Number of Questions: 77

Required Passing Score: 790

Time Allotted: 2 hours

Question Types: Single Response-Multiple Choice, Multiple Response-Multiple Choice, Drag and Drop, Scenario (Flash Based)

Overall Level of Difficulty: Easy

Exam Sections:

  • Evaluate proposed changes to a network
  • Implement Layer 2 technologies
  • Implement Layer 3 Technologies
  • Implement IP Multicast
  • Implement Advanced Services
  • Troubleshoot a Network
  • Optimize the Network


Compared to the previous versions of this exam, Cisco has solved one of the major issues with it – time. The previous version featured 105 questions that were to be solved in 2 hours. This was quite difficult. Knowing the material as well as I do, I had about 4 minutes to spare in one of my visits to the old exam.

Notice the new exam allows students to breathe a bit as they are sitting the exam. I did not find time to be nearly as much of a pressure with this exam. I completed all questions in 1 hour and 10 minutes. I believe that most students will have no problems finishing the exam in 1 hour and a half.

In addition to the shorter length, I found there were many more questions of CCNA-level and CCNP-level in this exam compared to past exams. Now of course, there are still a fair share of really tough CCIE-level questions, so you actually feel a bit off-balance taking the exam. When you click next, you just never know what you are going to get. :-)

Also, as advertised, there is no longer a BACK button. Be real sure of your answer before you click NEXT. Twice I realized I answered something wrong once it was too late. Remember, time should not be an issue now, so avoid the typical response of rushing. Incidentally, one reason Cisco is not allowing the BACK button any longer is that it would make the exam MUCH easier. Several times I learned of a correct response from a later question but I was prohibited from going back and changing my initial reponse.

What I Loved:

  • Shorter exam
  • Troubleshooting questions

What I Disliked:

  • Exhibits that were completely illegible
  • Only one new Scenario style question in my exam
  • Over-emphasis in certain areas, with no coverage, or limited coverage, of other areas

Topic Domains Most Emphasized (In My Question Pool):

  • OSPF and EIGRP for IPv6
  • IP SLA
  • Layer 2 Troubleshooting
  • Layer 3 Troubleshooting
  • QoS
  • PIM Sparse Mode
  • MPLS
  • Services

As you know, updates have begun to our top-rated CCIE Written R&S Bootcamp product. I am creating the new lessons in an order that reflects exam emphasis. I am also adding a second Practice Exam to the course. It will be available (In Progress) tomorrow, so you do not need to wait to try your skills on new questions immediately.

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30 Responses to “Exam Review: 350-001 CCIE Routing and Switching Written Version 4”

  1. Soeperman says:

    My (Beta) experience was different, I still had 100+ questions of considerable level, though some were ridiculously easy, though I had to rush to the end of it because I was running out of time. For people that need to take it: you need to answer most questions promptly and not look back too much (my personal error..). The topic domains were about the same though :)

    I’ve yet to receive a result for the beta unfortunately..

  2. Marcos says:

    I had the written beta on september 9th, the diagrams were AWFUL, some output was HORRIBLY formatted, with word processor spelling markup showing “wrong” words.

    I was hoping this was a beta exam issue, but reading your article now gives me some shivers… BTW, I had the feeling multicast was too much explored compared to other very significant topics like MPLS. The troubleshooting questions, discounting the unreadable text, were very interesting.

    I haven’t received my beta exam results as Cisco explained it would take up 8-12 weeks until they’re mailed. On the Cisco Cert page it shows only as taken until now.

  3. Wow less questions but higher passing score.

  4. Just one question – why do they have those ugly diagrams/exhibits? is it on purpose? People complain about food quality at lab’s lunch, i would complain for those diagrams.

  5. John Spaulding says:

    I also took the beta and my thought were:

    I couldn’t read or understand what the question was asking. there were alot of grammar mistakes as well.

  6. shaun says:

    Good write-up, thanks for sharing!

  7. Brad says:

    I don’t recall a ‘back’ or ‘review feature’ for any of the Cisco Exams that I’ve taken since 2005. Perhaps Cisco should move the OEQ to the written section; so that the lab can be just that. A lab.

  8. Rodney says:

    I don’t think he is talking about the beta exam, It appears that he has taken the new 350-001 exam and not referring to 351-001 Beta exam.

  9. ananth says:

    Troubleshooting COD is up hurray :)

    Thanks a lot guys :)

  10. ananth says:


    In the troubleshooting COD,The file share
    contains only lab 1 with 10 tickets and you mention that there would 3 labs and 27 tickets .
    But in the fileshare there are no lab2 and lab3

    Am I missing something ?

    Please help me in this regard


  11. ananth says:


    Sorry about posting multiple posts

    In the COD in day 4 only part 1 is visible

    and in day 5 only part 1 is visible .

