Final Edit: Overall the session today was very informative about the upcoming changes for RSv5. Cisco will be posting a demo for the new format of the exam soon. I’ll be posting a recap of this session and others after Cisco Live has concluded at the end of the week.

09:45 PDT – Mobile labs will start to have more seats. It’s unlikely that the lab will be delivered at regular Pearson Vue sites.

09:40 PDT – On the new retake policy. It’s not yet clear if it’s effective retroactively. E.g. if you fail twice now do you have to wait 90 days after August? Bruno said an official announcement will be coming out shortly.

09:20 PDT – On configuration section “more preconfiguration is going to be there.” For example IPv4/IPv6 addresses, VLANs, etc. “for example show vlan brief before starting.” “The questions are inter-dependent by nature.” No visible countdown timer, refer to the proctor’s clock. “Most of the time we have obvious explicit requirements and then hidden implicit requirements.” “Focus on the technologies and not the topologies.”

09:19 PDT – On diagnostic section “All tickets are visible before starting” “no partial grading just like other sections” Format is “still multiple choice but different from the written exam.” “for example you could have two scenarios each with three questions” “you’re going to be playing the role of a support engineer” Could include design specifications, emails, topology diagrams, console outputs, packet captures.

09:11 PDT – On grading “We are not reloading your rack, we are not reloading your session. We’re grading in the exact state that you leave your rack.”

09:05 PDT – On troubleshooting section “We’re not going to check which solution you used.” “Big rumor is we’re expecting a special CCIE solution.” “It’s very much based on output.” For example “regardless how you arrive that the route is there we only care that the route is there.”

09:00 PDT – On point weighting per section “Scores are visible in each section.” “You don’t have to get all points in the exam.” “If you get stuck move on.” “Troubleshooting questions are meant to be independent.” “Configuration section is the only one with inter-dependencies.”

08:58 PDT – On the new scoring “You still have a chance of passing even if you screwed troubleshooting.” :)

08:56 PDT – On timing of sections “Only diagnostic is fixed to 30 minutes.” “If you finish troubleshooting in an hour you get the remaining time automatically credited to your configuration section.”

08:50 PDT – On diagnostic module, it’s used to ”assess that you can come to the conclusion of what the root cause is.” ”What process did you use to get to the root cause?” “What information do you need to ask the customer for example from the help desk?” “Diagnostic is about assessing practical skills.”  ”It’s going to be more difficult for candidates that don’t have actual experience.  That’s what the diagnostic section is about.”

08:45 PDT – On delivery “Delivery is web based. There is no more printed workbooks.”

08:42 PDT – On IPsec – “We’re not testing PKI or dynamic crypto.” “Only the most basic IPsec configurations using a pre-shared key.”

08:40 PDT – On packet capture – “We can give you a sniffer trace and ask you to do something with it”. “It’s not collecting the capture it’s using the capture.” “We’re going to be using a web based version of WireShark.”

08:37 PDT – IS-IS is in the written but not the lab, because it’s relevant for new technologies like FabricPath and OTV. If you haven’t heard of OTV before, don’t worry, it’s just a Fancy GRE Tunnel ;)

08:35 PDT – In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 months ;)

08:30 PDT – Per Bruno ”In configuration the topologies are going to be much bigger”.  ”In v5 it’s going to look like an actual network.”

08:25 PDT – The session PDF can be found here.

08:15 PDT – Rule #1 – “Know what you don’t know” :)

08:00 PDT – TECCCIE-3000 – CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5 Techtorial is starting now.  If you have any questions you want me to ask the CCIE team please comment below.


About Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13:

Brian McGahan was one of the youngest engineers in the world to obtain the CCIE, having achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching at the age of 20 in 2002. Brian has been teaching and developing CCIE training courses for over 10 years, and has assisted thousands of engineers in obtaining their CCIE certification. When not teaching or developing new products Brian consults with large ISPs and enterprise customers in the midwest region of the United States.

