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What *i* Did To Pass The Ccie Lab

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As of 11/2 2006 I know of at least 3 people from sadikhov haved tackled the CCIE Lab. Some of us Mods decided after Ryan (LILMCK77) to create a pinned message for other members that are studying for the lab. The purpose of this is simple: Those that have passed (or are studying and have a lab date scheduled) can post their study routine and materials used to pass the exam.


There is a rule.


Each member can post in this thread ONE time. The only thing we are interested in is what you used to study and prepare. This is not a COMMENT thread, it's to spread info. If you have specific questions you can start another thread or send a PM. The reason for the rule is that we don't want this to become cluttered.


Without further ado....

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Hi after many PM's asking what I did, I have decided to put it here so I don’t have to type it so many times.


First of, I started my CCIE preparations last year about December. I started with Reading the standard books.


Routing TCP/IP vol I & II. I actually did all of my studies off of Vol I first edition and the re-read the 2nd ed when it cam out. I recommend reading the 2nd ed.

I also browsed thru Cisco Lan Switching, but the entire books is based in CAT OS so I ended up going back to my CCNP BCMSN (Cisco press) book. I think it pretty much covered what I needed to know. It is actually a pretty good book.

I used the QOS book (Cisco press) for CCVP.

I referred to the BGP commands and configuration guide as needed.

I referred to the OSPF commands and configuration guide as needed.

In the last week before my written, I used TestKing.. (yes I used TK, but only after I felt I have a strong background in all of the core topics)

I took and passed my CCIE R&S Written on March 11.

I bought the CCIE Exam certification guide after I passed the written and read it. It is much more useful it you get it before the written, because it is mostly for the written.


I then played around a little bit on the CCIE Practical studies VOL I until I started my class in June.


On Just 6 I stared a bootcamp in India. I attended Ip Solutions R&S Lab bootcamp in Mumbai India. It lasted for 1 month. Basically I sat in front of a computer with a Full Lab sitting next to me and for 8 hours a day I completed Labs with a CCIE instructor helping me. The class itself was 1 month, but I stayed a little longer, (about 4 more weeks) and utilized the equipment doing Internetwork Experts labs. I really liked them and felt they thought me A LOT.





I got back to the states in August and continued to do Internetwork Experts Labs with online rack time. I used Internetwork Experts online labs a few times, but mostly used CODEwww.ccie2be.comas they are cheaper for the time. Their equipment is set up perfectly for the IEWB.

I made sure I could get thru all of the IEWB labs. I did 1-30 and repeated 1-10.

In Late August I signed up for an IEWB Mock Lab and did pretty well on it and then I signed up for the CCIE assessor Lab. I did well on it too, so I figured I was ready.


I sat my lab for my first attempt on Sep 8 and feel I came pretty close, just not close enough.


After that I was pretty discouraged for a while and did not study at all. I was just being lazy but really wanted to continue but did not have my heart in it. I scheduled a trip to Hawaii and for the day after Hawaii, I set up the Heinz Ulm bootcamp.


So, after my trip to Hawaii, I flew directly to Denver and sat in Class with Heinz Ulm for his Mock Lab bootcamp. October 9-13CODEhttp://www.heinzulm.com/mocklab.php

That ended and I had one week before my Lab Date of October 20. I made a deal with Heinz and utilized his Online Labs until the following Thursday morning. (day before Lab) I used that week to do a few more of his labs and go thru the DOC CD every chance I got to find things I knew I might need to find in the real lab.


I sat down on Friday, Oct 20 and was pretty confident. I was finished with my IGP and had started BGP before Lunch. When i got back form Lunch, I continued with BGP and moved on to the rest. I had completed my entire Lab with the exception of one security Task I never got to work right. I ended up leaving it alone because I felt it would mess me up in other areas because I never did get it right. I got up to leave about 1 our before time was up, but for some reason came back to my seat to run a few more tests (LUCKILY). I found one thing that was broken from one of the later tasks I did, and fixed it, after that I could not drag myself away from the seat until they told me to go. I ran ping, Telnets, and Trace routes to EVERY SINGLE IP in the Exam. I highly recommend that if you have time, do it.

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I studied the CCNP and CCIE track from March 05 until July 06.







Routing / TCPIP Volumes 1 + 2- Ciscopress - Covers topics: Basic routing principals, TCP/IP, BGP, EIGRP, OSPF, Advanced Routing, Multicast, IPV6, and etc. Not a one stop shop but basically a bible for routing.


OSPF Command Reference - Ciscopress - Basically the DOC CD in printed form. Is a little older.


BGP Command Reference - Ciscopress - Basicall the DOC CD in printed form. Is a litle older.


Routing and Switching Written Certification Guide - Ciscopress - Very good book as it summarizes all topics in Routing / Tcpip in my opinion. Also covers all topics on written blueprint



Cisco Lan Switching - Ciscopress - A little outdated but the fundamentals still apply.



Developing IP Multicast Networks - Ciscopress



IPV6 - hxxp://www.ccbootcamp.com - their IPV6 book is very good. It is 40 pages of theory and about 60 pages of nothing but IPV6 labs. I liked it and learned all I needed to know from this book, and the DOCCD.


Lab Books

Internetwork Expert Practice labs

NLI / CCBOOTCAMP Practice labs

Netmasterclass Practice labs

and repeat... ;-)



Internetwork Expert Class on Demand - Priceless, they want you to learn the material and not just pass the lab.

CCIE R&S CBT Nuggets - It's like Diet Soda VS Regular, it comes up light. It is OK maybe for the first stages of CCIE training. Not informative enough.


The following from Knowledgenet:

BGP Module, Multicast Module, and a few others... I forget for now.


Classroom Training


Unitek - CCIE Written - 5 days intense lecture. I was prepared for the written before I went, but work covered it so it was a cool refresher. Passed written exam on site.


Unitek - CCIE Lab - 6 days intense configuring - lecture after each lab. There were 6 people in the class but the training itself was one-on-one. The labs were outdated and included ATM/ISDN so we had to take the time to edit that stuff out. Not impressed by it considering it was in May - 5 months after stuff was removed from the lab. The instructor however made up for it and was pretty good. His name was Rahim Roufi.



Aside from that I lived, ate, and breathed the DOC CD. The configuration guides and command references are priceless.

Edited by nooch
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Ok, sorry for the wait, but had lots of things to do after the exam :wacko:


This is what I used for the exam:



Routing and Switching certification guide, its from Cisco Press.

Routing TCP/IP Volume 1 from Jeff Doyle, also Cisco Press

Volume 2 of the Jeff Doyles Book


First, I read the routing and switching guide and then the Jeff Doyle's books, but I reccommend doing the opposite, the Doyles cover everything in detail, so you want that first, then the cert gudie, covers everything with less detail and adds some new features that the other books dont cover.


After reading this 3 books I did and passed the written test, this took like 1 or 2 months.




I used internetwork Expert's core lab workbook and volume 1&2 complete workbooks, thats like 40 labs and lots of hours.


I first did all 30 labs from the workbooks and then the core labs, but, again, this is not what I recommend, its better if you do all Vol.1 labs then all cores and then all Vol.2 labs, if you can do some of them 2 times, do it!


I did from 2 to 3 labs per week, did 1 lab and the next day I graded it. One week I did 4 labs and the last study week I did 8 (from sunday to sunday, exam was on wednesday)


*note: this will be what gives you all the practical knowledge, so do it!




After my first lab attempt, I realized I had much more to learn, so I used some videos, this were the CoDs form Internetwork Expert and the CBTnuggets.


The CBTnuggets were the first I saw, they are short and can teach you some things with out boring you. Have some mistakes, so you need to validate some things, but they are OK and short. Wont hurt if you use them.

Then I used the IE CoDs, those are some good videos, but if you are like me and used to sleep at school when the teacher is talking, it will be hard, I couldnt finish the videos because they are too big, so I slept in most of them. If you like taking class, use them!



Mock Labs

I did the 4 Internetwork Exper Mock Labs, they are really cool since they are actually graded by people, not an automatic script. I did one after the 20 Vol.1 Labs and 3 on my last study week, gave me a good feel about the exam and how it is graded.


*note: Be careful, sometimes IExperts fall down the schedule and send the results like one week after you make the exam.




Didnt have a home rack, so I used the IExperts one, they are ok and perfect if you are using their workbook, since you dont have to config the FR switch and have exactly the same topology. They have a good customer service also.




VERY IMPORTANT! use it daily, use it for work, use it for studying, use for everything! why? maybe you wont use it at all for the exam (I used it for 2 questions) BUT will give you a huge boost at work, you can find everything there, so use it! know it! 2 questions can be either a pass or fail.


Tips before the exam

-The week before try doing some labs, but dont over study. I did labs daily, but if I was tired I stopped.

-Try doing some labs without a PC, do it on your mind and just see if your thinking was right, this is less stressful and if its your last study day (or days), you wont learn anything new (if you did study well)

-Arrive to your hotel 1 or 2 days before the exam.

-Take some books to the hotel, maybe you wont even open them, but it wont hurt you.

