A Suggestion for the CCIE Written Test Program

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

In Brad Reese’s Cisco Subnet blog, Robert Williams of CertGuard commented on the article about my recertification:

I’m sure many “professionals” in his position would have opted to take the easy road and just “study to pass”…

There are a bunch of ‘study guides’ or ‘brain dumps’ available that are direct copies of the test questions.  Yes, I’ve seen some of them and I have a problem with them.  A number of the answers that they provide are not correct, at least by my interpretation.   So someone who is using a study guide will have a ‘test finger print’ based on the set of incorrect answers that match those in the brain dump.  I think there’s a relatively easy way for Cisco to make these study guides less effective and to make sure that candidates know the material.

Increase the test database to over 1000 questions and don’t repeat questions for candidates.

Cisco already publishes a syllabus of topics, which would be the basis for subject areas.  Create ten questions for each individual subject.  Make sure that a candidate’s test doesn’t contain a repeat question until after ten attempts.  A candidate would have to know the subject or memorize many more questions than with the current test database.

With a large enough database, Cisco could publish the questions for public review and comment.  This would have the byproduct of allowing comment on bad questions and improve question quality.  It would even be useful to allow people to suggest questions, subject to review and acceptance by Cisco.  Using this process, the question database could quickly be several thousand questions and more fully evaluate a candidate’s subject knowledge.



Re-posted with Permission 

NetCraftsmen would like to acknowledge Infoblox for their permission to re-post this article which originally appeared in the Applied Infrastructure blog under http://www.infoblox.com/en/communities/blogs.html


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.