Stephen Lee, CCIE #19413
Well, after 8 months and 4 attempts I finally passed on 11/21. I found out Thanksgiving morning and it was the best Thanksgiving I ever had. I passed the written in January and spent the next couple months putting together a home lab. I really started studying in April and took my first attempt in mid May. I came really close to passing with about 75 points. I thought sweet I will nail it on my second attempt, well not so much. I took it again in June and failed miserable not even 50%. So I really buckled down and got after it and took it again in August. Well I got about the same score as my second attempt. So I really started doubting it and took a few weeks off to regroup. So after the summer was over I got back after it and had an October date scheduled, but my wife broke her leg and I had to take care of her and the kids for a few weeks until she got back on her feet. So I rescheduled for Nov. I was thinking if I don't get it this time I am going to have to take a break. All the studying was really starting to affect my family life as Daddy was locked in the office every evening and all weekend. What got me the entire time was question interpretation. I felt like I knew the material the entire time and had a good base of knowledge. My problem I think was question interpretation. On my 4th attempt it was like I could see through the vague wording and finally understood what they wanted. I only asked the proctor 2 questions as I found it pretty clear. To all those that are struggling with this I hear ya. But just know if you stick with it you can pass. What I used to pass: - 10 years experience designing and implementing Cisco networks for various Fortune 100 companies. - Internetwork Expert V4.0 workbook and the Advanced Technologies VOD and the 5 day bootcamp VOD. These are really great products and I learned immensely from them. I would highly recommend their material for learning the technologies... - The Cisco Press CCIE R&S book. Good for the written and has some good tables for reference. - I built my own home lab made to the IEWB V4.0 format. I decided I wanted my own lab that I could use anytime I had time to study and didn't want to deal with rack rentals or dealing with all the Dynamips issues. - Finally but definitely not least was my wife. She supported me through the tough times and entertained two kids every evening and every weekend for about 8 months straight. I could not have done it without her.