-Take the workbooks to the hotel and if you want to study a little, do some labs in your mind, do it fast, you can finish one in 30 mins, BUT DONT MEMORIZE THE ANSWERS!!! THINK!!!!

-The day before dont study, go to eat, watch a movie and sleep. No need to be nervous.

-The day of the exam, have a nice breakfast! get a shower!

-Dont fly the same day.



Tips for the lab

-Read all the lab once and quickly

-Check the diagrams (I didnt draw them again)


-Ask any doubt to the proctor

-Resolve everything quickly so you get lots of hours to check answers





The best thing I can tell you is enjoy the exam and the study and you will become an expert. If you work at something you like, its not hard.


I passed the lab with 5 months of studying, less than one year of field experience, was 23 years old and passed on my first attempt, so dont listen to those recommendations







Rodrigo Hernandez, CCIE#17162

Edited by moguel

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Couple days ago I passed CCIE lab exam. It was my second hit. As you already know I tried it in the december for the first time, and I was just couple of points under the line. It was very frustrating, but I made break for 3 weeks, and after that I started again.


I used these lab preparation materials in the last 10 months:



1) IEWB 3.0 - I did all 20 labs twice. WB should be used as resource for getting to know real lab format questions, not to learn technologies.


2) I had my small home lab in wich I practised IEWB scenarios and warious routing tasks that I could invent for myself. I tried to find out what should I see in debug output if I have working configuration or if I had non working configurations.


3) I did not practised switching a lot, because I am having it a lot of it in my daily job, and switching in both my attempts was no problem for me, so that is the main reason why I did not chase IEWB 4.0.


4) I never find a good QOS book that will meet my requirements: precise explanation, good diagrams and clear sequencing of QOS mechanisms, so I use everything I could find about QOS and read it (evry QOS book that I could find on GS and tons of files from CCO).


5) I mastered non-core topics from DoCCD."DocCD is your friend" - this is 100% true :) .


6) I did not use any rack rentals, I used only my home lab and ASET labs.


7) I went to Heinz Ulm's 3 weeks CCIE R&S bootcamp. I heard very useful tips and tricks on the bootcamp, and find out that I should improve my time management. BTW, time management was the reason for my first attempt failure.


I hope this guidelines will help someone who is starting with lab preparation, and I wish you all good luck on your lab exam!!




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What did I do to pass?


I am not going to talk about books or lab workbooks too much, because the vendors don't really matter that much. I have used Internetworkexpert (my preferred), NMC and Ip-Expert. I could have passed with any one of these had i known then what I know now.


I put in crap loads of hours. I had no job, so that helped. I put in approximately 300 hours a month for the last couple months. I probably invested about 2000 hours over the last couple years. The last few months of preparation, I really learned to study. Its not about quantity, but its about quality and keeping a routine. In hindsight, I could have passed this exam much faster had I managed my time more appropriately, and not slacked off the routine.


Learn the technologies.


I don't know how many times I had heard and ignored this. I started this journey with the attitude that just doing the practice labs were key to learning. It is so far from the truth. I kept getting hung up on the same topics in the workbooks. I finally stepped back and regressed to the Internetwork Expert technology labs. My final month of preparation, I did not do any full labs (I failed the lab on my first attempt the month earlier). I spent lots of time working through the technology labs over and over, and using the Doc CD. By far learning to use the Doc CD is what really pushed me over the top on my 2nd attempt. The answer to almost any question is right there for the taking. On top of that, I constantly built new dynamips labs and did concept testing on everything I had trouble with. Debug everything so you can see how it really works, and don't take anyones word for it. Go see for yourself!


I have read a lot of books over the years, but honestly, the only topics I went outside of internetworkexpert (WBs and CODs) and the doc cd were QOS and multicast, just because I needed a better understanding. If you do the tech labs, and the WB labs, topics like OSPF, BGP, EGIRP, etc... will be pretty easy to you, if you are studying well. BGP is a monster of a topic, but trust your IE workbook. They test you on what you need to pass the exam.


For QOS I read a few books and watched the Knowledgenet vids.

For multicast, I watched the knowledgenet vids as well. Their multicast vid is actually quite good and in depth. It gave me a different perspective and filled in a lot of the gaps from the IE COD.


Ultimately, focused study was the key to me passing. Rather than wasting 4 hours going through a lab and building core, just so you can study the topics you suck most, don't do it. Do the tech labs or build your own topic by topic, until you feel you have a really good understanding of each topic, then do full labs. Even after that, i would go through the IEWB vol 2 workbook and read over only the stuff from the topic I was working on that week, and solve them in my head.




Don't fall off the wagon. I studied in 4 hour blocks, with almost no exceptions. Your dog needs a walking? Too bad. He has to wait. Baby drop a bomb in the diaper? Your gonna have to smell that shit until your study block is up :) Having at least an average intelligence and good old fashioned routine are what you need for the knowledge to sink in. Also, no matter how smart you are, you might not pass on your first run. Shit happens. You make a typo and configure Lacp instead of pagp, you just lost 3 points. Those things happen to the best of us, this is where the routine helps. Practice at your best, do not slack in any one thing. Test as you go. Go back and retest in the end. I found a crap load of errors after I completed everything and went back through it. Just stupid stuff, where I might have changed a parameter to test a feature, and forgot to change it back to what the lab asked for. Practice at home and simulate your lab day. Certainly putting in 8 hours a day might be impossible for most people, but 4 hour slots are not that bad. Sticking to the schedule is key.


I did not use a bootcamp, and did not have any funded training. I would have loved to go to a bootcamp, but just did not have the money or support through work when I was working.


Besides the message boards, CCIE study is a lonely endeavor. Unlike going to college, where you have structure forced upon you, CCIE lab study is all on you, and your ability to force the routine. I know I sound like a broken record, but this is just a test and you have a good study routine to pass it. You don't only have to want it bad, you have to make rules for yourself and stick to them.



Edited by cisco4lyf3

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Here is the story which I posted in GS...because of delay,Hope Paul(moderator of GS) fix the problem soon :)





Hey Guys!


At last with the blessing of GOD, I manged to pass CCIE exam at brussels.This was my third attempt.Yea,I am 20 but I am not boasting but rather feeling proud for this accomplishment in the conditions I been through while preparing.Its been a long journey.I want to say Thanks to Brians,Darby for this tips and Scott,Narbik for their endless help rather it be direct or indirect as most of the help and information I got to my problems was by searching the old archives and most of the archives were from Scott and Narbik :).Also want to say thanks to Alexie for his posts in Netmasclass,the thing in which I was getting which was redistribution,he pulled out a topic from Group Study posted by Bruce from Netmasterclass way back,it was huge post on Redistribution which really opened my mind in that particular area.I can post that link later if someone is interested.Also want to say thanks to Eric and Bruno,the proctors of Brussels which really helped me(Cheers! if you are reading this post :) and to Manoj for talking with me on phone for helping me out in my problems and giving me tips for the Lab.


This is a Huge post.I just want to tell everyone that never ever give up!!.Always remember:-


"Winners never Quit & Quitters never win!!"


I struggled a lot during my journey to CCIE.It took me 3 years! I started studying for CCIE back in 2004 after passing my CCNP when I was just 17.My career started when I was studying in 9th grade and was working as part time in my areas's local ISP company.I use to do installations of Modems,cables for New customers.My interest started to grow after I saw Network Engineer f our company configuring RIP on Router.My ambition started to grow,I wanted to be like him,sitting on chair and configuring Network Equiptments remotely.Then I asked him how to learn those kind of things and then he recommended me Wendel Odom's CCNA book,that's when my career in Cisco started.I managed to pass CCNA and started helping that same Engineer in his work of configuring routeres and learn new things from him.Later on I managed to pass CCNP.


My hunger for Networking started to grow,that's when I joined a big company out of the state where I was living,which really helped me in studying.I worked there and meanwhile started studying for CCIE in 2004.But at that time was also most worst part because when people use to lookup at me in India(thats where I worked and grew up) they use to mock me "17 year old kid doing CCIE?!!! HAHAHA",They use to mock me on my back which also worked as spilling petrol in fire for me in my studies due to which my determination grew and I wanted to show them that I can do it.But at that time I was not upto the mark for CCIE.I took traning in Bangalore,it was 2005 mid by then.Then I got know about IE's Brian and I saw their sample labs and then I realized that there was so much out there to learn.But I didnt had that much finance to pay Brian or for my training.So I made up my mind to work hard and collect money.After doing 9 to 5 job,I use to Design Websites and do Web hosting for many customers.


That business really boosted my income and till the ended of 2005 and with some financial help from my parents I planned to buy my rack and then I posted at GS in Dec 2005 I believe for getting help for setting up Rack,Then brian McGahan came forward to help me and I bought full Rack of routers and CCIE End to End from Brians on which they gave me discount after due to my financial condition.I am really grateful for them.I started learn technologies more deeply by studying Brian's COD and their workbook and meanwhile studying CCIE Practical studies Vol 1 & 2(I already completed TCP/IP Vol I & II by this time).


