What does it take to acquire the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification?

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is the utmost level of professional certification that Cisco can offer. Acquiring this highest certification level involves the completion by candidates of the five determined active CCIE tracks, which include:

(1) CCIP or Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional,
(2) CCNP or Cisco Certified Network Professional,
(3) CCDP or Cisco Certified Design Professional,
(4) CCVP or Cisco Certified Voice Professional, and
(5) CCSP or Cisco Certified Security Professional.

CCIE consists of written and lab exams. The written exam, which is pre-requisite for the lab exam, costs about US$315 per attempt. It s only when the candidates pass the written exam can they qualify to take initial attempt for the lab exam (18-month duration). Lest the initial lab exam was failed, 3 years are given for candidates to complete their lab exam (starting from the date when they have passed successfully the written exam).

If the candidates have still failed to pass the lab exam within the 3-year period, they will be required to take again and attempt to pass the written exam before taking further attempts for the lab exam. Candidates can take as many attempts to pass the lab exam (one-month waiting time between attempts) provided that they have passed successfully their written exam.

CCIE lab exam is an 8-hour practical exam that currently costs about $1,400 per attempt. This lab exam basically intends to validate practice of theory learned by candidates who passed successfully the written exam. Most CCIE takers can undertake several attempts to pass the lab exam. It is also possible for one to acquire multiple CCIE certifications by succeeding both written and lab exams in a specific track. To know this information can be expedient to potential CCIE candidates.