CCIE Written dupped me

Just took my CCIE written today and failed with a 670.  I'm irritated because just like Cisco in the past they word questions to trick you and not necessarily test you.  I used the CCIE R&S Official Certification Guide from Cisco Press for my primary study guide, reading literally every page and highlighting everything along with making my own flash cards.  Well some of the topics that stumpped me today are not even mentioned in the Official Cert Guide.  So how can Cisco Press put out an Official book and not cover all topics you will encounter?

 

Then there were topics where they have literally one page in the book that says what they are but then on the test they got deep into the configurations of the topic.  The book says that what is in the book should be enough to help you answer questions - BS!  Not when they don't prepare your mind for what the exam is going to cover.

 

Bottom line, I feel cheated by Cisco to not cover the topics that will actually be on the test.  If anyone has additional resource recommendations I am all ears.  Thanks.


Troy

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Comments

  • Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but the CCIE is not like CCNA or CCNP. It's at a different level. 

    The Cert Guide is no longer enough. You can't just read that and expect to pass the test. I usually recommend reading most of the recommended reading list before doing the written - that means reading thousands of pages of additional material. If they covered absolutely EVERYTHING you needed to know, the book would a ridiculous size. Instead, use it as a refresher, or indicator of where you need to do more study. Some areas you'll know well, others you'll need to do your own study, from whatever resources are necessary.

    Related to that, you should be using the blueprint published by Cisco as your master list of topics. Go through that blueprint, and ensure that you've got a good handle on everything in it. Before reaching the lab stage, you should know everything on that list. For the written, you don't need quite such a deep level.

  • Oh and I'd also say that if you feel the question "tricked you", then you probably didn't know the topic well enough in the first place. With more study, you'll see those questions differently, and realise it's not a trick question at all.

  • Thanks for the response.  I understand CCIE is a whole other level but I did expect an Official Cert Guide to let me know the topics.  I also used TCPIP Vol I&II, Boson ExSim Max and the Boson CD in the back of the Cert Guide.  

    I guess like you said I will take about another year and read the recommended reading list.  Thanks.

  • Hi,

    I used intensively IPEXPERT CCIE R&S written test quizz  for my preparation.

    Don't hesitate to ask questions. It would be a real pleasir to learn with you by answering these questions.

    Good luck and never give up!

  • Troy, Sorry to hear that. I recommend you not to take written exam just preparing for theoritical knowledge rather you can easily pass it after some hands on practice of technologies. It helps you tackling with scenario based questions which you generally don't find on the books. 

    If you are done with your knowledge in all the sections of CCIE blueprint, start to lab with Volume I workbook and once you practice with all the technologies go for written exam.

    Good luck!

  • Yes CCIE  will test you in deep so you have to be more prepared.

  • So sorry to hear that ... I passed it on Saturday, but I studied like crazy for 2 weeks just for the test (of course after years of CCNA / CCNP studies).

     

    I thought it was lame but a friend told me to remember  ... AFxy= DSCP(8*x)+(2*y).. i.e. AF32 = DSCP(8*3)+(2*2) =DCSCP28 ... and that helped a lot.  Maybe it isn't the proper bit notation way of doing it, but it works everytime.

  • Also,

    I do kind of agree that they try to trick you ... Like a question might start out talking about the outbound interface, maybe shows an exhibit all about an outbound and an inbound interface, 4 of the 5 choices are something complicated about the outbound interface ... but the question is actually asking about the inbound interface and one inbound interface answer is something really simple.

    It is like they are trying to trip you up, make it more complicated than it is, and doubt yourself when you select the simple answer.

    Like I said I passed, but I am not sure it was a good representation of having an "expert level of the principles / book knowledge".  Also, while it is not a configure test, the fact there are no simlets or full labs is a little lame.  I think the line between principles and application of those principles is very gray.

  • I have no experience with the IE tests, but I do agree that frequently cisco MCQs test your reading ability and ability to understand strangely worded questions as much as they test actual knowledge.  They also frequently steer you towards the incorrect "obvious" answer.  At least IMO.  I overcome this by forcing myself to read the question at least twice, usually 3 times, and mouse under the words, mouthing them silently, as tedious as that sounds and is.  I probably look like a idiotic spaz, but whatever, it seems to help - I have caught several questions that I thought were asking "which of the following three are" when they were actually asking "which of the following three are NOT" or similar.

