I have to admit that I really underestimated the amount of time that it would take me to study for the CCIE written test. I’ve been treating the written test as a minor inconvenience on my way to the lab. I had figured that by studying for the lab I would have the knowledge to easily knock out the written with minimal study time.
As I begin my third straight week of (mostly) dedicated written studies, I am forced to admit that I was wrong. Part of the problem is the amount of theory that you need to memorize (i.e. “What’s the third BGP attribute considered when evaluating a route?). The other major issue is the addition of MPLS and IPv6 to the exam. I am very weak in both areas. I am also pretty weak in QoS (mostly legacy Frame Relay QoS) as well as Multicast. Those four areas are going to require a lot of study before I feel that I am up to the level that I need to be to pass the written.
I am already behind where I thought that I would be in my studies (I planned to be tackling full practice labs at this point). Putting the needed time into studying for the written is only going to push me further off of my goals. Even if I passed the written tomorrow, I would not be able to book a lab in early April as I had planned. If I am able to pass the exam in 4 weeks (which is probably a realistic goal), then I would be looking at a lab 6 months out from mid-November.
I’m changing my target date for the lab from 01 April to 01 June, 2008. That will give me more time to dedicate towards passing the written exam as well as more time to tackle practices labs. I really want to take the exam before summer starts. My new “Days Until Lab” will reflect the 01 June date. If I feel ambitious, I’ll go back and update my previos status updates to reflect that date as well.
Anyhoo…here are my goals from last week:
12 hours of mixed technology labs. Schedule my CCIE written exam. Review QoS. Complete MPLS CBT.
I actually exceeded my lab goal by two hours. I concentrated on QoS labs. I also completed my review of QoS. I am feeling pretty good about that subject now. I did not schedule my written exam yet because VUE sucks ass. I tried a couple of times online to get the ability to book Cisco tests. Can you say “bit bucket”? I finally broke down (thank you for the tip Erica) and called VUE. After they took all of the same information that I had already submitted online (twice!) they told me that it would take a few days for their “systems to reflect the changes.” That was Monday, I still do not have the ability to book Cisco exams online. Arrgghhhh!!!!! I also did not complete the MPLS CBT. My job has Knowledgenet CBTs that we can use, but they are hosted on a server at work. I managed to complete the first two modules, but since they use audio it was hard to sneak in study time (unlike reading PDFs). I am going to VPN in [can I use VPN as a verb? Sure I can! ] and complete that course from home. The Knowledgenet material is very good (so far).
Speaking of work, my workload has increased quite a bit over the last few weeks. We are heading in to an annual tech freeze. There is a period of time each year when the business units are in their peak business cycles, and no tech changes are permitted without a change control authorized by God. That’s great, except that the weeks running up to the freeze are really busy as everyone tries to implement their changes before the freeze. So my available study time is going to be decreased over the next month or so.
My goals for the week: 8 hours of QoS labs. Schedule my CCIE written exam (hopefully). Complete MPLS CBT. Begin IPv6 studies. Possibly begin IPv6 technology labs.
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|Lab Hours This Week
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