A common question I get from students is, “when is the best time to take a CCIE bootcamp?” Ideally a bootcamp is taken either 5 to 6 weeks prior to your lab date or the week prior to your lab date. By taking a bootcamp 5 to 6 weeks prior to your lab date you will have time to reschedule your date if after the bootcamp you aren’t ready for the real lab.
For the students who take a bootcamp the week prior to their lab date I always recommend to take a couple mock labs 5 to 6 weeks out to see if they are close to being ready for the real lab. If they are scoring well on the mock labs then I recommend keeping their lab date that is scheduled for the week after the bootcamp. If they are not scoring well I recommend rescheduling their lab date to at least 4 weeks after the end of the bootcamp. This means that if after taking the bootcamp they still aren’t ready for the real lab they can reschedule their lab date. Also I would recommend trying to take time off to study for the last few days leading up to your lab date. In our last 12 day bootcamp we had a few students pass the lab the following week. All of them took the days off from work leading up to their lab date.
On a personal note I’m a big advocate of rescheduling a lab date as opposed to just taking the lab if you feel you aren’t ready for it. Its really easy to see if you are ready for the real lab by just taking a mock lab or two.
About Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210:
Brian Dennis has been in the networking industry for more than 22 years, with a focus on Cisco networking for the past 16 years. Brian achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching in 1996, and is currently the only ten year CCIE that holds five CCIE certifications. Prior to working with INE, Brian taught and developed CCIE preparation courses for various well known training organizations. Brian not only brings his years of teaching experience to the classroom, but also years of real world enterprise and service provider experience.
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