But finance was always problem for me,so I had to work meanwhile for collecting money for CCIE Lab exam.But 2006 wasnt really good year for me.Due to some personal problems at home I had to sell my rack.My CCIE written exam was going to be expired.So I gave my written exam again and then I needed to practise on Rack.But the Rack rentals price for 20-30 days and training of Bangalore for CCIE turned out to be same,HAHA,So I thought I should rather go to banglore,this way I got rack access for 1 month physical access (My employer really helped me and gave me leave).


But then after reading that how people fails in GS,I was really shocked and I made up my mind to take Bootcamp.My friend Manoj whom I met in GS recommended me to go Cyscoexpert where Naren Mehta who is Co-Author of Book "CCIE Routing and Switching Official Exam Certification Guide" and bahram were giving one to one training in US.So I decided to go there,so I started collecting money and did various projects meanwhile and did programming/designing for website,also hosted Live broadcsting events.At last I was ready to go.


But before going I did Rack rentals from Chris from CiscoLabs,he gave me Rack in damn cheap price.I am thankful to him.I took my training in US from CyscoExpert.That training was just awesome! It really helped me and I thought I was ready for exam and I would pass it.I appeared for my lab on 15th may 2007 at RTP,This was my first attempt and I failed.I was really shocked that what happened as when i came out of the lab I thought Iwas passed.It really shook me.I did't knew what to do.I posted my experience in Lab during then.When i returned back to India,I met those guys again mocking at me even 2 years after saying that I cant pass the labs.So I felt so guilty and thought I couldnt pass it and they were right.But my parents supported and girl friend supported me and told me to give it another try.After 1 week time my I decided that I wont give up and booked my lab date on 5th July,2007 in Dubai and guess what I failed again which almost made me thing that CCIE is not meant for me and I dint even had the courage to post in GS or appear in GS again.I was really broken in pieces and started to think that those guys were 100% right that CCIE is unattainable for Kid/Teenager like me and I dont deserve that.


But after 2 months I really thought that what am I doing?! Even after doing so much I am quiting?! So finally I decided to give one more attempt again and see my luck.I decided to take Narbik's bootcamp under his special offer but due to some personal problems I was not able to attend it.I decided to do Netmasterclass,Also Chris from CiscoLabs and my old friend Manoj gave me advise to do it.So I bought Netmaster DoIT and rented Rack from Chirs and started practicing and whole December I practised DoIT,especially on Weekends and during Christmas/New Year Holidays.


By this time my lab was booked on January 29th at Brussels.I went to IE's COD again.Read the redistribution part which really sometimes put me in trouble from Forum's of DiscussIT of Netmasterclass by Bruce posted by Alexie,Thanks again for that!! And not to forget my favorite post from Darby in GS with Subject "Lab Approach - Getting Ready for the 3rd Shot at the Title" which really helped me in my 3rd shot ;).Thanks Darby for that.I got problem in many things but it was mostly previously discussed in GS before and was mostly answered by Scott and Narbik,Thanks Narbik and Scott!!!


I also remember the topic "Attack by proctor" from GS which said the Proctors esp. in Brussels do attack in rack,many CCIE candidates came forward and said it.I was also prepared for that even i thought it was stupid thing,thinking that maybe sometime in middle of m lab I would get problem,hehe


So the Final day,when i entered the lab I was totally freeked out.I calmed myself and started my lab and I finished my lab in 5.5 hours which was really good sign for me,then i verified the solutions from first question from Question one to last and then came out of the Lab.I left for the airport from hotel at 5pm.


Now the **Golden Moment**.My Girl Friend called me just after 1 hr 45 mins,after my lab,exactly at 6:15 pm(as she was checking my result) and here what she said "Sweetheart, 19910.." and she stopped.I understood that were my digits and I was like NO WAY!,Tears came into my eyes with happiness.I couldnt believe I passed!! Then i called my parents and gave them the news.That was the most preciuos moment of my life.I thanked GOD which blessed me.


As per my expeience in Lab there is nothing known as attack by proctor in MIDDLE of LAB.And yea Bruno & Eric(Proctors of CCIE Lab,Brussels) are not my friends and they neither gave me Belgian Beer to say this,hehe.


The people which really helped me from Day 1 when I started preparing for CCIE are Brians which helped me technically and also financially when I needed help by giving me huge discounts in my bad times. GOD Bless you. guys!


Maybe I bored you guys with my story.But I just want to tell you that no matter how hard the time can be if you want to attain something then go for it,no matter "Whatever it takes".Even in my case I was being mocked due to my age or even I failed 3 attempts even my financial condition was not good as I was not earning in $ but in India Ruppee which really makes difference,believe me.My pay from past 3 years and money which came from my business of Web Designing/Programming and Broadcasting over IP,all went into this studies.Yea I was stupid enough for this because I just had this one aim in front of me.I took two tranings in bangalore,Rented more than 600 hours of Racktime from different vendors,mainly from Chris,Bootcamp in US,three attempts,End to End from Brians's CCIE and DoIT from Netmasterclass.I know it looks insane but I was crazy enough to put my 100% efforts as well as finance in this exam as it was my goal and also shut the f**k up of those guys who mocked at me due to my age.They use to say that that they had 12 years of experience(they were CCIE themself) which was nearly equivant ot my age(I was 17 at that time).I respect that they had so much experience and had CCIE but they did not had any right to mock at me.


But I have attained what I dreamt for even it took longer than I expected but I attained it.


My Next Dream .... "CCIE Service Provider"..hehe.. Now I have to dig the way of studiying for this cerfication.I am going to start studying for it in few days time.Any advice or guidance would be helpful :).


Thanks again to Alexie,Bahram,Brians,Bruce,Chris,Manoj(Thanks for taking out time for solving my problems),Naren,Narbik & Scott for their help and support in whichever way I got from them :)


--Gobind Singh Gill

CCIE # 19910

(Proudly Writing :) )




Edited by Gobind Singh Gill
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Hi there,


this week I had my first attempt for the security ccie, and I'm glad to tell you that I passed on the first attempt! :)


My preparation was

* 4 years experience in the area at work

* two month of very intense preparation (got "free" from work from my employer and could basically learn from the morning to late at night)

* creation of a "knowledgebase", where a added every bit of information I didn't knew before, or was hard to "get" and understand, and was worth noting. I think this is a must for two reasons: first you memorize things better and easier when repeating them and putting them into your own words and writing them down, secondly it's good stuff to go through all this again shortly before the lab to see again all "pain-points" you had and their solution

* the 10 mock-labs from internetwork-expert (very valuable!), which are harder than the real one to my mind - together with a real lab where you can train of course

* a great day on the day of your exam, where you are relaxed, not too nervous, confident and having the support of your friends and family in your background.


This is what I had, and what obviously made me pass it. Good luck to all the others!


Before I forget: my number is 21049, and if you really feed the need to verify it (what for?), you can get my full-name on my website http://fp.ath.cx/ (I don't want to post my full name here).




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I have just passed my CCIE lab exam in the first attempt, and I am quite disappointed about the exam because it is much easier than I expected. I spent 6 months for the written exam and another six months for the Lab exam. I didn't study any online class, don't try any Mocklab, so before I took the exam, I am quite scared about the exam, this is because many guys here said that the exam is difficult, and getting CCIE is the greatest achivement that they can have. It took me 5 hours to solve the exam, with just simple questions and if you practice Workbook 2 or 3, you will see that the lab exam is easier. I really don't know why many guys have to take the exam for 3 or 4 times to pass. It just means that they don't know where they are, don't have a good planning for the exam, or maybe they are too scared?


Here is my experience:

CCIE is not about the exam, it is about the time your prepare for the exam, it is a very good time for you to study the technologies. Many guys just takes a few months to study the written exam, because they think it is too easier? and when they come to the lab, they failed. With me, even when I am practicing for the Lab, I am still reading the technologies. So where we can study the technologies? It is the DoCD. If you don't understand a topic in the DoCD, go to find a book, ebook, or whatever documents, read it and try to understand it. What happened if you are doing a practice lab, and you don't know a question, a technology? you can look into the answer, but after that you have to find a book or what ever document to read and understand it. Try to solve the question yourselves. Then later time, when you have the similar question, you will know how to answer.


Try do solve the questions in the practice lab by your own solutions, don't just look into the answer book and repeat it. When I was prepering for the lab exam, I did InternetworkExpert workbook1,2,3 then moved to IP__EXpert, then Soup to the Nut. these are all the Lab I can get from this forum, I don't have that much money to study in online class. With me InternetworkExpert Workbooks are brilliant, the best workbooks that you can have. IP__Expert is a waste of time. I hate that workbooks very much. The way they draw the network diagrams are studpid so I always have to draw it again. Soup to the Nut is good. When I praticed InternetworkExpert, each day I did a lab so I can take you 25 to 30 days to finish Workbook 2 and 3. One month before the exam, I started doing internetworkExpert workbooks 2 and 3 again for the second time. This gave me the excitement, When you do the second round, it is quite easy, this is the time your need to control the time, and develop you own strategy when doing the real lab exam. In the last week before the exam, I just went swimming and drinking with my friend, don't have to worry to much about the exam.


everybody said that to pass you have to practice, practice, and practice more, this is just a half of the truth. With me, reading, reading, and reading is also very important. If you don't know the technologies well, when you come up with a different type of question, you will not know how to do it. I read the DoCD too times, I read IOS 12.3 and IOS 12.4 topics. So I know exactly what the technologies are. When doing the exam, I don't have to open the DoCD to find the answer. This will save you a lot of times.



