Frequently Asked Questions about the Ccie Rs Examination

This section answers some common questions regarding the written and lab portions of the CCIE Routing and Switching examination. These frequently asked questions will help dispel the confusion surrounding this exam. We will begin by discussing the written examination.

Written Examination FAQ

1. How many questions are on the CCIER/S written examination?

There are 100 questions. All questions are multiple choice. Some questions require a single answer, while other questions require more than one answer to earn a point.

2. What is a passing score?

Cisco no longer publishes a set passing score for the written examination. Instead, Cisco will supply you with a pass or fail grade. The actual passing score (a percentage) is based on a statistical analysis system that checks the scores of all candidates over three months and then adjusts the score needed to pass accordingly. For example, the passing score for one candidate maybe 70 percent, but it may be 75 percent for another candidate, depending on what results candidates are attaining. After completing a short survey prior to the examination, you will be notified of the score you need to gain a passing grade. For more information, see: exam_preparation/written.html#6

3. Can I change an answer after completing the examination? Yes, as long as time remains, you can return to any question.

4. How long is the examination?

The exam is 2 hours (120 minutes) long. Make sure you use your time wisely— you want to have an opportunity to answer as many questions as possible. If you find you are spending too long on a single question, move on. If time permits, you can return the difficult questions later.

5. What happens when I finish the examination?

The computer scores your test within minutes and indicates whether you passed or failed. You will receive a printed score sheet with a grade for the entire exam and a percentage score for each of the 11 topics. If you fail, you must wait at least 24 hours before retaking the exam.

6. Can I use the Windows calculator during the exam?

No. You are not permitted to use any Windows tools. You are supplied with a pencil and some white paper or an erasable sheet.

7. How many times can I retake the written examination? You can retake the exam as many times as you like.

8. What do I do after I pass the written exam?

You do not need to fax your test results to your nearest CCIE lab administrator. Simply wait 48 to 72 hours before calling to schedule the date for your lab examination. Assuming that you have passed the written test, Cisco will have this information within two to three days.

9. Where can I find further information about the CCIE R/S exam?

Cisco provides additional FAQs online at 625/ccie/ccie_program/faqs.html.

Lab Examination FAQ

1. How many questions are on the CCIE lab examination?

There are three main sections. The first lab section is worth 45 points toward your passing score of 80 points. The second section is worth 30 points, and the final troubleshooting lab is worth 25 points. The maximum number of points is 100.

2. What is a passing score?

The minimum passing score is 80 percent for all candidates.

3. Can I change an answer after completing the examination?

After the lab proctor marks your exam, you cannot change any answers. Further, you can only progress to the next section if you score the minimum requirement in each section. Specifically, you must score at least 30 points on the first day, and you must have a total of 55 points before you can progress to the final troubleshooting lab. You should try to score as close to 100 percent on the first day to give yourself the best shot at passing the second day. Every mark in the CCIE lab is difficult, so the more you gain on the first day the better position you will be to pass on the second day.

4. How long is the lab examination? The examination is two full days.

5. What happens after I finish the examination?

The lab proctor will score your examination, and you will be told whether you have attained the minimum passing score. You will not be told your exact score. The CCIE program no longer provides candidates with passing or failing scores.

6. Can I use the Windows calculator during the exam?

Yes. Although, you are not permitted to save any device configurations.

7. How many times can I retake the lab examination?

You can retake the exam as many times as you like within one year of passing the written examination. You must wait one month between lab attempts. If you wait longer than one year to take the lab examination since passing the written exam, you must retake the written examination.

8. What happens after I pass the lab exam?

You receive your CCIE number, and you'll receive a certificate and framed medal in the mail. Finally, you will have access to the CCIE chat forum on Cisco's home page,, as well as receive other privileges, such as CCIE merchandising opportunities.

9. What material are you allowed to bring to the lab?

You are not permitted to bring any paper, books, or CD-ROMs into the lab. You will be provided with a PC, the documentation CD, and configuration and command references.

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