  • peetypeety ✭✭✭

    Bottom line, I feel cheated by Cisco to not cover the topics that will actually be on the test.  If anyone has additional resource recommendations I am all ears.  Thanks.

    With all due respect, if you feel cheated now, STOP.  Give yourself time for a massive attitude adjustment.  When you're ready to become the networking expert that you (perhaps) can be, go become that expert, and take a test or two to confirm where you've gone.  Honestly, I failed the lab nine times because I hoped I could pass.  I passed when I got myself to a point where I knew I could pass, no matter what they threw at me.  If you're thinking you can read one book and pass the written, we've all got news for you.

    Back when I started my CCIE quest, I would go to the Borders bookstore and walked the aisle of geek books.  If there was a Cisco Press book with the little purple rectangle with white letters "CCIE", I bought it, and I read it (and yes, I did just lift the door on my office bookshelf to confirm what color it was/is).  You have to be ready to learn for the sake of learning, because they might just put it on the exam.  In the past, I've been asked to build a network with RIP, OSPF, IS-IS, EIGRP, and BGP in it.  I've been asked to build a network that used both BGP Confederations and Route Reflectors in the same network.  Is it sane?  No.  Would I do it?  No.  Might you run into it as a consultant, you bet.  That all makes it fair game on the test.

  • Peety is spot on.  I just passed the lab last Friday, and believe me when I tell you if you do not like questions on the written then you will hate the lab.  The pitfalls in the lab can rely on the addition or removal of a single work like "ensure".  This can mean the difference on passing or failing a 3 point question.

    R/w

    On Aug 7, 2013, at 11:47 AM, peety <[email protected]> wrote:

    imageTroy:

    Bottom line, I feel cheated by Cisco to not cover the topics that will actually be on the test.  If anyone has additional resource recommendations I am all ears.  Thanks.

    With all due respect, if you feel cheated now, STOP.  Give yourself time for a massive attitude adjustment.  When you're ready to become the networking expert that you (perhaps) can be, go become that expert, and take a test or two to confirm where you've gone.  Honestly, I failed the lab nine times because I hoped I could pass.  I passed when I got myself to a point where I knew I could pass, no matter what they threw at me.  If you're thinking you can read one book and pass the written, we've all got news for you.

    Back when I started my CCIE quest, I would go to the Borders bookstore and walked the aisle of geek books.  If there was a Cisco Press book with the little purple rectangle with white letters "CCIE", I bought it, and I read it (and yes, I did just lift the door on my office bookshelf to confirm what color it was/is).  You have to be ready to learn for the sake of learning, because they might just put it on the exam.  In the past, I've been asked to build a network with RIP, OSPF, IS-IS, EIGRP, and BGP in it.  I've been asked to build a network that used both BGP Confederations and Route Reflectors in the same network.  Is it sane?  No.  Would I do it?  No.  Might you run into it as a consultant, you bet.  That all makes it fair game on the test.




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  • That stinks. sorry to hear.. Cisco press is a part of pearson education and not really "cisco". That is why in addition to my preperation for the written I acctulally study the Labs  and Cisco docs. That worked ok for me.. 

  • Sorry to hear that.  I took mine exactly 20 months ago but I need to take again the RS written exam as I was not able to prepare for the lab.  I think the INE ATC videos and Written Exam videos will help in a way.  Then again for people who don't have enough experience(like me) in the field will find it difficult but not impossible to pass the written. We just need to work doubly and I'm sure will attain our goal in the future.

    Keep studying.[:D]

     

     

     

  • Like a question might start out talking about the outbound interface, maybe shows an exhibit all about an outbound and an inbound interface, 4 of the 5 choices are something complicated about the outbound interface ... but the question is actually asking about the inbound interface and one inbound interface answer is something really simple.

    So you mean it sounds pretty much exactly like many problems you're faced with in the real world? User logs trouble ticket: "Can't access site. Network is broken. Fix the network! I didn't change anything!!!"...and of course it's not the network, and something else has changed.

  • I admit that happened to me sometimes to think : Damn, how they create such kind of tricky questions?

    But....after look the solution i thought: How i didnt thought that before? that's correct, i should study more!

    So of course they need to put more difficult on tests specially on expert level by introduce arguments that can bring you out of the track.That's the challenge. But that should push you to improve ur skills. Also because if you begin think that Cisco cheat you what do you think to resolve? Study more and try again.

     

    Good luck

     

  • Yep,

    Study more and more and then get your number.

