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Linux Professional Institute LPIC Level 2 Exam 201

Today I have just taken the next in the LPIC certification exams. I have already taken:

which means I am currently certified as a: Junior Level Linux Administrator.

Today I took the first exam towards becoming an Intermediate Level Linux Administrator (currently the highest level available from the LPI (Linux Professional Institute). The exam I took was 201, I still need to take exam 202 (they could have been taken in any order). I have taken some IT certification before becoming a IBM Certified Advanced Technical Expert on AIX in 2000, but this is the hardest certification exam I've taken.

I passed it, but only just scoring 520 with a required pass mark of 500, both my earlier LPIC exam scores were over 600.

The first thing that was different about these exams is that far more of them were asking for written answers, rather than multiple choice questions, and of those answers more wanted to know the full command or pathname etc. whereas before it was normally a one word answer. There were also more complicated questions, and rather than sticking at commonly used parameters some of them were on rarely used options, or things that you may not come across in day to day use. For example it included a question about Lilo error codes, and on some of the less common features of samba and nfs.

Here is a breakdown of the different sections (note that they don't have even weighting in the final results).

The Linux Professional Institute

Exam Completion Report

LPI Level 2 Exam 201

Linux Kernel 75%
System Startup 77%
Filesystem 54%
Hardware 50%
File and Service Sharing 22%
System Maintenance 100%
System Customization and Automation 75%
Troubleshooting 60%

It's obvious that there are areas I've done a lot better in (100% for System Maintenance vs. 22% for File and Service Sharing), but I think that at least part of this is just down to luck of the questions and how these relate to what I do on a daily basis or how they relate to the revision I'd done.

There is also much less material available for the 201 and 202 exams compared to the 101 and 102 exams. The level 1 exams have a lot of free online resources, some free online practice exams and some printed books such as the ExamCram 2, LPIC I Exam 101 & 102 by Ross Bunson. Also the materials didn't cover the subject in as much depth as the questions in the exam, so you need to get more hands-on using the system (although even then you may not come across some of the features).

I will be adding some 201 questions to the Penguin Tutor LPIC Online Practice Exams, most of which I have already written, and one of which is by coincidence almost the same as one of the questions on the real exam (although with over 70 questions it's not worth revising all the questions off by heart just for one point). I could really do with adding some harder / more wordy questions, which I'll try and get done either before activating the exam or maybe at a later date, depending upon how much time I get.