What is a fun and effective study approach for many CCIE Lab Exam topics? Well try this out…

Step 1 – Find an Expanded Blueprint you can trust – hey, you can trust our blog!

Step 2 – Select a topic from that blueprint that you think you can fully explore within the timeframe you have set aside for studies. Perhaps you decide that you have 2 hours maximum for this particular study session. For this example, we will pick the RIP Version 2 Timers.

Step 3 – Begin on Google and do some Cisco independent research; what do the RFCs say about these timers? What does Wikipedia say? Are there some good Wiki links?

Step 4 – Move to the DOC-CD and read thoroughly the Configuration Guide section and the Command Reference areas for the feature.

Step 5 – Jot down any questions you have now about the feature. You are heading to the Command Line next using Dynamips, your pod, a friend’s pod, or our rental racks to test and investigate the feature further. Chances are, you will be able to answer your own questions in the Hands On phase of study.

Step 6 – Lab it up – for the RIP Version 2 Timers, you just need two routers and a healthy dose of the Debug IP Rip, Show IP Route Rip, and the Show IP Protocol commands!

Step 7 – If you have any questions left regarding the feature, head back to Google and search using a syntax like this – “timers basic”; searching like this in Google limits your search to your favorite forum. Sure our IEOC.COM is still young, but do not forget to check it ☺

Step 8 – If you have any questions left on the feature, be sure to post on our forum – we will be waiting for you!

Step 9 – Scratch that topic of your Expanded Blueprint. Congratulations, you are one step closer to your number! You should not need to revisit that feature for study, and if it rears its head in the lab, certainly a quick lookup in the DOC-CD should jog those memory banks.

Happy Studying All, and To All a Goodnight.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “A Recommended Study Approach”

  1. Ted says:

    Thanks for the study tips, but I’d like to raise two issues. Issue 1 deals with wording of questions/tasks and the other with when do you know it’s time. Issue #1. How can we tell what’s being asked of us? Interpretation is a key requirement. I was working on a lab and after a few steps it dawn on me that I needed to go back change my configuration. Issue #2. Working on ver. 2 lab 8 and low and behold ospf was not forming an adjacency between R3 and Sw2. After what seemed like hour of screen dream (just staring) I decided to look on IE blog to see if any colleages had similar issue. There were posts about a couple of ways to navigate this. Ended up doing what I thought was the correct and adj. establish immediately (as expected). At that point called it a day, because it was like I knew this, how else can a packet get from point A to point B. To summarize. We’re ready probably when whatever we face doesn’t surprise us. If a step is left out, so what because we know/understand how the technology works. If a packet cannot get from 1 point to another we should know that and we should know why. So, my studies continue with one task. How to get a packet from 1 point to another or not. Fortunately we have this site to share our individual and collective lessons learned. To not be surprised bacause that’s how the technology works!

  2. remakin says:

    excellent advice.
    thanx a lot!!

  3. Dhanushka says:

    Excellent advice. No more words…Thanx

  4. Ted,

    When you get to the point when you are not “surprised because that’s how the technology works”, then you are ready for the lab. The key is that you should be able to look at a particular design, and be able to identify the problems before even starting the configuration on it. In the end the CCIE Lab exam is testing your core knowledge of the protocols, not stupid router tricks.

    Good luck in your preparation!

  5. Ian says:

    That’s very close to my current plan but I’d like to offer a suggestion for improvement to it :-)

    I think it would be beneficial to all CCIE candidates if Internetwork Expert created a page or a forum sticky with the blue print of the current CCIE track (for each track) and then posted links to good articles under each blueprint topic. There is a ton of good information distributed amongst the blogging world, online magazines and of course, A central repository of such articles listed under each heading would be of great benefit to the student as it would allow us quick access to the best resources without having to waste time trawling the internet for them.

    I am sure the students would contribute by posting links to their favourite papers so the administrative overhead on you guys would be minimal and it is something that could grow with time. A brief description under each link posted would be helpful too, I think.

  6. michael says:

    On another note, My written had just expired and now I feel I have to start all over. This might not be a bad thing since I could use this opportunity to fill in the gaps. Any suggestions on how to approach this?

  7. I would start with the Written Blueprint and start a similar study approach to what is described above actually.

    If you need sample exam questions – I wrote a practice test bank that is still available for sale at NetMasterClass as of right now.

  8. Brandon says:


    Great tips, and thanks! I just a recommendation for the lab exam expanded blue print. It might be helpful to consider next to each topic and/or subtopic to have a weight for how much this particular technology should be studied. For example there would be 5 stars next to a particular core BGP or OSPF topic and maybe 1 or 2 stars next to a topic like OSPF auto-cost. Just a thought.


  9. Bhuvanesh says:

    it seems realistic, Thanx,,

  10. Hi Brandon!

    Still on my to-do list…just had to prioritize against other tasks/posts!

    I hope you understand.


Leave a Reply


CCIE Bloggers