First lab attempts

c0d3_w0lfc0d3_w0lf Posts: 117Member
I just have to ask this, even though I'm not completely set on going as far as the CCIE yet. (though it is SOOOOOO tempting. I love challenges.)

From the posts I've read, it seems like it's almost a guarantee that you'll fail your first lab attempt. Are there any statistics, or can anyone give me an idea how true this is? Unless things improve tremendously for me in the next three years, I doubt I'll be able to afford the lab attempt more than once a year.
There is nothing that cannot be acheived.

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    I hear the pass-rate for the lab is less than 10% on the first try. I'm more curious about the written statistics because nobody really acts like it's that big of deal.
  • nice343nice343 Posts: 391Member
    dynamik wrote:
    I hear the pass-rate for the lab is less than 10% on the first try. I'm more curious about the written statistics because nobody really acts like it's that big of deal.

    With the written lab you have 4 choices to get an answer right. With the lab it is either you are right or wrong. There is no middle ground
    My daily blog about IT and tech stuff
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  • EdTheLadEdTheLad Posts: 2,112Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you go into the lab with the mentality that everyone fails first time, you will surely fail.I dont see why you care about statistics, if you study and really understand the material you should have a great chance to pass.If you read post of guys who sat the lab and failed they always mention being under prepared in certain topics,rarely do you read about a guy knowing everything and still failing.A pity Darby deleted all his posts, he was a typical example of a guy who continually fooled himself into believing that he knew the material.
    Networking, sometimes i love it, mostly i hate it.Its all about the $$$$
  • c0d3_w0lfc0d3_w0lf Posts: 117Member
    EdTheLad wrote:
    If you go into the lab with the mentality that everyone fails first time, you will surely fail.I dont see why you care about statistics, if you study and really understand the material you should have a great chance to pass.If you read post of guys who sat the lab and failed they always mention being under prepared in certain topics,rarely do you read about a guy knowing everything and still failing.A pity Darby deleted all his posts, he was a typical example of a guy who continually fooled himself into believing that he knew the material.


    Now that's the kind of answer I was hoping for. The statistics are actually a help though. Yes, if I go into the lab with the mindset that everyone fails the first time, I'll fail. That's a given. But I don't plan on spending $1400 until I'm sure I can pass. The statistics will serve as a reminder to be ABSOLUTELY certain that I know my stuff. Mainly, I just wanted an accurate idea of whether or not the fail rates of first attempts were overblown or not.

    Besides...every story about hard this thing is to get just makes me want it more and more. :D
    There is nothing that cannot be acheived.
  • PStefanovPStefanov Posts: 79Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    I just have to ask this, even though I'm not completely set on going as far as the CCIE yet. (though it is SOOOOOO tempting. I love challenges.)

    From the posts I've read, it seems like it's almost a guarantee that you'll fail your first lab attempt. Are there any statistics, or can anyone give me an idea how true this is? Unless things improve tremendously for me in the next three years, I doubt I'll be able to afford the lab attempt more than once a year.

    I dislike the way you approach the lab. If you think you're going to fail, you're 100 % sure to do so. Always approach your goals with positivism. I've read on one of my favourite CCIE blogs - Himawan's blog, who is triple CCIE - that he failed his first lab just because he was not convinced he could pass. I personally don't mind any statistics. They're not going to help you at all. All they can do is just make you even more nervous during your lab attempts.

    just my 2 cents
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    nice343 wrote:
    dynamik wrote:
    I hear the pass-rate for the lab is less than 10% on the first try. I'm more curious about the written statistics because nobody really acts like it's that big of deal.

    With the written lab you have 4 choices to get an answer right. With the lab it is either you are right or wrong. There is no middle ground

    There is no such thing as the written lab and there is no middle ground in the written exam either. Your answer is either right or wrong.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    dynamik wrote:
    I hear the pass-rate for the lab is less than 10% on the first try. I'm more curious about the written statistics because nobody really acts like it's that big of deal.

    Pass rates for the written are much higher because of the ****.

