Written now or wait until 3/4 ready for lab?

mmcadorymmcadory Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
What's the consensus here?



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    EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    How about saying hi, hello or something similar first. First post and you just blurt out a few words. Duh.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
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    reaper81reaper81 Member Posts: 631
    Welcome to the board, an introduction would be nice :)

    Everybody has their way of doing it but my suggestion is to study for written first and get it done and then start preparing for the lab as they are entirely different beasts. Don't just rush through the written though, to be a CCIE you need to be an expert, know both the theory and the practical side of the protocols.

    It took me about 6 months to clear the written, can it be done faster? Sure, but my goal is to become a real expert, not just another paper CCIE. You can do some basic labs to prepare for the written but the main focus is reading, A LOT.

    Good luck :)
    Daniel Dib
    CCIE #37149
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    mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    mmcadory wrote: »
    What's the consensus here?
    There probably isn't one....

    Back when the Written & Lab topics weren't in sync, it probably made sense to study for the exams separately.

    When they added the OEQs (Open Ended Questions) it probably did make sense to wait to study for the Written exam closer to your Lab date so that you'd be more "trivia ready." I used one of the Appendixes from the Cert Guide to review for the OEQs and it worked fine for me. But since they dropped the OEQs in favor of the separate Troubleshooting section, you can scratch this option.

    Last time I checked the written & lab R&S blueprints they looked almost identical -- just some extra/missing spaces for the first 10 topics were the only differences I noticed. Then the Written had a section 11 -- Evaluate proposed changes to a network. So now you probably can combine your preparation. The theory for the Written will be reinforced by your Lab practice -- and you need to understand the theory to decode the lab exam and do the desired configurations.

    But what if you feel ready to schedule your lab and you go pass the Written Exam only to find your preferred Lab Exam Site is book solid for the next 6 months? If you had passed the Written Exam sooner you could have been checking out the Lab Schedule as you studied and jumped on a Lab date for around the time you thought you might be ready.....

    But Cisco did implement the pay 90 days before your lab policy -- so as people decide to drop their lab dates, you'll now have 90 days to make travel, vacation, pet sitter, hotel arrangements -- rather than less than 30 days -- if the dates are available.

    BUT right NOW, the next open date at RTP for R&S is May 20th. Then July 21st. Then you pretty much have your pick of dates starting July 27th.

    The first available date at San Jose is April 12th -- but you have a nice selection dates after that (at least through June since that's as far as I was willing to page through at 5 lab dates at a time).

    You must make your first Lab attempt within 18 months of your written exam date, or it expires. So some people use the Written Exam to "start the clock ticking" to give them a "hard deadline" to force them to study. If you're one of "those people," then you "need" to do the Written Exam sooner, rather than later.

    If you're self-motivated, then I'd ask 3/4 of what? If you're planning to spend 4 months preparing for the Lab Exam and you wait 3 months to pass the written exam and you want a date in RTP, then it probably isn't going to happen since dates seem to be "tight" at RTP. If you're planning on at least 8 months or a year and are flexible on test sites, then the written at the 3/4 mark should work and you'll probably find an RTP date and have San Jose as a backup test site.

    And the "final option" -- Life. You may take the Written, and then Life Happens. Then after 18+ months you still haven't taken the Lab exam and you have to take the Written Exam again..... And Life Happens again and you're on you're 3rd Written Exam and you still haven't made it to the Lab.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
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