Last week I took and passed the CCIE Routing and Switching Written exam (350-001). The first and foremost reason for taking this exam was to re-certify my current CCIE Security certification. Cisco requires any CCIE level written exam to be passed every two years in order to maintain an active CCIE Status. I also took it with the consideration that I might eventually want to attempt the Routing and Switching Lab.
I found this exam challenging and tricky, but overall it was a fair and passable exam. I felt like my exam was heavily focused on STP. I’ve heard others feel like their exam was focused on QoS, MPLS, or Multicast. I won’t get into the specifics of my exam in order to maintain the exam’s integrity and avoid violating the NDA. I will say I found the exam blueprint to be an accurate summary of the actual exam contents. This exam can be found at the following url:
I wanted to give a summary of the resources that I found useful in preparing for this exam. First and foremost, I read the official study guide by Wendell Odom, Rus Healy, and Denise Donohue.
In addition to this book, I spent a considerable amount of time labbing. Topics that I felt weak on included MPLS, Multicast and BGP. Fortunately, these are great topics to lab in GNS3. In addition to the book mentioned above, I found the following video resources very valuable.
Also check out this fantastic article by Marko Milivojevic over at IPExpert. I labbed his scenario up and found it helpful for understanding many of the L3VPN topics.
Multicast — 6 Part Series (Anthony Sequeira)
In order to review my knowledge on IPv6, I reviewed the companion CD that is provided with the official CCNP ROUTE course. I realize that not everyone has access to this, but if you took the ROUTE class it is worth reviewing. It has some very good content on IPv6. As I went through the tunnel and NAT-PT section, I labbed each technology in GNS3.
The final resource I took advantage of was the Boson Practice Exam for 350-001. While some people frown on practice exams, this particular exam has very clear and concise explanations. The difficulty level and the types of questions are similar to what was on the actual exam.
One other tip I’d mention is to read every question very carefully. As I mentioned, this exam is challenging and tricky. Read each question until you either find some underhanded twist or you are absolutely sure of the answer. I had plenty of time to complete the exam so I would encourage test takers to use the time they need. If you have other resources, comment them below.