    But the written is a big deal. I have heard from people who say it's easy but the same people have still not passed the lab. I also met a CCIE who used a **** to recertify to save himself lots of time preparing for it. He felt that recertification was a rip off forcing multiple retakes from candidates because the test is difficult to prepare for. You have to know a good deal about routing and switching theory in considerable depth to pass that exam. It's a lot of work covering all the necessary material to get through that test. The written is also a vital part of your lab preparation. A lot of essential reading should be done during written preparations to make your lab preparations much smoother. It's obvious by some of the posts on groupstudy that a good number of lab candidates evaded the necessary reading by dumping the written exam. As a consequence they get lost in the practical preparations as they have no solid theoretical foundations to build on. Lab workbooks do not teach you technology fundamentals, you do that in your own time by working hard for the written. Some of those folks will be studying for the CCIE forever because (as an example) they did not devote entire weekends learning and understanding the difference between things like pim modes.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    I just have to ask this, even though I'm not completely set on going as far as the CCIE yet. (though it is SOOOOOO tempting. I love challenges.)

    From the posts I've read, it seems like it's almost a guarantee that you'll fail your first lab attempt. Are there any statistics, or can anyone give me an idea how true this is? Unless things improve tremendously for me in the next three years, I doubt I'll be able to afford the lab attempt more than once a year.

    I dislike the way you approach the lab. If you think you're going to fail, you're 100 % sure to do so. Always approach your goals with positivism. I've read on one of my favourite CCIE blogs - Himawan's blog, who is triple CCIE - that he failed his first lab just because he was not convinced he could pass. I personally don't mind any statistics. They're not going to help you at all. All they can do is just make you even more nervous during your lab attempts.

    just my 2 cents

    Attitude is a factor in passrates.

    The folks that clear the lab first or second time usually have two things in common. 1. They devoted a lot of time to prepare for their lab attempts and 2 they studied in a consistent way often studying every day/night for many months with little or no breaks.

    They have a patient, methodical approach and were realistic in the requirements. A dollop of humility and a healthy supply of guts enables many people to pass first or second time but they work VERY hard. Your milage will vary based on your availability of free time to prepare. Some candidates have demanding jobs, others less so. Other candidates have family commitments. These things together determine how much time you have available on a day to day basis to prepare. The rest is then down to you. No matter what time you have available to prepare you will still have to cross the same desert to get there!

    A lot of people talk a good game but they duck out when it comes to putting in the necessary hours to prepare for the test. People like to obtain elite accolades but you don't get the grades to go to med school, Oxford or Cambridge, Harvard or Yale unless you put the work in no matter how *smart* you may think you are. The CCIE is no different. Preparation is demanding and life offers many distractions like eating more food or watching TV or playing games. The CCIE is doable but ambition means nothing without application. The CCIE tests many things, ability certainly but not least determination!
  • dtlokeedtlokee Posts: 2,381Member
    I think the point behind the statistic is to encourage you to take the exam, not the other way around. If you keep thinking you MUST pass on the first attempt, you will never be ready. You will keep trying to prepare and will put it off and put it off and continue to talk yourself out of taking the lab. Yes it's $1400, but that is small in comparison to what you can earn as a CCIE. I think the only 10% pass on the first try is a way of saying to yourself "if I fail it's not so bad, I'm just like 90% of the people in the world." I was given a false sense of confidence by the written, I didn't study for it. Walked in and passed with a 95%, so I figured the lab wouldn't be so bad, and it's not. Time will be your biggest enemy on the lab, you have a lot to do and not a whole lot of time. You need to be able to complete tasks the first time and do them correctly. If you are unsure of any topic on the lab blueprint, don't attempt it. If you find yourself saying "I can look that up when I'm in the lab" don't attempt it. You should be confident that you can configure the base elements of all technologies in the lab. You will still need to look things up in the doc CD (you need to be good at navigating the documentation) but it will be the oddball stuff and since you know all the core technologies and can complete them quickly, you will have time for the few oddball tasks.

