NetApp Learning Services Discussions

NCSE certification prep - what's really included?


So I'm up to renew my NCSE and NCSE-ONTAP certs - was down for a month with Covid and like five of my certs lapsed as a result.  Bummer.  Anyway - was reviewing the reference list for documents and training, and everything was ONTAP specific.  Didn't see anything not related for ONTAP for the base NCSE exam.  All good.


Then took the practice test - which I know is only 10 questions but I like to take them anyway just for fun.  The test included a question on Eseries, one on Storage Grid, and one on SolidFire/Element OS.


So - question is - which is representative of the actual test - the training/reference document list, or the practice test?






You should be able to find practice test online. i.e. 


Be aware, that answers shared online might not be correct.


I used the "actual" cert practice test from the NetApp site - not some amalgamation of questions from test takers.  The NetApp cert practice test included questions which implied that the actual test would include more topics than would be implied from the reference documentation and training list.


Hi @bobshouseofcards ,


The best representative of the material on the exam would be the training/reference document list.  I have included links to both the NCSE certification page and the reference document.  I know that there are some storage grid questions when it relates to ONTAP Fabric Pool.  Both the links will be a good source of study material for the exam.




Team NetApp


Hi Brad -


Perhaps you missed the initial point.  I reviewed the reference doc and training list.  The cert practice test also available appears to imply more knowledge details on non-ONTAP topics is required than would be indicated from the reference document list and the suggested training courses.


For example - there was a question on the cert practice test...

    Which three statements about the SG6000-CN are true?

and proceeds to list some general statements about SG design.  Nothing to do with FabricPool at all.  Implication is that you need to know StorageGrid design and operation.  Yet the reference document list and the suggested training course list do NOT contain any direct references to generalized StorageGrid knowledge.  The same applies to SolidFire/Element OS, with exception of SnapMirror capability for Data Protection, and to ESeries, again only as may apply to FlexArray references.  HCI is not mentioned at all (Is that even a thing anymore?  Really?) yet the NCSE test (passed earlier this week) did have a couple of questions on HCI.


The real question I raise here is whether the advertised reference documents and training courses are truly representative of the knowledge expected to be found on the test.  My inclination is to say "no".


Now, granted, NCSE may not be the most popular cert in the grand scheme of things, not like there is a prep course for it at Insight or anything, but it seems to me that sufficient callouts to reference material for the test subjects is somewhat lacking.


The reference material listed for NCSE seems more targeted to the NCSE-ONTAP Specialist test to be honest.




Hi @bobshouseofcards,


I am currently investigating this discrepancy between the study material and the actual exam.  Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  I will follow up on this to see if we need to update both NCSE and NCSE - ONTAP specialist study material.




Team NetApp


Hi @bobshouseofcards 

I have recently removed the reference guide from the web as it had become unmanageable, out-of-date, and full of broken links.  The practice exams and recommended training for preparation are what should be used.

We are working hard on building out something more specific and useful - stay tuned!