Unfortunately, I do not have any hidden secrets or tricks for passing the CCIE written exam. Bottom line…it takes focus and discipline to prepare. Some people may not take 10 weeks to study for this exam. . I did because I’m not the one that wants to take these types of exams multiple times. For one, they cost money…secondly, who wants to really take these more than once. However, there are people out there who “brute force” exams…meaning, they take it enough times to where they remember the questions and eventually passes the exam. Not I…I want to give my BEST attempt on the FIRST try. I believe that anyone who takes the journey towards CCIE certification has already dug deep inside their soul and already understands the necessary commitment that it takes to study and pass these grueling exams. Again, I stress that if you are not at CCNP level, get there ASAP. You don’t necessarily have to be CCNP certified to pass the CCIE R&S written exam. However, if you are not thorough with the following, you will not pass the CCIE Written exam.
You should be able to understand the theory inside out. Understanding the theory will help you become a better “trouble-shooter”.
Layer 2 (Everything LAYER 2)
Remember, the CCIE R&S Exam focuses on Routing and Switching. For example, you will not see some CCNP topics like Wireless, DSL technologies, IPS/IDS, VoIP, SDM. (Note that you may see some IOS Firewall questions, however the Official CCIE Written Exam Blueprint posted by Cisco does not specify SDM).
The CCIE Written Exam Blueprint v4.0 is broken down into 10 sections. Please refer to Cisco.com for the full Exam Blueprint. My goal was to spend a full week on each section. I work a full time job therefore all of my study preparation was done at home after work and on the weekends. This was the schedule I followed during my 10 week NinjaStyle BootCamp.
Weeks 1 and 2 (I spent 1 week on each Section)
Monday thru Friday
4 hrs per day – reading theory on each sub topic listed in the exam blueprint.
Saturday & Sunday
Did nothing but practice labs and study questions focused on this section. Use the weekends to brush up on anything that is unclear to you. All in all, you should have logged at least 35 hours of study for the week. Remember, I spent a full week on each section outlined in the Blueprint.
I studied Sections 3 (IPV6) and Section 4 (MPLS)
Same routine…4 hrs per day on theory. Saturday and Sunday Practice labs and practice questions. I combined them because they were fairly short and I felt I was pretty solid with the topics. I still practiced with exam practice questions and I did a few IPV6 configuration labs with GNS3
Finished the remaining Sections using the same study process. 4 hrs a day on theory Monday thru Friday. Practice Lab and Practice Questions on Saturday and Sunday. I filled in the gaps as I continued to study…but I stayed on schedule.
The final week of preparation, I did nothing but practice questions and configuration practice. Any questions I got wrong, I would review and make sure understood the topics. I also did numerous configuration practice labs and trouble-shooting. Don’t forget to study QoS and Layer 2!!!!
This is the final step in my 3-part Blog on what I did to study and pass the CCIE R&S Written Exam. Check out the book list in my previous Blog. Those are the only books I used during my study preparation.
Thanks for reading and remember to subscribe!! Stay tuned for more on my Journey towards the CCIE R&S LAB Exam!
-A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step