  • I know what it's like to take and fail a Cisco exam, I have a track record of failing an exam and then taking it sometime later and passing. I'm working on my CCNP right now. Unfortunately my current position requires me to work at the CCIE level most of the time. At least the CCIE level topics, and I mean all of them, they don't leave anything out in this network. It helps me since I can see what Brian McGahan is referring to in his examples. We have a 4x CCIE working for us, can't mention his name. He gets frustrated sometimes on outages because of some the backwards way of doing things. I know he just passed the DC exam(no it's not Brian McGahan or Mark Snow). He's got R&S/Security and DC, not sure what the other one is.

    I contested my Route exam and then realized on my drive home 3 days later, it hits me what I should have done. I closed my contest ticket and just faced the reality that I wasn't ready for that exam. I have been studying at the NP level now for a month preparing for the retake. I agree with everyone on this forum, if taking any of the CCIE exams were easy then everybody would do it. I like the fact that Cisco makes these exams this difficult, when people give you a hard time about the CCIE cert you have plenty of ammo to throw back at them.

    Keep your chin up and never give up. Failure is not an option, I would take a week or so and just decompress. I had to since I was so disappointed in the score I got on the Route exam that I thought about giving up, this isn't for me, how did I do SO bad? Once I calmed down and took another look at the exam I realized the error of my ways. I am reading and labbing, if something doesn't make total sense I relearn it until I have no doubt. My boss calls me an over achiever, I welcome the comment since I know the CCIE in any track is going to be tough. That's what makes it rewarding, you study your butt off and then you pass, it makes it worth it.

    One thing that I had to remember is, I want this, no one is forcing these certs or tests on me. I want the CCIE, just like someone going after there Bachelors, they want it for what it can bring them. No one ever said it would be easy or not difficult to pass a Cisco exam. You HAVE to know what your doing.

    I realized I am a CCNA in a CCIE forum, however I believe if you follow the guidelines that the Brians laid out for passing the CCIE that the only bumps in the road will be the ones where you don't know a technology as well as you need to. Regardless of what Cisco exam your going for, approaching the exam with the same learning techniques, know the technologies, gain a basic hands on level of experience with it.

    Work to gain an expert level of understanding and gain an expert level of hands on experience with the technologies. At some point you just need to go for it. You won't know until you try. Nobody likes to donate money to Cisco but sometimes it's the only way to know, I digress now.

    Rob

  • Are you saying that you only used the Cert guide to pass the written and just studied it for two weeks?

  • @ Raytay ... Are you asking me ... I think so, since I mentioned studying for 2 weeks.

    I did CCNA, CCDA, CCNA-Voice, CCNA-Security, Route, Switch, tShoot, Arch, CCIP-QoS, CCIP-BGP, CCIP-MPLS ... passing all those exams

    I also did INE's CCIE Written VoDs and Multicast Deep Dive, and a bunch of CBT Nuggets (really old CCIE written / Lab, BGP, etc.)

    With all of that studying, and all of the notes (I am at over 700 college rulled pages of notes so far), I then spent 40+ hours over the course of 2 weeks studying just for the CCIE R&S written exam ... which I passed on Saturday.  I actually never used the cert guide ... I am not a big reader (I don't absorb and remember the information well by just reading it ... I remember VoDs and hands on so so much better).

    Honestly, with all the hours of headphones in my ears, I am pretty sure the two Brian's and Jeremy Cioara talk to me in my dreams (Mark, Anothony, and Keith might be too).  And when I do take the lab, they will be the angels sitting on my shoulders like the old disney cartoons, whispering how the timers won't match if I configure it that way, or to add on the permit statement at the end of the Route Map inorder not to block the rest of the traffic.  Or simply the voice saying ... "Dude, you'r gonna get your number" ... in the best Bill & Ted impression possible.

  • As Bill and Ted would say "Excellent". 
    Yes, I was asking you. I am reading the cert guide. I am almost completing  my second time reading the 945 page  cert guide book.  I enjoy reading, but once I get to multicast and IPv6 I am fighting to stay awake.  I have looked at the documentation on the Cisco website for certain things that are not detailed in the cert guide. 


    I own both of the Jeff Doyle Routing TCP/IP books, which I use for a different perspective on some things, but if people are saying that I have to read both of those 900 page books.  I will be throwing them both through a window.  


    I have another question, which videos did you use, the CCIE written or the Advance technologies videos?

    thanks.



    On Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 4:12 PM, Boatman78 <[email protected]> wrote:

    @ Raytay ... Are you asking me ... I think so, since I mentioned studying for 2 weeks.

