CCIE Pursuit Blog

August 4, 2009

Cisco Announces CCIE v4.0 Written Beta

Cisco has announced the beta exam for the new CCIE v4.0 exam.  For the reduced price of $50, this is a good opportunity for recertification for those with their digits or for those who may not have already taken the written exam and are studying for the new version of the lab.

Beta Available for CCIE Routing and Switching v4.0 Written Exam

The beta version of CCIE Routing and Switching Written Exam v4.0 (351-001) will be available for scheduling at all worldwide, Cisco-authorized Pearson VUE testing centers beginning August 11, 2009 and continuing through September 9, 2009. Candidates may schedule and take the exam on the same day. The beta exam will be offered at a discounted price of US$50, with full recertification or lab qualification credit granted to all passing candidates. Candidates preparing for this exam should refer to CCIE Routing and Switching 4.0 written exam topics for a detailed outline of topics covered. Registration on the Cisco Learning Network is required.

Click here for more information about CCIE written exam betas.

Reminders: Candidates will receive their results six to eight weeks after the close of the beta period. Therefore, CCIEs in suspended status with an expiration date before November 30, 2009 should recertify using another exam. Candidates may only attempt a beta exam once during the beta period.

January 28, 2009

Free Retakes On Cisco Exams

UPDATE: Well……you might be able to use this promotion to take an exam that is not part of regaining an expired recertification.  See details here:

UPDATE:  Aragoen Celtdra writes: “I spoke with Pearson Vue about this and the person I spoke with said that it’s only valid for re-certification.”

Oh poo!  That does explains this line though: “All exams needed for a certification must be taken to gain back your certification.”

Cisco and Vue have brought back their free retake promotion:

“Come Back 2009” Promotion

Here’s how to redeem your Cisco “Come Back 2009” Exam:

Register for an exam at full price. If you fail the exam, you may schedule a free retake of the same exam by entering the promotion code: COMEBACK2009 at the time of registration.

Offer only valid for Career Certifications and Specialization Exams (not valid on online exams or the CCDE Practical Exam – 352-011). NOTE: All exams needed for a certification must be taken to gain back your certification.

Unfortunately the CCIE lab exam is not covered, but if you’re taking your CCIE written or any of the CCNx exams, then this is a great promotion to take advantage of.

August 5, 2008

Get 20% Off Of Cisco (written) Exams

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 10:26 am
Tags: , , , ,

Brandon Carroll recently posted a voucher code that will get you 20% off of Cisco exams at Vue.  It’s not good for the CCIE lab, but you should be able to use if for the written (saves you abou $60).  Go to Brandon’s post for the code and more details.

March 13, 2008

CCIE Written Exam Passed

I FINALLY took my CCIE Routing and Switching written exam today.  I had put off taking the exam for so long (I think that my original planned date was in July of last year).  Since I’ve been spending a minimal amount of time on the CLI as I review the IEATC lessons again, I figured that this was a good time to get the written out of the way.  I scheduled the test for noon today and took the day off of work.

I spent about 6 hours last night, and another 3 this morning reviewing my IEATC notes and going over some stuff in the CCIE Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide (3rd Edition).  This is the least amount of time I’ve ever studied for a certification exam.  Except that it’s not.  I consider the fact that I have been studying for the lab for nearly a year (can it really be that long?) to be studying for the written by proxy.

Since Vue is now the only testing center that Cisco uses and because I now live 30 miles from the nearest testing center; I had to take the test at an unfamiliar test center and I got lost.  I had Googled the location and printed out the map before I left.  I thought it a bit odd that the center was south of where I thought that it should be, but who am I to question Google?  I ended up having to call the center and a very nice young lady played GPS for me.  I was about 10 minutes late and a little flustered by the time I got to the center.  I was silently cursing Google maps.  As it turned out, I had cut and pasted the address into Google maps, but only the last line containing the suburb and the zip code had survived that procedure.  So Google directed me to the middle of Golden Valley as it was instructed.  I was in too much of a hurry to get out the door to notice.  ID10T error:-)

The testing center consisted of a single PC on a round table in a small room.  Sweet!  No other candidates to bother me and I had a ton of space.  They also gave me a 2 foot by 2 foot white board and a marker (not dry erase) and eraser.  This was much better than the grease pencil and laminated paper I was used to getting.  Plus if I bombed the test I could still get high off of the marker fumes.

I took a deep breath and started the exam.  And I mean STARTED the exam.  I’m used to answering a long questionnaire before Cisco exams.  This exam asked me if I was 18 or older and then presented the EULA/NDA.  That was it.  It took me a second or two to realize that I was looking at the first question and that time was ticking away.

The exam consists of 100 questions and you have 2 hours to complete them.  Although this is subject to change, the passing score is 70 points (this was on the screen right before I started the exam).  The biggest difference between the CCIE written exam and other Cisco certification exams is that you can mark questions for review and you can go back to previous questions.  This saved my bacon on a couple of questions as I was able to remember/reverse-engineer information that helped on a previous question.  At the end of the exam you are able to go back to any question and see the ones that you’ve marked for review before submitting the exam for grading.

The test was moderately tough, but ultimately fair.  The one area that I was worried about was MPLS.  I had spent some time studying MPLS a few months ago (before one of my many rescheduled written attempts) but I only retained a little of that knowledge.  The exam tests you on MPLS theory only so I did okay (83%) on that section.  The section that absolutely slayed me was Multicast.  This really is not a surprise as it is by far my weakest section in the lab as well.  It was my worst section at 50%.

Otherwise I feel like any lab candidate should be able to do well on this exam.  The questions were mostly straight-forward with the occasional out-of-left-field question that I have come to expect from Cisco.  There seem to be an equal number of flat-out easy questions to compensate for these oddities though.  I scored an 86 which is halfway between passing and acing the test.  During the test I kept track of the questions that I was not sure about and I came up with 21, so I did about 7 points better than I expected.

One thing that did bother me (and I’ll try to tiptoe around the NDA here) is that there were a number of questions about one technology (and only that one technology) that referred to the different variations of said technology by their IEEE names.  I was pretty pissed off about this as I though that this was a level of obfuscation too far.  The ability to review questions helped with these questions (there were at least five) as a later question served as a Rosetta Stone for one of the technologies and I must have guessed correctly on the others because I did well in the section.

I found myself thinking about one of Kevin Dorrell’s recent posts while encountering some of the questions.  There were a couple of questions that the wrong answers could be stripped away with simple logic.  I had one question that asked you to find the true statement about a technology that I only (barely) knew what its acronym stood for.  Fortunately, “p” and “not p” were both present in the answers so it had to be one of those two.  One of the answers serverly limited the capabilities of a Cisco proprietary feature, so I chose the one that said it could move mountains.  A quick DOCCD search at home verifies that I chose the correct answer.

The written is just a ticket to the big dance that is the CCIE lab.  In the lab I’m not going to be able to use test taking strategies to suss out answers.  Still, it’s nice to have this step out of the way so that I can consider myself a true CCIE candidate at long last.

It’s an amazing March day (for Minnesota at least) today.  It’s 52 degrees (Fahrenheit – about 11 degrees Celsius) and I have the rest of the day off.  One of our cats just brought a giant Garter snake into the house.  It must have dug the snake out of its hibernation hole.  I’d better put it back outside again before it warms up and kicks my cat’s ass.  :-)  Then I’m off to enjoy the weather.

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