The Labs Presented in This Book
Treat the following three labs as if you were taking the real exam. Aim to get them completed individually within the two-hour limit, but don’t worry if they run longer, as they are arguably slightly more difficult than the real exam (this is part of my “train hard and race easy” methodology). The most important thing to consider is that you will gain the maximum value from each lab by taking it after you feel you have completed your study plan. Quite simply, you need to put everything into practice that you have learned. Reference the technology and exam technique to see if you are ready to take the real exam. If you identify some specific areas of technology you may be weaker in, go back and study them prior to taking the real exam. Don’t be tempted to work through the debrief to see what was expected of you from each lab until you have actually taken the lab under exam conditions. Labs are extremely difficult and time consuming to create to ensure reality, complexity, and flow. There are very few on the market, so you will need to maximize the benefit of each lab you take.
Consider highlighting the relevant text in the actual book using multiple colors or making a separate note of requirements, constraints, or general information you feel may be of value in order to make an informed design decision. Due to the printing of the book, you might be able to see a subsequent question on an adjacent page, so I would recommend covering up pages as you progress through the lab questions.
These labs do actually reset you along a correct path if you have inadvertently chosen a technology that is not appropriate for the design. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t score as well as you thought you would when you run through the debrief, as this is practice after all. Just aim to improve your technique with each lab so that by the final one you are eager to go and know what to expect and, more importantly, how to deal with it during your real lab exam.