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RE: Lab Query posted 10/18/2007
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Relax, take a deep breath Darby...

I'll tell you a secret... all the smartest people that shook me up, didn't
use a workbook... they were like...

"hmm, ok, I'll read the rfc's, lab up everything on univercd from the
blueprint, take my own notes, study those, schedule my lab and pass this
easy test on the first attempt".

Three of them did. One only a year ago.


-----Original Message-----
From: nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:nobody@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Darby Weaver
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2007 5:18 AM
To: Brian Dennis; Ananth Vk; ccielab@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Lab Query

Brian makes an excellent point.

Repetition is the key to learning.  No doubt and as he
states in his COD, "plenty people who go to the lab
multiple times...  tend to go cause they buy a lot of
workbooks... rush through them or just follow along...
etc.  basically call it studying and go to the lab...
and fail... shaking their heads...

Yep, been there and done that.

I once wrote a little piece on how to do the lab on a
budget somewhere...  like a poor man's guide to the
CCIE Lab and yes... I even recommended using 2514's...
with a 12.2.x T-Train of code...  I mean even the
Cisco CCIE team said as much at or about the same

But I digress...

My point is:

Each vendor offers a sample lab.  A full sample lab.
It is complete with a full answer key... 

Yep - Take 4-5 vendors...

You have 4-5 complete labs and very good ones at that.

With excellent answer keys and typically with a lot of
commonly misunderstood topics... like  mostly any
given vendor lab - they all come stacked with
challenging topics right?

Now suppose...

1. You have 4-5 full demo labs...

2. You've taken the time to read Doyle v1 at a minimum
and v2 at a maximum... and Clark.

3. Now suppose you decide to stretch the envelope a
bit...  just a little...

Now I'm not suggesting you'll be able to build some of
the masterpiece labs that our fine and much more
experienced vendors have taken a lot of time an effort
to create for us...

But I am saying that if a given person, any given
person, did 4-5 of these sample labs, from different
vendors (different thought patterns, styles, and even
topologies), that this enlightened soul would
understand so much more before than just blindly
throwing money at the labs...  again, been there and
done that too.

However, if a candidate who is serious takes a few
sample labs and master's them, this candidate is now
fully prepared to take advantage of whichever vendor's
materials he/she likes best.

IPExpert, InternetworkExpert, NMC, Narbik, IEmentor,
etc. even offer a wealth of information per site to
help candidates with very very seemingly difficult

Route Maps
Frame Relay
Native VLANs
And the list is positively enourmous...

Really, and it is available moslty for the time it
takes one to view it.

Now, I'm not saying not to buy any vendor's labs, but,
I am saying any and every candidate should take the
time to perhaps even do these labs a few times and
work out the issues each of the vendor's know are
trouble spots for their previous students, so much
that they even give it away for free.

By this time, you know whose product you like, and you
know whose style appeals to you best as well.

It is fair to all vendors, and mostly it is fair to
the actual buyer - you.

This is what I'd consider my best advice from someone
who has been to several vendors and holds stock in
several vendors prodcuts and wishes them, each an
every one, to continue to have a thriving business.

Personally, I like insight and getting the most
vantage.  This might not work for everyone but it
works for me.  

Hope this helps a bit.

Tomas Larus wrote an excellent paper and published it
on that only required 1 switch and was a bit
timeless...  It gives a person a lot of perspective to
see more than one vantage point.

--- Brian Dennis <bdennis@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

> If I personally was going to take a test and I saw a
> lot of people saying
> they used a certain "method" to prepare that enabled
> them to pass the
> first time around I surely would at least look into
> using that "method". 
> Of course we know that not all methods work for all
> people so I may take
> this certain method and modify it to fit my learning
> style.
> As a side note a new highly successful approach that
> we (Internetwork
> Expert) are recommending to certain candidates is
> taking only 5 or 6 full
> scale labs but doing them 4 or 5 times each.  Then
> during the last week or
> two before the real lab taking 2 or 3 additional
> full scale labs and doing
> them once or twice each.  This approach should get
> you to the point where
> you can do any of the 5 or 6 labs within 4 hours and
> be able to complete
> the additional 2 or 3 labs within 5 to 5.5 hours. 
> You would be amazed at
> the amount you can learn by doing a lab more than
> once.  Plus one of the
> big benefits with this approach is that you gain
> speed and accuracy
> (accuracy = correct configuration the first time
> around) which is
> important in passing the lab.
> Brian Dennis, CCIE4 #2210 (R&S/ISP-Dial/Security/SP)
> bdennis@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Internetwork Expert, Inc.
> Toll Free: 877-224-8987
> Direct: 775-745-6404 (Outside the US and Canada)
> >----- Original Message -----
> Subject: Lab Query
> Date: Wed, October 17, 2007 19:03
> From: "Ananth Vk" <ananth.vk@xxxxxxx>
> > Hi
> >
> > There are a lot of practice labs available for the
> lab from different
> > vendors..
> > Lets say i have practiced 10 labs that are complex
> &amp; say im
> confident,then
> > how to determine if my 11th one has to be the real
> lab / another practice
> > lab
> >
> > Whats the main take away with the practice labs ?
> > Is it the practice in number of practice labs/
> complexity in topology/
> > types of questions asked ?
> > Cos i sometimes read that a person passed lab in
> first attempt &amp; he
> read
> > books + a specific vendor material....
> > Then whats the differentiator in the real lab that
> puts many people down
> > though they had many workbooks to practice with
> them ?
> >
> > Thanks
> > Ananth
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