Skills Assessment Environment Checker application will determine if the necessary software is installed on a computer. The default exam login activation period is one hour. but you can activate the exam for up to 14 days. Q.

The detailed feedback helps identify areas where the student may need additional study and practice. the Item Information Page (IIP) for instructors also includes the Packet Tracer initial topology and instructions and the answer topology and scripts for the proposed solution. Once the activity is open in Packet Tracer. How can a student initiate a PT Practice SBA? A. Instructors can also view and download the actual . Can students take a PT Practice SBA outside of the classroom? A. What level of Packet Tracer experience is needed to complete a PT Practice SBA? A. While the PT Practice SBAs for CCNA courses were designed to help students prepare for the final hands-on SBA at the end of each course. exam modifications are not available at this time. Cisco certification exams. The practice exams were designed to be offered either in the classroom or instructors may make them available outside of class for additional practice. Inc. Student Exam Experience Q. including optional exams such as chapter exams. Q. select Launch Student's PKA from the instructor IIP. Q. In addition to proficiency estimates and detailed scoring feedback. What kind of instructor feedback is available after a student has completed a PT Practice SBA? A. they also provide useful practice and performance feedback that may help students prepare for the final exam. Q. instructors can print the PT Practice SBA activity instructions for their students. and also on the Tools page. and PT Practice SBAs. Design documents are available for all PT Practice SBAs These documents are located on the Instructor Class Home Page for each course. Instructors can adjust the grade weighting as needed. and entry-level jobs. © 2010 Cisco Systems. Q. Instructors can determine the best use for their classes. all assessments that are scored and appear in the course Gradebook display a default weighting. Go to the Class homepage and click Take Assessment in the Assessments and Grades section. Why do the PT Practice SBAs appear in the course Gradebook with a default grade weighting if they are meant for practice purposes only? A. exam timing statistics. Can I print the PT Practice SBA activity instructions for my students? A. Students will use the same process to launch a PT Practice SBA as any other online Networking Academy assessment. Since the PT Practice SBAs are designed to be used at the end of a course to help students prepare for the final hands-on SBA. the student’s final running configuration. and a time stamped activity log of every IOS command entered by the student during the exam. select Print from the File Menu. After submitting a PT Practice SBA. Q. Yes. Currently. You can view the IIP for a student by selecting the exam name from the course Gradebook. No. in the View Official Course Material section. Where can I find information about the topics covered on each exam? A. Can I make modifications to the PT Practice SBA scoring rules? A.pka activity files submitted by students. Q. and then clicking the student’s score on the Exam Details page. Do PT Practice SBAs help students prepare only for the final hands-on skill exams? A. All rights reserved. Q.Q. How can I view the IIP for a student? A. Select Activity Instructions and then choose Print or Print to a File. See Appendix B for more information on viewing the IIP. Page 3 of 10 . Q. practice final exams. students should have gained the necessary level of experience with the software by working on the Packet Tracer activities embedded in each CCNA course. This document is Cisco Public Information.