You will also need a good plan for your study. For example, you can plan to study this technologies in two days, after that you move to other topic. This is a short plan, you can have a plan for a month, two months, think about what will you do in that time, study what you think that you do not understand, etc. Then you also need a plan when doing the lab exam. Think about what will you do in the lab. What will you do first, if you don't know how to answer a question what will you do. You will leave it to the end of the lab or open DoCD to find the answer? You need to prepare for that. You also need to have confident, try to talk to the Proctor, other candidates, don't think about the exam too much, this will give you more comfortable, less stress, and enjoy the exam. In my exam, all other candidates look scary, they didn't talk to each other and the Proctor, some fo them were taking the exam for second time. If you are not confident, and worry too much, you will fail immediately. So just relax and enjoy the exam.


Don't listen for some guys, they said that you have to learn to type the keyboard very fast, this is studpid. When I took the exam, when the protoc said that we can start the exam, I could here the sound of the keyboards. I didn't know what the hell they were doing, they typed the keyboard very fast, and you know what, after 30 seconds, a guy logged himself out of the device and he cannot login again. So the protor had to make a phone call to America to help him.


During the time you are doing the exam, there will be some security questions that will break your network. You must be very carefully when doing these type of question. You may need to reload the router, not only 1 or 2 times, to make sure that everything is working correctly. If you can't do that question, leave it, don't try to solve that question, because you don't need 100% to pass CCIE, only 80%, and when you pass, they will not tell you how many percent you get, they just say that you pass it.



The most important for me is understand the technologies, preparing for the exam will give you the chance to build up your knowledgement. The exam itself is easy, so don't worry about it too much, just enjoy the time you are studying.

Edited by hungsonbk

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How I passed the CCIE Lab.


On Monday 29 September 2008 I reached the pinnacle of my Networking career thus far, accepting my CCIE (RS) digits after almost 3 years of preparation and painstaking blood, sweat and tears - literally. I would like to share those moments from start to finish with you so that any aspiring candidate can learn from my mistakes and glean anything useful from my studies.





All you need to know is I want my numbers, and I will get them that’s the background driver for this.




The biggest challenge I faced on my journey was being a father. Before my son was born last November I had time, but soon as he entered this world that time was sacrificed. I do NOT for one minute regret this, I just found it a challenge to be a Dad, work full time and find time to study. When your 10 month old wants to rip the cables out your switches, it’s hard to say no. I just was the Muppet that had to put them back in!!! No harm done.



Materials Used


I started off with the usual recommended reading, Doyle, Parkhurst, Solie, Odom etc. This I found was not for me. I just could not spend more than 15 minutes reading about a serious technical subject with nothing to tie it to. I paused on that and started to rebuild the remnants of my CCNA/P rack. Eventually I took the decision to build it around the NetmasterClass workbooks. I purchased them and before starting any of their labs, cabled it to their standard rack. You will find all vendors have a fixed physical topology.


The final rack was:-

2 x 3560 - Enterprise IOS

2 x 3550 - Enterprise IOS

4 x 3640 - 12.4 - 2xWIC-1T, 2x 1FE-TX

2 x 2621 - 12.3 - 2xWIC-1T

1 x 3620 - BB1 - 1xNM4-AS, 1x2FE-2W

1 x 2620 - BB2 - 2xWIC-1T

1 x 2611 - BB3 - 2xWIC-1T


1 x 2511 - Terminal Server

1 x 2522 - Frame Relay Switch


2 x APC9200 - Remote Power Distribution Bar

1 x 877w - Internet facing Router/Firewall for remote 24/7 SSH access


Built and cabled by me into a 19U cabinet, this rack to me was indispensable. It was relocated twice, from house to house, carried up and down stairs with great difficulty with personal injury in the process – The Blood.


The DOC_CD, need I say more? I spent 15 minutes every day learning to navigate this, finding what I needed. Not once during my attempts did I spend more than a few minutes locating the information I needed. This is the ultimate resource, it’s right up to date and free!!!


Cisco Assesor Labs – I did both of these and found them really, really good. 4 hours mini-labs from which I learnt a lot about the way the grading script works.


Audio – Scott Morris Audio boot camp. On the way to work, I put on a few of these CD’s and it stuck. I was really against this, thinking it is not possible to learn from audio – how wrong I was.



The Preparation, the relentless Labbing' and the disappointments


I then started the practice labs in the order based on their (vendor) recommendation, and initially it took me best part 14 hours spread across 1 week to complete the first lab. But this was fine, I was in the very early stages and time at this moment was not an issue. I managed to complete the first 5 labs but was not happy; they were just too dammed hard and peppered with obscure solutions that were not asked for. This was so off putting as I felt I had not learnt anything even after cross referencing it with the books mentioned earlier. So I stopped there and went through the IEATC CoD videos from InternetworkExpert to attempt to fill these gaps. I watched the videos twice and each time I practised small scenarios from it on my rack and gained then a better understanding of the technologies - and that's the key. I didn't want just to pass the CCIE, but also to be a better engineer.


Having completed them I went back to attack the practice labs. I knocked off 5 more NMC labs, with an average rating of 8 and then left the other 15 or so and moved onto InternetworkExpert. I did the first 10 whilst still reading through the books and re-watching the CoD at which point I booked the lab.

I booked it January for a June slot - 6 months to get it all together. During which point I did 5 more labs, 10 rating. 3 from NMC and 2 from InternetworkExpert. First real lab attempt, fail. This is documented on another thread. Down and demoralized, I spent 1 day away from it, back onto the Cisco site and booked second attempt.


Fail. Dammed, this one I knew I had passed, well I had not. I completed the lab in 5 hours as planned, 2 hours verification. Walked out the room to the airport drank a couple of beers feeling like this was it. I got home, showered and fired up my laptop to see those four letters burn my eyes F-A-I-L. What now? I had not made it, fact, nothing was going to change that, and a re-read is just an excuse for Cisco to pick another 300 USD from your pocket, statistically I did not stand a chance. Let it go. I just dissected in my brain why I did not pass, and after days of reciting the lab I realized I made small mistakes that cost points and collectively this put me under the 80 point bar. Petty mistakes, mistakes that you can ill afford. I needed speed from my first attempt but I also needed deadly accuracy.


I decided to go back, I will not be beaten for love nor money. I scheduled attempt 3 a little ahead and this time I changed materials to get a different perspective. I used the Narbik Workbooks to go over the mini-scenarios he presents so well. Again, on the rack practicing the little labs. But not only that, but breaking them too. If OSPF works, then break it - forcefully break it with a odd command and see what happens, debug it and see why it broke, not just how.



The Day it happened


If one was ever to get off to the worst possible start then today, 29 September 2008 was it for me. There is a saying, "the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry". After I failed my lab last time I wanted to leave nothing to chance, my preparation this time had to be military precise. I changed hotels, I arrived earlier to acclimatise etc. I decided I would travel scruffy and the day of the lab I would wake at 5:45am, have a shower and a clean shave, eat a light but filling breakfast. Clean appearance, clean mind, that was the plan.


Wrong. My alarm failed to go off, I woke at 7:20am - 25 minutes before I was meant to be in the Cisco office!!!! In fact other guys were there sitting, waiting whilst I was still dreaming of...let's not worry about what I was dreaming of, whilst stuck in a hotel in a foreign country, without my wife. ;) The first 4 words I spoke after I saw the clock when my head peered out of the bed sheets are simply un-repeatable and defy the laws of human nature. I jumped out of bed, threw my old clothes back on, no shower, no wash, no shave, no clean clothes, no breakfast. Nothing. Threw everything into my backpack and within 3 minutes I had left that hotel. No checkout, just ran like a mad man down the street towards the Cisco office hoping I would make it in time. I was never in danger of not making it to the centre, I just had to make it for my own mentality. I arrived sweating like a pig, flustered and just not right. I managed to swing things back into my favour and get my mind right. - The Sweat


There on in I attacked the lab.


Step 1 - Environment. Log onto Terminal server and apply my standard config. I always do this in real world and force of habit meant I did it again. Just no ip domain-lookup, alias, screen colour, re-mapping keys etc. This had to be right and it was. Wobbly fingers were still there, just not for so long. I was experienced now remember?


SecureCRT Ammendments:-


Re-map key F6 -> CTRL+SHIFT+6+x

Re-map key F5 -> CTRL+SHIFT+6+6

Re-map key F11 -> Clear Console Screeen

Re-map key SHIFT+Z ->Mapped to produce the '|' (pipe). I had problems with this first time as the keyboard is US.


