CCIE Pursuit Blog

August 28, 2008

Internetwork Expert: Beijing Lab To Include CCIE Interview

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 4:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

Brian Dennis has a post up concerning an email that seems to indicate (as Brian states in his post this has NOT been verified) that CCIE candidates taking the lab at the Beijing, China location will need to submit to a verbal CCIE interview:

On August 27, Cisco will introduce a pilot for the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam in Beijing, China. The pilot will add a 10-minute interview that will assess the candidate’s ability to apply expert-level networking skills and knowledge to networking problems that are encountered on the job. After the lab orientation, a panel of three experts will conduct a verbal interview with each candidate, asking a series of expert-level networking questions (questions and answers will be in English). The ability to correctly answer these questions will affect the exam score. After completing the interview, the candidate will have the entire 8 hours to complete the lab portion of the exam.  These scores will then be calculated and then combined for a total score which will decide a pass or a fail.

—Read The Rest Here—

There has long been speculation about rampant cheating in China.  I’ve heard everything from special “dump schools” to lax lab security.  I have no idea if any of this is true or not.  This announcement (if true) might indicate that there are issues with the Beijing lab.  It could just be a pilot that is being rolled out at that location first, but I highly doubt that as the email states that the interview will have an effect on the final score.  It doesn’t seem fair to only expose Beijing candidates to this interview.

My take on it is this: if Cisco feels that there is rampant cheating at the Beijing location then close that location down.  Full stop.  Adding an interview that affects the lab score for candidates in a single location does not seem fair.


  1. I dont understand one thing.
    Why cant Cisco, a company as huge as this, can roll out different set of labs each month.
    I know a guy, a ccie 2176X, who didnt know vtp pruning or passive interface in rip.
    The guy and his 6 friends took the lab, and then again in 2 months time and passed.
    Btw, the guy still doesnt know what IP SLA is
    I emailed cisco like 5 times even before he took the lab, as he approached me to give me solutions for his special labs which i declined and ofcourse started emailing to cisco. Stil, nothing was done, and in 2 months, he passed and after i heard he passed, i almost dropped my lab date out of dissappointment.

    The guy even wrote a story about his “hardwork and long journey”, and all hard work he did was to memorize 5 6 labs :@
    All dumping depends upon questions being the same…
    And if cisco doesnt have resources to come up with different topology and questions every month, then who is :@

    Comment by Barooq — August 28, 2008 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

  2. @Barooq – Wow. In order to dump the lab you would need to be resonably sure that you had a set of all of the current labs and then memorize the hell out of them. I always figured that this was pretty much impossible as there had to be dozens of possible tests. IF there are only a handful of possible labs, then Cisco is definitely dropping the ball. After the amount of time that I’ve had to put in to study for the lab hearing that people are able to dump it makes me ill.

    There is no good reason why there aren’t more labs (if there are only a handful). I have heard that a lot of the lab is graded via script, so that would be one reason for a smaller set of labs. I don’t know. IF there were dozens of possible labs, then dumping the lab would become pretty irrelevent. At that point it’s easier to simply learn the technologies that it would be to memorize hundreds of tasks.

    Comment by cciepursuit — August 29, 2008 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  3. Precisely.

    Those people (6 of them) took lab twice. Which tells me that there are six or less labs currently being tested.

    Now if labs are changed over a month’s time( Even keeping the same topology we can change a lot, for example a fush mesh frame relay running eigrp can be asked to have different authetication making it pppOfr) such people cant clear.
    I know for sure that this happens because the worst ccie candidate I met have got a number before me.
    The guy was a complete joke, and he didnt know basics like RIP passive interface or vtp pruning.

    And the worst thing is, when i declined his offer to give me labs in exchangeof solutions, he told me i am being an idiot and a jerk and ccie is not about knowledge but payscale… And i am living in a fool’s world.

    I emailed NDA enforcement many times, but nothing concrete is done it seems.

    Comment by Barooq — August 29, 2008 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  4. Barooq,

    That is sad, and I’d be upset too. But, don’t let him get you down. You and I both know CCIE is about knowledge and skills, and you know what I am confident that those things WILL pay off for you in the end. Real talent and hard work always pays off over the easy road. Guess what, when it comes down to you and him for a kick ass job, assuming he isn’t blowing the hiring manager or something of course, you are going to come out miles ahead. Good luck with your journey!

    – Joe

    Comment by Joe — August 29, 2008 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  5. […] stock in people cheating since in doing so they ultimately hurt themselves down the road with it.  cciepursuit mentioned on his post about brain dump schools which i myself have heard off.  nuff said about […]

    Pingback by Private, vlans. MST theory. « Navfett’s Weblog — August 29, 2008 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  6. I think Navfett is right when its coming to a direct heads up with a cheater and someone who earned his numbers.
    But its still sad how lazy Cisco is, it can’t be that hard to change the labs every month. And if the proctors need two or three days to grade the lab its even ok. Not enough proctors? Common we pay enough for the labs so they could afford more with ease..

    Comment by pashtuk — September 1, 2008 @ 10:09 am | Reply

  7. You have to remeber that Cisco is a company and the CCIE is not a degree. In China they have Huawei to worry about and it’s in their best interest to have as many Cisco people on the ground.

    Comment by Raphael — September 2, 2008 @ 2:53 am | Reply

  8. Raphael, you might be right that they want to have as much as possible CCxx people around the world but why does Cisco then even bother to find cheaters during their exams?

    Comment by pashtuk — September 2, 2008 @ 7:53 am | Reply

  9. @Raphael – You’re right, the CCIE is not a degree. In networking it is much more valuable than a degree. I understand that Cisco would love to have a ton of certified engineers in China as it is an emerging market, but Cisco obviously (again – assuming that this email is legit) is concerned about maintaining the standards of the CCIE program in China or they would not be implementing this policy.

    Comment by cciepursuit — September 3, 2008 @ 8:36 am | Reply

  10. The verbal exam is not that hard. Simply stated questions, of expert caliber, used to sort the fakers from the real experts.

    Sitting in on these verbal sessions, it is very clear when a candidate is a real CCIE and when he is not.

    That said, 3 of 4 that I went to had NO CLUE whatsoever, and the questions were really not that hard.

    Comment by Joe — September 3, 2008 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

  11. Sounds like a bunch of crap to me. You should also add to your list of forums.

    Comment by Sam — September 11, 2008 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  12. […] blog concerning the addition of a brief interview to the CCIE lab in Beijing, China.  I posted my take on the issue here.  There was never any verfication as to whether this was ever implemented (this could have been a […]

    Pingback by NetworkWorld: CCIE Lab Interview Pilot « CCIE Pursuit Blog — January 11, 2009 @ 9:25 am | Reply

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