Time, as they say, flies.  It seems like just yesterday I was doing my celebratory weep over the newly awarded digits, but here we are nearly two years later.  The time has come to re-certify.

To certify at the CCIE level a second time represents a choice.  You might think it’s not much of a choice (some would go so far as to call it a “no-brainer”), but it depends on what your perspective is on the value of holding the certification going forward.  One must exert an effort to study back up to a level sufficient to pass the written exam, especially as the body of required knowledge changes.  So then, is there a specific benefit to retaining the CCIE title?  For me, the answer is “yes”, although it’s a qualified “yes.”  I don’t work for a Cisco partner, nor does my employer provide any incentive to keep up the certification.  However, I am finding that the CCIE certification still opens doors that few other accomplishments can open.  I’m not sure when I might be in a position where I’m sorry I let the certification go away, so I’m choosing to maintain it for at least another cycle.  When a door is presented that I’d like to walk through, I don’t want it locked.

When I took the 350-001 written exam back in July 2007, it was version 3.  Now it is version 4.  To be honest, I’ll have to go back through the blueprint to see what’s changed.  More MPLS and less wireless I think are the highlights as I look at the table of contents in this whacking thick “CCIE Routing and Switching Certification Guide Fourth Edition” I just bought.  Mostly, the content is the same as before, though.  I think the test itself is a different testing engine, but that’s of no great concern to me.  If I know the material sufficiently well, I should be able to pass the test.  At least, that’s my presumption.

Last time I prepared for the written exam by reading every word of every paragraph of every chapter in the book (the Second Edition at that time). This time around, my plan is to use the “Do I Know This Already?” quizzes at the start of every chapter, and focus on the areas I’m forgetful of.  I will also use the Boson test question engine that came with the Ciscopress book, and possibly the NetMasterClass.com written test prep engine if I can figure out how to get back at that material (I seem to have lost access, even though I signed up for it just a few months ago).

I might post a bit more about that as I go along.

About the author

Ethan Banks

Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.


  • NMC hooked me up with access to the written exam prep material again, plus they hope to have the question database updated with version 4 practice questions in a couple of weeks.

  • Good luck!

    How much of the CCIE blueprint items do you actually work on with your current position?

    Are you looking at studying for another CCIE or go for the CCDE?

    Best wishes and enjoy your studies…

  • Yup.. you’re recertifiable alright ;-) So.. it sounds like you’ve made peace with your quest. Nice. That’s cool. At least you don’t have to deal with the lab again, do you?

  • That’s a pretty big distinction. I mean, the written test is multiple choice. If you even have a clue, you can make pretty decent grades on “uh.. this one sounds right, I think”.

    What routing technology uses the acronyms PE and CE?

    1. Bob
    2. Sacramento
    3. Green
    4. MPLS

    Okay.. maybe I’m exaggerating but you know what I mean. You’ll rock it.

  • Why not study for CCIE voice written exam?
    Passing CCIE voice written exam will re-certify you as CCIE R&S and will push you to pursue CCIE voice

  • Hello Ethan, its good to have you back… The fourth edition will clear your path to the written exam, great book. Are you considering another track? You talked once about the SP…


Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.

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