Here are some facts regarding this portion of the exam:

  • You must complete this portion of the exam before you start the traditional configuration portion.
  • You have a total of 30 minutes to complete this section, you may finish early if you like and immediately begin your configuration section.
  • You will receive 4 questions via the computer and you must provide short answers using the computer interface. The questions are not oral in nature. Typical responses require 4 to 5 words at most.
  • Spelling and/or grammar does not count against you.
  • The questions are manually graded by a proctor. If you purchase an exam re-read, they will re-grade your question responses.
  • You may not return to the short answer questions once you have begun the configuration portion of the lab exam.
  • You will not receive a score when you complete this section, but you must pass this portion to pass the CCIE. You will receive your score in the open-ended section if you fail the exam. The score is reported as 0% or 100% (pass or fail). You may only miss one question in the section in order to pass.
  • Most students finish the 4 to 5 questions in approximately 12 minutes.
  • The configuration portion of the exam has been reduced to accommodate this initial 30 minutes.
  • You still have a total of 8 hours that makeup the open-ended questions and the configuration portion.
  • You may not access the DOC-CD to answer these questions.
  • Using materials for the CCIE Written is an excellent method of studying for the Short Answer questions.

Here are some samples for the many, many different open-ended questions Cisco could ask for the R/S track. Please notice there is no need for panic if you are using one of our recommended study approaches.

Bridging and Switching

  • What is the size of the 802.1Q tag?
  • Examine the diagram shown, describe the flow of traffic in VLAN 12 from Switch A to Switch D.
  • What is the trunk setting that allows the port to trunk only if the port receives the proper DTP frames?

IP IGP Routing

  • What are the five possible metric components for EIGRP and which two are used by default?
  • Given the network diagram shown, what is the path traffic will take from Router A to Router B?
  • OSPF bases cost on what value?
  • Which routing protocol uses a destination Multicast address of


  • What issues can the use of a peer group solve in BGP?
  • What are the default administrative distances for BGP?

IP and IOS Features

  • How can a Cisco router assist a client PC to obtain a DHCP address from a DHCP server located on a remote subnet?
  • What technology allows a router to respond to the name resolution request of a host as if it were the destination host itself?

IP Multicast

  • Which multicast PIM method uses a flood and prune approach?
  • Which option for RP assignment is an open standard?
  • What is the purpose of the override keyword when statically setting an RP?


  • What happens to traffic in the priority queue of the LLQ method that exceeds the specified rate?
  • Which bits of the ToS byte are used for DSCP markings?
  • Between AF21 and AF32, which has the higher drop probability?


  • Given the access list and assignment shown in the diagram, what happens to Telnet traffic?
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