Moving onto the written

Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
I'm prepared to sit the ONT exam to complete my CCNP. The only thing I'm waiting for is a test voucher to become available so that I don't have to pay the full price. I got laid off a month ago so getting exams comped is out the window.

That being said, I don't really need to hark on the ONT studies any further than I have so I've moved to the CCIE Written.

Here is my plan of attack:

I've printed out the latest exam blueprint from Cisco's site and pasted it to my wall. I'm going down the list, first briefly reading up on the technology for a review then next going into further detail through RFC's, IEEE standards, and books. Once I have a firm understanding of the material I go over it again and take semi-detailed notes by hand.

So far I've gone through the General Networking Theory section and I'm most of the way through Bridging and LAN Switching. I'm spending between 6-10 hours a day studying since I don't have a job at the moment. It's hard to stop myself from over-studying and over-running my buffers, so to speak. None the less, I hope to get through this quickly and with a good plan of attack.

I've read most of the threads here regarding the written (did so before reading the blueprint actually) so I feel relatively confident that I'm tackling this correctly, but if any of you have some parting advice that may help me please share.

Thanks brothers!
CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
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Comments

  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    Sounds like things are moving in the right direction for you. Wrapping up the CCNP is noteworthy enough, but getting that CCIE written exam knocked out is going to be your 'step into a larger world' so to speak. I'm rooting for you, buddy, here's to making that journey up to the legendary CCIE a good one.

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  • CCIE-4-HIRECCIE-4-HIRE Member Posts: 59 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Keep up the good work and let us know how you progress.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Thanks a lot!
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Paul Boz wrote:
    I'm prepared to sit the ONT exam to complete my CCNP. The only thing I'm waiting for is a test voucher to become available so that I don't have to pay the full price. I got laid off a month ago so getting exams comped is out the window.

    That being said, I don't really need to hark on the ONT studies any further than I have so I've moved to the CCIE Written.

    Here is my plan of attack:

    I've printed out the latest exam blueprint from Cisco's site and pasted it to my wall. I'm going down the list, first briefly reading up on the technology for a review then next going into further detail through RFC's, IEEE standards, and books. Once I have a firm understanding of the material I go over it again and take semi-detailed notes by hand.

    So far I've gone through the General Networking Theory section and I'm most of the way through Bridging and LAN Switching. I'm spending between 6-10 hours a day studying since I don't have a job at the moment. It's hard to stop myself from over-studying and over-running my buffers, so to speak. None the less, I hope to get through this quickly and with a good plan of attack.

    I've read most of the threads here regarding the written (did so before reading the blueprint actually) so I feel relatively confident that I'm tackling this correctly, but if any of you have some parting advice that may help me please share.

    Thanks brothers!

    Hi Paul,

    Im sorry to hear you got laid off. Sounds like you have some serious study time opening up. My tips for the written are for you to look at the recommended white papers on the CCIE written reading list. Download those and put them in binders. Then go through them all. That's what I did. Once you have completed that activity, put a couple of months in with Wendall Odom's CCIE Routing and Switching Guide. One chapter a day is plenty. Do the end of chapter test. Once you are through the book once, go over each chapter again briefly and try the end of chapter test a second time. Then try the mock exam that comes with the book. Eventually you weed out the questions you seem to keep getting wrong. Try and answer those open book by researching the questions. That seems to help things stick.

    Netmaster also do a mock written test you can use.

    Good luck.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Good Luck with your studies icon_study.gif

    Are you checking out opportunities with local Cisco Business Partners?
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    mikej412 wrote:
    Good Luck with your studies icon_study.gif

    Are you checking out opportunities with local Cisco Business Partners?

    No, not at all. I'm actively trying to NOT get employed in a 9-5 40hour/week job. I dropped out of school two years ago to pursue raises at my job and it wasn't worth it. I've let myself down by not completing my degree so I'm just going to do some kitchenwork part time so that I can finish school. I'll have a lot more time to dedicate to the CCIE this way as well.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    So what is your time frame for finishing up your degree?

