Passed R&S v5 Lab 7/28/14

Hi All,

Not a frequent poster on here but thought it would be a good place to share my story with everyone currently on the path to their CCIE.  I am proud to announce that I passed the v5 lab exam at RTP yesterday, July 28th, on my first attempt!

I studied primarily with INE's rack rentals and workbook, devoting virtually all of my personal time to this goal.  I started out watching all of the ATC videos, with Volume 1 workbook practice in between.  By the end, I went through all of (v4) Volumes 1 and 2, about half of Volume 3, and about 90% of Volume 4.  I think I developed the most from the Volume 2 full-scale labs, always spending as much time as necessary to fully understand every topic being tested, supplementing the solution guides with information from Volume 1 and blog posts.  I believe INE has a great package of training products that, if you are motivated and eager to learn, will teach you everything you need to know for the exam and a lot more.  From what I've seen so far, this is even further true for the upcoming v5 workbooks.

Towards the end of my studies, I sat for the R&S bootcamp in Bellevue, WA with Dave Smith.  I consider this class crucial to my development of more than just the knowledge of how to configure IOS equipment, but truly understanding the underlying concepts and technologies involved.  Dave was an excellent teacher who could answer virtually any question I or my classmates had, and if he didn't know the answer, he could immediately come up with a test scenario to demonstrate for the class.  Cristian Matei was also present for the class and was eager to help us all learn not only during class, but afterwards and on breaks as well.  Equally as important are the wonderful contacts and friends I made in the class.  Having others to talk to about my study habits and progress was vital to my motivation and focus.  If you have the means and the opportunity, I highly recommend this class for anyone serious about obtaining their CCIE certification.

One thing I've seen a lot of differing opinions on is when you should take the bootcamp.  You should feel almost ready to sit your exam before you attend this class.  The bootcamp, true to its name, is extremely fast-paced and intensive, and if you don't already have a strong foundation of understanding, you will quickly get lost.  If you are prepared, this class will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to succeed.  Personally, 4-8 weeks before your exam date would be my suggestion.  Of course, INE's generous reseat policy means you can always go back for more.

As others have said, the v5 R&S exam is quite a bit different than what I’ve come to expect from v4 training material.  The virtualized environment gives Cisco the flexibility to design virtually any kind of network, and they certainly make it big.  This is a big step in making the CCIE more relevant to real-life, modern networks, and less of an obscure puzzle that it used to be.

We all know the structure of the exam, so I won’t bother anybody with those details, but I will mention a bit about my strategy.  I tried my hardest not to use the extra 30 minutes in TS, and ended up leaving one ticket unresolved.  I believe I finished TS somewhere around 2 hours and 2 minutes in, so I had almost the full 5 ½ for config, and I certainly needed it.  The diag section is certainly a different animal, but I believe is a good addition to the exam to test the skills that actually matter in our jobs where we’re not building exciting new networks every day.

As for config, you better be a fast typist and able to wrap your head around a massive network without a lot of time to understand it in.  I’m not sure if this is the best advice, but I did not redraw the network diagram.  There was a lot of scrolling around on the diagrams provided, and I admit I didn’t entirely understand every individual router’s behavior, but configuring the devices based on the tasks provided got me where I needed to be.  As they said at Cisco Live, “The questions are inter-dependent by nature.” I bounced around between tasks quite a bit, something I really never did in my practice exams, so I had to quickly scrawl out a task list on paper.  I imagine this interdependency will be one of the big changes to upcoming material and full-scale labs from all the training providers, and something that definitely takes some getting used to.

Finally, the best piece of advice I can give is to stay motivated and be confident in your knowledge and skills for this exam, and this extends to the day of the lab itself.  With only an hour and a half left of test time, I thought for sure I would fail; verifications weren’t succeeding, and I felt overwhelmed by everything.  I already started thinking of future attempts, weeks and weeks of lab workbooks, and whether I’d ever be able to pass this test.  I took a quick break to the bathroom, thought about all the people confident in me to pass, and came back to work on a different task.  An hour later, the empty boxes on my task list are almost all checked off, and all my verifications check out.  Seeing all those check marks felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.  When time was called, I left my desk with a smile, a big change from just 90 minutes earlier.  Basically, we all know the exam is very demanding, but don’t let the stress take over, and keep going until the end.

I had my results exactly 1 hour after the test was over.  The email doesn’t tell you directly—you have to log into the CCIE portal to see the results, but just seeing the message that quickly started my celebration.

