My Lab Exam Strategy

Now that I have a date looming in the not-so-distant future, it’s time to get serious about a strategy for preparing.

Study Materials

My plan is to use a mix of study materials from different vendors.  I was (extremely) fortunate to win one of IPexpert’s End-to-End training packages at Cisco Networkers this year, which provides an electronic copy of all their self-study materials, along with a two-week instructor-led boot camp.

In addition, I was able to purchase the InternetworkExpert self-study package with their workbooks and classes-on-demand (thanks to their 4-month payment plan).  I’ve already been making use of both the IE and IPexpert technology lectures (both audio and video) in my CCIE Written preparation, and will continue to do so for the lab prep.

Finally, I purchased a copy of Narbik’s Advanced Technology workbook, based on many, many recommendations.  This has not yet arrived.

Strategy, Part One

For the first phase of my preparation, my plan is to break things down by major technology section (switching, RIP, BGP, QoS, etc.) and do a deep-dive on each one.  The basic strategy will be:

In addition, I’ll be using the IE and IPexpert audio content on my iPhone whenever I’m out and about to fill in gaps, as well as downloading and reading the various PDF’s from CCO.

Strategy, Part Two

Once I’ve worked through each of the individual technologies, my plan is to use a combination of the IPExpert workbook two multi-technology labs along with some of the easier IE workbook two labs (difficulty 6-7) to start getting a feel for more involved lab scenarios.  That will build up to full practice labs using the IPexpert workbook three labs, the higher-difficulty IE labs, and finally both the IE Mock Labs and the 5-day IPexpert mock lab workshop.

…and somewhere in there, I’ll sleep. :-)