CCIE Pursuit Blog

June 28, 2007

It’s a Psychology Test

Filed under: Lab Tips — cciepursuit @ 10:34 pm

The GroupStudy email list includes quite a few folks who have passed the CCIE lab sharing their experiences and tips.  Here’s one of the more recent ones:

It’s a Psychology Test

I just want to start by saying thank you to everyone on Groupstudy,
the guys over at InternetworkExpert, and all the 50 pound brains at my
old shop.  I passed my R/S lab yesterday and now I don’t know what to
do with myself.  I think I’m in a bit of shock.

It really is all about psychology.  I know everyone always says this,
but I’m a firm believer now.  I went in for my first attempt yesterday
morning, but I’m convinced that the test really started four days ago
when I stopped studying.  I made it a point NOT to study the few days
prior to my test.  It was really hard not to go digging around in the
doc cd or try and do one or two more labs, but that may have been the
best decision I made over the course of my studies.  It REALLY helped
me keep the stress down and get a good nights sleep the night before.
Of course, the wonderful bed at the Residence Inn helped a little on
that part, too.  When I got to the testing facility in the morning at
RTP, I was refreshed and ready to go.

Now for the study stuff.  Dynamips is a godsend.  It can be really
annoying and really buggy.  But for guys on a budget like me, it’s
perfect.  Once you get the kinks worked out, you can lab anything up
in minutes.  I’ll probably keep using it from here on out for quick
testing at work.  The workbooks from InternetworkExpert are wonderful.
Their advanced technology series are a great place to start your
labbing.  The core workbooks are excellent for building your speed.
And their main workbooks are great for building technique and
developing good lab based critical-thinking.  Reading the Doc CD can’t
be stressed enough, either.  Use it as your primary source of
information.  It’s your only asset in the lab, so why not base your
studies off of it?  It helped me a lot when I was unsure of something.
It should only take 15-20 seconds to look something up for
clarification.  Lastly, don’t get overwhelmed.  It’s a lot of
material.  But, it’s not so bad if you break it up.

I guess it’s time to get back to the real world.

Thanks again for all your help.
Blaine Williams, CCIE #18316
Network Architecture Engineer
University of South Carolina

I like the advice about not studying for the last four days.  I doubt that I would have the willpower to avoid studying right before the test though.   It also looks like more people are using Dynamips for lab preparation.  I’ve loaded Dynamips on my laptop at home and on my PC at work so I can do labs (all small-scale labs at this point) without renting a rack or firing up the stack of hardware on my desk.  I’m on board with his recommedation of the Internetwork Expert COD (I just started viewing them and am very impressed).  Blaine’s final point about finding information in the Doc CD is very sound.  I am still fumbling about when using this resource.  I usually use it when trying to find information if I am labbing, but I find myself still using Google most of the time when troubleshooting at work.

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