    People who have taken the mock labs have told me they are a good representation of the time constraints of the real lab (I have not taken a mock lab but I have taken the real lab) so I would use them as a guideline for the real lab.
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    dtlokee wrote:
    I think the point behind the statistic is to encourage you to take the exam, not the other way around. If you keep thinking you MUST pass on the first attempt, you will never be ready. You will keep trying to prepare and will put it off and put it off and continue to talk yourself out of taking the lab. Yes it's $1400, but that is small in comparison to what you can earn as a CCIE. I think the only 10% pass on the first try is a way of saying to yourself "if I fail it's not so bad, I'm just like 90% of the people in the world." I was given a false sense of confidence by the written, I didn't study for it. Walked in and passed with a 95%, so I figured the lab wouldn't be so bad, and it's not. Time will be your biggest enemy on the lab, you have a lot to do and not a whole lot of time. You need to be able to complete tasks the first time and do them correctly. If you are unsure of any topic on the lab blueprint, don't attempt it. If you find yourself saying "I can look that up when I'm in the lab" don't attempt it. You should be confident that you can configure the base elements of all technologies in the lab. You will still need to look things up in the doc CD (you need to be good at navigating the documentation) but it will be the oddball stuff and since you know all the core technologies and can complete them quickly, you will have time for the few oddball tasks.

    People who have taken the mock labs have told me they are a good representation of the time constraints of the real lab (I have not taken a mock lab but I have taken the real lab) so I would use them as a guideline for the real lab.

    I agree with a lot of that. From the sounds of things you were well versed in cisco testing prior to taking the written and I wouldn't say your background is typical. You work as an instructor and the swathe of cisco certifications you already hold should have put you in a good position to just take the test. If I was in your position I would probably have done the same. But you have to get to that position first. For the weak like us the exam is difficult without significant preparation. In my case experience alone was not going to get me through the written and it had been 6 years since I had prepped for any kind of cisco test. Without that base expect to have to do a lot of reading up to get though the written exam. My advice to anyone even if they have multiple cisco professional qualifications under their belt is to do some reading before they take the written test. It will help you in lab prep anyway.

    I don't think the lab is so bad myself if I can take the workbooks and the feedback on groupstudy as a guide. Certainly I haven't come up against anything that I can't get my head around. But to get to 'standard' to pass the lab exam does require a lot of work on the part of the individual. You need to become very good at interpreting requirements, know the various ways to do things, know how to configure things accurately and in a timely fashion and have enough awareness to be able to pick off the things using the DocCD later in the lab. Getting that understanding, that awareness and that range of approaches down and being able to pull that together in a tight timescale requires lots of work. Over the past 7 years many people who clear the lab report back a done by lunch for switching/frame/IGP and BGP with topics such as multicast/qos and IP features being picked off in the afternoon. To get that proficient at this stuff requires a lot of sacrifice.

    The mocks are a good way to go. I shall take the lab once Im regularly hitting pass marks on these things next year.
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    Thanks for the great responses guys. That really sheds some light on what's involved for us novices.
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Posts: 1,090Member
    I think another big factor in first timers not doing well, is they don't talk to others who have taken the exam, and really don't know what they are up against.

    You get people who don't even have CCNP level knowledge, study or **** their way through the written, and have the employer offer to pay for their lab exam. I think these people are bringing down the average (in more ways than one).


    If you fully understand and respect what you are up against, and put forth the effort required, you stand a much better chance. What other people do and not do will not effect your outcome.



    "...ambition means nothing without application"
    Quoted for truth!
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    GT-Rob wrote:
    I think another big factor in first timers not doing well, is they don't talk to others who have taken the exam, and really don't know what they are up against.

    You get people who don't even have CCNP level knowledge, study or **** their way through the written, and have the employer offer to pay for their lab exam. I think these people are bringing down the average (in more ways than one).


    If you fully understand and respect what you are up against, and put forth the effort required, you stand a much better chance. What other people do and not do will not effect your outcome.



    "...ambition means nothing without application"
    Quoted for truth!

    hehehe good points!

    Nice quote by the way, and it's true. Lots and lots of people go through life with ambitions, they want this they want that and that's just fine....but unless you do something about them they usually remain just pipe dreams! "I want a better job", "I want more money", "I want a bigger house"..well get on with it then before it becomes banal..... You know I recall my stepfather telling me how when on holiday in Florida back in the nineties he visited a mall, and a guy packing bags in a store there was grumbling about his job and that 'he was going to move on and that he had an education'..well one year later and another holiday, my stepfather visits the same mall..and the same guy is still working the same job..