I’m still getting used to the fact that I will no longer be studying 6-12 hours every night, but I have to say it is an amazing feeling so far.  All the sacrifices in my personal life were worth it, and now I can go back to living, with a CCIE number to show for it.  I hope my story can keep you all motivated to keep studying hard and working towards this goal we all strive to achieve.  I wish you all good luck and productive study time.  Remember, it can be done! 

 

Matt Gottlieb
CCIE #44400

Comments

  • Well done. & thanks for taking the time to write up your experience.

  • Congrats, enjoy your number !!

  • Wow, envious (in a good way) of your cool looking digits!

    Thank you for reporting your story, I am happy for you.


  • Congratulations Matt, this is very encouraging. I think the
    v5 is going to be fun, working toward  my first attempt. 

     

  • Wow.. Congrats...

  • Congrats Matt!!

    Thank you for your report. Nice number! :)

    Plinio

  • JoeMJoeM ✭✭✭

    Congrulations on getting a nice looking number.  [H] 

    Thanks for the motivational write-up.  I like reading these.  Makes me want to work harder

  • Congrats dude!! and WOW on nailing it in attempt 1 and this close after the v5 refresh. You da man!!

     

     

  • Well done! It sounds like we had very similar strategies and experiences in the lab. Got to say you have a much nicer number :)

  • Nice job, congrats!

  • COngratulation Matt, for your insight,motivation, and success story for R/Sv5 Exam.

    You made it the exam is passable ;)

  • Congratulations!  Great work.

  •  thank you for your feedback!...  

  •  

    Congratulations.....

    On a lighter note, i will remember a trip to  the bathroom just before 1 and half hour left....

  • Congrats Matt!!!

     

    Brian McGahan, 4 x CCIE #8593 (R&S/SP/SC/DC), CCDE #2013::13
    [email protected]
     
    Internetwork Expert, Inc.
    http://www.INE.com

     

    From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of mgottlieb
    Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:58 PM
    To: Brian McGahan
    Subject: [success] Passed R&S v5 Lab 7/28/14

     

    Hi All,

    Not a frequent poster on here but thought it would be a good place to share my story with everyone currently on the path to their CCIE.  I am proud to announce that I passed the v5 lab exam at RTP yesterday, July 28th!

    I studied primarily with INE's rack rentals and workbook, devoting virtually all of my personal time to this goal.  I started out watching all of the ATC videos, with Volume 1 workbook practice in between.  By the end, I went through all of (v4) Volumes 1 and 2, about half of Volume 3, and about 90% of Volume 4.  I think I developed the most from the Volume 2 full-scale labs, always spending as much time as necessary to fully understand every topic being tested, supplementing the solution guides with information from Volume 1 and blog posts.  I believe INE has a great package of training products that, if you are motivated and eager to learn, will teach you everything you need to know for the exam and a lot more.  From what I've seen so far, this is even further true for the upcoming v5 workbooks.

    Towards the end of my studies, I sat for the R&S bootcamp in Bellevue, WA with Dave Smith.  I consider this class crucial to my development of more than just the knowledge of how to configure IOS equipment, but truly understanding the underlying concepts and technologies involved.  Dave was an excellent teacher who could answer virtually any question I or my classmates had, and if he didn't know the answer, he could immediately come up with a test scenario to demonstrate for the class.  Cristian Matei was also present for the class and was eager to help us all learn not only during class, but afterwards and on breaks as well.  Equally as important are the wonderful contacts and friends I made in the class.  Having others to talk to about my study habits and progress was vital to my motivation and focus.  If you have the means and the opportunity, I highly recommend this class for anyone serious about obtaining their CCIE certification.

    One thing I've seen a lot of differing opinions on is when you should take the bootcamp.  You should feel almost ready to sit your exam before you attend this class.  The bootcamp, true to its name, is extremely fast-paced and intensive, and if you don't already have a strong foundation of understanding, you will quickly get lost.  If you are prepared, this class will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to succeed.  Personally, 4-8 weeks before your exam date would be my suggestion.  Of course, INE's generous reseat policy means you can always go back for more.

    As others have said, the v5 R&S exam is quite a bit different than what I’ve come to expect from v4 training material.  The virtualized environment gives Cisco the flexibility to design virtually any kind of network, and they certainly make it big.  This is a big step in making the CCIE more relevant to real-life, modern networks, and less of an obscure puzzle that it used to be.

