CCIE SP Operations Practical Exam Overview
The eight-hour practical exam tests your ability to configure actual equipment and get a service provider network running in a timed test situation. You must make an initial attempt of the CCIE lab exam within 18 months of passing the CCIE written exam. If you do not pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, you must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the lab exam again.
Practical Exam Topics
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Lab exams cost USD$1,400 per attempt, not including travel and lodging expenses. Costs may vary due to exchange rates and local taxes (VAT, GST). You are responsible for any fees your financial institution charges to complete the payment transaction. Price not confirmed and is subject to change until full payment is made. Please reference the CCIE Policies for more information.
Practical Exam Environment
Cisco documentation is available on-line during the exam, however knowledge of the more common protocols and technologies is assumed. As of March 2006, the documentation can only be navigated using the index, as the search function has been disabled. No outside reference materials are permitted in the lab room. You must report any suspected equipment issues to the proctor during the exam; adjustments cannot be made once the exam is over.
Practical Exam Grading
Each question on the Troubleshooting section of the Practical exam has specific criterion, and are graded by proctors who ensure all the criterion are met and points are awarded accordingly. The proctors use automatic tools to gather information from the routers to perform some preliminary evaluations, but the final determination of a correct or incorrect configuration is done by a trained proctor. Each Scenario-based question is self-scored based on predefined scoring rules.
Practical Exam Format
This eight-hour Practical exam consists of two major components: a three-hour section of Scenario-based question section and a five-hour Troubleshooting section.
The CCIE SP Operations Practical exam will feature a three-hour Scenario-based section that will assess candidate’s skills on the domains of process, network management and SP technologies through a performance, computer-based exam according to the exam blueprint. It will feature situations typically found on a service provider environment where the candidate is a senior Network Operations Engineer. Candidates cannot return to the Scenario-Based section once it is finished.
The CCIE SP Operations Practical exam will feature a five-hour Troubleshooting section. Candidates will be presented with a series of incidents for a preconfigured network that consists of IOS-based equipment as well as IOS-XR-based equipment, and will need to diagnose and resolve the network fault or faults in order to receive credit. Candidates need to be fluent on IOS XR operating system as the exam will place some emphasis on IOS XR. To elaborate, expertise on IOS XR on P and PE devices and configuration environments will be necessary. Troubleshooting will be performed from CLI without the help of NMS tools.
You can review your lab exam results online (login required), usually within 48 hours. Results are Pass/Fail and failing score reports indicate major topic areas where additional study and preparation may be useful.
Reevaluation of Practical Exam Results
Requesting a reevaluation of exam results is not possible for the SP Operations practical exam due to the type of exam system utilized.