Find all posts by Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13 | Visit Website

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38 Responses to “CCIE RSv5 Techtorial @ Cisco Live 2014 #CLUS”

  1. Joshua says:

    Hi.. Was hoping if more information could be given on the diagnostic section of the lab. Thank you.

  2. AlexRibas says:

    Very cool Brian’s comments, I see too well at the table behind you :) . But it was not clear to me if you end the Troubleshooting in 2 hours and 30 min not use the Troubleshooting and not use 30 Min Diagnostic, you will have 1 more hour for configuration? Thank you.

  3. Norbert Zehetner says:

    Hi Brian, i think i have heard from another presentation from Bruno, that there will only be Ethernet interfaces involved in the whole lab (no Serial ints). Is this correct?

  4. Chris says:

    I understand not using Pearson Centers. Is there any chance they would consider Lab testing at other, large, Cisco offices? The Herndon office for example.

  5. Martin says:

    Practical question: Will PUTTY still be the only available telnet/ssh client at the LAB exam?
    Or any posibility for SecureCRT? :-)

  6. Jon says:

    Did they provide an example on how you can still pass after screwing up troubleshooting? I guess I thought you had to pass a minimum score

  7. dennisd says:

    Brian, I noticed the terms score visible on page 40 of the presentations docs. Did that mean point values are listed for each questions or there is some sort of new “unofficial” grading as you go happening that displays a sections score?

  8. Ciprian says:

    Hi Brian,

    Will there be any labs available in cisco PEC ? Seeing an actual example of exam formatting can be self explanatory and might help …

    Thank you,

  9. says:

    Hi Brian this sentence was little bit unclear to me:

    08:58 PDT – On the new scoring “You still have a chance of passing even if you screwed troubleshooting”

    I thought that each section was to be resolved at least at minimum score if you want to pass the whole exam…it is correct?

  10. Andrei says:

    Hi Brian,

    When can we expect to have the existing vol2 workbook integrated under the Workbook v5?

  11. Yagnesh Chauhan says:

    Hello Brian,

    May be this is a silly question, but can we suggest cisco to provide Multi-tabbed putty in the CCIE Labs exam ?? I had read that they will provide putty but it doesn’t have multi tabs like securecrt and with like 30 routers on topology, it would just fill up the screen and would waste lot of time sorting them out.

    Multi-tabbed putty is available for free at –

  12. Denis Leonard says:

    Hi Brian,
    have you asked Cisco about the Major Retake Policy Changes?
    we have some questions unanswered

  13. Ashenafi says:

    Still fuzzy on the details of how many IOS devices to expect. May not matter much but it does for my brain (That’s the only part left bugging me.) :)

    If there is more info I appreciate it.

    08:30 PDT ”In configuration the topologies are going to be much bigger”

    What could “much bigger” mean?


    • 20 routers or so. Previously it was fixed as 5 routers and 4 switches. Basically now the number is arbitrary. They can write whatever scenarios that way. It doesn’t matter though because the technologies and the topology aren’t directly related. Just focus on learning the technologies and then the topology doesn’t matter.

      • Ashenafi says:

        Thank you Brian.

        I will try to improve on my speed using large topologies. If the devices in the lab are fewer than what I practised with, it will be a plus :)

        Thanks again!

  14. mohammed says:

    hi Brain
    I am little bit confused about Mobile labs !
    does it mean I can take the lab exam from my country without travel to where they provide the Exam !?

  15. Ashenafi says:

    I’m thinking the level of configuration speed I need to have practised for and reached before exam date will depend on how many devices I will be configuring in each of the mock labs I do.


  16. Fernando Ferrari says:

    Hi Brain, regarding the TS session, each ticket has a mini diagram, problem will always be within the mini diagram highlighted by the question?

  17. Jd says:

    Please how do you blow up those mini diagram and get to the L2 diagrams


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