    There are no files in day 5 part 1

    So the missing parts are

    Lab 2 – questions , diagram and solutions

    Lab 3 – questions , diagaram and solutions

    Day 4 – Part 2

    Day 5 Part 2

    So if these are uploaded then we will have
    the complete material :)


  12. Marlon says:

    I took the 3.0 exam and I recall it was also 790 points as passing score. I do not see how this one is higher.

    Santiago Enciso says:
    October 21st, 2009 at 12:28 pm
    Wow less questions but higher passing score.

  13. alan says:

    is there any point to the written exam? Its worthless on its own yet its a pre-req for the lab. Cisco would be better to increase the number of OEQ’s during the lab.

  14. Andrius Adamavicius says:

    They still say it’s 90-110 questions.From the cisco website:

    “CCIE Routing and Switching Written Exam #350-001, v4.0

    The CCIE R&S written exam is a two-hour qualification exam with 90-110 questions taken online at a Cisco authorized Pearson VUE testing center.”

  15. Warren Jackson says:


    I have been studying for about 4 months for the old version of the CCIE written. What is the main thing that I should concentrate on that is on the new one that wasn’t on the old one?



    • I will be releasing the most important new topics in order – and I also need to see the exam a couple of more times to be sure – but one topic to look at right away is IP SLA (the foundation for OER/PfR) – they really hammered on that in my pool of questions. I am releasing a lesson on it later today or tonight.

  16. duofilm says:

    Thank you for the article and for updating the course. I read in http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/46561 that Wendell Odom felt that in the lab there were probably too many tasks in the troubleshooting and configuration sections of the lab. One thing is not to know and another is not having enough time. I quote Wendell Odom:

    “It was a Beta, and Cisco needs some experience with specific lab exams to figure out how much is too much. I’m sure they didn’t write all new lab exams, so the trick is to figure out how to compress the former 7.5 hour lab into 5.5 hours. They want you to pass if you know your stuff, and fail if you don’t. They don’t want you to fail if you truly know your stuff but they just gave you too much.”

  17. ananth says:


    Oh Got it .

    But When will the Lab 2 and Lab 3

    Tickets , Diagram and Solutions be uploaded .

    It will complete the COD .


  18. ananth says:


    Thanks it is there now .


  19. nael says:

    The drag and drop keeps saying try again and I know I got the answers right for mod 1 general concepts quiz.

    BGP= Path Vector
    EIGRP= Distances Vector
    OSPF= Link State
    RIP = Distances Vector

    Please correct the errors…

  20. CCIE R &S v4 Written Passing Score - So Do You Want to be a CCIE? - 2bccie.com says:

    [...] http://blog.internetworkexpert.com/2009/10/21/exam-review-350-001-ccie-routing-and-switching-written... [...]

  21. Best R&S written exam prep - So Do You Want to be a CCIE? - 2bccie.com says:

    [...] http://blog.ine.com/2009/10/21/exam-review-350-001-ccie-routing-and-switching-written-version-4/ [...]

  22. [...] should pass with ease. > > Here is a review I did of the written a while back: > > > http://blog.ine.com/2009/10/21/exam-review-350-001-ccie-routing-and-switching-written-version-4/ > > I am retaking the exam again next week to see what they might have improved > upon [...]

  23. Best R&S written exam prep - So Do You Want to be a CCIE? - 2bccie.com says:

    [...] I did of the written a while back: >>>> >>>> >>>> >> http://blog.ine.com/2009/10/21/exam-review-350-001-ccie-routing-and-switching-written-version-4/ >>>> >>>> I am retaking the exam again next week to see what they might [...]

  24. Best R&S written exam prep - So Do You Want to be a CCIE? - 2bccie.com says:

    [...] >> >> Here is a review I did of the written a while back: >> >> >> http://blog.ine.com/2009/10/21/exam-review-350-001-ccie-routing-and-switching-written-version-4/ >> >> I am retaking the exam again next week to see what they might have improved [...]

  25. [...] With the lab almost 2 years in my rearview mirror, my kids still get nervous when I make any statement with the term “CCIE” in it.  They’ll respond with a tentative question along the lines of, “Are you going to have to do all that studying like you did before?”  My kids don’t want to lose their Dad again.  The ”right” thing for me personally is to recertify in the most expedient way possible.  That means going for the R&S written again.  I think I have the best chance of passing that specific test on the first attempt, although since I’ve never seen the version 4 test, I admit it might take me more than once to pass.  There’s precious little I can find on the Internet regarding how people have fared on the version 4 test. [...]

  26. Richard says:

    Wrote the exam today, but unfortunately failed 741/790. I found the exam way out of scope of the recommended written exam v4 self study guide from Cisco. That and my question set was massively biased towards particular topics, especially around IPv6 and services.

    I’ve been doing lab/written prep the past 4 months, and was really brought down to earth by the level of detail Cisco are expecting of CCIE candidates.

    I need to get back to the books. Good luck to everyone pursuing their IE out there.


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