21 days until the lab. I’ve been labbing my ass off over the last two weeks. I’m at the point where I dream about IOS and find myself typing “cntrl+shift+6” then “x” when trying to change between applications. I’ve misspelled “conf t” so many times that I’m not sure how to type it anymore. I’ve printed hundreds of pages of labs and configuration guides. I’ve drank gallons of Diet Mt. Dew. I actually look forward to hitting the gym because it’s less torturous than labbing.
About 3 days into this run I was ready to quit. I took the first of two CCIE Assessor labs and failed it magnificently. Question interpretation and time management slayed me. I was utterly disgusted with myself. I’ve put in so much time and effort preparing for the lab and getting crushed on a lab this late in the game really stung.
I continued to lab away. Yesterday I did the second CCIE Assessor lab. I had a better strategy this time, but hit a rathole on one question. The worst part was that I knew what I needed to accomplish (somewhat – there was one very confusing task) but I could not get it to work. I couldn’t even implement an ugly workaround because the part I couldn’t get to work would have been required. Finally I was able to track down the problem. Of course it was my fault. I swear that I configured the appropriate line on the router, but it was not there when I finally started troubleshooting from the ground up. I spent an hour on a 4-hour lab doing that one task. It was a core task and needed to be completed or I would have lost a ton of related points later in the lab.
I ended up doing redistribution and then just grabbing as many easy points as I could. I finished my last task with less than a minute remaining in the lab.
My final score was a 60%. That’s kind of a Pyrrhic victory. I scored very well on the tasks that I completed (missing only two tasks) but I did not attempt multicast or 80% of BGP. The sad thing is that the BGP tasks were easy. With another 30 minutes I could have passed the lab.
My depression has now been replaced a “Que Sera, Sera” attitude (English translation: “Fuck it”). I’ve let this damned thing affect me too much lately. I need to get my life back one way or the other. I’m going to do my best and face the beast. If the stars line up, then I’ll get my digits. If not, then I’ll spend a Minnesota winter prepping for another run.
I have a number of mock labs coming up over the next week. I hope to be getting scores in the 70+ range. I’ve gone through all of the IE Volume III labs (two times for the first 5 labs) and will continue to chug through the Volume II labs. The ones that I don’t complete I will definitely read through before taking the exam.
Anyhoo…back to work and then more labs.