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CCIE R&S - Passed!


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#1 beavis

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:34 PM

Hi All,
Well, Ive been an avid reader of this forum throughout my CCIE studies and promised myself that, if I were to ever get through the lab, then Id make a post so here goes ... :)

Did the exam last week and am still coming to terms with the fact that I made it through first time round. I still check the Cisco site daily to make sure that they haven’t made a mistake. Start to finish took me about 9 months (inc written) on top of 7-8 years experience. I made the decision to hit the exam hard rather than dragging it out. First bit of advice I can give is not to under estimate the amount of time, energy and work that this track entails. This exam has dictated my life throughout with waking up early before work to get an hour in followed by more time in the evenings. Weekends were planned round study. Friends/family/partner also felt the pain that the exam brings :) Ive read blogs where people have somehow managed to make the exam a secondary concern. I did it the other way round based on the info given to me from other candidates. Fortunately there are three other CCIEs in the office so they were a great source of advice on how to approach the CCIE. I was also lucky enough to be able to take two months off work (unpaid) so have spent that time doing 14hr days surrounded by only books and routers.

Anyway, the new format. When they first introduced it I tried to cancel the lab and get a refund. There was that much fear. To be honest, Id never thought Id be saying this, but Im now an advocate of the open ended questions. When I heard I split my study 50:50 between theory and practical. The theory has obvious benefits to the practical and I was a better candidate for it. If it stops people cheating their way through then this is a good side effect. Its also hugely beneficial for candidates. Theres no other part of the lab where 21 points can be gained in just 30 minutes. Get this right and thats almost a quarter of the points obtained before 9 o clock. As Cisco state, a well prepared candidate shouldn’t fear these questions. (Please don’t ask for the actual questions – this exam has drained me and Ive no intention of breaking the NDA and giving it up).

Actual lab itself can be daunting. Ive watched the class on demand videos and read advice on what to do (ear plugs/diagrams/TCL etc etc) and I went into the lab telling myself Im going to do XYZ. Its easy to think this with a calm mind but can be in a different proposition with adrenaline. To be honest, as soon as I got in the lab the only thing I did was read the exam from cover to cover to try and catch any requirements that had dependencies further on. Diagrams were already done for you and the exam room was quiet enough. Dont get me wrong – I can see the benefit of doing diagrams but for me this would have wasted unnecessary time. Just my opinion. Another thing to remember is not to be complacent about time. Eight hours goes amazingly quickly. I also promised myself not to get dragged in to wasting time on any single questions. If it didn’t work then move on. Easier said that done and I fell into this trap and it almost cost me. I finished with just 10 minutes to go. Ive also read that the exam is about speed. This, in my opinion is incorrect. Speed is worth nothing if its wrong. Accuracy is whats important. Getting it right first time is half the battle and will save time and troubleshooting.

With regards to prep – used the IEWB labs and bought all the gear of Ebay and managed to scratch enough together to get some 2600s, 2520s for the frame switch, a term server and 4 3550s. If I were to do it again then Id probably add at least a couple of XMs and a 3560. These all cost extra money and my set up did 90% of what was on the blueprint. The other 10% I learnt the theory and then made use of ccierack.co.uk to get some exposure to the 3560s and unsupported features on the 2600s (good set up and Marks a helpful guy). Also invested in the CiscoPress TCP/IP vol 1 and 2, CCIE R&S guide, QoS and internet routing architectures. All great books esp TCP/IP. If buying only two books then make sure its these. I also spent a lot of time reading the Cisco Doc CD. Print it out, read and reread. This has the obvious benefits of learning the technology and knowing where to look if called upon in the exam. There were a couple of times that I needed this just to double check.

I was freaking out with a couple of days to go before the exam. Its difficult not be nervous. Best bit of advice I had was to “expect to fail the first time, enjoy it, take in the environment and to allow for a second attempt – only be nervous if its attempt 5 or 6”. In retrospect this was spot on although thought it strange at the time. Most exams it would have been words of encouragement. When I left the lab I wasn’t sure how I did but was strangely confident that Id make it through if I had to do it again. First time round theres a lot of additional stress such as dealing with the topology and coping with an unknown exam format and procedures. Giving up after just one go just wasn’t an option with the amount of time and energy invested.

Results came through within about 12hrs. Time seems to stand still while the page comes up and when it does theres an initial feeling of disbelief followed by a sense of sheer exhilaration and relief. The last few days have been a bit strange .. theres suddenly a concept of free time. In retrospect wish Id have done the exam earlier in my career. I always thought the CCIE is an unachievable goal held by a few network gods. The CCIE has improved me tremendously as an engineer and actually made life at work easier . Do I consider myself a network god .. not a chance. It just takes time, motivation and a hell of a lot of dedication ..
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#2 rainbow9810

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:00 PM

Congrats....You are the first one from sadikhov to get the number after the introduction of new rules by cisco.....My hearty congratulations.... :)

I am sure this post will be a great motivation for all ccie aspirants..

Edited by rainbow9810, 04 March 2009 - 05:00 PM.

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#3 FS

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:22 PM

Oh wow, well done on your CCIE ! I can't even imagine your feelings.

To my opinion, if cleaned up from all following "congrats", your post deserves to become a candidate for The Best post of the month nomination and go on the front page of the web site.

#4 Rmania

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 05:52 PM

congrats,Senior nice post.... even i am performing Lab in a month....
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#5 rainbow9810

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 06:38 PM

This post deserves that....Nominated this post for the "post of the month"....