    Don't let life pass you by!

    On that subject I must finish my expanded blueprint notes!
  • c0d3_w0lfc0d3_w0lf Posts: 117Member
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    I just have to ask this, even though I'm not completely set on going as far as the CCIE yet. (though it is SOOOOOO tempting. I love challenges.)

    From the posts I've read, it seems like it's almost a guarantee that you'll fail your first lab attempt. Are there any statistics, or can anyone give me an idea how true this is? Unless things improve tremendously for me in the next three years, I doubt I'll be able to afford the lab attempt more than once a year.

    I dislike the way you approach the lab. If you think you're going to fail, you're 100 % sure to do so. Always approach your goals with positivism. I've read on one of my favourite CCIE blogs - Himawan's blog, who is triple CCIE - that he failed his first lab just because he was not convinced he could pass. I personally don't mind any statistics. They're not going to help you at all. All they can do is just make you even more nervous during your lab attempts.

    just my 2 cents

    I think a lot of people are misinterpreting the direction I'm coming from asking this question. I probably should have asked it in a better way. :P It's not something to make me feel better if I fail the first time, but rather something to help me guage what I need to do in order to be one of the 10% who DO pass on their first attempt. Like I said, I don't have much money, so passing the first time is a big deal to me. In order to do that, I need to know what I'm up against.
    There is nothing that cannot be acheived.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    I just have to ask this, even though I'm not completely set on going as far as the CCIE yet. (though it is SOOOOOO tempting. I love challenges.)

    From the posts I've read, it seems like it's almost a guarantee that you'll fail your first lab attempt. Are there any statistics, or can anyone give me an idea how true this is? Unless things improve tremendously for me in the next three years, I doubt I'll be able to afford the lab attempt more than once a year.

    I dislike the way you approach the lab. If you think you're going to fail, you're 100 % sure to do so. Always approach your goals with positivism. I've read on one of my favourite CCIE blogs - Himawan's blog, who is triple CCIE - that he failed his first lab just because he was not convinced he could pass. I personally don't mind any statistics. They're not going to help you at all. All they can do is just make you even more nervous during your lab attempts.

    just my 2 cents

    I think a lot of people are misinterpreting the direction I'm coming from asking this question. I probably should have asked it in a better way. :P It's not something to make me feel better if I fail the first time, but rather something to help me guage what I need to do in order to be one of the 10% who DO pass on their first attempt. Like I said, I don't have much money, so passing the first time is a big deal to me. In order to do that, I need to know what I'm up against.

    You will have to work extremely hard over a long period of time and in a very structured and regular way to pass first time. Even if you do all that there are still no guarantees, some excellent engineers take several attempts. If you have the time, use the time wisely to prepare so you don't show up for the test short in critical areas. A lot of people blame the test for failing but it's usually down to your preparation so knuckle down!
  • CCIE-4-HIRECCIE-4-HIRE Posts: 61Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    I just have to ask this, even though I'm not completely set on going as far as the CCIE yet. (though it is SOOOOOO tempting. I love challenges.)

    From the posts I've read, it seems like it's almost a guarantee that you'll fail your first lab attempt. Are there any statistics, or can anyone give me an idea how true this is? Unless things improve tremendously for me in the next three years, I doubt I'll be able to afford the lab attempt more than once a year.

    c0d3_w0lf,

    I would be willing to work with you if you are serious and you really want to pass on the first try.
  • MrDMrD Posts: 441Member
    I thought everyone passed on their first try. :D
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    MrD wrote:
    I thought everyone passed on their first try. :D
    I thought the only CCIE Lab Exam that counts is the one you pass. :D
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    From the posts I've read, it seems like it's almost a guarantee that you'll fail your first lab attempt. Are there any statistics, or can anyone give me an idea how true this is?

    One of the practice workbook vendors says the average pass rate (in total, not on first tries) is about 15% (for R&S).

    Your odds of passing do seem to increase if you work in an environment with CCIEs and other CCIE Candidates -- but hopefully that's because of the learning opportunities of the environment and not because of "loose lips" and NDA violations.

