Matthew Clarke, CCIE #24514
I passed the routing and switching first time in Brussels on June 5th. So thanks to INE and the online community for the help and material. I started my Lab studies this year at the beginning of Feb 2009 (after passing the written in December) and took 5 weeks leave from work just before the lab (was only doing 15 hours per week before this). With regards to the Lab I pretty much followed the Blueprint and then used workbook 2 V4 the dynamips version and workbook 3 with the rack rentals. Also a few mock exams one of which I did well on, the other 2 I tanked (although the rack session did die for 2 hours on one). I have pretty much been doing labs on weekends and then doing more technology focussed study on evenings since then. In the last 5 weeks I did 3 mock exams and maybe 6 or 7 workbook labs and the last 2 weeks I was mostly reading. I read Doyle RS vol 1 and 2 the cert guide and various missing pieces from the online docs. I can honestly say for me most of the open ended questions were very straighforward if you know your stuff, really for me the reading didn't really add to the OEQ's (but please read), it did however add to my confidence and strengthen my configuration skills and speed. Ps... I also did the cisco ccie assessor labs 2 (these are worthwile as they do give you a good insight into what you are trying to achieve and the cisco wording). I have read allot of blogs about doing multiple workbooks and labs however I would say you need a well balanced approach based around theory and labbing. I did not hammer the labs at all and I would say the last 2 weeks I have probably done less than 20 hours of labbing and spent the rest of the time reading. With regards to the Lab I must have slept about 3 hours before and I really struggled when I got in. The battle is more against yourself rather than the lab itself. One thing I don't want to miss is context, i have had about 12 years experience in networking. Thanks again everyone..