Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CCIE & CCDE Written and Lab Exams – Part II

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Everything you ever wanted to know about Cisco CCIE Written and Lab Exams

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About CCIE & CCDE Written and Lab Exams – Part II

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About

CCIE & CCDE Written and Lab Exams


Part TWO

You can think of CCIE written as the equivalent of taking your driving test theory part before you’re allowed to get behind the wheel with a DMV employee. Likewise, CCIE Written is a qualification exam and a prerequisite to CCIE Lab. However, there are a few questions about the CCIE Written and Lab exams that just won’t go away, so here I decided to put them all together in one place. CCIE has multiple tracks (e.g. R&S or SP) and each track has its own CCIE written and lab exams. Please note that this CCIE FAQ is continuation from Part 1.

Can you tell me more about CCIE Lab Troubleshooting section?

First things first, troubleshooting section is two hours long. However, you are allowed to borrow up to half an hour from the Configuration section (which if you recall is 5 hours long). In other words, you can choose to have extra 30 minutes for either Troubleshooting or Configuration section. However, both modules use different topologies.

The Troubleshooting section involves multiple incidents or tickets that are independent of each other, what that means is that the resolution of one ticket does not depend on the resolution of another.

Can you tell me more about CCIE Lab Configuration section?

The Configuration section is sort of replica of a full-blown production network. It is a major part of the Lab and includes virtual and physical routers, switches and appliances. At the beginning of each section, the candidate has full visibility of the entire section and he or she can choose to work in any sequence or order he or she prefers. Please note that candidates are required to still follow a sequence as far as executive an order is concerned, i.e. you start with Troubleshooting, then diagnostic and finally Configuration section.

Can you tell me more about CCIE Lab DIAG section?

The Diagnostic section is entirely focused on diagnostic without the actual device access. You will be presented with timed snapshots of network issues. Your job is to assess and diagnose the network issues with access to documentation (such as e-mail threads, network topology diagrams, console outputs, logs, and even traffic captures.)

Let me summarize the skills that are must-have for this section.

  1. Analyze
  2. Correlate and process multiple sources of documentation

In the Diagnostic section, you are pretty much taking a scenario based written exam test and answering the following questions:

  1. What the root cause of the issue is?
  2. Where is the issue located in the diagram?
  3. What critical piece of information allows you to identify the root cause?
  4. What missing piece of information allows you to identify the root cause?

What is the passing criteria for the CCIE Lab Exams?

Well, in order to pass lab exam, you have to meet the following criteria.

  • Sum total of all sections must equal to at least the minimum threshold score
  • Sum total of each section must be greater than or equal to minimum threshold score for the section

CCIE lab assessment ensures that you can’t pass lab exam while failing a section such as DIAG or Troubleshooting or Configuration.

How long do I have to wait, after taking a Lab exam, to know if I have made it or not?

Your results will be available within 24 hours and in some cases a little longer but still before 48 hours. Results are scored as Pass or Fail.

What if I don’t agree with the CCIE Lab Exam grading, is there anything I can do?

You have two options. You can request a Review (costs $400) or a Reread (costs $1000). Review or Reread must be requested within 14 days following the exam date. Reread involves another proctor to load your configuration into a rack and recreate the test and calculate your score once again. Rereads are only available for R&S and SP exams. For Collaboration, DC and Security, there are far too many GUI tools involved to conduct a “Reread”! From collective experience available on the “Reread”, it sounds like a complete waste of money and you should better save that money for your next attempt!

Not entirely related, but you must make a point to report any equipment related issues to the proctor as soon as you see them.

Is CCIE Lab an open book Exam?

Cisco provides access to online documentation throughout lab exams. However, the only way to navigate through this documentation is using the Index because search functions are disabled. No outside reference or materials are permitted in the lab room.


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Did you know
Evolving Technologies V1.1 is now part of all CCIE/CCDE Written exams.
All of our study material is already updated with V1.1 material!
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