I started reading about general things like TCP congestion avoidance algorithms and things of that nature, but pretty soon moved into watching INE videos and doing the associated workbook labs. Most of the time in 2015 I just plowed through the different topics one by one, the technology labs were divided up into sections:
- LAN Switching
- IP routing
- System Management
- IP Services
My general idea was to follow Brians tips about “study for the lab, and take the written as a consequence”. I did my first attempt at the written in February, and it took two more attempts before I passed. Read about my written experience.
After the written I started doing INE foundation labs, troubleshooting labs and mock labs and general labbing in areas where I felt weak.
I had a shot at the lab in May (Lab attempt #1) and actually got a Pass on all the three different sections, but a fail as the overall score. It took two more attempts (#2 and #3) at the lab before I finally passed by the end of September 2016.
After my first failed attempt at the lab I invested in some Cisco360 graded assessment labs which helped me greatly. The were much larger and more complex than the labs I had done before, and since they are timed and automatically graded it prepares you much better for the real thing. During the summer I took some time of to regain my motivation, and since the summer in Sweden is pretty short you have to make most of it while it lasts 🙂 I like driving motorcycles so I spent a lot of time doing that during the summer, thinking I can study in the fall/winter instead.
Overall I did manage to complete my goal of becoming a CCIE within 1,5 years, it took me 15 months. I should also mention that I read a lot of Cisco materials for CCNP just before I started reading for the CCIE, so I had some topics pretty fresh in mind.