The upcoming Version 4.0 of Cisco CCIE® Routing and Switching certification will test hands-on troubleshooting, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and VPN networking
To reflect the growth of the network as a service platform, Cisco is revising the certification requirements for CCIE Routing & Switching (CCIE R&S)–the expert level certification for network engineers. The new requirements were developed with assistance from Cisco enterprise customers and reflect the expectations of employers across industries.
The competencies required for CCIE R&S v4.0 certification were released on May 5, 2009, and are available on the Cisco Learning Network under the CCIE R&S v4.0 Written Exam topics and CCIE R&S v4.0 Lab Exam topics. Exams based on the new requirements are scheduled for release on October 18, 2009, and will immediately replace the currently available v3.0 exams. Candidates who plan to take their exams on October 18, 2009, or later should prepare using the new v4.0 exam topics.
Both the written and lab exams will be refreshed with new questions and will cover MPLS and VPN networking. The written exam will add scenario-based questions to the multiple choice questions, and the lab will now require hands-on troubleshooting of preconfigured networks, in addition to configuration. Exam duration and pricing will remain the same, with the two-hour written exam at USD$350 and the eight-hour lab at USD$1400.
A beta version of the new CCIE R&S v4.0 written exam (351-001) will be available to all customers in the July–August 2009 timeframe at a discounted price of USD$50. An announcement will be made when scheduling begins.
Cisco 360 Learning Program Updates Available
Cisco 360 Learning Program components aligned to the new CCIE R&S certification standards will be available on May 11, 2009. All current students will have access to the new materials throughout their subscription period. New materials include additional lessons on MPLS and troubleshooting, enhanced coverage of these topics in the instructor-led workshops, an updated Practice Lab Workbook for self-paced practice, and new Performance Assessments that gauge skill level and offer mentoring feedback.
CCIE Assessor, the first CCIE R&S practice lab, will be retired on June 5, 2009, and will be replaced by the 10 eight-hour assessment labs available through the Cisco 360 Learning Program. Find out more
Frequently Asked Questions
1 – Q: What exactly is being changed on the CCIE R&S written exam?
A: The CCIE R&S v4.0 written exam will be refreshed with new questions to reflect the current job role expectations of employers. Scenario-based questions will be added to the multiple choice questions. New topics include the skills associated with planning and evaluating network changes, implementing MPLS, Layer 3 VPN, IPv6, EIGRP and multicast; and configuring performance-based routing. More information is available on the CCIE Written Exam Overview page.
2 – Q: What exactly is being changed on the CCIE R&S lab exam?
A: The CCIE R&S v4.0 lab exam will be refreshed with new questions to reflect the current job role expectations of employers. The equipment in the testing lab will be updated with Cisco 1800 and 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers running Cisco IOS® Software Version 12.4(T) and Cisco Catalyst® 3560 Series Switches running Cisco IOS Version 12.2 Advanced IP Services. The biggest change will be the testing of hands-on troubleshooting for the first two hours of the eight-hour exam. Candidates will be presented with a series of trouble tickets for preconfigured networks, and they will need to diagnose and resolve the network fault or faults—a realistic and challenging job task. Candidates who finish the troubleshooting section early can move on to the configuration section, but they will not be allowed to go back to the troubleshooting section, since their equipment will need to be reinitialized for the configuration portion of the exam.
To make time for new material, CCIE R&S v4.0 exams will put less emphasis on equipment operation and concepts generally understood at the professional level. These skills are still assumed, but will not be the sole objective of CCIE test questions. Go to the Lab Exam Study/Learn section for more information.
3 – Q: Now that the CCIE R&S v4.0 has been announced, can I still take the CCIE R&S v3.0 exam? How long will it be valid?
A: The CCIE R&S v3.0 written exam will be available through October 17, 2009, at all Pearson VUE testing centers. Passing the v3.0 written exam qualifies a candidate to take any available version of the CCIE R&S lab exam. As with all CCIE written exams, a passing score on v3.0 written exam will remain valid for three years, as long as the candidate attempts the lab exam once within the first 18 months. If the lab is not attempted, the written exam becomes invalid and the candidate will have to retest using whatever written exam is available at that time.
4 – Q: If I take the CCIE R&S written beta test in July or August 2009, will I still be able to schedule the CCIE R&S v3.0 lab exam?
A: Scores on CCIE written beta tests are not available until 4 to 6 weeks after the close of the beta period. At this time, there is no guarantee the CCIE R&S v3.0 lab exam will still be available when a beta test candidate receives his or her score. Beta testers should plan on taking the CCIE R&S v4.0 lab test to achieve certification.
5 – Q: If I don’t pass the CCIE R&S v4.0 written beta exam, can I take it again in five days?
A: No, a candidate can only take a CCIE written beta test once during the beta testing period.
6 – Q: Will there be any changes to the recently-added Core Knowledge portion of the exam, the part with the short-answer questions?
A: The questions in the Core Knowledge section of the lab exam may cover any area on the CCIE R&S v4.0 Lab Exam topics.
7 – Q: What can a candidate expect in the troubleshooting portion of the lab exam?
A: Troubleshooting is allotted two of the eight hours required for the CCIE lab exam. Candidates will be presented with a series of trouble tickets for preconfigured networks and will need to diagnose and resolve the fault or faults. As with previous CCIE labs, the network will need to be up and running for the candidate to receive credit. Candidates who finish the troubleshooting section early can move on to the configuration section, but they will not be allowed to go back to the troubleshooting section.
8 – Q: Does a candidate have to pass both the troubleshooting and configuration sections in order to pass the entire CCIE R&S v4.0 lab exam and earn a CCIE?
A: Candidates will receive a single pass/fail grade on the entire exam, including both configuration and troubleshooting. Failing score reports will give an indication of where the candidate scored lower, to help the candidate prepare for another attempt.
9 – Q: Will the CCIE R&S mobile lab exam also be updated?
A: Yes, CCIE R&S mobile labs use the same lab version as Cisco office locations, and they will switch to the v4.0 lab exam on October 18, 2009 as well.
10 – Q: Which exam will be used for recertification?
A: As of October 18, 2009, CCIEs who take the CCIE R&S written exam for recertification will be given the v4.0 exam and should prepare using the exam topics found on the Cisco Learning Network.
11 – Q: Are the previous Cisco 360 components applicable to the CCIE R&S v4.0 exams? Should candidates studying for CCIE R&S v4.0 exams wait for the new Cisco 360 materials to begin work?
A: The learning components available at first launch of Cisco 360 are still relevant to candidates studying for the CCIE R&S v4.0 certification exams. No Cisco 360 Learning Program components are being retired. There is no need for candidates to wait for revised Cisco 360 material to begin their study and practice. The subscription model ensures that Cisco 360 customers can take advantage of all new content as it is released and do not need to wait.