How Long Does it Take to Get a CCIE Certification?

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If you do some digging online, you’ll learn that most people who have started their journey to obtain a CCIE certificate discovered that it’s a process that is time-consuming, daunting, and in most situations quite stressful. And, if you’re thinking about obtaining this expert-level certificate, you should know that there are a lot of things that you’ll have to learn in order to pass the exam.

Since there are various things that you’ll have to learn, you should know that it’ll take you a long term to prepare for the exam, especially since you’ll have to break bigger projects into smaller ones, you must clearly define all of your goals and track the progress you made, and you should also establish different schedules that’ll help you with the entire learning process.

Simply said, it could take you six to eighteen months to prepare yourself for the CCIE exam, but, since each of us is completely different, you might need more or less time. In order for you to understand how long you might need to prepare for, the article below is going to feature the phases you’ll need to go through, as well as what you’ll have to do to get prepared. So, let’s take a look:

There Are Six Phases That You Must Go Through

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Before we explain what you’ll have to do, it’s important for you to learn more about the six phrases you’ll have to go through, all of which can help you set your goals and create schedules of the things you’ll have to achieve during a particular period. The phrases that you’ll need to go through include:

  • Phase 01 – the very first phase is to determine which things you’ll be required to learn, and during this step, you must ensure that you consider all of the options available to you. The time it might take you to complete the exam is from six to eighteen months, but as mentioned, everyone is different, meaning that you might need more or less preparation.
  • Phase 02 – this stage is all about making a commitment. What does this mean you should do? Well, it’ll take you a long period to get ready for the exam, hence, you must think about whether or not you’re serious about obtaining this certificate. After all, you don’t want to spend months learning something just to give up in the end.
  • Phase 03 – during this step, you’ll have to gather as much information you can in order to prepare for, take, and then pass the exam. There are various resources such as CCIE Data Center Lab at Spoto, which means that you can such resources for helping yourself through the process.
  • Phase 04 – this is, perhaps, the stage that’ll take you the longest to go through. You’ll have to prepare for the examination during this stage and you must also keep in mind that it’ll take you from nine to fifteen months to do so, hence, planning your course properly is extremely important.
  • Phase 05 – this is the step that’ll require you to actually take the exam. Now, keep in mind, it’ll probably take you a month to schedule the examination or it might be scheduled in a month, hence, ensure that you book it as soon as you can, and while you’re waiting, keep working on the topics that are difficult for you.
  • Phase 06 – phase six is actually the last stage, however, you should know that it’s for individuals that don’t pass the examination during their first attempt. Hence, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, you’ll need to repeat these same steps in order to prepare yourself properly and get the certificate.

Are There Some Things That Could Help?

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Before we conclude this article, there are a few things that are worth mentioning, all of which will assist you with decreasing the time you’ll need for preparing yourself. After all, in order for you to pass the CCIE examination, you must ensure that you do the following list of things:

  1. Organize Your Schedules Carefully – the first thing that you must do is to plan your time properly. By doing so, you’ll be able to know how long you have for preparing for the test. For instance, if you have five topics to cover, you should divide them into five blocks and then slowly master one topic after another.
  2. Start With The Basics – besides organizing your time properly, you must also start with the basics. After all, if you don’t learn the basics first, you might get completely confused when learning more complex topics, hence, don’t neglect the basics. Besides this, you must learn the basics of the examination as well.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice – the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’ and in the case of passing a CCIE exam, this is completely true. So, you should practice as much as you possibly can. If you want, you can try GNS3 which imitates most Cisco devices, meaning that you’ll get full access.
  4. Go to The Lab Frequently – if there is one thing that you must take away from this article, it’s the fact that you need to spend a lot of time in the lab. In fact, you’ll definitely want to spend four to five hours there every day. All of this means that you should go and practice in the lab.
  5. Learn From Different Books – the complexity of this exam means that you cannot learn from one book. Instead, you should learn from as many resources as you can find, especially since this will allow you to completely understand the topics better. You should also follow different blogs about these certifications mostly because you’ll stay updated on the latest news and changes.


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In order for anyone to pass the CCIE examination, you’ll need to spend a lot of time preparing yourself properly. And, if you choose to follow some or all the tips we mentioned in the article above, you’ll be able to make the entire preparation process easier, less time-consuming, and more importantly, less stressful.

Hence, now that you’ve learned what you’ll have to do, you might not want to lose any more of your time. Instead, you should return to the beginning of this article, and start with the first thing we mentioned – which is determining what are all of the topics and things you’ll have to learn.