    Are you planning to come back out swinging with a degree and a CCIE? Or are you just focusing on the degree and CCIE study and preparation for now, and then hitting the job market before hitting the Lab?
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Paul Boz wrote:
    mikej412 wrote:
    Good Luck with your studies icon_study.gif

    Are you checking out opportunities with local Cisco Business Partners?

    No, not at all. I'm actively trying to NOT get employed in a 9-5 40hour/week job. I dropped out of school two years ago to pursue raises at my job and it wasn't worth it. I've let myself down by not completing my degree so I'm just going to do some kitchenwork part time so that I can finish school. I'll have a lot more time to dedicate to the CCIE this way as well.

    I take it that by dropping out of school this gave you more time and energy to throw yourself into work for your employer? It sucks that the rewards didn't come. I hope you can make some progress on your degree now. Employers like graduates for senior roles.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Turgon wrote:
    I take it that by dropping out of school this gave you more time and energy to throw yourself into work for your employer? It sucks that the rewards didn't come. I hope you can make some progress on your degree now. Employers like graduates for senior roles.

    The rewards came for sure. I was able to buy a house that I can sustain on my current budget and that was my goal. In hindsight I'd rather have a house and no degree in this economy than continue renting.

    Either way, I'm going to finish my degree and hopefully the CCIE written prior to seeking employment elsewhere. Having the lab paid for would be pretty nice :)
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I completed the II. Bridging and LAN Switching section last night. I wrapped up loop guard, unicast flooding protection, multicast switch functions (IGMP, IGMP Snooping, CGMP), and VTP v2 and V3. I'm moving on to the IP subjects today. I hope to get through addressing and services if possible. I put in about ten hours each day over the last two and I plan to continue that pace for now.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
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  • APAAPA Member Posts: 959
    Great to hear Paul!

    Good luck with the push for CCIE status.... I hope to join you there one in the near future :)

    You certainly did breeze through the CCNP!!! :D Great work

    CCNA | CCNA:Security | CCNP | CCIP
    JNCIA:JUNOS | JNCIA:EX | JNCIS:ENT | JNCIS:SEC
    JNCIS:SP | JNCIP:SP
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've gone through subnetting, HSRP, HLBP, VRRP, and NAT so far today. I'm working on NTP at the moment and I'll probably knock out DHCP and try to get through WCCP if I'm not too burned out. I have seen most of these things before.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Got through III. IP (Addressing, services, and management) tonight. I completed the end of chapter quiz in the CCBootcamp Written study guide then re-read the few questions I erred on. I retook it to 100% and re-took the chapter 1 and chapter 2 end of chapter tests to make sure I don't have any leakage going on :) I reviewed a few subjects and now I'm done. I put in about nine and a half hours today.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • coffeekingcoffeeking Member Posts: 305 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Paul! good for you dude! your plans sound great and seems that you will be able to sick to your plans. Good luck with the ride.
  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Member Posts: 1,799 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Best of luck with the studies Paul.
    I enjoyed studying for the written more than previous exams. The fact it is so open on content and scope meant I didn't restrict myself to certain areas as I did on the CCSP exams (human nature is what it is and everyone has a timetable to keep to so as much as you want to read side material the fact is you won't as much as you could/should on the CC*Ps, the CCIE written requires taking any of those time imposed blinkers off, you just can't afford them - makes it a tougher but richer experience imho)
    We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    That is the reason I took the CCNP composite. I've put aside my written studies for the next day or so so that I can make my final preparations to take the ONT exam tomorrow. Hopefully my ccnp will be completed and I can move onto the CCIE with full attention.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Paul Boz wrote:
    That is the reason I took the CCNP composite. I've put aside my written studies for the next day or so so that I can make my final preparations to take the ONT exam tomorrow. Hopefully my ccnp will be completed and I can move onto the CCIE with full attention.