    We all know the structure of the exam, so I won’t bother anybody with those details, but I will mention a bit about my strategy.  I tried my hardest not to use the extra 30 minutes in TS, and ended up leaving one ticket unresolved.  I believe I finished TS somewhere around 2 hours and 2 minutes in, so I had almost the full 5 ½ for config, and I certainly needed it.  The diag section is certainly a different animal, but I believe is a good addition to the exam to test the skills that actually matter in our jobs where we’re not building exciting new networks every day.

    As for config, you better be a fast typist and able to wrap your head around a massive network without a lot of time to understand it in.  I’m not sure if this is the best advice, but I did not redraw the network diagram.  There was a lot of scrolling around on the diagrams provided, and I admit I didn’t entirely understand every individual router’s behavior, but configuring the devices based on the tasks provided got me where I needed to be.  As they said at Cisco Live, “The questions are inter-dependent by nature.” I bounced around between tasks quite a bit, something I really never did in my practice exams, so I had to quickly scrawl out a task list on paper.  I imagine this interdependency will be one of the big changes to upcoming material and full-scale labs from all the training providers, and something that definitely takes some getting used to.

    Finally, the best piece of advice I can give is to stay motivated and be confident in your knowledge and skills for this exam, and this extends to the day of the lab itself.  With only an hour and a half left of test time, I thought for sure I would fail; verifications weren’t succeeding, and I felt overwhelmed by everything.  I already started thinking of future attempts, weeks and weeks of lab workbooks, and whether I’d ever be able to pass this test.  I took a quick break to the bathroom, thought about all the people confident in me to pass, and came back to work on a different task.  An hour later, the empty boxes on my task list are almost all checked off, and all my verifications check out.  Seeing all those check marks felt like a huge weight off my shoulders.  When time was called, I left my desk with a smile, a big change from just 90 minutes earlier.  Basically, we all know the exam is very demanding, but don’t let the stress take over, and keep going until the end.

    I had my results exactly 1 hour after the test was over.  The email doesn’t tell you directly—you have to log into the CCIE portal to see the results, but just seeing the message that quickly started my celebration.

    I’m still getting used to the fact that I will no longer be studying 6-12 hours every night, but I have to say it is an amazing feeling so far.  All the sacrifices in my personal life were worth it, and now I can go back to living, with a CCIE number to show for it.  I hope my story can keep you all motivated to keep studying hard and working towards this goal we all strive to achieve.  I wish you all good luck and productive study time.  Remember, it can be done! 

     

    Matt Gottlieb
    CCIE #44400




    INE - The Industry Leader in CCIE Preparation
    http://www.ine.com

    Subscription information may be found at:
    http://www.ieoc.com/forums/ForumSubscriptions.aspx

  • congrats on your success.

    need a help. can you point me where to get iou of WORKBOOK 2 from ine ver 4.

    have done workbbok 1 

    Thanks.

  • Congrats and thanks for sharing your story.

    How many months/years did youstudy for your CCIE?


    thanks
  • WOW!!! Congratulations!
    Btw. awesome Number you got ;-)
  • tmanitotmanito ✭✭✭

    Great job! Congrats!

    Hope this helps!

    Timothy Q. Manito

  • 1st attempt v5...awesome man! Congratulations

  • Awesome job! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  • Congrats!

  • Hey Matt many many congratulations for this..... 

    feels really good to hear that...I am also preparing for the same , can you just share how u used to manage things like family , friends besides studying 6-12 hrs a day....? 

    And how many months you practised the same....? M desperately looking to crack the v5 lab on the very first attempt ... 

     

    Thanx bro , 

    greetings from 

    INDIA .

     

     

  • Thank you all for your kind words.  To answer a few of the questions, I had spent approximately 7-8 months specifically preparing for the CCIE lab exam.  I had passed the written 18 months prior (to the day) to my exam.  That all being said, I have a strong background in networking, and of course this all builds on top of experience and prior study, so I do not consider it fair to say "I studied for the CCIE for 8 months".  As for the personal life and time management, I have to say I completely shut out all other distractions when studing for my lab.  Besides working 45-55 hours each week, I can count on 1 hand the days I spent with friends/family during this time.

    Hope this helps you all working towards this goal and I wish you all luck and productive study time.

     

    Matt

  • Congrats !!!!!!!!!!!

  • Enjoy buddy !!!!

  • Congrats man!  hard work pays off!

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