Once upon a time, punk band The Clash sang “Should I stay or should I go? If I go it will be trouble; if I stay it will be double”. This dilemma is well-known to those CCIE candidates who got back their lab results and those look very close. Should they try a re-read of the lab or not?As with many things related to CCIE lab exam, the answer is – it depends. First of all, Cisco maintains that re-read changes score from not-pass to pass in less than 1% of cases. That’s a very low number. Second, the score should be somewhere in a range of 76%-79% to make it a success. It is very unlikely that a re-read will change more than 4%-5% f the total score. In most tracks, this percentage translates to one, at most two questions that may change.
The above text may seem discouraging, but it shouldn’t be. Sometimes, it is really only one question that decides our fate in the CCIE lab exam. Also remember that some tracks have a lot of inter-dependencies between the tasks. Labs are also graded on working solution. This means that even if you got score which is numerically lower than the one you expected, perhaps you had misfortune that your grading failed because of a “temporary glitch” for which a simple reload may have been the solution. In this case, you may have lost a lot of points because of one task gone wrong. Asking for a re-read may be a salvation.
If you feel confident that a re-read may tip the scales in your favor, the dilemma becomes a matter of 1st grade math. The lab attempt itself usually incurs the following cost:
- Exam cost (Depending on location additional 10%-20% in tax)
- Travel cost
- Lodging (2-3 nights)
- Additional study time and material
The above can easily go above $2000 for most people. For some, considerably more than that (should you live on an island in the middle of North Atlantic, as I do for example). On the other hand, lab re-read is $250 flat-fee, which will be refunded in a case of changed score.
Hopefully, you won’t be in this dilemma and instead you’ll be in our Friday’s Success Stories, but in the meantime there is one thing you can be confident about – if you’re our student, you surely have the best CCIE training material available in the world.