Students should go to the course Gradebook. Resume working on the activity instructions from the point where you had stopped. your web browser will remain open in the background with a submission page window. Can I print the PT Practice SBA activity instructions? A.Q. Instructors can also view this feedback from the course Gradebook and work with students as needed to reinforce concepts. The elapsed time needed to complete an exam may range from approximately 1 to 2 hours. Students may submit their work when finished. Submitted exams are immediately scored and integrated into the course Gradebook. or save it and resume the exam at a later time. once the activity is open in Packet Tracer. Yes. Q. Page 4 of 10 . Packet Tracer and the exam will launch on your desktop with your saved activity file containing all the work you had previously completed. as shown in Figure 1. switch to the submission page window and click Save Assessment and Continue Later. select Print from the File Menu. Q. 4. go to the Class homepage. After you launch the exam. Q. Inc. 3. 6. To resume working on a previously saved assessment. © 2010 Cisco Systems. When you reach a point where you’d like to pause. The time it takes to complete a PT Practice SBA depends mostly on the skill level of the student. or select the Print icon in the activity. This document is Cisco Public Information. Packet Tracer and the exam launch on the student’s desktop. All rights reserved. how do I submit my work for scoring? A. Q. 5. or your exam will not be scored and work may be lost. Yes. The student selects and launches an exam. What steps are involved in taking a PT Practice SBA? A. 7. and select the assessment again. click on the name of the exam first and then click on their score to view detailed feedback about their performance on the Item Information Page and identify areas where they need additional study and practice. The PT Skills Assessment environment will keep Packet Tracer open prior to submitting your assessment. The amount of time left to complete the exam will depend on the amount of time used prior to saving the assessment. Can I pause the exam and come back to finish it at a later time? A. Q. Taking a PT Practice SBA is a seamless experience that uses Packet Tracer software and the online exam environment that students are already familiar with: 1. The amount of time remaining to complete the exam will be displayed when you resume. After completing an exam. See Appendix A for more information. Switch to that window and click Submit Assessment. You should make note of where you stopped working in the activity instructions to make it easier to resume where you left off at a later time. How long does it take to complete a PT Practice SBA? A. click Take Assessment in the Assessments and Grades section. How do I resume working on a previously saved assessment? A. 2. See Appendix B for more information. The student works through the activity instructions to take the exam. Do not turn off your computer or force your web browser or Packet Tracer to close prior to submitting your assessment. Students have the option of saving the exam and returning to finish it at a later time.

Packet Tracer should not be running on your computer prior to taking the exam. do not close Packet Tracer manually when taking a PT Practice SBA. Students should report bugs and errors directly to their instructors. What happens to the work I’ve already completed on the exam if my computer experiences a system or software crash? A. If a system or software crash occurs. This document is Cisco Public Information. If Packet Tracer is closed prior to submitting or saving your work. Q. that format should be followed for your work to be scored correctly. This feedback is designed to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and areas that need improvement. Inc. Page 5 of 10 . Do I need to pay attention to the correct case when entering my work in a PT Practice SBA? A. Q. How can I report bugs in the PT Practice SBA exams or assessment environment? A. For example.Figure 1. The most recent work you completed will most likely be lost and need to be reentered. Packet Tracer will automatically open on your computer when the exam is launched. you will need to launch the assessment again to resume working on it. © 2010 Cisco Systems. Q. No. Q. Instructors should then follow the normal procedures outlined in the Support section of this document to report the issues through the Curriculum and Assessment Quality Support site on Academy Connection. See Appendix A for more information. the most recent work you completed will most likely be lost and need to be reentered. you would need to enter Router1_LAN if that is the correct name of the device instead of router1_lan. Do I need to close Packet Tracer before submitting my work for scoring? A. All rights reserved. Time remaining is displayed when resuming a saved assessment Q. Packet Tracer will automatically close when you click either Submit Assessment or Save Assessment and Continue Later. The PT Practice SBA assessment environment periodically saves your work to the Networking Academy servers. What kind of student feedback is available for a PT Practice SBA? A. You can move and arrange your windows to show the activity instructions and the Packet Tracer application to make it easier to perform the exam tasks. Do I need to start Packet Tracer before taking the exam? A. No. How can I manage the multiple windows that appear after launching the exam? A. Yes. In situations where the instructions specify a particular mixture of upper case and lower case characters. Q. Feedback includes proficiency estimates for the performance components tested on the exam and the maximum score possible and the score earned for each task and sub-task. Q.

