Ethan Banks On productivity.

CCIE Assessor vs. NMC CHECKiT vs. IE Mock Lab?


“Am I really ready for the lab?” That’s the question we’re all asking ourselves. It’s a lot of money plus travel time to sit the lab. So, we want to know that we’ve got a reasonable shot of passing, right?

There’s a few tools I’m hoping to get some feedback on. Cisco offers their “CCIE Assessor”, where you pay $279 to hack-a-rack for 4 hours, then someone (presumably a proctor) beats you with a bat. offers their CHECKiT for $250. NMC give you a full scenario over 8 hours before beating you with the bat. will charge you $249 for a beating with their IE Mock Lab product. And in all seriousness, that beating is what I’m looking for, since I want to know what’s good, bad, and downright pathetic.

Anyone who’s worked with the Cisco CCIE Assessor, NMC CHECKiT, or IE Mock Labs care to comment on the pros and cons of each? E-mail me at I’ll post everyone’s comments for the CCIE candidate community to read.


  • I haven’t done any of the mock labs yet, but I’ve heard (mostly through Group Study postings) that doing the Cisco CCIE Assessor is a good method to get a feel for an accurate (albeit shortened) version of the lab.

    I was going to suggest that you should give an IE Mock lab a try, not just because I am an IE fanboy, but because I think that it would be good to get a feel for a different vendor’s labs. That said, bitbucketblog has a posting that would probably make me think twice about that recommendation:

    If “proctored” means trying to hit someone up on email and hoping for a timely response, then I would pass on that option.

    I think that having a proctor to bounce questions off of during a mock lab would be beneficial because you could clear up confusion (thereby hopefully attaining a higher score) and because the mock lab would more closely mirror the actual lab environment.

    I looked at the NMC lab and it did not look like it was proctored. The Cisco lab states “Assessment available any time during four-hour session” which I take to mean that it is proctored. You could still entertain the IE product, but should probably contact them first for details on how they would handle questions for the proctor.

    Anyhoo…best of luck.

  • Here’s an example of feedback on the NMC and Cisco products from someone who passed in March of this year:

    “Cisco Assessor labs: valid experience since format and wording are similar
    to real one…it’s also good to see how your grade can be messed up when you
    don’t get partial grade (just like the real one!)

    Netmaster CheckIT labs: very useful…if you are used with the IEWB format,
    please do the CheckIT labs!…the format it’s totally different and totally
    throws you off while you are doing the lab. It’s good to see how you react
    when unexpected things happen in the lab.”

By Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks On productivity.

You probably know Ethan Banks because he writes & podcasts about IT. For example, he co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

This site is Ethan on productivity--not tech so much.

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