    I did CCNA, CCDA, CCNA-Voice, CCNA-Security, Route, Switch, tShoot, Arch, CCIP-QoS, CCIP-BGP, CCIP-MPLS ... passing all those exams

    I also did INE's CCIE Written VoDs and Multicast Deep Dive, and a bunch of CBT Nuggets (really old CCIE written / Lab, BGP, etc.)

    With all of that studying, and all of the notes (I am at over 700 college rulled pages of notes so far), I then spent 40+ hours over the course of 2 weeks studying just for the CCIE R&S written exam ... which I passed on Saturday.  I actually never used the cert guide ... I am not a big reader (I don't absorb and remember the information well by just reading it ... I remember VoDs and hands on so so much better).

    Honestly, with all the hours of headphones in my ears, I am pretty sure the two Brian's and Jeremy Cioara talk to me in my dreams (Mark, Anothony, and Keith might be too).  And when I do take the lab, they will be the angels sitting on my shoulders like the old disney cartoons, whispering how the timers won't match if I configure it that way, or to add on the permit statement at the end of the Route Map inorder not to block the rest of the traffic.  Or simply the voice saying ... "Dude, you'r gonna get your number" ... in the best Bill & Ted impression possible.




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  • I dont recommend watching the INE CCIE Written, watch the ATC videos instead. Also, if you have access to the multicast deep dive, I would suggest watching that one too. The Written videos were done by an old instructor that I personally found very ineffective. The ATC on the other hand were done by Brian McGahan and are great.

    I hate to break it to you though...you WILL have to read. You will not be able to pass a CCIE lab if you are not willing to read. Not only books, but blog articles, Doc-CD, etc. You cannot only rely on videos to pass the lab. Maybe you can do that for the written (although I think it would be hard), but definitly not for the lab. 

    There are tons of good books with solid information out there. 

    Some people prefer to watch videos over reading. I guess it depends what type of learner you are. But if you would like to continue on to be an expert in the field you will have to read a lot more than 2 900 page books. 

    Just my 2 cents.

     

  • @plucena24.  I was talking mainly about the CCIE written. I understand there will be a lot that I will have to read for the lab, for every Cisco exam, I read the corresponding book at least twice and am doing that with the written as well.  I go to the Doc CD as well.  I have also read some of the RFCs out there.  I just did not  want to over study for the written, if you know what I mean. 

  • Ummm ... the CCIE Written VoDs 4.0 marked as current ... are by Brian Mc.  Though I sort of agree they are a little too fast paced to really teach something new, they are more of a review.

    I personally think the ATC are too in depth to know simply for the written, I am studying them right now along with WB1.  That is not to say if you can do all 170 VoDs (Whatever the number) and WB1 you won't pass the written with flying colors.  I mean you would be well on the way to being at "Expert" at that point.  That is if you are willing to wait on your written for a few months, while you study all of those.  In this case, simply your written studying will be longer and your lab studying will be shorter than most other people

    Like he said, the Deep Dive Multicast by Brian Mc, is amazing ... which, I did with GNS3 along side (since I hadn't bought my lab equipment yet).  I mean, sure there are somethings I still could learn by reading that book even more.  And I will.

    As for IPv6 ... an old Anthony is here at INE I think, and there is a new Keith over at CBT on the subject.  I still think parts of 6 are a little bit of a dark art since, I actually think a few of stuff has changed over the time (there is one type of address that was in, then out, then in, then out again ... I am not sure where it is today).  So when I really really want to know that, I guess I will have to study the books closely.  But if you understand the different types of addresses (LinkLocal, Global, etc.), tunnels (6to4,ISAKMP, etc.), the purpose of the special addresses in IPv4 and how and why they translate to 6 (like 224.0.0.13 is FF2::D), DAD, router discovery ... you should pretty much be their.  I doubt they would ask any super crazy IPv6 subnetting or firewall rule where you have do MAC to DEC to Wild Card Mask or how ever you would do such a thing in IPv6.

    Then ... I would also be absolutely sure you could almost teach a CCNA or even CCNP level course in Layer 2 (STP, VTP, Etherchannel) and Layer 3 (Static, RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, BGP), simple switch/router security (inspection, CPP, firewall), and maybe standard features (NAT, NTP, EEM).

  • Thanks Boatman. 

     

    Ummm ... the CCIE Written VoDs 4.0 marked as current ... are by Brian Mc.  Though I sort of agree they are a little too fast paced to really teach something new, they are more of a review.