Change Font to FixedSys with Yellow on black Foreground/Background.


Alias Commands/Basic Config:-


no ip domain lookup

ip cef

logging console


alias configure ro router ospf 1

alias configure re router eigrp

alias configure rb router bgp

alias exec c conf t

alias exec sibe sh ip int brief | i eri

alias exec sibn sh ip int brief | i net

alias exec sibl sh ip int brief | i oo

alias exec srr sh run | b router

alias exec sion sh ip ospf neigh

alias exec sibs sh ip bgp summ

alias exec siro sh ip route ospf


line con 0

history size 100


TCL Script:-


foreach ip {} {ping $ip}


Macro Ping for Switches:-


macro name PING

do ping

do ping

do ping


macro global apply PING



Step 2 - Read the entire lab slowly. It's very tempting to go in, and in fact I did last time. This time I sat and read the entire lab from start to finish and at the same time tied it to the topology. For (a fictitious) example, the IPv6 task wanted R1 to do this to R2, so I visualised it onto the diagram to see how that would work.


Step 3 - Diagrams. I did 1 from the start, and then 2-3 later on. The first was a re-drawing of the main diagram but I put all the IP information on, as well as a note as to which switch each port was hanging off. As I progressed through the lab I did smaller diagrams, for example, a inter-switch diagram when I got to the Switching section, an IPv6 one when I got there, and a Multicast one when I got there. Just showing the relevant devices. I got this idea from NMC, and it worked perfect for me.


Step 4 - Target and time management. I decided that by lunch, I wanted to be on this task and I worked to that by deciding on how I would answer the questions. I did not to the top-down processing approach, instead I went for my strong areas to get the points on the board first and then pick off the others. I came to 2 questions that had me puzzled, but onto the DOC_CD a bit of digging and I managed to formulate a solution. Approaching lunch I ahead of schedule. I ran a tcl and everything looked good, I had end-to-end which was huge step, I had the rack under control and I was in control of it. During lunch, I recited in my head what I had done, mentally annotating each task and ensuring I did not miss anything.


Step 5 - Post lunch. Target was to complete the whole lab, sounds odd I know, but I did not want to leave a single question unanswered. I had time on my side, and with a content stomach I was on a high. I raced through the remaining sections and completed the whole lab by 1:20pm. Run my tcl script and macros and picked out a few IP's that were not playing as a result of a later task, fixed that and I managed to get end-to-end again. That’s' start to finish in 4 hours and 40 minutes. Leaving me lots of time to check. Fantastic, I felt unhygienic on the exterior but my mind was fresh and now I was ready to test.


Step 6 - Verification. Before doing this, I went to the breakout room and grabbed some drinks and some fruit to just get away from it. It was as if I wanted to stare at my lab now from a different perspective. But first a reload, my first of the day. I was confident I had no loops as I had taken care of that but a reload but prove it. I wanted to do one before lunch, but decided not to and leave my rack as it was. A quick reload, it took seconds, they are fast devices another tcl and macro, everything looked good. I was in confident mood and was not tired, after all I had a great sleep remember?


I carefully went through every question again and verified each task against my rack and I recovered, I would say 9 points. In the grand scheme of things this could have been the difference between a pass and a fail. Wow, 9 points. Silly errors, petty errors, trivial errors - last time I missed them, this time they were there for the taking and I took them.


Step 7 - The final run. Now I’m bored, the lab is done, I had done my tests, everything pinged and I was content. What do I do? I have 1.5 hours to kill, and I did not want to kill my work, so do I walk out - no way. I am NOT coming back again for this bitch, that's what I told myself. I did another reload and another tcl and macro ping and then I had some fun with the proctor. I asked him some really random question and he looked at me and laughed and said, "go back to your rack and check everything again - with a hint of sarcasm" I did, and when time was up I walked out and thought, who knows - pass or fail - now I don't care I want some fresh air and I want a shower.


4:50pm Brussels---------->>Home 9:30pm


I walked through my front door and my wife said "you stink" I just did not have the energy to respond. I just wanted to see my son and then have a shower. Little man was asleep and I was stopped from going to his room. My wife told me to check my result, I just wanted a shower!! So I compromised, grabbed a beer, Stella ironically and I logged onto the Cisco site, my heart was pounding as if that smelly Gorilla was thumping me. As the page eventually refreshed I saw the # symbol and the words certified, I just dropped my laptop stood up and told her, I’ve got it. I really cannot describe to you the joy and emotion that I experienced the time I saw my result. My journey had come to a magical climax and I shed an emotional tear, the only time I did this before ever in my entire life was when my little boy was born. - The tears.



The aftermath - Lessons I have learnt


Shortcuts. There are not shortcuts to passing your CCIE lab, there may be for the written, but not for the lab. You need time and dedication, those that don’t have those attributes will fail, those that do will pass, maybe not at first but eventually.


Complacency. Don't become complacent and lazy, if you think it's wrong then the chances are it is. If you think it's right, chances are it's still wrong!! Check it, and check it again. And when you have finished checking the checking, verify it. :)


Speed and accuracy. To pass the lab in sub 8 hours you need to be quick and accurate, in my failed attempts I was not quick and I was not accurate. On my winning lab I had the speed and I had the accuracy. I had the lab topology where I wanted it, under control from start to finish. How do you get to that state? Practice, practice and more practice. If you can write configs' in notepad without the ”?” then you are on the right track. I remember in my run up to the day, doing the IEWB labs partially, I would do up to the core as fast as I could, and then stop. I did this for labs 8-13 I think. Just to the point where I had Bridging/Switching and IGP and then stop. I managed to clock it down to an average of about 2 hours.


Vendor Diversity. One vendor workbook in my view is not enough, you need 1 and a half at least. One main one for your labs and then a second one for a different perspective. You can become far to accustomed to one authors way of writing.


Getting help. The DOC_CD is the only help you get in the lab, and the only help you need. If you can find a core topic in under 1 minute 15 your in control. a non-core obscure feature in 2 minutes. Nice


Make friends. Before, after and during the lab make friends. Flying to Brussels, or any location is not cheap, on top of that you have the cost of the lab and the hotel etc. Shop around, as others, hotels in Brussels near Diegem are expensive. The Holiday Inn Express was 65 Euros when I went last, this time they wanted 165.00 Euros, for the same little room. I stayed at Etap this time and it was cheap and clean, and walking distance.


Get some rest and watch what you eat. This is the biggest and most important thing. I hardly slept the night before my previous attempts. In fact, I slept too early. Having arrived at the hotel after my flight I had an afternoon sleep and it meant I was not able to sleep later on, big mistake. When you are tired you make mistakes, and these mistakes cost you points. After lunch you are the most vulnerable. Ever been had a meal and felt tired after you sat down? I’m sure Cisco do this on purpose, give you a free meal ticket and say have what you want. A large lunch, chips, chicken and a nice sweet dish after is a cocktail to make you tired. And when you are tired you make mistakes!! Eat light and keep your body hydrated. You are not there to sample the cuisine, you are there do an expert level job, right?


It's good to talk to save money. After each lab attempt I had a chat with the other candidates, not violating the NDA but general chat, and as a result I managed to get a free taxi ride to the airport saving me 20 euros each time. See, most people there are going home right? Most people head to the airport right? So, I just shouted out "who’s heading to the airport" I get a response, offer to help with the taxi fare and they turn round and "say no problem, my company is picking up the tab, you can share with me". Nice. Same goes for the shuttle to the hotel, if your hotel does not have this service, or you missed the bus, then jump on some other hotel's bus. Most hotels in that area are near each other, maybe 5 minutes walk, so just jump onto another hotel's bus as no one checks.



Don’t give up. If at first you don’t make it go back, no need for me to explain this. I have failed and passed the lab, and as a result I am a better and more knowledgeable as a result of failing it. I think there is more shame in not going back than there is to not passing.



The thanks


This forum has given me so much and it’s difficult for me to give praise to individuals, I don’t like to do this, but it’s fitting that several people here made it possible. So – thanks to, MarkinManchester, DarkFiber, ZGX, Igor_M, Darby Weaver, a61971, Hotdogs, N00b13, georgevzz, FredBloggs, toofast, Lord Flasheart, Route-Reflector, richerich, sabbione, Ciscocool, Lethe, Cisco_Master, Ford_Mustang, Big_Evil, -.-, airflow, Russian macho et al.


And Finally FS for reinstating me!!! Cheers mate.



What Next


Another CCIE? You bet!! Security.........



I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I had preparing it, please feel free to ask as many question within the confines of the NDA as possible. I have sacrificed a lot to get my numbers, and I am not going to lose it so you can get yours!!

Edited by ChancesD
  • Upvote 1

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Could you please give me some idea about the script you created and executed for connectivity testing?

I created a TCL script for the routers and a Macro for the switches. The lab topology like any topology is like a jigsaw, you need to piece it together, by joining the networks together. As I did this I copied the relevant IP addresses into notepad and that allowed me to created the scripts. I then ran these on all devices to see where things can and cannot be reached.


