Before getting a CCIE certification, IT professionals must overcome two arduous examinations. The first is a set of multiple choice exams with a sprinkling of fill in the blank questions. This is the written part of the CCIE qualification exam. The second part of CCIE qualification test is the dreaded two-day lab exam. It is the most difficult examination so far given to IT professionals seeking a reputable certification. Some veteran IT professionals took several attempts before passing the CCIE lab exam. It goes without saying that a thorough CCIE preparation is necessary in order to successfully hurdle the qualification exams of Cisco Systems.
Proper CCIE preparation should consist of three exam prep methods. First is the theoretical preparation. This may involve attending refresher courses on network management, security, and deployment. A high dose of self-study is also necessary. To do this, aspiring CCIE must acquire updated books, references, and networking manuals.
The second CCIE preparation method is through simulations both for the exams and actual Internetworking architectures. Some training centers provide lab facilities that mimic the ones used on CCIE lab exam. Other IT professionals invest on creating their own lab to practice on actual implementation of different network protocols. After successfully passing the exams, they usually sell these miniature network labs to other aspiring CCIE.
The third part of CCIE preparation is through actual hands-on experience. The CCIE exam is notoriously biased against paper IT professionals. Those without hands-on experience on different IT environments will surely fail the lab exam. So it would be best to prepare for the exam by getting first hand experience on existing corporate IT environments and network infrastructures.