    If you can find a position with a medium or large sized Cisco Business Partner once you get your CCNA, that could put you on the path to the CCIE. Since certifications are important for Business Partners, they might support you, give you access to the Partner eLearning and the demo equipment (lab), and possibly pay for (or reimburse you) for your exams. They may even pay for your Lab attempt(s).

    But you should be more focused on learning the topics for the CCNA now and finding a job that gives you the most experience, and then moving on to the CCNP. Don't worry about paying for a Lab attempt in 3 years -- a lot should change for you between now and then if you study hard, learn, and work hard sharpening your skills.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • c0d3_w0lfc0d3_w0lf Posts: 117Member
    You're definately right about that. I've got plenty on my plate right now. :D I'm taking my CCNA test this coming Wednesday. I feel pretty well prepared for it, though I'm going to go through all of my lab examples at least one more time each, and go through my notes a few more times. If what they're saying about my position is true, then I'm actually already in a pretty good place to start getting experience working with Cisco equipment once I have my CCNA in hand.

    After that...I have a year-long membership at TechSkills that allows me to take any cert courses I want. So, it'll be right on to the CCNP, and then A+, Security+, MCSE-S, Linux+, and if I've still got time left...we'll go from there. :D
    There is nothing that cannot be acheived.
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Posts: 1,090Member
    If you get CCNP, A+, sec+, linux+ and MCSE+S within a year, I will be sick.
  • VtechVtech Posts: 1Inactive Imported Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I passed R&S in first attempt both Written and Lab. But I agree with dtlokee, do not keep thinking you MUST pass on the first attempt. Just do your lab, prepare, and work hard in your studying.

    Before I take the Lab, i never think Pass exam in first time, but worked very hard in my lab. I even told my wife I need 3 or 4 times.

    just keep doing your lab, pass it. no matter how many times you take!
  • dtlokeedtlokee Posts: 2,381Member
    Vtech wrote:
    I passed R&S in first attempt both Written and Lab. But I agree with dtlokee, do not keep thinking you MUST pass on the first attempt. Just do your lab, prepare, and work hard in your studying.

    Before I take the Lab, i never think Pass exam in first time, but worked very hard in my lab. I even told my wife I need 3 or 4 times.

    just keep doing your lab, pass it. no matter how many times you take!

    Congratulations on the pass!

    I heard the record is 22 attempts to pass. I think I would give up after about 15 or so. But even after 22 attempts he's still a CCIE :)
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • JohnDouglasJohnDouglas Posts: 186Member
    dtlokee wrote:
    Vtech wrote:
    I passed R&S in first attempt both Written and Lab. But I agree with dtlokee, do not keep thinking you MUST pass on the first attempt. Just do your lab, prepare, and work hard in your studying.

    Before I take the Lab, i never think Pass exam in first time, but worked very hard in my lab. I even told my wife I need 3 or 4 times.

    just keep doing your lab, pass it. no matter how many times you take!

    Congratulations on the pass!

    I heard the record is 22 attempts to pass. I think I would give up after about 15 or so. But even after 22 attempts he's still a CCIE :)

    a ccie sleeping on his mate's sofa after his house and lab got repossessed.
  • Nik00117Nik00117 Posts: 21Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I bet by that guys 12 or 13th time he had a real adv, he'd walk into the testing center and know everyone on a first name basis.
  • c0d3_w0lfc0d3_w0lf Posts: 117Member
    dtlokee wrote:
    Vtech wrote:
    I passed R&S in first attempt both Written and Lab. But I agree with dtlokee, do not keep thinking you MUST pass on the first attempt. Just do your lab, prepare, and work hard in your studying.

    Before I take the Lab, i never think Pass exam in first time, but worked very hard in my lab. I even told my wife I need 3 or 4 times.

    just keep doing your lab, pass it. no matter how many times you take!

    Congratulations on the pass!

    I heard the record is 22 attempts to pass. I think I would give up after about 15 or so. But even after 22 attempts he's still a CCIE :)

    22 times... That's....that's dedication, right there. I don't think anyone could ever question how much that guy wanted it. :P
    There is nothing that cannot be acheived.
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