I did not pass the test today.
I just left Brussels after my first take on the CCIE Security lab. So, what happened? I Showed up early, 7:40. The test was about to start 8.15 and I waited in the reception with the other candidates untill we were escorted to the lab room. The proctor was We had a lunch break that I can barely remember anything from and all of a sudden it was 5pm and time to leave.
I made a list of tasks and marked each item as it was configured. My sum total was 78p. (100 is max, 80 is passing score). I am not 100% sure that all checked tasks was correct so I expect a somewhat lower score. Score report will probably be available later tonight.
The first hour I did all preparations. Diagram, task list, lab reading and all that. After 1:30 I had the basic l2-l3 setup with ASAs and IPS. I got kinda stuck at the same point as so many times before: understanding the topology, get a feeling about what part of the network should work like what and where the boundaries are. Which addresses should be hidden and which should be universal routable. Doing a few mistakes with that costed me at least an hour to troubleshoot and fix what I killed by mistake.
The self confidence was way low when it was time for lunch. After having something to eat (a hamburger, but I honestly don’t remember what else was on that plate!) I decided to do some cherry-picking. Selecting and gaining the easies points in the work book always do miracles to your mind! I summarized the task list and found that I had cleared about 70p!
The last hour or 2 I just tried my best to get as many of the remaining points as possible.
When I left I had the following list of uncleared tasks:
* 2 individual tasks within the same technology. I definitely know what to study for the next attempt! I tried them both bud left them unfinished after I spent way too much time on them. These could have pushed me over the line!
* one task worth 5 (or so) points. I left it untouched because I realized how much work it would have taken. If I had more Time at the end I’d probably fixed it.
* one 3p task that I immediately saw that I had no idea how to solve. I could have done this as well if I had more time.
Conclusion: I wasn’t prepared enough. I need to speed up my workflow even more and focus on configuring a few specific technologies over and over with different tweaks.
Oh. And the OEQ;s. My worst nightmare came thru: I got 2 hard questions. Now when I think about them I am quite sure that I nailed them. But they are EVIL!
I am SO focused on getting this done. I can hardly get on the plane back to Sweden, I just wanna have one more attempt on it right now!
Out of those other candidates I met today there was none that was confident with their result. At least 3 blew it for sure. One candidate lost ALL configs when doing a reload the last 30 minutes.
While of course feeling a bit sad and worthless today I keep telling myself that there would probably be noone except for me at my company that would pass this test.
I keep repeating Markos words: there are no failures when it comes to the CCIE lab exam. There are only “pass” and “no pass”.
Wait and see, I’ll be back!
An update: The support from OSL is overwhelming. Only an hour after posting a note in the mailing list I´ve plenty of supporting feedbacks from friends all over the world. Thanks guys, you are all the best!
I know the feeling Jimmy. All the memories of my failed attempt came back as I read your e-mail.
You are right bro. There is no fail. I know for a fact that the first time is not going to be a pass for me. You will nail it , my friend. Keep working at it. Always know, you’ve a bunch of nerds throught the world (including me) rooting for you .
You will get it the next time.
Do you know what they call a doctor who took his final paper twice?
A: A doctor
Do not worry man! Treat this like a reconnaissance and work out on your weak areas.
I’m sure, you’re going to nail it next time.
Head up and back to work!