As the title states, I passed the Written today...
Approximately 4 years in networking, 9 years in IT.
CCNA, with no higher level certs.
5 months of preparation for this exam.
I can't tell you if it was a fair or unfair exam. You either know enough to pass, or you don't. I can, however, tell you about the prep material I used and whether they were worth it or not. So, in rating these materials, I'll use the 5 ping scale (borrowed from Sean E. Connelly) with 5 being the best. (These are listed in no particular order.)
1. CCIE Routing & Switching Certification Guide, Fourth Edition
It's tough to aggregate all the information that the CCIE R&S blueprint covers, but Odom & friends (Healy & Donohue) have done it (for the most part).
In this tome is over 95% of the information you will need to pass the Written. However, your ability to retain all that information is the real challenge. The book can't help you there, but at least the information is aggregated in one central location. It's really the best bang for your buck.
The book contains almost everything you need, but not everything. Some topics are a little too light. But, I'm not sure how much better a book can get when the test is updated at a faster rate. The Boson questions that came with this book are sub-par for testing purposes, and I cannot recommend them to anyone in that regard. Perhaps you could use them to retain some info, but I believe you are better off creating flashcards in Mnemosyne.
4 pings out of 5
2. Boson ExSim-Max for Cisco 350-001 v4.0
For the money, this is the best test engine out there. I tried three but only mention two, if you count INE's.
There are three exams (A, B, & C) contained in it, and I found the information to be detailed and accurate. The questions have great explanations which are all cited, and many of which are cited directly from Cisco's website.
None of the practice tests I took matched the overall difficulty level of actual exam, including this test engine. I also wish some of the book sources they used were derived from CCIE Routing & Switching Certification Guide, Fourth Edition versus whatever edition they used.
4 pings out of 5
3. INE's CCIE Routing & Switching Written Exam
I wouldn't purchase this bootcamp again unless I had no desire to read CCIE Routing & Switching Certification Guide, Fourth Edition. Even with a discount, it cost too much.
If you're not a reader, this bootcamp is for you. Anthony Sequeira will walk you most of the technologies on the blueprint. The topics are broken down into separate modules, which is convenient. He periodically updates the bootcamp with newer modules. Also, there are two test banks, one with 100 questions, and another with 40 (at last count). Test bank two gets updated. These are online based, but have no explanations.
It cost too much. Also, the depth for some of the modules felt more like CCNA or CCNP level modules versus CCIE. The BGP module was like this, for example. Prior to the exam, I assumed he was trying to bring the bootcamp more in line with the actual test. Then I took the exam.
3 pings out of 5
4. R&S Short-Notes v4
Remember when I said, "I'm not sure how much better a book can get when the test is updated at a faster rate,"? Scratch that. Ruhann's R&S Short-Notes delivers.
Covers the full CCIE R&S blueprint with configuration examples and reference links. It's pretty sick how thorough it is. I read the entire book. Also, he updates it and sends out the updates at no further cost.
Well, none, unless you bought this product as an OEQ buster.
5 pings out of 5
I'd like to rate the DocCD, but that pretty much speaks for itself. Know this, you will need it. I'll post some of the links I used in my studies in another post.
That's pretty much it. Now it's time to go to work!