Becoming a Cisco certified internetworking expert with CCIE Routing & Switching certification

Certification: Cisco CCIE Routing and Switching - Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing and Switching

Are you planning to become a CCIE with CCIE R & S certification? You should be ready to have your skills to plan, operate and troubleshoot advanced networks tested.

You should not worry about prerequisites.  Unlike other certifications, you do not have to go through training courses before enrolling for the CCIE R & S program.  You only need to have worked for three to five years before seeking to secure the certification. If you do have a job experience, all that you need to do is pass both the written CCIE R & S exam and CCIE R & S lab exam. The first thing you should do is possess an exam blueprint and concentrate on the topics listed in the blueprint. Your journey to acquiring CCIE R & S will be as follows:

Step I: Pass the CCIE Routing and Switching Written Exam

The CCIE R & S written exam covers topics about networking, technologies related to switching as well as equipment commands. Some of the networking topics include IP, bridging and IP routing.  It takes two hours to complete the exam.

How do you prepare for the exam?

You should start preparing for the exam at least six months before the exam date. You should begin to gather knowledge by concentrating on your work at your place of work. Hands-on experience is important in enabling you to remember theories and concepts. You should set up a personal lab to carry out experiments of what you read from the books and study guide.

Secondly, follow a study plan to ensure that you cover all the content the exam covers. An effective study plan should include reading material, taking of courses such as CCNA and CCCNP as well as practical sessions. Despite the written exam covering theories, practical sessions help you grasp the concepts better. A good study plan should ensure that you have ample time to study. For this reason, spare some time from your busy schedule; ensure that you do not have fatigue when studying for the exam.

In preparation for the exam, you should read a whole range of material containing information about routing and switching. In order to ensure that you are reading the right material, follow an exam guide. It will provide an opportunity for you to know how examiners normally phrase questions. It is one way of getting rid of exam jitters. In addition to exam guide, read technical books and literature that concentrates on CCIE Routing and Switching.

What books should you read?

You should read books that have topics similar to those listed in the exam blueprint.

The following resources have valuable information that the CCIE R & S written exam covers.

  • CCIE Routing and Switching Certification Guide, Fourth Edition
  • Routing TCP/IP Volume I
  • Routing TCP/IP Volume II, second Edition
  • White documents and RCFs from Cisco

Finally, you should do many practice questions to gauge yourself. To ensure that by the time you sit for the paper, you have fully grasped the concepts, work on your weak points.  If you fail too many questions from one topic, it means that you have to read that topic in depth. As the exam date comes closer, concentrate more on your weak areas and less on areas your strong areas. 

Step II: Pass the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam

Most people consider the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam to be difficult. It takes different people varying lengths of time to pass the exams. However, if you are committed to your studies and dedicate enough time to your studies, you should take reasonable time to pass the exam.

How do you prepare for the lab exam?

In order to pass the lab sessions, you should do a lot of practice. You could either select a training provider and attend practice lab sessions or make a lab in your home. The exam has two main parts, the troubleshooting and the configuration section. You should study books such as Your CCIE Lab Success Strategy, the Non-Technical Guide Book and CCIE Routing and Switching Workbook. To pass the lab exam:

Learn to manage your points

In order to pass the exam, you must score 80 percent and above. First, start answering all the simple questions. The second rule is "Do not spend too much time on questions that offer one to two points." Leave questions you are not sure about only to come back to them when you finish the last question.

Familiarize yourself with the online interface

The troubleshooting section occurs in a virtual way. The questions, instructions, documents and all other tools are available through an online interface. In preparation for this section, always view diagrams during your practice scenario through electronic media. Also, use Cisco Learning Labs to gain more exposure.

Get to know what the interface supports

You should always understand a demo. It enables you to know which part represents what and which device does what. You must also be in a position to navigate from one device to another or even open all the devices at once.

Practice Typing

You should practice copying and pasting.  Putty for console is a good way to practice typing and pasting. It is similar to the online interface present during the CCIE R & S lab exam. The faster you learn to type, the faster you will complete your exam.

Learn to manage your time

You must manage your time in order to gunner enough marks to pass. Learn to complete the troubleshooting section in time and have time left for review. Practice time management by giving yourself hard limits to become fast.

After you pass the CCIE R & S lab exam, you attain your CCIE certification.

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