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CCIE Success – The Importance of Fundamentals

Why is this exam so difficult? Well, we tend to make it difficult by not being fully prepared for the big day. It is really as simple as that. How are we not fully prepared for it? There are plenty of reasons that I will be blogging about in the future, yet for this post I want to focus on one of the most critical and dramatic. You see some of us enter the exam lacking the skills in the fundamentals of the many technologies presented in the lab. To make matters worse, we posses absolutely no fundamentals training in a proper exam strategy. This is why I am so excited about the upcoming CCIE R&S Lab Fundamentals and Written Online Bootcamp.

You see, I have been helping students pass the CCIE Lab Exam itself for years. Then, in separate and distinct curriculums and classes I have been focusing on the lower level certs (like CCNA and CCNP) and the CCIE Written, but I realize now there has to be a better way.

The approach to the Written should be about the fundamentals that you need to pass the CCIE LAB Exam. I mean, after all, that is what we really care about. I doubt very seriously there is anyone out there reading this that has the goal of passing the Written and then stopping there. :-) Oh wait – you could use this class for your re-cert, so I guess that would be the one exception.

Yes, in the CCIE R&S Lab Fundamentals and Written class we will cover ALL of the (sometimes trivial) facts required to pass the Written qualification exam, but the real focus, the real drive, will be for building that strong foundation that is required to pass the actual Lab Exam. From fundamentals on strategy, to fundamentals on the technologies themselves, this class will serve as the perfect primer for passing in a first, or next, attempt.

Why are the fundamentals so important? Well, if we lack them we have VERY little chance for success. This is what the proctors sit in rooms talking about and brainstorming about as they create their devilish new CCIE Lab Exams. They seek to ensure that students are rock solid in the fundamentals and deserving of the CCIE designation. They do not want to fail students on what long-time, successful CCIE trainer Narbik would call 007-Ninja style tasks. They want to fail students that do not master the fundamentals of the many technologies present in this exam.

How many CCIE candidates do you think try and just breeze their way through OSPF with a blind input of memorized commands? How many memorize the LSA Types for the Written exam, and then purge them from their memory banks as quickly as possible as they seek to memorize CLI syntax? It is a very common issue.

Many successful students of this journey have often said – “when you are ready to pass – you are thinking like a router or a switch.” This is one way to describe a true mastery of the fundamentals.

I certainly hope you will join me and the other students in the upcoming IPexpert course, but if not, be sure that you embrace the fundamentals in your own prep work.

What are your thoughts on this topic? What do you do to ensure you are mastering the fundamental strategies and technologies needed for success? Let me know in the comments area below!

Anthony Sequeira CCIE, CCSI
Twitter: @compsolv
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/compsolv

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