CCIE Study Plan | Strategies to Pass CCIE Certification

by | Aug 10, 2017 | CCIE | 2 comments

CCIE: Cisco Certification Internetwork Expertis an Expert Level certification by Cisco. CCIE is on the most Prestigious IT Networking Certification and is considered as Highest Paid IT Certification. CCIE experts are said to be finest engineers in networking domain and have detailed knowledge of installation, management, configuration and troubleshooting complex enterprise networks.

Types of CCIE Exam:

CCIE has different types for different categories and one can pursue multi track in different categories like routing & Switching, Service Provider, Security, Collaboration, Data Center, and Wireless.

ccie study plan

To know more about CCIE and its types follow the link What is CCIE| CCIE Job Profiles and Examination

CCIE Examination: 

The exam is conducted by CISCO in several six different categories.There are two exams for each of the different categories.First of all, you need to clear the written exam, and then after 18 months once you have passed written exam you can attempt practical or lab exam. If you do not pass the lab exam you need to reattempt within 12 months to remain valid for the written exam. If you do not pass the lab exam within three years of passing written exam, you must retake the written exam again for being eligible for lab exam again. Lab exam is an exam which needs too much of practice and proper guidance with the right equipment.

Foundation Knowledge: Strong foundation is required to pass this exam. To build strong foundation CCNA and CCNP concepts should be at your fingertips. As basic or foundation knowledge is everything to understand the concepts of high networking. Opacity in concepts can bring low confidence and lack of fundamental knowledge. These are some points to remember:


  • For CCIE Certification there is no prerequisite in terms of certification.
  • Tips and Tricks should always have given the second preference.
  • Foundation knowledge should be high as compared to the tips and tricks. Also, it is necessary to know the tricks.

Strategy for CCIE Written Exam:

Firstly you need to clear the CCIE written exam and for that, you need right approach to maintain a good score. Here are some mediums through which you can make a good score:

Reading Books: Reading from books can bring a major change in your approach as they have the maximum amount of knowledge in detail. Read almost as possible as you can learn from networking topics that covers in CCIE. It is recommended to go through Official Cisco Press books for preparation.

For Example in Routing and switching you should have strong skills in:

  • BGP
  • OSPF
  • LAN Switching
  • QOS
  • MPLS
  • Multicast

Vendor Training: There is a saying: “The more you sweat in training the less you bleed in war”. Proper training is required before attempting CCIE Certification. If you are the person who wants to learn things from experts then you can go for vendor training i.e classroom/online instructor led training (ILT). They will give you proper training with lab sessions and proper guidelines with their experiences. You are able to learn in routine and effectively.

Videos: You can watch free online videos that are on many networking sites.There are many online vendors who offer courses for CCIE Certification where they walk through topics on a white board or real equipment; you can buy them as per your courses choice. You can watch some expertise talking about their experience of written and lab exams; It will eventually make the difference and can help a lot.

Flashcard: Flashcards are something like small cards on which you can write something and use them for remembering it anytime. They will help in recalling your learnt things; you can use them with some question and answers or may be with a definition or useful terms.

Labs: You will learn better if you can see them practically, it will eventually remain in your mind and also will help you in lab exam. Performing at labs will also prepare you for the lab exam, which is one of the toughest parts of the CCIE Certification.

Strategy for CCIE Lab Exam:

This section has the only 8hrs so you need to be very fast and very precise about each and every thing you do in a lab exam.

lab exam

Time Schedule: Organizing your time is one of the most important parts of the plan, especially for lab exam you must plan your lab session properly with time. You can schedule your time as per the following:

  • You need to practice lab section accordingly to the schedule.
  • Make your own schedule.
  • Make sure you do your labs 40hrs per week and stick to your schedule.

Speed: The more practice you do the more you be able to speed up and utilize your time. Managing your time during practice labs session makes easy handling of labs configuration, protocols, and troubleshooting which reduces your time by high percentages.

Long term schedule: You can plan your long term schedule as per the following:

  • CCIE is something that needs months/years of practice; you can’t knock off in just a few months.
  • A timetable of every week is necessary which must include preparation for written and lab exam.
  • If you are someone who prefers vendor’s training then you should match the schedule accordingly.
  • Make a holiday plan every week; this makes you feel fresh and more confident.

Weekly schedule: You can plan out your weekly schedule as per the following:

  • Plan your week so that you can include books, videos, Cisco documentation, and most importantly practice labs.
  • Workbooks from vendor’s training can help a lot.
  • You can just make your own workbooks or buy some from the market.
  • If you miss some day or week don’t get panic, instead just reschedule your plans.

Tips and Tricks: Following are the tips and tricks for the exams:

  • For passing CCIE you need 50% knowledge+ 50% experience.
  • During exam time management is every thing, don’t waste your time by solving only one thing, and give it just 10 mins not more than that.
  • Save 30 mins for verification in last.
  • Don’t get panic, it is just an exam.

Conclusion: Your performance would say everything in your result so don’t get panic. If you get panic in exam just take a deep breath, it will help you a lot.Don’t believe in myths that say that you cannot clear the lab exam, you can.Be confident, organize your time in a manner, and give your best shot.

Recommended Read:


I-Medita is an ISO 9001:2015 certified Professional Training Company. I-Medita is India's Most Trusted Networking Training Company. We help in providing industry oriented skill training to networking enthusiasts and professionals to kick-start their career in Networking domains. Our efforts are to keep momentum with the Industry technological demands and diversifying universe of knowledge.
Register for Free Demo Session