2nd and Probably Last Attempt For Awhile

1st attempt I passed TSHOOT and DIAG, but failed CONFIG.  2nd attempt I failed TSHOOT but passed DIAG and CONFIG.  I don't think I have a 3rd attempt in me.  Financially, physically, or mentally :-(

I need time to think what I'll do next.

For those getting ready to head to RTP, I've included some advice below:

1. Get a hotel that offers shuttle service.  Hyatt and Holiday Inn/Hampton had free shuttles that took you where you needed to go so long as it was way too far away from the hotel.  This is also useful when you need somewhere to grab food cus some areas don't have sidewalks and or nearby places to eat.  So unless you want to risk overpriced hotel food (if any), find a place that has stuff nearby or at least a shuttle if you don't rent a car.

2. Get a hotel that offers breakfast.  Sounds trite, but it's not.  You need that food to fuel your brain for the exam.  My first attempt I skipped it cus I was so nervous about being late.  Bad move.  I ran out of gas by the time config came around.  Second time I had breakfast and didn't get tired at all during the lab.

3. Schedule your shuttle to take you to the lab at least 30 mins. before.  If you have a car, allow yourself extra time in case you get lost.

4. Make sure your flight, if you have one, isn't too close to 4pm just in case you need to use max verification time.  My flights out were at 6pm so leaving the lab at around 4:30 when the shuttle picked me up, I still had plenty of time to relax and grab a drink or two at the airport bar.

5. Unless you have a hardware problem, don't bother asking the proctor unless you need clarification with something.  And unless you're doing Collab etc., you can rule out hardware problems anyways.

6. Don't reload anything.  There's no need.  The most you'll need to do is save your configs, end your session, and restart your PC, but even then don't do it without the proctor say so.


Hope this helps


  • JoeMJoeM ✭✭✭

    I understand how you feel. I felt the same way when I left my 3rd attempt.  Fortune was on my side and I passed.

    Better candidates than you or I, have taken the exam more than twice.  A friend who I think is better than me, is going for his 4th try.  Tenacity with the journey.


    You only have 700 points for participation on the forum.  Change gears. Get into a group where you are asking/answer questions more -- or do it here on the forum.  Help people with their technical questions.  Ask questions when you have a doubt.


    For me, I did 3 attempts.  One thing I benefited from, was studying 3 times for the exam.  My knowledge base is much more solid, than if I had passed the first time.  

    If you think there is a slight chance that you will pick this back up, then don't quit.  Keep going while you are fresh.


    Good luck with your final decision.



  • I appreciate the tip Joe.  I'll start contributing more to this forum since many folks have done it for me.  I don't know what I'll do next, but since I doubt there are many millionaires here, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say most of us can't just pony up $$$ every time we want to retake.  But I'd be lying if I said the fire was totally gone.  I think at this point, it's fear.  I just don't get it.  I took the same approach and failed a section I passed the first time around. 


    Totally baffled

  • Great tips, you nailed it on the head.  Happy to say I passed on my 3rd attempt!  I have a life again!  Until re-certification anyways ;-)

  • Big, big congradulations, Nathan!  Thank you for updating this post.  Those of us that are gearing up often read these type of posts.  It's good to see that everyone goes through the gambit of life changes while studying, failing, doubt, and are still able to pull through.

    Congrats again.  Enjoy your number.  :-)

  • JoeMJoeM ✭✭✭

    Congrats Nate.  Great feeling.  Like you are standing at the top of Everest.  You conquered it, and now you see a bunch of other peaks that need to be climbed.   That is how I still feel.   Hmmm  There is a Juniper peak.....a CCIE-SP peak.....a security....data-center....wireless.       Let us know your next goal.   Looks like mine is going to be SP and/or Juniper.)

  • I've been thinking on this and haven't come to a conclusion yet.  Learn Python to build my SDN toolset?  Going into SP since a lot of the knowledge carries over?  Look into security to enforce my GETVPN and IPSec expertise?  I have not decided yet, so for the time being I'm playing around with datacenter concepts.

    For those on the journey, I realize it sounds easy for me to say don't give up, but that doesn't change the fact that it's true.  And JoeM is right again in that my failures only strengthened my skills due to repeatedly studying from the ground up.  I don't want to bust anyone out, but the record for CCIE Voice attempts until passing was....quite high.

  • Think I'll make a run at Datacenter.  Or at least strengthen those skills.

  • alexpfalexpf ✭✭

    One thing that I struggle with is deciding when I have studies enough. I have been spending countless hours over the last two years and I still don't feel like I am ready for the lab.

  • Alex, both INE and Cisco have performance assessment labs. The INE tend to be scheduled, the Cisco are remote online so you have your choice. But you might want to do that before dropping $1600 on an attempt if you're unsure.

  • alexpfalexpf ✭✭

    I already have access to the Cisco performance assessment labs. For INE, are you talking about the workbooks, or a separate lab?

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