If I were to give some general recommendations about the exam it would be something like this:

  • Have a structured approach for the troubleshooting section. How are you going to troubleshoot Multicast, NAT, BGP path selection etc.
  • You have an average of like 10-12 minutes per ticket, this seems to apply both for troubleshooting and configuration. Some tickets will take 2 minutes, and some 40 minutes but you can’t spend 40 minutes on more than a very few tickets.
  • Do the Cisco360 CA labs 12 – 15 and try to complete them within 5,5 hours. Ask the support to allow you to retake them and try them multiple times.
  • Don’t rely on the documentation, you will not have time for it. You might be able look up some specific detail if you know exactly where in the documentation you can find it.
  • Don’t give up, just focus ahead and give it another go and you will make it! 🙂

I feel like passing the CCIE is one of my biggest accomplishments, and something I’m very proud of today. It’s a great feeling to know you made it after spending so many hours and dealing with all those previous failures.

And to all of you out there currently studying for the CCIE, best of luck with your studies! Go get those digits!

I also want to thank everyone who supported me and believed in me during this journey. Thank you!

The ultimate goal

Johan Marcusson, CCIE #54286

12 thoughts on “Summary”

  1. Great write up. Am still studying cos my eyes are fixed on getting my digits. Congratulations on achieving your number and for the effort.

    1. Thanks! Don’t give up, just keep going even if it’s hard, it will feel even better once you do finish it 🙂

  2. Congratulations brother I really admire your courage and your way of study. You never give up. I am so happy for you ….Keep going….congratulations one more time. I’m also preparing for the Lab exam and I will appreciate if you can guide me.

  3. Quick question, did you have to use like packet(bear metal) for your Cisco360 CA labs 12 – 15 ? I don’t have a home lab, so I am thinking of using VIRL . I was wondering how you performed these labs?

    Also, is this the right URL to purchase those labs? I just feel it’s kind of too expensive to pay over $600 USD just to do these labs on top of rack rental costs.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. The labs you linked to are part of the same program, but they are not the assessment labs. I’ve only tried the assessment labs, and when you do them Cisco provides the lab environment for you. You just log in through a VPN to do the labs. Yeah, I know it’s very expensive but so is attempting the real lab. Maybe you can get some learning credits from your employer to purchase the labs?

  4. Congratulations, Really enjoyed reading your CCIE story. Its a test of endurance for not given up. Just started CCIE R&S studies and will surely revisit your blog time and again for support and encouragement.

    Congratulations my friend

  5. On the suggestion about taking the Cisco360 Assessment labs and asking support to retake them, are you saying that you pay again to retake them and they need to be “opened” back up to select for retake or that they can unlock it and give you another shot at it without repurchasing?

  6. Hey bud,

    Had some questions. How do you think that the CCNP SP studies and knowledge helped for the CCIE R&S exam? I am still debating of either pursuing the SP route or the IE R&S. Although from what I have seen there is not really a structured approach for the CCNP SP.

    And secondly, how many years of experience did you had before attempting the lab?

    1. Hello!
      Yes I definitely learned a lot of interesting stuff from my SP studies, but as you said it was harder to find learning materials there. I don’t really think you need to go via CCNP SP, it’s more like something you could do if you find it interesting.
      I had 7 years of working experience, plus studies etc before that.

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