what do I need to be CCIE certified

Unanswered Question
Nov 11th, 2007

I am CCNP certified. I am in a fix! how do I start the preparation to becoming a CCIE? what do I read, Do I need to attend a training session, Can I achieve this in three months?

Pls urgent replies are welcome.

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Kevin Dorrell Mon, 11/12/2007 - 00:22

I have been preparing for two and a half years, (I have been CCNP for five years) and my last attempt was still an unmitigated disaster.

Other hand, you may be quicker on the uptake than I am (quite likely), and maybe you don't have any other commitments. If you can work full time on it for the three months, then maybe you can do it.

My opinion is that most candidates would need to budget at least 250 hours, and preferably 500 hours, of intensive lab practice. One contributer to this forum did manage to pass with only 6 months of training, but I understand he dedicated every Sunday for the six months - which I calculate at about 260 hours practice.

Also, bear in mind that the average successful candidate takes 2.5 attempts before passing.

Kevin Dorrell


jcrussell Mon, 11/12/2007 - 06:31

I managed to pass the written with one month of study, and then the lab 5 months later on my first try. Keep in mind I just finished the CCNP, so it was all fresh in my mind, just had to go a little deeper.

For the written, I read Doyle 1 & 2, Internet Routing Architectures, QoS Exam certification guide, and the DocCD.

For the lab, I did 35+ hours a week for 5 months. That averages out to somewhere over 700 hours. Every Saturday was 11.5 hours of rack time on a workbook vendor's racks. Sunday was dedicated to repeatedly reviewing the lab and understanding what I missed. The following week was reading the DocCD and doing mini-labs on what I missed to help solidify it in my mind. Repeat that for 20-some weeks.

One of the things that helped me was my wife was pregnant, and I knew I wouldn't have much study time after my daughter was born. I wouldn't necessarily recommend my path to anyone, as it takes a ton of dedication, a serious amount of focus, and the ability to not let your spouse's griping get to you!

swmorris Mon, 11/12/2007 - 09:05

Three months? It's possible, but not very probable. As long as you keep that in mind, you'll do fine with it!

Don't set yourself a timelimit on things, there's no sense in giving extra stress. When you start doing your lab preparation (different than written prep) you'll be stressed out enough without worrying about timing!

Anyway, take a look a the recommended reading on the web site for the written exam. Get that out of the way first. Then I think you'll find a 4+ month waiting list for lab dates anyway!

There are a number of vendors out there offering bootcamps and lab workbooks for the CCIE lab preparation. Do your research on these companies, who is teaching, what they offer, etc.

I think that training can be very valuable, but don't have an expectation that this is the ONLY thing that you need to do.

Best of luck on your CCIE! It's a noble pursuit, but not an easy one! :)




Kevin Dorrell Mon, 11/12/2007 - 11:19


The last time I booked a lab there was a 180 day waiting list and a 180 day booking horizon. In other words, the order book was permanently full except for a window of about an hour each day when they released a further 6 seats for 180 days ahead.

They have now increased the booking horizon to 8 months but the waiting list has already grown to about 7 months.

The only other option is to book a cancellation seat if you can find one. They usually come up exactly 28 days before the lab date.

Kevin Dorrell



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