This week I'm attending the RH300 course at Red Hat, the "Rapid Track" course for the Red Hat Certified Engineer qualification, named by as The Hottest Certificate of 2006. The course has the recommended prerequisites of RH133 Linux System Administration and RH253 Networking and Security, and the only reason RH300 can be considered "Rapid Track" is that it is a review of the material covered in the two former classes.

Having had both prerequisties over the last five years plus having taken the RH300 course once before last year where I did not pass the six hour exam, I still feel that my head is ready to explode after the second day. The information is being received better this time, and is sinking in deeper, but still the volume of material is massive. My plan of attack includes having a RHEL4 test box and test network setup at home so that I can rush back from class to practice all the labs several times over on the nights leading up to Friday's exam. A misconception that I'd heard about the class is that during the performance based exam there are no man pages nor any documentation available. In fact, the instructor just today noted:

A good System Administrator is not defined by having things memorized but rather by being able to look things up in a reasonable amount of time.

While that's great for the real world, under the pressure and time constraint of the exam, my money is on having things memorized and well practiced.

Update: How did the 3rd time go?