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CCIE Routing And Switching Exam Tips

Aug 4, 2008
Beginning in November of 2006, CCIE Routing and Switching Labs began replacing the Catalyst 3550, meaning that all CCIE R&S candidates taking their exams after this date were required to familiarize themselves with the new switches and IOS. Changes like these to one of the most difficult and prestigious examinations in the industry highlight just why it is so imperative to stay up to date and undergo intensive preparation before attempting it.

Choosing the best study guides, work books, and boot camps should be done through research and via the recommendations of others. Passing the CCIE lab exam, including the routing and switching portions, requires knowledge of the Cisco command set and a facility with using the commands that only comes with repeated practice in different scenarios. A prerequisite for this study, and a stumbling block for many candidates, is equipment to practice on. Passing the CCIE Lab Exam is one of the most difficult tasks any network professional will face in their career.

Statistics indicate that only one in three candidates pass the exam on their first attempt. Passing scores on written exams are automatically downloaded from testing vendors, but may not appear immediately, which is why most experts recommend waiting at least ten days before scheduling your lab exam. If you don't pass on the first attempt, however, don't be discouraged, Instead, apply your knowledge and first hand experience of the exam to your next try, and when you study, pay close attention to the portions of the exam that you scored poorly on the first time.

Before your first attempt, hands on training and preparation is recommended, which should include taking several mock lab exams. If after taking one, you find that you didn't score as well as you were expecting, this may be your first clue that you are not as knowledgeable about the techniques and topics covered as you originally thought. Trying to rush through the mock lab isn't advisable, because it might lead to making many small mistakes that can add up and lower your score. This is also true when it comes to taking the actual exam, so remember to pay close attention to the directions and work at a slow steady pace, resisting the impulse to rush through sections that seem less challenging. Once you discover which areas you are weak in, you will know what to focus on when you begin to work with your workbooks and learning materials, and you will be better prepared to ask the right questions of your instructors during your boot camp or training course.
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