What Is CCIE Certification and How To Pass It

CCIE certification, as one of the highest-level certifications in the network industry, is famous for the difficulty of its exam and high return. Now, CCIE cannot present a high salary anymore. More and more people, particularly the engineers working in system integration who want to promote their abilities, and those who want to change their career into the field of IT including graduates aiming to find an ideal job with a satisfactory salary. They all participate in the exam of CCIE but find it hard to get started. Here I will share with you my experience, hoping it is helpful to you.

A Brief Introduction to CCIE

The full name of CCIE is Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, released by Cisco in 1993 and recognized as the most authoritative certification in the IT industry. Routing & Switching is the earliest one as the basis lasting to today. Most CCIE certifications in the word belong to this type. Most of other certification holders have procured R&S certification.

The Process of Passing CCIE certification exams

Step 1: Find a good training institution to attend classes

This is necessary. To have the classes from CCNA to CCIE in a systematic way. The deeper you have learned, the deeper you will understand the network. Furthermore, under the guidance of a teacher, you can avoid taking the wrong path. The network concepts and modules in your mind are correct. You can master the technology as long as you follow the learning schedule in accordance with Cisco standards and have enough experiment time. The key is to practice immediately after learning. The certification is useless without actual experience. The training institution you choose should have sound laboratories, like SPOTO. It also provides CCIE written exam dumps free.

If you think you have a strong understanding and self-learning abilities and you have relevant equipment (limited to CCNA, few people can afford to buy the expensive equipment of CCNP and CCIE), you can choose not to take part in training courses. However, the learning efficiency is higher under the guidance of professional CCIE teachers. I have seen several candidates who studied CCNA by themselves and then went to CCNP training. As a result, during the experiment, they directly connected interfaces with IP addresses that were not in the same network segment. It is really a loss that the learning progress is affected by such a mistake because of the confusion of CCNA concepts.

Step 2: Read the referent books diligently

This process is arduous but can get you to make great progress. Such a process can form a holistic concept structure in your mind. Then, you can delve into more details. Spend about one month reading the book. If you have remembered the knowledge structure learned in class, you will read with more ease. While you have to understand the knowledge of books about half a year through self-study. You can make a choice based on your time, energy, and fund, but you should understand the book content well.

Step 3: Take CCIE written exam

You should first pass the written exam before taking the experiment test. So far the CCIE written exam fee is USD300. Some exam centers may charge more. The exam time is 2-hour for English-speaking countries, 2.5-hour for other countries. There are 100 one-choice questions, of which 20% are multiple-choice. The full score is 100%, the passing line is 70%. The question scope is wide, covering all required themes of Written Exam Blueprint on the Cisco website. It is recommended to do more simulated exercises.

Step 4: Do a lot of experiments

CCIE exam requires candidates to have strong operational capabilities. This is why it is the toughest exam. Each CCIE certification holder has done 200-hour or so experiments on average. To take the exam for the first time, you should do 150-200 hour experiments. You should mainly practice the experiments mentioned in the CCIE experiment guidance and practice. When preparing for the experiment, you should do some pertinent exercises at least for 180 hours. If you fail for the first time (it is normal, Cisco will control the passing rate), you should spend more time doing questions when preparing for the second experiment, about 150 hours. In total, you have to do about 350 hours of experiments.

Step 5: Take CCIE Lab exam

Within 18 months after passing the written exam, you should take the CCIE Lab exam. Otherwise, the written exam result will go invalid. Within ten days, Cisco will send you a confirmation letter so that you can make an appointment of the exam position of CCIE Lab.


The test requires you to submit exam fee 28 days before the test date.

On the day of the exam, you have to arrive at the Cisco CCIE exam room before 9:00 in the morning. The exam is approximately from 9:00 to 11:45 in the morning and from 12:15 to 17:30 in the afternoon, for a total of 8 hours. The time mentioned here may be different from the actual day. The specific start time is determined by the examiner, but an 8-hour experiment is guaranteed. At 9:00, the examiner will briefly introduce some rules. There will be half an hour lunchtime. That night or in the early morning of the second day, if you receive an E-mail of “Congratulations”, then you are a CCIE certification holder.

The mail will tell you your CCIE number. Subtract 1024 from your number, which tells you that you are the which one to pass the exam in the world since 1993.

The certification is issued in the first few days of each month. If you take the exam on the 31st, you will get the certification on the 2ed or 3rd, and Cisco will send you a letter asking if you want to mail the certification. If you are not in a hurry, you can ask Cisco to send it to you on the premise that your postal address is correct, but there may be a delay of one month.