Edited by rainbow9810, 04 March 2009 - 06:39 PM.

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#6 jayped

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 06:57 PM

Congratulations beavis,

With regards to the open-ended questions I agree that it's a great way to sort out the cheaters. However I doubt that they would be able to pass the lab anyway though.
Without violating any parts of the NDA I'd like you to explain how the format of the open-ended questions are. How are they presented?

My concerns are that I would find it difficult to explain the technologies briefly within 30 minutes without getting to much in-depth (well it depends on what they ask).
Multiple-choice questions makes this somehow "easier" to complete.

Those 21 point you've got from those questions - did you get points pr. question or do they count as a whole?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by jayped, 04 March 2009 - 07:02 PM.

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#7 beavis

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 07:49 PM

Thanks for all the Congrats guys. :)

Jayped - Ive had a few questions about the open ended questions so thought Id make one further additional post. Im purposefully not saying to much as the only people who can answer this with 100% accuracy is Cisco. As per Cisco, expect 4-5 questions which are PC based. The only thing that Cisco has made public is that you must pass both sections. Ive no idea whether 3 out of 4 constitutes a pass/fail but the section will be marked as either 21% or 0% based on posts in other forums. The amount to write is up to the individual but will obviously need to prove that you understand the question. If you can do it in one word great :)

If youve studied then this shouldnt be an issue. Its merely an extension of the written but in a slightly different format.
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#8 Gunga_Jim

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 09:29 PM

Let me be the first... err, probably about the eighth to congratulate you.
Anybody who is worried about the open questions check out my blog. I'm going to start putting some samples on it



Sorry for the slight highjacking, but i think there are a lot of people concerned about this. Also due to Beavis' suggestion for the next 2 months i will dedicate 60% of my time to Practical labbing and the other 40% to theory. Too much time invested to just give up...

Maybe Beavis could tell me if i'm heading in the right direction.

Edited by Gunga_Jim, 04 March 2009 - 09:30 PM.

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#9 Centronix

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 09:48 PM

It's always inspirational to see or hear of someone who made it in the lab exam. I'm happy for you and wish you all the best in your career. Be the best you can be and kick butt - well not literally :)
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#10 labproctor

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 09:57 PM

congrats, which site? who was your proctor?
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#11 desidude09

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:03 PM

@Gunga_Jim
what is the url for your blog?
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#12 earl

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:07 PM

a big congratulations! your post is another inspiring story. =)
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#13 bevin

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 02:31 AM

Hard work and proper strategy gets the job done...
Great achievement Beavis...Keep going...and definitely you are an inspiration...
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#14 Sasquatch

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 02:39 AM

May I add my congratulations.
Having just passed the R&S written, I am taking a weeks break and the will begin in earnest preparation for the Lab.
As you say, being fully prepared the open question bit holds no fear for me.
I would be interested to see if the pass rate has declined since its introduction, especially in certain geographic locations.
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#15 bunty

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:33 AM

Bravo Beavis!!!!

Well firstly I would like to congratulate you. Well done man, very good.
You know i have seen many people dropping the dates due to the open ended questions.
But you are brave and dedicated and were rewarded properly. Well this also proves that a well prepared candidate should not at all fear the open ended questions.
Ok could you please let me know as to which book are you mentioning for QOS? I could not get it, a bit dumb.
If you can elaborate the exact name of the book it would be very helpful for me.
Once again I would like to heartily congratulate you on your great achievement.

Regards,
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#16 Krisi

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 03:41 AM

Congrats Beavis.

Just curios, Are you planning to pursue any other tracks in near future ? :)
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#17 n00b13

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 08:49 AM

Top work sir!

You raise a very good point here though:

Theres no other part of the lab where 21 points can be gained in just 30 minutes. Get this right and thats almost a quarter of the points obtained before 9 o clock.


But I also think it is a little rich that you can fail before 9am too.


Anyway, you probably couldnt care less now :)
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#18 a61971

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 09:05 PM

Hi

Any information about if there is reducements in lab questions,- because they must estimate ....let's say half an hour
to the "oral" questions???

Or are the labs the same, -and the new stuff is just added.

No matter what,- I just gotta grab what they throw... :blink:

Regards

A61971
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#19 threadmill

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 11:17 PM

Hey nice post and congrats as well.... At least the open ended questions are not as bad as we thought ..... fingers crossed for the rest of us......
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#20 ^shadow^

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:52 PM

Weldon mate, hopefully one day I will also say the same thing............
all the best
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#21 Shotokan

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 08:37 PM

Hi

Any information about if there is reducements in lab questions,- because they must estimate ....let's say half an hour
to the "oral" questions???

Or are the labs the same, -and the new stuff is just added.

No matter what,- I just gotta grab what they throw... :blink:

Regards

A61971


it appears that they have adjusted the lab requirements to accomodate everything in 7 1/2 hours.
check out IE's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding the CCIE R/S Core Knowledge Simulation
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#22 sreenee

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:04 PM

congrats for this greatest achievement ......it has really inspired me a lot...
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#23 rainbow9810

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:29 AM

Congratulations Beavis .... :)

This thread has been selected as "Post of the month"...

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#24 protocult6

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:08 AM

Congrats Beavis. Thanks for the information.
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#25 captured

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 06:15 PM

Congrats Beavis

Very Inspiring thanks!
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