The best approach to save time on the exams is to eliminate any distracters (those that are obviously wrong due to syntax or whatnot) and focus on the remaining answers if it is multiple choice. If it is a simulation, show the configuration of each router and look for any missing statements. In addition, you should be able to perform a variety of show commands in the devices. For instance, if you do a show interface command, you will be able to tell if you have Layer 1 or Layer 2 correctly configured on the device. If you still can't ping the neighbor, the problem must be a Layer 3 problem (routing protocol or IP addressing).
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