CCIE Pursuit Blog

January 26, 2009

Poll: Can The CCIE Lab Be Passed By Cheating?

Filed under: Cisco — cciepursuit @ 2:03 pm


  1. Define what you mean by cheating? Dodgy “CCIE Real Lab Workbooks” sites, or actually sneaking in notes to the lab?

    Comment by Joe — January 26, 2009 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

    • @Joe – Both, but I’m primarily interested in whether it can be braindumped (dodgy workbooks) like the CCNx exams. I’ll be posting something about this later, but I wanted to see what the perception is among CCIE candidates.

      Comment by cciepursuit — January 26, 2009 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  2. You reckon? I can’t see how you can memorise 8 hours if typing.. then there is no guarantee you would get the same lab as the one you dumped.

    Comment by Matt Hill — January 26, 2009 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  3. I doubt it could be completely memorized / cheated to pass, but I bet certain items could be determined offline and memorized enough to help.

    Comment by Tim — January 26, 2009 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

  4. To be successful if you were to memorize the entire lab, first you’d have to have access to every lab out there because you do not know which one you are going to get. Then, you’d have to actually memorize all of them. I just don’t see how that is possible. Now, having notes or resources available covertly, that might be a different story.

    Comment by Joe A — January 26, 2009 @ 9:15 pm | Reply

  5. CCIE is a tough one. I believe some actually “learn by accident” while dumping/cheating. You have to have some form of knowledge to even attempt the Lab….but not CCIE level complete knowledge. IMHO.

    Comment by Vern — January 27, 2009 @ 12:58 am | Reply

  6. I don’t think anybody is talking about memorizing 20+ 8-hour labs 🙂

    But if you knew all the caveats of every lab, just enough to recognize the problems than I am pretty sure it can be done. Thus a mediocre network engineer could pretty much pass the lab.

    Comment by Branko Santo — January 27, 2009 @ 1:45 am | Reply

  7. This is one of those areas I try and stay blissfully unaware of. Thinking about cheaters getting the same certs that I have only serves to piss me off. In the end, I know that I’ll always excel past them because I actually learn the material and work at becoming a more effective engineer.

    In terms of brain-dumping the CCIE, I’m sure it’s done. I don’t bother to look myself. Due to the hugeness of the exam, and the fact that a few mistaken commands can screw everything up, I highly doubt any Joe Newbie out there could pass the lab by brain-dumping. What it does do is lower the bar. If you know what direction to take for the less-than-straight-forward questions, that’s often half the battle. Then it becomes an exam of knowing how to type commands as opposed to needing to have an in-depth knowledge of how technologies operate and interact with each other.

    Comment by jrensink78 — January 27, 2009 @ 8:12 am | Reply

  8. After interviewing a few CCIE’s for open positions I think some of those guys definitely cheated. I have interviewed IE’s that couldn’t explain what spanning tree was or how to subnet a network. So, how can basic concepts like those be misunderstood by someone that should be an “expert”?

    If someone had seen all the exams prior to taking the real lab I think there is a definite advantage. It’s basically like a video game guide. A person reads the video game guide so they know what to do to get to the next level. The person still has to push all the buttons and move the joystick, but they know exactly what they are supposed to do the complete the task. It’s really no different for the cheaters in my opinion. If someone had the “real” labs and spent 2-3 months doing them over and over, it would be easily memorized without a true understanding of how the technology worked.

    Next time if you get to interview an CCIE for a job in your group. Put him on an actual router and ask them to get some basic information for you. Or ask them to subnet a network into smaller subnets. You may get some surprising answers…

    Comment by Doug E — January 27, 2009 @ 8:53 am | Reply

    • @All – Thank you for the excellent feedback. I share many of the same views. I’m a little surprised – and somewhat encouraged – to find that I’m not polling a majority of “Yes – and it’s common” based on some of the stuff I read on the InterWebs.

