CCIE Pursuit Blog

January 16, 2009

A Member of the Three-Tenths of a Percent Club

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 12:51 pm
Tags: , , , ,

If you fail your CCIE lab exam you have the option of paying $250 for a reread of the exam.  A lot of CCIE candidates come out of the lab feeling like they’ve nailed it only to receive the dreaded “FAIL” notice.  A reread is a tempting offer, but Cisco warns:

A reread consists of a second proctor loading your configurations onto a rack to recreate the test and rescore the entire exam. This process may take up to three weeks after receipt of payment. Only one reread per lab attempt is permitted. The result of the reread is an updated score report with success rates for each major section. Be aware that scores may decrease. Exams receive a Pass mark only when the total exam score exceeds 80%. Before requesting a reread, consider that, historically, only 0.3% of exams have been changed from Fail to Pass.

Hector was one of those candidates who left the lab feeling like he nailed itonly to have Cisco tell him that he failed:

Has anyone felt like this before? Has anyone walked out the lab feeling so sure you were going to pass, and got impressed to see that you failed?  What should I do next?  I know about the odds of the reread, but I was so sure I did it right, that immeadiately after receiving my score report I asked for the reread, hoping that there has been a terrible mistake on the score.

He paid the $250 and asked for a reread…and passed the lab!

So, yes, reread works, I’ve found two guys on the internet who have been saved by the reread, and another two on IE’s success stories.

I’m pretty sure that Cisco’s grading process is very accurate, only 0.3% of exams have changed from fail to pass after requesting a reread, but hey! that’s not 0%!.  Mistakes can happen, only God’s perfect.  And best of all is that at Cisco they are aware of it, so they have this marvelous tool called rereading.  In my opinion, you should only request a reread when you meet the following three conditions:

1) You are sure you did a good job on the lab.

2) Based on your score report, you can presume you are near to passing (can’t tell how close, maybe above 70’s).

3) Based on your score report, you see low scores on sections you were very confident about.

Oh, there’s a fourth one: You are sure your wife/girlfriend won’t let you study again in your whole life! (just kidding).

Another thing, I’m not sure if everyone gets the reread option, or only those labs that have the possibility of changing from fail to pass get the option.  If that’s the case, then I believe you should go for it.

And regarding the cost of the reread, it is only 18% of the cost of the exam (not considering travel expenses, which will make it about 8-9%).  And best of all, if your result changes from fail to pass, you’ll get a refund.

Hope this helps (and remember that hope dies at last),



This is the first story that I’ve seen of someone who has passed via the reread.  Hector also includes some good advice for anyone considering a reread.


1 Comment »

  1. Very very interesting.

    I never knew Cisco refunds the reread money if result changed from FAIL to PASS.

    But I guess that is the sensible thing to do.

    Thanks for this !

    Comment by Sesano — January 16, 2009 @ 8:31 pm | Reply

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