General Comment

CCIE Candidates,

I have been studying for my R&S CCIE for a couple years now.  I have taken the lab twice and failed it both times.  The first time I took it was to purely extend my eligibility because the 18 month time frame was expiring.  I didn't study, I walked in there, did my best, and left.  The second time i took it, I studied my butt off and failed.  I, honestly, thought I nailed the thing, but, obviously, didn't.  I felt robbed of something I felt I deserved.  I read several posts from people that felt the same, which was comforting.

The reason I am writing this is because I see and read a lot of people bitching and complaining about the CCIE lab exam and how hard/unfair it is or can be.  After my first "real" attempt, I, honestly, felt the same way.  I was so sure that I nailed it that I requested a reread of my exam - the result was the same.  Unfortunately, I also see a lot of people using this forum as a vehicle to bitch at INE proctors about silly things and requesting somewhat ridiculous demands of INE.  

I was in the U.S. Navy at one point in my life, working as an IT.  I remember seeing Navy Seals come on board my ship temporarily and thinking, "Jesus Christ, those guys are incredible."  They commanded a huge amount of respect from EVERYONE because of all the training they went through and the experiences they had.  They are the top echelon of the military - not just the Navy.  The truth of the matter is, the CCIE exam is the IT equivalent of the Navy Seals.  if it was easily obtainable, it wouldn't command the respect it does.   The more I study now, the more I realize I wasn't prepared for the exam when I took it last.  This being said, I suggest we all buckle down, study our butts off, stop complaining about things we weren't able to obtain because of our own weaknesses, quit making silly excuses, and just knock the thing out.  Good luck!


p.s.  My profile picture isn't really me :)  I realize a fat naked guy sitting at a computer doesn't command much respect :)


  • True that, That's how it is supposed to be. Believe it or not but when I started in the Cisco world, I took my CCNA exam this last august 2009 (I scored 1000/1000 in the exam [:P] ), that really pumped me up and then I went full blown for CCNP with ultimate goal for CCIE. I set my goal (Its a really ridiculous goal but it motivates me) to get my CCIE within one year of getting my CCNA. so far in 5 months from August, I cleared my entire CCNP (one more 1000/1000 in BCMSN) and CCIE written exam. As of today it looks like the goal is achievable (If Petr can get 4 CCIE's in 2 years then I can get at-least 1 [;)] ). So hopefully everything goes well and we get our hard earned CCIE! Good luck to you and everyone!


  • I hear you Erik. I thought I was the only on in this boat. We all demand respect in the IT industry and the CCIE certification is the way to go to get it; but it comes at a cost. Sacrifices have to be made. People shouldn't just expect to walk into the lab and be given an easy lab and get the 5 digits easily; because believe me, if that was the case, the CCIE certification would be like the MCSE certification a long time ago (Not to downgrade on my fellow MCSEs). Victim of its own success. But it's true.

    I took the V3 lab and failed; why? Easy to answer, I was not ready and I was not expert, thruth be told. I have to admit that the V3 exam was very easy, when I look at the exam now, 9 months after. V4 is harder and much more challenging. Good, because I do not want the value of my CCIE certification to go down after spending so much time, money and energy studying it. On the contrary, I want people always be amazed and take it as a privilege when they meet a CCIE; because CCIEs deserve respect after all they have been through.

    Just like Erik, the more I learn deep about these technologies, the more I realise that i do not know jack. But, just like Anthony says, "baby steps" will get us there. One thing we have is INE. We have all the tools avalaible and it's on us to use them and practice on a daily basis. 

    With that said, I wigh everybody a happy long studying and let's knock some heads down and get the respect!!!!!!!!

  • Malick and Erik,

    You guys are right on the money. I cleared the written in 7/2008. I'm taking my third crack at the lab on 6/21.

    V4 was a completely new challenge for me when I took it in Nov.

    I can tell you that the smartest person I've ever worked with (who was studying for the CCIE at that time) got it in 6 attempts. He used INE and is 25,5xx.

    If you don't stay humble and work hard to get an expert level of knowledge, you won't pass. If you do manage to slip by, it will show when you enter the job market.

    It's amazing how well Cisco designs the lab. They can weed out people so well who don't know thier stuff.

    My friend was picked up by Cisco within a month or two of passing. He worked for a small VAR and small ISP prior to that. Now he's in the GGSG group at Cisco making the dough and reaping the rewards of his hard work.


    Study Hard and Good Luck!






  • Mike,

    Good luck on your third attempt - my third time was the one I was able to pass.

    Erik & Makick,

    After an unsuccessful attempt you can either think that the lab was unclear/unfair/poorly-designed, or you can determine to study harder and to learn more so you can conquor the next one.

    Good Luck to All!

  • Thanks Darrell!

    The number one thing my friend taught me about a failed attempt is to make damn sure you know exactly where the points were missed and make sure you know how to address the things that left you scratching your head.

    He dubbed the failed attempts as "$1400 lunches" or "the best meal you could eat for $1400".

  • I would actually call it the worst meal you could get for $1400, but whatever.  For me it was the most expensive bottle of water I could get because I was so jacked up the whole day I had zero appetite.

    Good luck in your studies folks.  Keep plugging away - a little bit at a time, a little deeper and a little deeper, a little wider and a little wider, a little quicker and a little quicker......... As the SEALs say "The only easy day was yesterday."


  • DarrellEscola,

    Thanks for the comment!  If only Cisco folks were the ones passing, I would suggest that the test isn't fair - but it isn't the case.  Joe Blow's all over the world are passing the test.  Honestly, I though the v3 exam was relatively straight forwards and, dare I say, somewhat easy (folks, don't shoot me!).  I have a bad, bad habit of skimming through a section, absorbing 85% of the requirements, and only implementing them.  When I study now, I consciously make myself aware of this fault and have been scoring significantly higher, which is a huge plus for me.  

    If I could offer any advice to people, it is to always take into consideration that the technologies we are being tested on were born from functional requirements taken from real-world situations in the field.  These technologies were developed to overcome obstacles and fulfill somebody's business requirements.  Cisco didn't dump millions of dollars into R&D to come up with cool and cleaver ways to f*ck with candidates taking their exams.  When you are working on a technology, ask yourself, "Why do I need to do this?  What was this command/argument developed to accomplish?"  This mindset has helped me a lot lately.

    Anyway, back to studying! :)  GOOD LUCK!!!!


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