      Comment by cciepursuit — January 27, 2009 @ 9:11 am | Reply

  9. I think the truth always comes out. If you cheat you might land the job but you wont keep it. With the new interview you will see those numbers drop I guarantee it. People cheat in every aspect of life. Yes you can cheat but you only cheat yourself. Can you imagine some say hey you are a ccie why did it pick the root over here and not there in front of everyone(I did this lol). The person stuttered and said he didnt know in front of 13 people lol. But the bottom line is it doesnt really matter. The only thing that matters is that we are true to ourselves. With that Dont WEAKEN COWBOY and get ur ass to studying!!! Give me a Shout later!!


    Comment by TDOGGY — January 27, 2009 @ 9:32 pm | Reply

  10. yes the ccie lab can be cheated and yes it can be dumped. There are only at most 6 labs in circulation at any time. only 1-3 are active at any location. There are only 7-9 areas per lab and usually only 3 questions with at best 3 items each per section to earn any points. The areas like switches and igp might have 10 questions each worth 2 points and may require 1-2 items each to complete now add all that up and multiple by number of exams some of the items are repeated through the exams and how many times can configure a vlan a trunk vtp or etherchannel before you really start to get it the lab can be dumped and judging by number of CCNAs posing as CCIEs it has been done with some frequency and success often enough. alexei m did it and then all his friends did it the word spread and the guys from another really small country had a lot of people pass really quickly by groupstudying the process. When 10-20 people get together to gang-bang 1 exam with only 6 sets of questions it does not take long. chinese koreans indians, and Pakistanis are doing it by the class full they even have places that have 1-3 students-turned-ccies teaching the new brood of unskilled-ccies to become ccies. It is interesting since cisco has turned a blind eye to these mass-ccie production factories nda has failed Everyone should just publish what they know and force cisco to either quit the program or write new tests and write them more frequently. Do you want more names the list is extensive? Put the names in google and you can find them with ccie next to them. Trace their social networks and you have found their study-mates who cheated with them. It is a very tangled web but it would not take the ccie-nda police long to do the job but if they did the job there would not be many ccies left as a result when they are done. See the problem is that certain ccies sold the exam questions they saw to cciecert and realccielabs for a few dollars to offset their own costs. Look at the materials and you can find the names of those people since the companies mentioned did not do a good job of protecting their informants. The informants may not even know this. Most wrote their notes that they sold in programs that embedded their information in the media then it was turned to pdf and now you cisco can hunt down these ccie nda violators very easy. If cisco wants to. Do not ask for the truth you do not want to know

    Comment by CCIECERT — January 27, 2009 @ 11:50 pm | Reply

  11. Hi cciepursuit,

    Can you share some of the info you read on the Interweb? I’m too busy studying to research cheaters and am curious as to what is going on. From reading CCIECERT’s post that is definitely eye-opening. Just wondering if what you read is the same.



    Comment by Doug E — January 28, 2009 @ 7:10 am | Reply

  12. It’s too bad people choose to take the dark path. As a hiring manager I’ve had the displeasure of coming face to face with a few frauds. Some pretending to have certs and others with the right papers but clearly no clue. Cisco, MS, SAP and many others over the years.

    While it annoys me greatly (the wasting of my time, the damage it could cause to the reputation of the certification) I have reason to keep high spirits. In my experience it’s rare for these guys to get too far before they are uncovered. Frequently they don’t make it far beyond the first handshake – when it’s me on the other side at least. They never shine, they never excel in their organisation. Their peers usually figure out who knows their stuff and who doesn’t. At the end of the day they are not experts and it shows.

    I’m studying towards my first CCIE and for me it’s a personal challenge, I’m learning something cool everyday, I’m losing hair (and friends) every day. For me it has little to do with the pretty certificate or the riches that are bestowed upon the CCIE class. It’s a passion, an itch that must be scratched. People see it in my eyes when I talk Cisco and I can smell a routing nerd a mile away.

    The frauds will never be able to brain dump the passion…

    Comment by lowjo — January 30, 2009 @ 1:16 am | Reply

  13. Can you cheat or not?
    If you want to know the easiest way to pass the exam, ask our instructor Faisal.

    Takbir Ahmed

    Comment by Takbir — February 4, 2009 @ 10:28 am | Reply

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