CCIE Pursuit Blog

December 6, 2007

BitBucketBlog: Posts How He Passed The CCIE Lab

BitBucket has posted on what he did to pass the CCIE lab.  There is a ton of good information in that post so I strongly encourage you to surf over and read it.  Below are some of his words of wisdom:

Here are some words of wisdom:

1) Read the entire lab –> For you first timers, as nervous as you are, read all of the questions. The 20 minutes it takes you to look it over isn’t going to doom you.

2) Redraw the diagram –> This is optional for some. Personally, it gives me a sanity check on the layout. My 4-color Bic pen came in handy. By the time I left the lab, my scrap sheet had colored arrows and marks all over the place.

3) Alternate methods –> If you happen to practice just one method of accomplishing a task, try and figure out if there is another way. For example, if you can do something with an access-list, then know how to do it with a prefix-list.

4) Eat, sleep, and drink the IOS –> I spent all of November walking around like a zombie. The only thing on my brain was IOS and learning to think like a router. I also had dreams of solutions for some of the problems in my practice labs. It’s weird, but by the time I sat my lab, I was breaking everything down like Neo in the Matrix. It all just made sense.

5) Keep your answers simple –> Yes, we are led to believe that the lab is designed to fail us. That part is true, if you don’t know what you are doing. As creative as you want to be with your methods, don’t bother. It doesn’t get you any extra points and could probably hurt you later. Just figure out the simplest way of doing it. Have you ever logged into a router or switch configured by someone else and didn’t understand why it was configured that way? Keep it simple, enough for someone to follow your method.

6) Cleanup –> If you decide to use a tclsh script, remember to just type tclquit to get out. Or if you happen to use a macro on the switches for a ping test, remember to remove the macro name and description. I kept notepad open on the desktop and wrote down, ‘remove macros from switches’. When it hit 5PM, since I was pretty much done verifying my configurations, I started cleaning off the devices.

7) Get some rest (if you can) or clear your mind –> Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love stuffing my face with turkey, but this year I couldn’t do so. Wednesday to Saturday was spent studying all day and night. I managed to step away for some grub, but it wasn’t the same. By the time Sunday rolled around, Sally’s relatives were planning on coming over to hang out. I could either hang out with everyone or sit in the study room cramping up my fingers and melting my brain some more. If I didn’t know the material at that point, then I wasn’t ready. I felt ready and chose to hang out. Played some Nintendo Wii, watched TV, talked, and just relaxed. I arrived in San Jose at 10PM, drove to the hotel, and just read some of the QoS sections on the DocCD until midnight. You would think that would put anyone to sleep, but there was some anxiousness stirring about in my system. I forced myself into bed and set my alarm for 7AM. I only slept until 5AM because my sleep was restless. I had cranked up the heat before going to bed and it just blew through the night. My room was a freakin sauna by the time I got out of bed. Rather than force myself back to sleep, I just got up and read some of my notes. Jumped in the shower at 6:30AM. Checked out out of the hotel and headed up the road to a Starbuck’s near the testing facility. Bought a Venti bold which was extremely hot. Checked in at the testing center and sat down in the lobby by 8AM. Just sat and enjoyed my coffee until it was time to enter the lab. Want to know why everyone tells us to get some rest the night before? After eating lunch, I started to feel that warm and fuzzy feeling once the food hit my stomach. By the time I sat back down at my rack, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I had to get up, go to the bathroom, and drink some aspirin I had in my pocket. Lucky for me the aspirin had enough caffeine to keep my awake until the end of the day.

Good luck to everyone pursuing the R&S track.

There’s a lot more stuff in his original post.  Congratulations once again to BitBucket on getting his number.

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