    Good luck with everything Paul.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Well guys I have completed the ONT exam with a perfect score so I am now a CCNP :)

    This is great news to me because I can fully dedicate my time to the CCIE now. Once I passed the exam I told my wife (who took a day off to take a day trip to the testing center with me) that I couldn't wait to get home to study. She was a bit disappointed that I didn't want to go out to dinner to celebrate, I'd rather hit the books :D:D
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
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    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • nicklauscombsnicklauscombs Member Posts: 885
    congrats!
    WIP: IPS exam
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Its 2am and I've wrapped up OSPF. I re-read some of Doyle's OSPF and ISIS - Choosing an IGP for Large-Scale Networks and whatever the CCBootcamp book has to say. I'm going to knock out BGP peering and call it a night.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Paul,

    Thats great news man. I know everything will work out for you. keep up the great (and hard) work!
    Looks like you'll be one of the next ccie's around here! Good luck man.
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I got about six hours in today. I wrapped up OSPF by going over troubleshooting failing adjacencies and exernal route installation then moved on to BGP. I got through BGP attributes (very granular, spent several hours on this), neighbor connectivity, IBGP peering solutions (route relfection/confederation), and lastly, clusters and route maps. I'll probably spend another half a day on BGP and move on to EIGRP. I saved the easiest for last.

    I just took the ccnp QoS exam a few days ago so I'll get through the MQC stuff very quickly, and I worked for a service provider for five years so WAN should be cake also. On the other hand, multicast is a foreign topic briefly covered on the BCMSN that I took as a part of the composite about a year ago. I'm going to have to lab the heck out of that. For now I'm going to bed. My head is steaming.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • ITdudeITdude Member Posts: 1,181 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Paul Boz wrote:
    I'm going to have to lab the heck out of that. For now I'm going to bed. My head is steaming.

    I guess better that than streaming! Just to continue with the multicast theme. icon_lol.gificon_wink.gif
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • APAAPA Member Posts: 959
    Congratz on the ONT pass Paul :D

    CCNA | CCNA:Security | CCNP | CCIP
    JNCIA:JUNOS | JNCIA:EX | JNCIS:ENT | JNCIS:SEC
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  • liquid6liquid6 Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Looks like I'm about a month behind you, I still have the ISCW to finish before I hit the CCIE. Actually seriously looking to to the CCDA/CCDP before I dive into the CCIE Written studies as I think it will help to have another Professional level cert if I change jobs and I think the design aspect will help my current job.

    I'd love to get your views on your study plan for the written. I have read through all of Turgons CCIE lab study and I am hoping to nail down a realistic study plan for both the written and lab.

    My draft study plan for the written:
    Breakdown by technology, either via IE or Narbiks definition.

    Read all books on the list relating to said technology and do all the labs from Narbik and IE. Also view all the COD videos from IE. When completed, take the written. Realistically looking for a 6-9 month plan and then hoping to lay out a 12month plan for the lab.

    I think that should give me a pretty good base to start the climb to the LAB.

    Thanks,
    l6
    blog.insomniacnetwork.com
  • PashPash Member Posts: 1,600 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Good luck Paul,

    Do remember not to burn yourself out though, serious study is 10x more taxing on your brain than work. Remember to take breaks and enjoy other things as well.

    Cheers,
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    liquid6 wrote:
    Looks like I'm about a month behind you, I still have the ISCW to finish before I hit the CCIE. Actually seriously looking to to the CCDA/CCDP before I dive into the CCIE Written studies as I think it will help to have another Professional level cert if I change jobs and I think the design aspect will help my current job.

    I'd love to get your views on your study plan for the written. I have read through all of Turgons CCIE lab study and I am hoping to nail down a realistic study plan for both the written and lab.

    My draft study plan for the written:
    Breakdown by technology, either via IE or Narbiks definition.

    Read all books on the list relating to said technology and do all the labs from Narbik and IE. Also view all the COD videos from IE. When completed, take the written. Realistically looking for a 6-9 month plan and then hoping to lay out a 12month plan for the lab.

    I think that should give me a pretty good base to start the climb to the LAB.

