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Re: Strategy to tackle this beast :-) posted 08/05/2004
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As a PS to my earlier post, I would add this:

Know the basics cold !!!

Things like acl's, route-maps, prefix-lists, dialer-lists, etc and how and
when they can be applied.  Make sure you are thoroughly comfortable with
editing these things and make sure you're you know all the variations.

Although these things are simple enough, you will find as you become more
experienced that there are times when you go to apply a named acl, for
example, that you need to use a number acl instead.  When this happens in
the lab, it ends up losing precious time.

Also, make sure you know and fully understand the logic of the permit and
deny entries in acl's, route-maps, prefix-list, etc because sometimes the
logic is opposite of what you expect.  Unless you know this cold, it's easy
to get confused under the pressure of the lab and end up allowing routes to
be redist when you intended to block those specified routes from being

Again HTH, Tim

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Duncon" <david_ccie@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2004 2:17 AM
Subject: Strategy to tackle this beast :-)

> Hi Folks,
> As I am in the process of designing the required strategy towards my 1st
> attempt which is happening in the next 6 months, just want to capture
> thoughts of numbered people out here. Being a passive listener since last
> few weeks, I have noted few success as well as failure stories. To my mind
> any body who came this far and willing to subject to this long and
> (both from time as well as monitory point of view) path , are diligent and
> capable people. From the offset what appears to me is, to tackle this
> , we need to have a strategy in place , besides willingness to work hard
> invest required funds.
> This is what I am currently put in my head and appreciate if you add your
> valuable input which can help any new comers like myself.
> 1) Lower the pressure on my self from very beginning by preparing to go as
> far as 3 attempts (or even further if I am not good enough even at my 3rd
> attempt) to get my number. That will immediately leave me out as "favorite
> to take the number home on my first attempt". So I am not feeling any
> pressure from now on and I will try NOT to panic during my first
> attempt/exam as well. With this school of thinking , I hoping to exercise
> realistic expectations on myself.
> 2) Secondly as I said above, strategy is what makes the difference between
> success stories and failure stories. So my strategy is to have a "building
> block" approach. That is with out getting intimidated with the vast nature
> of this exam blue print and also to certain extent by other CCIEs around,
> for example like in this Study group forum where some lower numbered
> member's posts are very in depth and very intimidating for a new comer.
> that is OK.Because as Howard once said in his post, all CCIEs are NOT
> Surgeons , some are just Doctors. And you got to work hard even further
> after you become a CCIE. To become Surgeons like people such as Scott ,
> Brian's , Bob , Andrew, Howard , Mark and Chuck ..etc , all new CCIEs need
> to continue their "quest" for knowledge as long as they are in Comms
> So now my aim is to become a Doctor/i.e... CCIE to begin with  and there
> fore I am not trying to fathom the whole Internetworking technologies to
> extent of Surgeon.
> 3) Instead focus the exam blue print . And even then Not to get carried
> with continuous research with out giving or delaying the exam. For example
> like the other day, some one asked the question of "how far to study the
> ATM"  or  "how far to study the IPSec" or for that matter this morning I
> thinking about how far to study Bridging ?
> Since *time factor* is critical here , I am planning to be very clinical
> deliberate in my approach. For example , there is no need to try and
> time to understand how the RIF in Token ring builds or for that matter how
> the translational bridging work. Instead worry only about Ethernet
> and that is what will be tested in the exam. On you way if you pick up
> broader understanding on various Bridging technologies , then that is
> But because if you do not have time to digest RIF or MPLS (just for an
> example), then do not worry.
> The reason why I am saying this because , most of us who are working in
> industry already must be exposing ourselves to various technologies. For
> example besides my bread and better Routing and Switching operations ,
> last few months  I am also involved in few Security  (reasonably familiar
> with VPN 3k ,PIX & CPNG ) and Voice ( VoFR, Voice Gateways. Transcoders ,
> CMsetc) projects. But the bottom line is , from exam point of view as far
> as Voice is concerned, I only need to go as far as configuring FXS voice
> ports, configuring pots and Voip peers , Digit manipulation and MLS Qos on
> Voice vlans ..etc. Nothing more , at least for this R & S exam and do not
> worry about on how SRTS works or how to build complex Translational
> rulesetc.
> But knowing that well in advance is a welcome step to me. That way my
> is not a * moving target* or ever expanding target.
> 4) Coming to my strategy again, in my first attempt itself, I am aiming to
> pick up full allotted marks on L 2 technologies like 3550s,Dlsw+,Frame
> and ISDN. Because I think it will be pretty disappointed after all this
> effort , you can not even bring up the L2 in a decent time in the exam. I
> aiming to clock around 2 to 2 1/2 hours to bring up L2 in my lab practice
> well. And then I will really be aiming to pocket marks on multi services
> well such as Qos , Multicast , DLsw + and Security and IP Services ..etc.
> That will give me 50 % of the marks already , I reckon. And I will be
> if I score that much in my first attempt. And I will also aim to score as
> many points as possible in the other 50% which occupies the meaty portion
> L3 stuff.
> 5) As far as L 3 is concerned , that 50 % of the marks are unknown and you
> can get bamboozled on any single protocol. Correct if I am wrong , even
> though you know how independently configure every single L3 protocol, and
> you screw up the *Redistribution*, then basically you lost the game and
> can not ping all interfaces and you can not see the appropriate Route
> on all devices.
> Having realized this from beginning , at worst case scenario, I will be
> aiming to score as many full marks as possible on independent L 3
> 6) Redistribution being one of my weakest areas besides Multicast & Dlsw+
> I am planning to sort out that guy in my second or 3rd attempt as I am
> thinking it may be helpful for me to participate a physical or an online
> boot camp with any of these top vendors out here. And that way I can
> that sort of logical to get my redistribution on my 2nd or 3rd attempts.
> I feel already lot better on this building block approach , in the sense I
> will not become terribly upset (neither about 6k to k odd investment nor
> about 3 or 4 attempts) about next 12 month road in front of me. And also
> being this positive , realistic & methodical , I am not making the lives
> my wife and kids miserable every time I reach home with a depressed out
> of life :-) After all this is just an exam where 14k people have already
> passed , so that this is by no means an "Impossible task". May be it is
> different/difficult  than all the Uni exams we all have went through.
> That factor of "difference" in the exam is precisely  what is making me
> exited because that different path of preparation is what making me a
> engineer from yesterday to today. And I am sure after 12 month of study
> after 3 or 4 times of failure, I can even get better and hopefully become
> Doctor by then in Howard words :-)
> Your input is much appreciated.
> David.
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