Are PT Practice SBAs compatible with the accessible versions of the curricula? A.Support Q. Inc. or bugs through the Curriculum and Assessment Quality Support site. Can I still use the classes I set up during the beta period? A. please review the following resources on the Assessment resource page in the Course Catalog: ● ● ● PT Skills Assessments Overview Presentation PT Skills Assessments FAQ PT Skills Assessments At A Glance If you have questions after reviewing these resources. then select Curriculum and Assessment Quality Support. This document is Cisco Public Information. errors. Q. Where can I discuss the PT Practice SBAs with other instructors? A. For more information regarding the PT Practice SBAs. All rights reserved. Instructors should report issues. To access this site. Please ignore this known issue. the Exam Results page and the IIP currently display links at the top of the page that are not needed. How can I report issues. all classes that were opened during the beta period will remain open until December 31. log in to Academy Connection and click Help at the top of the page. To collaborate with other instructors. please contact the Networking Academy Global Support Desk for assistance. log in to Academy Connection and click Forums & Chat under Resources. Q. and then click Submit. You can continue activating exams in those classes for your students until that time. Note that in the accessible course versions. To access the discussion board. then select Instructor Community > Online Assessment > Cisco Packet Tracer Skills Assessments. Q. 2010. Where can I get help with questions regarding the PT Practice SBAs? A. While the beta program has ended. I participated in the PT Skills Assessment Beta Program. PT Practice SBAs are completely compatible with the accessible versions of the CCNA courses. join the Cisco Packet Tracer Skills Assessments community discussion. © 2010 Cisco Systems. errors. and will be removed in a future release. Select the Contact Curriculum Team tab. or bugs in the PT Practice SBAs or assessment environment? A. provide as much detail as possible. Q. Page 6 of 10 .

students should go to the course Gradebook and follow the steps outlined below to see their scores and view the Item Information Page (IIP). The first section called Feedback gives a visual overview of how you performed on the assessment. 2. 1. 4. Click on the name of the exam. © 2010 Cisco Systems. The IIP provides detailed feedback about their performance and identifies areas where they need additional study and practice. Inc. Click on the numerical grade to view your results. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 7 of 10 . All rights reserved.Appendix A: Student View of PT Practice SBA Feedback After submitting a PT Practice SBA. Go to the course Gradebook. 3.

Page 8 of 10 . in the scoring report below. For example. called Scoring. known as a work product feature. the student correctly activated the interface and configured the IP address and subnet mask on the Router1 Fa0/0 interface. This document is Cisco Public Information. Inc. is evaluated.5. All rights reserved. Each portion of the submitted logs and configurations. provides details on the maximum points and points you received for each portion of the activity. © 2010 Cisco Systems. The next section. The student received 0 points on the Switch VLAN Interface Addressing task as the features were marked “Incorrect” in the Student Result column. They received 8 points for the Router 1 Fa0/0 Addressing task. Points are assigned when all features for a task are marked as “Correct” in the Student Result column.

4. See Appendix A as a reference for viewing proficiency estimates and detailed scoring feedback for a student. the student’s final running configuration. the instructor can compare the Proposed Solution Answer Script to the Student Final Running Configuration. a. 1. This document is Cisco Public Information. Both configurations are located in the Student’s Work Product section. Inc. Download the student PKA by clicking on Launch Student PKA from the Instructor IIP page. 3. To view the IIP page for a student. For more details on the correct configuration for all devices. All rights reserved. go to the course Gradebook and click on the name of the exam.Appendix B: Instructor View of PT Practice SBA Feedback In addition to proficiency estimates and detailed scoring feedback. b. the Item Information Page (IIP) for instructors also includes the Packet Tracer initial topology and instructions and the answer topology and scripts for the proposed solution. exam timing statistics. Open the Activity Wizard. the instructor can download the student PKA file and review the Answer Network. © 2010 Cisco Systems. This can be done by typing CTRL + W or by selecting the Activity Wizard Icon. Page 9 of 10 .pka activity files submitted by students. and a time stamped activity log of every IOS command entered by the student during the exam. As a quick verification. 2. then click on the numerical grade for a student to view the student’s results. Instructors can also view and download the actual . The Proposed Solution section on the Instructor IIP contains the Answer Topology and the Answer ® Scripts (running configurations) for all Cisco IOS devices the student was required to alter.

All rights reserved. Click through the various devices to see the answers for the activity. d.c. and Networking Academy are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems. CCNP. CCIE. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. Inc. (1003R) © 2010 Cisco Systems. All rights reserved. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. This document is Cisco Public Information. Inc. the Cisco logo. © 2010 Cisco Systems. Page 10 of 10 . Cisco. Select Answer Network. Inc. CCNA.

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