The CCIE certification exam has a written component in addition to the actual practical lab exam. While there are no formal prerequisites for the certification itself, the minimum level is being able to pass the written examination about security and then move on to the corresponding exam for the hands-on lab. In the CCIE security written exam, you will be expected to possess a thorough understanding of all the topics that can be found in the exam blueprints and are also strongly encouraged to have job experience (usually with a minimum requirement of at least three to five years on the job) before you even attempt to take the exam for the certification.
Of course, being prepared for such an exam also means having the exam materials and reading and going through them thoroughly. The security written exam will compose of two whole hours, covering concepts about networking and some knowledge about equipment commands are required for you to be eligible for the lab exam. The security written exam is composed of one hundred multiple choice questions. These exams do not come cheap, nor is the cost astronomical. The security exam is pegged at three hundred US dollars, but these may vary depending on the independent vendors that administer them and other factors such as exchange rate and local taxes. It also has an expiration date, so the candidates should be able to make an attempt of the lab exam for CCIE within eighteen months once the candidate passes the written exam for security.