CCIE - how to prepare for lab

Unanswered Question

I am looking toward my CCIE R&S certification, but am a little stuck on how to prepare for the lab portion. I have 5 years experience and all but one of the CCxP certs, and have passed the written. I have a decent lab and a stack of the CCIE books, but I'm not sure they provide enough material. Several companies out there sell lab prep workbooks. Is this the way to go? Can anyone offer any other advice? Thanks!

I have this problem too.
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jcrussell Mon, 01/07/2008 - 11:31

I bought one of the well known vendor workbooks. I spent 11.5 hours each Saturday on that same vendor's rack rentals. I then spent 20+ hours that week going over what I missed in the labs and doing mini labs on my rack at work. All in all, I spent 30+ hours a week from February to July doing rack practice.

Good luck with your lab!

dangal.43 Mon, 01/07/2008 - 12:13


so you started directly on masters lab or started with small technologies lab?

as if we started work on masterlab we need to use the solution guide right!!!

Edison Ortiz Thu, 01/10/2008 - 06:34

Yes, you need those Lab Prep Workbooks for your CCIE. That's the only way to improve your speed and determine your weakness. You will be surprised how many different topics, you thought you knew pretty well but not at the CCIE level.

I also recommend going thru some mock-labs and Cisco Assessor Tool.




mohammedmahmoud Thu, 01/10/2008 - 06:47

Hi Jim,

To add to my colleagues comments, i'd recommend that if you can get multiple vendor labs (or even multiple vendors mock-labs beside a main lab workbook from a single vendor) it would be better than using a single vendor, in order to be adaptable with different methods of wordings and topology presentation and thoughts.


Mohammed Mahmoud.

Kevin Dorrell Thu, 01/10/2008 - 07:11

You have been given a lot of really useful advice. You need those practice labs in order to get experience spotting the issues. You need labs from more than one vendor because otherwise you get too used to the presentation of that vendor, and when you get to the real test, the change of style puts you off.

Oh, and you will need somewhere between 500 and 1000 hours of time that you can dedicate to the task.

Kevin Dorrell


dangal.43 Thu, 01/10/2008 - 07:58


Now one more issue is in lab work book i found lots of corner questions to configure so how to handle it?

Kevin Dorrell Thu, 01/10/2008 - 08:04

I just take those as they come. I am trying to do one lab per week, and each one contains some corner questions. If you know them, good. If you don't then you have to look them up in the doc. The objective is not so much to remember the answers to them all, (although it's good if you can) as to get to know your way around the documantation so you can look them up efficiently in the exam.

Kevin Dorrell


dangal.43 Thu, 01/10/2008 - 08:16


so you mean to say just know the features and go ahead do not need to memories, just need to understand the concept right!!! I used to make a notes of such a question so I can read it every day like blood pressure tablet ;-).

so only concern it to have connectivity of core network which include the layer2 and layer3 of your topology should be up and running using the core technologies... the corner questions you can handle using doc cd right!!!

then one more thing is does Cisco allow the search function on doc cd during the lab exam?

lets say if i am on OSPF config file and I want to search specific word PACING then can i search using the find option of PD or HTML in real lab exam?

Kevin Dorrell Fri, 01/11/2008 - 00:54

That's about right.

The approach I am taking is to try and get to the point where I can do the core subjects blindfold with one hand tied behind my back. These subjects are:

- Routing (RIPv2, OSPF, EIGRP)

- Switching (channel, trunks, VTP, etc.)


- Redistribution (the subject that gives me the worst headaches)

- IPv6 with RIP and OSPF (and possibly BGP)

- IPv4 multicast

As for the rest, - the "corner cases" - I always complete each lab, using the documention if I need to and I can. Some of it sticks, and some of it doesn't, in which case at least I know where to find it in the doc.

But don't take my word as gospel, because I have not passed yet!

Kevin Dorrell


qazi.tahir Wed, 01/23/2008 - 13:35

Although hands on pratical expreience of 5 you already have help you to prapare the lab, but they alone will not guide you pass lab exam. First prapare all workbooks provided by ipexpert and internetwork expert, then in last phase of your praparation you will have to make an attempt to see which areas cisco is focusing. If you make two attempts back to back you have 75% chance of passing the lab on your second attempt but dont delay it, that should be done with in 40 days.

all the best


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