Do we need to do some base configuration for the lab, like access server, Ip address or everything is preconfigured?

Sorry I cannot respond to this question.


And how is this point counts? I know to pass we need to score 80%. But I am not sure the max points (score) is 100 or 1000. Because for each question there will be some score (eg 2 point, 5 points etc...) So total how much it comes?

Sorry I cannot respond to this question.


Please share if you have some special lab practice materials

Please refer to the Cisco shares section for any materials you require.


I forgot, Congratulations... and all the best for your next step

Thank you very much and good luck to you too.




Hi ChancesD,


It took me some time to read your story, but its great. Its not about the commands you typed, not about the scenarios you draw, its about the experience you had. I can feel when your son pullout the cable and asking dad to come and play, you cant avoid it. And when you felt the taste of success, when you had tears from your eyes, it is not just a success.


I am very much thankful to you for sharing your experince with us. I know this help me to pass my lab and more over this made me confident.


Could you please give me some idea about the script you created and executed for connectivity testing?


Do we need to do some base configuration for the lab, like access server, Ip address or everything is preconfigured?


And how is this point counts? I know to pass we need to score 80%. But I am not sure the max points (score) is 100 or 1000. Because for each question there will be some score (eg 2 point, 5 points etc...) So total how much it comes?


Please share if you have some special lab practice materials


I forgot, Congratulations... and all the best for your next step


Thanks & Regards



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Guest CiscoCool

Guys passed the lab 2 days ago, you can read in my blog.







Man very very very nice...

I am going to Brussels soon as well, first attempt in nearly a month. I think I will follow your advice and take a look in other vendor's materials, I am to used to Internetwork Expert.





I will be posting here either I pass it or fail. I have my CCNA for a year now, and all I can dream of is become a CCIE and a good Enginner.


I really love this shait too much...and my girlfriend has been perfect, let me study nearly 6 hours everyday and I am on this routine for a year and half now. Only the past 2 months doing CCIE Labs tho.

I am going to have a baby in March so I better hurry. If I ever pass CCIE R/S then I wanna go for more tracks as well.


Again congratulations, and all the best for you...and for all other members here, remember...dont give up and motivation is the key word. I can t help saying this over and over again, but I was a totilet cleaner 2 years ago, and just in 1 year time I am a network enginner at HP because MOTIVATION and DEDICATION. In fact, when I started in HP, I brought motivation to my co-workers, they all studying CBTNUGGETS and so on now..


Happy studies for everybody here...

Edited by Darby Weaver

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This guy passed his CCIE Voice in his 7th (:huh:) attempt


Things not to do when trying to get your voice CCIE.


1. Don't have your boss fire half the technical department 2 months before you 1st attempt.

2. Don't change jobs just before your second attempt.

3. Definitely don't change jobs again.

4. Especially 2 months before your third attemp.

5. And don't move.

6. and if you do move, definitely don't do it to a different country.

7. esepecially if the language they speak isn't your first language.

8. or you second either.

9. Or either your thind.

10. And its really,really dumb if you don't speak the language at all.

11. And don't move again just before antother test.

12. Or change jobs for the 5th time.

13. But by then, you are so disgusted, you'll just keep going.


The History:


Test #1 - on 3.3. Took a bootcamp from a company in california. No, it wasn't the good ones. Nobody named Brad, or Brian, or Vic, or Avner worked at this place. Lab equipment was poor, salesmen lied, etc. Wasn't ready. Didn't even finish.


Test #2 - first set of tests on 4.12. Didn't buy the right equipment, didn't have everything on the exam blueprint. how much of that stuff can be on the test? Surprise! Failed again. Had it booked for late september - cisco called and said the testing center would be closed, but I couldt ake it three weeks earlier. Thought I'd give it a try. Didn't finish.


Test #3 - 1 years and two jobs later. Did well, but no cigar. Also 9 days before I moved. Pacakged up my lab and gear a week before the exam to be shipped to my new home. Actually finished the exam, but only had 1/2 hour to test. Did better, but clearly did something wrong.


Test #4 - at this point, there is a six month wait for test dates. Book one. Ended up coming four days after my wife's mid winter ski vacation with friends. Guess what I did the week before the exam? Great ski trip, lousy test.


Test #5 - took me five tries to get my R&S - this should be the charm. Starting new job. Very stressed. Have hugh equipment problem on test. Total fiasco. Later at home realize the equipment was fine, but I was an idiot. Very depressed.


Three month hiatus while I drink a lot and complain to friends.


Get back in the saddle in june. Get a date september 1st. Work hard. Study.


Attempt #6 - good attempt - use Push's question method, but have big problems with two sections that I hadn't studied in a while becasue "I had those down cold before' That was then, this is now. Fail by a sizeable margin - more than attempt #4, but less than #5.


regroup, write a long email to myself the next day, listing reasons why I should/shouldn't keep doing this.


Despair, drinks. Go visit some friends on a weekend and drink lots of beer. Come back to my studying renewed. or perhaps just not sober yet. Book next attempt as soon as possible. Study like a madman. Practice everything I got wrong last time 10 times. Duck assignments at work to study. Read voiceie online all day while at my desk. Ignore phone calls from friends and family. Hide in house on sunny days.


Despair. more drinks.


Day before exam. realize I'm not mentally ready. Spend two hours talking to myself, out loud, about all the questions I might get, in order, an d what I would do and how I would answer them, things to look for, check, how I will set them, all the possible answers I'll need to do, etc. Very good for me, calms me down and focuses me. Upsets other people in train car with me no end though.


Arrive at hotel. Go to dinner and eat most overpriced steak I ever had. Go back to hotel and run myself through test again, out loud.Fall asleep. Wake up early next day and go into exam. Feeling focused. (not relaxed - but focused)


The exam:


Read all questions very quickly - 10 minutes max - and assign question number to each router/device/com setting. Start typing 10 minutes in. As I hit each device read the question once again to check requirements. Zoom through. A little too nervous when I hit CUE module, end up resting it and starting over. Have to calm myself down, take a few deep breaths. Keep typing.


By lunch break, all routers, switches, VG248, CUE, CME, Unity, and most of CM done. Only dial plan to go, and phones. Don't talk to anybody during lunch. Thing about things to do when back at desk - make list in head. Get back after lunch and type madly for 10 minutes to implennt what I set up. Finish Dial plan.


Holy crap. i've got 3.5 hours left to test. I must have messed everything up - went to fast. Start testing with questions in middle of exam. Gateways. Things are actually working, but finding lost of problems. Fixing them. Using pushs' method or writing down question number, and checking off as finished.


Test gatekeeper section. (my weakest) dial number and phone rings. Absolutely scares the crap out of me. I have never configured gatekeeper properly on first try. Did it this time. Spooky. Keept testing. Hung up on one. Screw it no time. Keep testing. Re-read QOS questions. F@#$@# totally misunderstood what they were asking. 60 minutes left. Time to fix it? If I hurry and don't make any mistakes. Manage to sort it out. Finish testing high value/high mistake parts. Cleanup up lots of problems.


30 minutes left - I am officially in 'freeze' time - no major changes to dialplan, etc. Start testing again from the beginning. Find three minor problems, fix em. 10 minutes left and two questions to test. Read the first one quickly - suddenly realize what they want and make it happen. 8 minutes left. One final question the one I skipped earlier - 3 points. Working. or is it? Test. Not sure. change something. stops working. Put it back the way it was. Stare at it. Should I change...


Proctor calls time.


Pack up, leave. Go to bar. Have a beer. (Beer and cisco go together with me.) think about questions. testted everyhing to be correct - didn't do the IPCC questions. (never do- don't know enough) thats x points. Hmm. didn't get that last one maybe, thats 3 points. Realize there was a vm thing I didn't do. Thats more points. What if I misunderstood that QOS question? Hmm. Thats another - did I actually test that thing on question 3.... Did I remember to ask the proctor that question about the gateway...


Train home. Do math in my head. could have missed by six points if unlucky - could have passed. Very, very tired. Go home and fall asleep.


Go to work. Proctor says results not available till after noon, so I'm waiting. I am somewhat stressed, and a little, well, terse. Go to meeting on voice quality problem in Kuala lampur. Questions on how to lower delay between europe and asia. Suggest that we change the speed of light or shrink the planets size. Answer not well recieved. Kicked out of meeting.


Go back to desk and answer emails. 2nd meeting. not happy there either Answer question - "of course you have echo on your calls - you paid $19.95 on ebay for your headsets? Ever heard of acoustic echo? Would it kill you to buy something with an echo cancellor? The problem is that you are cheap" Mute button hit. Perhaps andrew is done with this meeting and can go to his desk now. All in favor? Off you go andrew! Check email. No answer. 2:00pm. Where are results? Later is better - if I faile horribly I would know sooner. Take a short walk. 2:15 pm. no answer yet. Dammit!


