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CCIE Security Lab FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the 1-day Security Lab exam.

1. When did the lab format go from two days to one day?

October 2001. The CCIE Certification labs in all countries now test candidates using the 1-day format.

2. Where can I take my CCIE security lab exam?

The following are the locations where you can take your CCIE Security Lab exam:

* Brussels, Belgium

* Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (USA)

San Jose, California (USA)

Sydney, Australia

3. What is a passing and maximum score?

The exam has a total score of 100 points, and 80% is the pass mark. As the passing rate is low for the first attempt, you may need to take the exam again. Cisco does not disclose the passing rate.

4. What should I do if I cannot find an answer to a question?

E-mail your question to [email protected]. The CCIE team will respond to all questions within 72 hours.

5. What happens after an exam?

You will be escorted out of the laboratory. Within 24 hours, you receive an email notification. You will receive an e-mail advising you to log onto, enter your written test results (written test date, score and candidate ID required). The emailed will give you a breakdown and percentage score for each of the sections. Please fill out a review of your lab experience. Be sure to include all feedback, good or bad. For valid reasons or for lab inconsistency, candidates can get free attempts at the lab. You want to be sure that you are given all the chances to pass for the price of US$1250 plus tax.

6. What is the difference between Notepad and Windows Calculator?

You can save files, but not any. However, you can cut and paste into and out of Notepad. Calculator can be used to convert hexadecimal into decimal, or determine subnets.

7. How many times can I take a lab exam?

It is recommended that you wait 30 days before attempting another lab exam. No minimum score is required.

8. What happens if you pass?

You will also receive a CCIE certificate and plaque. You can expect to receive your CCIE certificate and plaque between 3 to 6 months following the test date.

9. What happens if you fail? Do I get told which areas I did poorly in?

Cisco does not reveal specific areas of weakening; the candidate must decipher the score report. To have your lab routers checked for accuracy, you can pay $250. The $250 investment is worth it if you are confident that you passed. You will not receive any additional information, even if you regrade. All that is sent to you is a score report via e-mail along with your new grade. Some candidates have sent me an email to tell me they passed the exam after I had told them they failed. Regrading is a very personal decision. I recommend a regrade if you think you have scored 75 or higher.

10. What can I bring to the lab?

Only necessary medications and a dictionary are allowed. Other materials are not permitted. Cisco provides refreshments on all lab locations. A lunch is provided as well during the 30 minute break. Lunch break is mandatory, and CCIE staff will accompany you.

11. What is the role of a proctor?

If you are unsure about a question, or its objective, a proctor can provide clarification. The proctor can’t give you answers, but he can make sure that you understand the questions. In the event of network hardware failures, or mistakes in exams, the proctor may also be able to make changes. The proctor’s job is to give you the best chance to succeed and shouldn’t hinder your ability pass the test. You can send your concerns via e-mail to [email protected], if you are not satisfied. The CCIE Program Manager’s primary responsibility is to ensure the well-being of candidates. You never know, you might be eligible for a future free lab.

12. What is the best place to learn more about CCIE? The following URL provides information about the CCIE tracks:

13. How often must I recertify my certification?

If you do not recertify, your status will change from active to suspended to finally inactive. Inactive CCIEs are who cannot participate in CCIE forums or purchase CCIE products.

If you have a suspended CCIE, you will lose all CCIE advantages as well as CCIE privileges at You must recertify to regain these benefits. Your certification will become inactive after 1 year and you’ll need to retake the written and laboratory exams to restore it to active status.

14. What alternative methods or exams can I take to recertify CCIE? You can recertify your certification using a few different methods.

* You can take any of a number of different written exams; for details on available written exams, visit

* You can obtain a CCIE Recertification by completing a CCIE Track you don’t currently hold. Passing your Security Lab exam, for example, will recertify you on the R&S Track if you already possess it.

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