    I personally think the ATC are too in depth to know simply for the written, I am studying them right now along with WB1.  That is not to say if you can do all 170 VoDs (Whatever the number) and WB1 you won't pass the written with flying colors.  I mean you would be well on the way to being at "Expert" at that point.  That is if you are willing to wait on your written for a few months, while you study all of those.  In this case, simply your written studying will be longer and your lab studying will be shorter than most other people

    Like he said, the Deep Dive Multicast by Brian Mc, is amazing ... which, I did with GNS3 along side (since I hadn't bought my lab equipment yet).  I mean, sure there are somethings I still could learn by reading that book even more.  And I will.

    As for IPv6 ... an old Anthony is here at INE I think, and there is a new Keith over at CBT on the subject.  I still think parts of 6 are a little bit of a dark art since, I actually think a few of stuff has changed over the time (there is one type of address that was in, then out, then in, then out again ... I am not sure where it is today).  So when I really really want to know that, I guess I will have to study the books closely.  But if you understand the different types of addresses (LinkLocal, Global, etc.), tunnels (6to4,ISAKMP, etc.), the purpose of the special addresses in IPv4 and how and why they translate to 6 (like 224.0.0.13 is FF2::D), DAD, router discovery ... you should pretty much be their.  I doubt they would ask any super crazy IPv6 subnetting or firewall rule where you have do MAC to DEC to Wild Card Mask or how ever you would do such a thing in IPv6.

    Then ... I would also be absolutely sure you could almost teach a CCNA or even CCNP level course in Layer 2 (STP, VTP, Etherchannel) and Layer 3 (Static, RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, BGP), simple switch/router security (inspection, CPP, firewall), and maybe standard features (NAT, NTP, EEM).

     

  • but if people are saying that I have to read both of those 900 page books.  I will be throwing them both through a window.

    Then you might as well throw them through the window now, and give up on CCIE studies.

    Don't treat the written as something completely separate to the lab. Treat it as an overall program of work. A large part of the reading you'll do at this stage is so that you have a solid foundational theory, and move from written through to lab studies easily. 

    Too many people skip the foundational reading, and want to jump straight into hands-on config when studying for the lab. They usually end up buying quite a few lunches from Cisco.

  • Then you might as well throw them through the window now, and give up on CCIE studies.

     

    I was just kidding on throwing the books through a window. I understand there is a lot of reading involved and to me it is the most important part. It builds the foundation on knowing what tool, protocol etc to use, when and why. It also helps you assert your position with other position on why it should be used. 

    It is just sometimes when I am reading about this 3 bytes are for this in this packet and these two bytes are for that...I'll be sure to remember that.  To me, they fall well within Einstein's quote of "never remember something that you can look up"

    I understand I need to know all of these things for the exam but not seeing where some of the minutae is needed in the real world.  Maybe I am missing something.  

     

    Just my 2 cents. .

     

     

  • I understand I need to know all of these things for the exam but not seeing where some of the minutae is needed in the real world.  Maybe I am missing something.  

    Who cares about The Real World? This is the CCIE. You'll do all sorts of things for CCIE that you would never willingly do in a real network.

    Semi-joking aside, you don't have to know the format of every routing protocol packet, but when it comes to things like QoS, there are certain things you should know about how the ToS byte is constructed.

  • I can sympathize with your frustration, but one thing I think you are overlooking is at the end of every chapter in the cert guide is a list of references  to "Further Reading" to dive in deeper to each subject.  Maybe look at where you are weak at, and go look at those resources next?

     

    Ken

    Ken Hagen
    CCIE #56460

  • Here's the fundamental problem:

    You see the CCIE Written as the logical next step, and then you prepare for the lab. The CCIE written is not really a logical next step. It honestly has never been intended as a next step either, and as such, there is no cert for the written portion. You can see some allusion to this in the cert guide itself as well, as you notice that all the non E level guides are test specific, while the E level guides are basicly quick overviews, which really are summaries of a dedicated book to each chapter.

    The written is meant only as a gate keeper to the lab exam to keep people who have no business wasting the seats out, and to make sure that at least some knowledge is required against brain dumper gatherers.

     

    If you are looking to go for the lab, you have to know all the theory of the core topics, and practice doing them a good bit. At that point it's worth looking at the written, and not really before.

  • After completing which INE R&S workbook would you recommend that I should try for the written exam?

    Is there a list of must read books/docs ?

    Thanks

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