Abandon all attempt of even looking like I'm working. Surf web. Start sweating. Not sure if I have another month of heavy studying in me. If I fail this one don't know if I can go on. What could I have got wrong? I am a moron. Stupid stupid stupid. 2:45 - no answer? AAAAARRRRRAAAUUUGHG. Start reading polish web sites. Don't speak polish. Doesn't matter. Can't read english ones right now anyways. Stock market has crashed. Or risen. Or something. Stick head into somebody's office to ask a question. Go to bathroom. come back to desk.


You have one new email.


Click on email. Your cisco score report is ready!

F@$# F#@$#@ F@$#$#. Thats what they say when you fail! A score report. You are supposed to get a congradulations email. Wait -didn't they stop that? don't they do it for the R&S only? Not sure. Hand actually shaking. (Can't believe it) Go and login to cisco.com, go to page. having problems typing login and pasword hand is still shaking. First screen doesn't quite show latest attempt. Click on down arrow.




Is it a trick? could it be? Hmm. Open up other browser window - go to validate CCIE - type in my name and R&S number - there it is - both of them!


Sit at desk for a few minutes. Then go and buy a bag of malteasers and a diet coke. Email everyone that I think would care that I passed. Get 19 replies back in three minutes. All say variations of "We are so happy you are done. You are shuch a S#$T while you are doing this" Apparently I'm more irritating when I'm studying than I thought. Everyone wishes me well and suggests we go out for beer. My friends know me so well!


Thanks to everyone on this forum, especially push who had the neatest solutions, and to all the guys out there who carefully plugged through all the different problems.


Those of you who are still trying and feeling despondant? Come talk to me after you fail attempt #6 - and until then stop your freaking whining. I paid for the whole thing myself - start to finish- do you know how much beer I could have bought with that money? Keep it up and you will make it eventually.


And now, I am going to to have a beer.



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thanks for the great sharing experience. As I am a newbie and not yet tried CCIE Lab, can I confirm with you things:

1) The PC is equipped with SecureCRT?

Yes, it has SecureCRT pre-installed and configured


2) Is there any network diagram given or you are required to draw them from scratch?


Let's just say, what you are presented with is similar to that of the various lab vendors currently purporting their "lab" workbooks


3) Is there any topology diagram given?


I think it's safe to say there is, otherwise it would be impossible to complete the lab in the given time



4) The CCIE file will inlcude the hardware connection in the form of a table? Then you need to draw your own diagram is that right?


Sorry, can't answer that one.


5) How many diagrams do you recommend which help you to pass your Lab?


I prefer one from the start, and then several small point-to-point diagrams to help understand the question. For example, a Multicast one, detaiing the devices in the question and the expected flow of traffic.



6) Some suggested bring color markers with you to color differenet routing topologies? are you allowed to do that? Is transparency given or blank papers given?



You will not be able to bring ANYHTING into the lab, they even make you take your coat off. Take me advice, leave all your fancy pens at home. Everything you need will be given to you, food and fluids included.


Thanks so much for clearing out with me.

Your welcome

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Past two weeks have been very intense for me, I put it almost 12 hours a day of straight labbing, but it eventually paid off.

I believe that I had mentioned that I failed my first attempt a month ago, which was quite a shock to my confidence. The most disappointing fact about the failure was that I had this residue the failure was not because of a lack of technical expertise, but rather inability to properly understand the very loose wording of questions. That drove me through the roof, I know that I know my stuff but yet I can not demonstrate the knowledge – that first lab was so vague that I had at least to complete sections where multiple solutions would fit.

So anyways, now about the good stuff. There is a bunch of writeups on what people 'do' to get through successfully. I personally can say about what I 'did not' do -

1.I did not buy any equipment for the purpose of studying for ccie – nada. All I was studying the labs with was my Dell 1850 dual cpu blade server with 4 gigs of memory running Gentoo Linux. Every single lab scenario was run on that box.

2.I did not pay for any Rack rentals or 'Mock Labs'. In my opinion any of those 'mock' labs are graded by 'not your proctor' and not your particular topology. So unless you cant help yourself looking at answers before completing your own lab at home, that would be money well-wasted.

3.Despite what most people whine about not having a life for a period of the study, I did not feel that way. I guess in a sense those complaints make the value of the cert appreciate so much more, but in my case I did not miss out on my normal life activities, at least not entirely.


About the course of the lab itself – I did not create any aliases, shortcuts or any of that auxiliary stuff. I did not mess with any of the default CRT settings either. Neither in the first attempt nor in the second I did not feel any shortage in time alloted for completion of all tasks, if you know what they are asking about – you got more than enough time to get in done. If you are stunned and it is something you'd never seen in your life, only then would it become a time issue. Throughout the tasks, I did not find myself consulting the reference guides. It was comforting to know that they are there, but those only came in handy during proofreading – to make sure the units are correct for example. I did not read more than three-four RFC's, and of course I did not try to memorize every crazy technology out there. Only what is required by the blueprint. As most mention it – your foundation on major topics has to be rock solid, and this is what the lab is testing you on mostly. Again, this is my sole opinion only, but for example I know there is potentially a question on mobile ip that might come up, but I strongly believe that it wont because it is not a 'core' topic. I felt that in both cases 80% of the lab are on core stuff – which is your IGP. The rest is there just to spice it up.

Timewise, the process took me about 7 months head to toe including the written. That time might not be very representative, since I had done my Masters degree in computer networks by that time and I did get a decent exposure at work. On the other hand, both of those factors are all about 'good designs', whereas ccie is totally the opposite phylosophy and I am not sure you can count real experience towards the downpayment for ccie.

There are four and a half invaluable, in my opinion, books which I used for preparation. Those are, of course, Jeff Doyle's two volumes, Cisco LAN Switching, Internet Routing Architectures, and last one is End-toend QOS Network design. The last one has only got select chapters made that book show up on my list.


If enough people voice an interest, I can put up a little tutorial on how to efficiently get going with dynamips. I am a big protagonist of linux, so whatever I explain would be related to pure linux environments. Linux by itself is not a scary thing when it comes to what you need for your CCIE work. In fact, you can get yourself up and running your labs from a blank box in about 30 minutes with linux. Steve [aka FredBloggs] can attest to that :)


At the end I wanted to thank my friends on this forum for an incredible support and source of inspirations. In particular big thanks go out to Dave, aka ChancesD, Steve, aka FredBloggs.


As the footnote – this thing is very much beatable. Dont dispair if you fail. What matters is the end result and it is totally up to you to finish it where you want it.


And, by the way, stay away from the damned proctors. The Howard guy at RTP is utterly useless sonuvagun.


Cheers and happy coming holidays.




(CCIE #23032)

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First I would like to thank everyone who responded. And this wouldn't be possible without the support if my wife and family. Plus my wife owed me since I supported her during the bar exam ;) I have been a "passive" member on the forum for a while now and it is exciting to see so many people accomplishing their goals. I know I will sound like a broken record so just bare with me. I started the whole journey in April of this year. I started with the recommended book list and started reading 6 hours a day. I took and passed the written in the beginning of June. Shortly after I scheduled the lab for DEC. 18th in RTP and bought practice labs from "The Brians". Now this is where the broken record part come in....


I was very fortunate that my employer had a full scale lab at my discretion. I took advantaged and labbed every moment I could, over lunch, nights and weekends were spent in the lab. Any question about a technology I had I would lab it up. But first understanding the technologies before labbing anything is a must. You will definitley learn the most by labbing but you first must understand how the protocols function and how they interact with each other. You did this by reading books and forums as well as Video on Demand, from the vendor of your choice of course. But as soon as I read the materials and had a really good base knowledge of the fundamentals it was time to lab. And oh did I lab. My rack time is estimated to be around 1600 hours over the course of 6 months. I also continued to read when I wasn't labbing. I lived, eat and breathed the CCIE. I would go to bed and think of scenarios in my head and try to solve them (my wife didn't like this very much since I would toss and turn most nights). I wanted to be prepared for anything that the lab threw at me. So having an expert level of knowledge for the core topics is a must.


When I first started labbing it would take me 12 or more hours to complete the first 6 labs. I took my time and really made sure that I understood what was asked of me and that I properly interpeted the tasks correctly. As I continued to lab I became faster and solutions would come to me a lot quicker. After completing about 50 labs I could complete a lab around 5.5 or 6 hours. And I could solve pretty much any core topic without hesitation. This came with the number of hours I spent on the rack. I also created "mini" scenarios on specific technologies like Multicast or Qos to focus on my weak areas. This was to ensure that I was at least familiar with most of the non-core topics. And believe me the DOC-cd is your friend throughout the whole journey, not just in your lab. As the time grew nearer I spent more time focusing on my weak areas such as Qos, Security and the dreadful Redistribution. Please tell me if you have ever seen a "real life" network where you have 3 routing protocols. But, the CCIE isn't real life scenarios, it is everything else. I really doubt that I run IPv6 over frame relay but if there is a chance that I do I will be ready:)


Alright so that was a little background on the preperation so lets get into the fun stuff....Lab Day


I took the the lab in RTP. There is a video I think was posted a while back from Cisco that did a walk through of the lab in RTP I believe. But everything is pretty much spot on. I showed up about 6:45 at the front door and there was 5 other candidates waiting outside to get inside the lobby of the building. One of the proctors showed up shortly after and we all sat down in the lobby to wait for everyone else. Around 7:05 the proctor came back out and gave us our badges with our rack numbers. After a briefing on the facilities and the lab environment I sat down at my cube. All cube walls are short and there isn't very much space to spread out all of the pages you need. Plus the monitor takes up quite alot of room on the desk. So after a quick read through of the exam I logged into the CRT sessions. I used the individual CRT sessions for each device, I found it to navigate alot easier. I then drew up my diagrams and my task list with points per task. And I was off....


