Cisco recently announced a couple of big changes to the CCIE test. The change that has made the most waves is the introduction of some short open-ended questions prior to the start of the CCIE lab exam. This seems to be consistent with a recent pilot that began in August in the Beijing lab location. While the pilot specifically mentioned that the questions would be part of a verbal interview, I noticed that Cisco made no explicit mention about the new questions being delivered verbally. I’ve now seen a couple of sources (Vue and the IE forum) validate that the new questions will be computer-based:
Cisco Announces Updates to the CCIE Lab and Written Exam
Effective February 1, 2009, Cisco will introduce a new type of question format to CCIE Routing and Switching lab exams. In addition to the live configuration scenarios, candidates will be asked a series of four or five open-ended questions on the computer screen, drawn from a pool of questions based on the material covered on the lab blueprint. No new topics are being added.
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They’re computer-base questions, and will be graded by the CCIE lab proctors.
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This makes sense as the Beijing pilot email advised that candidates could expect their lab session to be an hour longer to accommodate each candidate receiving an oral interview. The global rollout specified that your lab session would not be extended and also mentioned that you could request a reread which included the ‘interview’ portion of the lab.
You’ll most likely answer four or five questions (short essay form?) on a computer. I would imagine that you will need to complete this portion before you are allowed to begin the lab.
While I commend Cisco for (presumably) trying to crack down on cheating in the lab(although they claim that is a ‘secondary’ effect of this change), I have a feeling that if someone can braindump/get copies of the lab, they won’t have much problem collecting these questions.
Anyhoo….now the speculation is whether or not you’ll have access to the DOCCD during this portion of the exam. I would think not, but I’m sure we’ll find out after this goes live next month.