    Thanks,
    l6

    Good luck with all that. I hope that my diary has been helpful in some way. Although it's not gospel as each candidate's journey is different. Some are more relaxed than mine, others more aggresive. Much depends on your priorities at the time. The main thing though is to take the elapsed time you need to cover the necessary material properly. Your timelines look good to me!
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    liquid6 wrote:
    I'd love to get your views on your study plan for the written. I have read through all of Turgons CCIE lab study and I am hoping to nail down a realistic study plan for both the written and lab.

    l6

    I over-studied a bit for the CCNP because I understood that my ultimate goal is the CCIE so I'm not doing so badly on the written right now. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the blueprint. Basically here is my approach: I've printed out the written blueprint and posted it to the wall near my computer. I'm keeping detailed notebooks of every subject, point by point, and injecting valid information as I see fit. Every five days or so I go back and re-read all of my notes then do the end of chapter quizzes in the CCBootcamp written workbook. It ensures that I don't suffer from memory leak. As for the lab, I'm not in any hurry to sit the written. I'd like to be around 65-70% prepared for the lab before I sit the written because all the written does is start a timer. I don't need to create any deadlines if they're avoidable. I wouldn't read every book on the list or even read every RFC. It's beneficial for clarification sometimes but there are better books than what is on Cisco's recommended list.
    Pash wrote:
    Good luck Paul,

    Do remember not to burn yourself out though, serious study is 10x more taxing on your brain than work. Remember to take breaks and enjoy other things as well.

    Cheers,

    I agree completely. Keep in mind that I really enjoy this stuff and have just as many books on routing in my bathroom as I do on my desk! This is mostly pleasure for me. There's nothing good on TV and video games have their place, but for me, studying is where it's at. It's only 11:30am and it's already almost 100 degrees outside. Parking it for 10 hours at my desk is a great way to dodge the heat, too :D

    I started feeling the burn a little yesterday so I just played some Forza 2 and got my mind right for today. I hope to get completely through EIGRP.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Paul Boz wrote:
    liquid6 wrote:
    I'd love to get your views on your study plan for the written. I have read through all of Turgons CCIE lab study and I am hoping to nail down a realistic study plan for both the written and lab.

    l6

    I over-studied a bit for the CCNP because I understood that my ultimate goal is the CCIE so I'm not doing so badly on the written right now. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the blueprint. Basically here is my approach: I've printed out the written blueprint and posted it to the wall near my computer. I'm keeping detailed notebooks of every subject, point by point, and injecting valid information as I see fit. Every five days or so I go back and re-read all of my notes then do the end of chapter quizzes in the CCBootcamp written workbook. It ensures that I don't suffer from memory leak. As for the lab, I'm not in any hurry to sit the written. I'd like to be around 65-70% prepared for the lab before I sit the written because all the written does is start a timer. I don't need to create any deadlines if they're avoidable. I wouldn't read every book on the list or even read every RFC. It's beneficial for clarification sometimes but there are better books than what is on Cisco's recommended list.
    Pash wrote:
    Good luck Paul,

    Do remember not to burn yourself out though, serious study is 10x more taxing on your brain than work. Remember to take breaks and enjoy other things as well.

    Cheers,

    I agree completely. Keep in mind that I really enjoy this stuff and have just as many books on routing in my bathroom as I do on my desk! This is mostly pleasure for me. There's nothing good on TV and video games have their place, but for me, studying is where it's at. It's only 11:30am and it's already almost 100 degrees outside. Parking it for 10 hours at my desk is a great way to dodge the heat, too :D

    I started feeling the burn a little yesterday so I just played some Forza 2 and got my mind right for today. I hope to get completely through EIGRP.

    I disagree to some extent. I think you need to focus on the written and get that out of the way before you embark on heavyweight lab prep. The written does indeed start a timer and that's a good thing, but you want that written learning process down before you start working practice labs. You will always refer to books during lab prep no matter how hard you studied for the written, but getting the theory down before you start lab prep will help you later on.
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I agree with you. I haven't started studying for the lab yet. What I'm saying is that when I'm ready to sit the written I probably won't sit right away because it starts a timer and I can just as well study for it to the point where I can pass it then put it off while I work on labs after. Sorry for the confusion :)

    That being said, I simulate most everything that I study, so "labbing" is a relative term. I'm not doing dedicated CCIE practice labs but I do get my commands in per technology.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
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