I approached the lab like any other lab I was doing on my rack. Of course it was different than what I was used to but it didn't take me long to get settled in. My goal was to complete layer 2 and layer 3 with full reachability by lunch. I was fortunate enough to obtain that goal and I got half through the IPv6 section. So when it came for lunch time I estimated that I had around 70 points which was a HUGE relief. Knowing that I had 4 hours to get 10 points was a weight off of my shoulders. I did a quick wr mem and reloaded my rack. Lunch was actually pretty good the food wasn't bad and they had chocolate cake, but leave some for the proctors. I sat and talked with one of the proctors for a while about Cisco in general. Just so you know if you take the lab in RTP your rack will most likely be in San Jose. The environment is a little noisy with constant fan noise. I believe the storage CCIE racks and some of the security racks are in RTP. So after lunch, I sat back down and I hammered through the rest of the exam. I finished with 3 hours to spare, so I did a wr mem and reboot again. I took a coffee break, told Howard, the Packers loving proctor, that the Bears rule and I started going through the exam again. I found 3 small mistakes that could have cost be 8 points but knowing I had the time in the end to triple check everything was a huge confidence booster. I went through the entire exam 3 times and tried to solve each question everytime to make sure I came up with the same solution and that I completed the tasks correctly. I did ask the proctor some clarification on some "loose wording" and they were both helpful, even for a packers fan :) So with an hour left in the day I was getting pretty antzy. I felt pretty confident that I did well but task interpetation was the only thing standing in my way. I did a final reboot and full reachability test at the end of the day.


After the exam I went back to the hotel to un-wind and ran to get some dinner. About 1.5 hours after I walked out the exam I recieved the notification in my email that my score report was available. But I was pretty confused because it was a very short time that I just got done so I figured the worst like my rack crapped out and I would have to take it over. So I logged in and that was the longest 3 minutes of my life. I scrolled down to see the PASS next to the R&S lab and I jumped for joy, for real. I jumped on the couch of my hotel room and started shouting. I then contacted my wife and family to tell them that I actually passed the lab on my first attempt. This has been a career long journey, this is something I have always wanted to accomplish and I did it. If you take the time to fully understand the technologies and you develop the speed, you can pass. This is exam not only tested my technical knowledge but my time management skills. Like everyone says "SPEED IS VITAL". If you can complete the lab and have time in the end to double check your work you will be one step closer to passing. I hope this write up provides some sort of inspiration for those who are studying. But, the exam is passible and fair. If you study your butt off and remain motivated and positive, good things will come. Good luck to all of you who are studying, I am truely grateful for going through this journey. I feel that I am a better person for it.

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Just wanted to let you all know I got my CCIE Voice on 1st attempt!

I had my lab attempt in San Jose.


I'm still in the US and I'm EXETREMELY tired.

I'll type up a full mail when I get back to the UK next-week.




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Hello, folks


I wanted to thank all of our members. Especially some members who helped & helping me prepare CCIE R&S lab exam.

Finally I passed RS lab exam last Friday.

My study style is tortoise. It took so long until I got my CCIE number after failed two attempts.

The lab I got was new lab which people don't want to take as their lab exam.

I thought I would fail again during my exam,, but when I check my result on cisco.com I was very surprised. It showed me that I've passed.

I used some vendor's workbook to study and lab as well as cisco documents. That's all.

I would be happy to help others if they ask me.



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Hi guys i just got my CCNP and i'm so exited to go forward to get my CCIE RS.


for the guys with CCIE Number, could you tell me which are the certifications you got to get your CCIE RS?


in my case was CCNA

CCNP and now i'm heading to CCIP and then CCIE RS.


this will help for sure thnks


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Hi guys i just got my CCNP and i'm so exited to go forward to get my CCIE RS.


for the guys with CCIE Number, could you tell me which are the certifications you got to get your CCIE RS?


in my case was CCNA

CCNP and now i'm heading to CCIP and then CCIE RS.


this will help for sure thnks



It depends on you. CCIP is more on BGP, MPLS and QoS...CCIE RS have also that three items.

You may proceed with CCIE RS...sometimes it varies on your work experience...Nevertheless, your dedication to get the CCIE.


I don't have this number yet, soon I'll have it..:D

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Hello, folks


I wanted to thank all of our members. Especially some members who helped & helping me prepare CCIE R&S lab exam.

Finally I passed RS lab exam last Friday.

My study style is tortoise. It took so long until I got my CCIE number after failed two attempts.

The lab I got was new lab which people don't want to take as their lab exam.

I thought I would fail again during my exam,, but when I check my result on cisco.com I was very surprised. It showed me that I've passed.

I used some vendor's workbook to study and lab as well as cisco documents. That's all.

I would be happy to help others if they ask me.




You may share your experience on the lab... as well as those resources/materials in used together with the TS part..

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It depends on you. CCIP is more on BGP, MPLS and QoS...CCIE RS have also that three items.

You may proceed with CCIE RS...sometimes it varies on your work experience...Nevertheless, your dedication to get the CCIE.


I don't have this number yet, soon I'll have it..biggrin.png



i will take your feedback. thanks for your network wisdom.

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Hi Igor M,

I know it's been ages since your last post, but could you give me directions on how to get my labs humming on a linux box? I've just started preparing for CCIE lab exam and need all the help I can get. I need guidance to put in the work i need to get it right the first time (I hope. :) ). Thanks to everyone who's shared their experience here, it's be very inspiring. I look forward to posting mine soon (hope not too dramatic though :) ).

Congrats to everyone who's made it, you inspire us who aspire.


Kind regards



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Hi All,

I read this thread and I went through a lot of forums myself when I was doing my CCIE. However I went ahead and wrote a book "Your CCIE Lab Success Strategy the non-technical guidebook". This is on amazon (just search for CCIE Strategy). This book answers questions like:

How much time do I need to prepare for CCIE Lab exam?

How much time should I study on a daily and weekly basis to prepare for CCIE Lab?

And many more.

This is a book about CCIE LAB Strategy so check it out.

You can download few chapters from 2doubleccies.com



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Here's my brief review of my CCIE College Security 5-Day bootcamp taught by Kitto Wang. Kitto is a young Chinese guy and a double CCIE (RS, Security). I was going to make a record day by day, but that will make a lot of repetition of some words, as the whole process is an unlimited mock labs. Therefore, I will jus put all my thoughts into this post.


When I arrived in Guangzhou, it was already 7:00 pm. Having been picked up at the airport, I checked in the President Hotel, which was beautiful and comfortable. Then, I joined the welcome dinner set by the CCIE College, though I was tired. Chinese food was wonderful, but it couldn't heal my jet-lag. All I need was sleeping in that big and fantastic room in that 4-star hotel.


Next day, I spent 3 hours on the self-assessment test, which was really tough. After lunch, I began to work on the real CCIE exam questions. There were no lectures on any basic fundamentals. For all the time, I was in front of the rack to go through every task in detail and verify the results, until I was very sure that I understood what was going on with all of the labs.

It comes down to repetition and practice though. The more you do it, the better you become at catching the issues before you even start.


After lab time, Kitto went over each question and explained the answers. Though it was a lot of stuff to walk through step by step, Kitto explained things clear and in patience. He will try to explain things in three different ways until I understood fully. During his explanations, he will re-draw diagrams or modify existing ones to illustrate points. During the review, he will went over tips and tricks that you can face in real exams, as the focus of this bootcamp was really on passing the exam. As we were dealing with real CCIE exam questions, Kitto would tell us which topics need to be understood fully. And then I would meet some of them in the real exam.


To summarize the course, I will say, it is a good bootcamp fit for my strategy, but it may not fit others. It's not a good place for fundamental study as this class doesn't go into fundamentals. It's said that CCIE College's 10-Day Bootcamps will refer to concepts. For this time, only mock labs, without lecture, are welcomed, because I am pretty much done studying and just want to try its real CCIE lab exams in order to be more confident to take the lab exam. This class just meets my strategy. However, if you have not prepared for you lab exam well, 5-days' training is too tight.


Finally, $1499 for bootcamps and tour in Guangzhou is worthy! I've tried a lot of Chinese food, such as Wonton Noodle, Dimsum, Spring roll. And I bought a small copper teapot, too! Xiguan Qilou is traditional, but I like Pearl River night cruise more!

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CCIE is one of the best CISCO course. For passing CCIE lab only need is understanding and ractice.


Practice makes man perfect. In every field, every subject practice is important.



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