A blog with tips, tricks and tutorials to help you prepare your CCIE Wireless lab exam.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Written questions for the CCIE Wireless lab

"Effective January 4, 2010, the CCIE. Service Provider, Storage, and Wireless
Lab Exams will add a new type of question format in a section called Core
Knowledge. In this new section, candidates will be asked a series of four
open-ended questions which require a short written response be entered into
the computer--typically several words. The questions will be randomly drawn
from a pool of questions on topics eligible for testing. Candidates can
review the topics by visiting the CCIE track information on Cisco.com or
Cisco Learning Network. No new topics are being added as a result of this
change. Candidates will have up to 30 minutes to complete the Core Knowledge
section and may not return to it once they have moved on. A passing score on
the Core Knowledge section is required to achieve certification. Core
Knowledge questions were implemented on Routing and Switching labs in
February 2009, Security labs in June 2009, and Voice labs in July 2009, and
allow Cisco to maintain strong exam security and ensure only qualified
candidates are awarded CCIE certification. Candidates with exam dates
January 4, 2010 or later should expect to see the new question format on
their lab exam."

The aim of these 4 questions is to ensure that when you take the lab, you really know your stuff (Wireless in this case of course), and did more than just learn by heart series of click to answer a specific configuration question... so you will be asked 4 questions about wireless, and will need to answer in the form a a short paragraph or a few words, showing that you know what this is about. Of course, NDA prevents from giving real questions (and I have NO information anyway about these questions, that are kept very secretly as you can guess), but they could be questions like "In Wireless > 802.11a >RRM >DCA page, what does the "Avoid Foreign AP Interference" feature achieve?"... You are given a box where you can type your answer freely. It can be something as short and simple as "detect neighbor APs and try to avoid their channels when changing our APs channels", to something a lot longer and detailed, it is up to you. You just need to show the proctor that you know what this is about and give a simple (but still clear and precise) explanation, you do not need to write a 50 page white paper on the feature.
You have 30 minutes to answer all 4 questions, which is more than enough. You NEED to have most of them right to pass. Basically, you can have one wrong. More than one wrong, and you fail on your lab, even if your lab config is perfect...


  1. OEQs are nothing new to us R&S guys. You are correct in that you need 3 of 4 correct to pass the lab. The OEQ section is worth 21 points, and like other sections, it's all or nothing. You miss 2 OEQs, you lose 21 points and the best you could then possibly do on your lab is a 79. Hope this clears things up for those that aren't familiar with it yet.

    Also, I wanted to mention another thing. The shorter you can make your answer, while still showing that you know what you're talking about, the better. Don't include extra information that could actually be misunderstood and graded as being incorrect.

    The OEQs sound scary, and there are certainly some horror stories out there, but honestly if you can't answer these OEQs, you have no business having your digits.

  2. Thanks Chris for the additional info!
    Fully agree! They will not ask beginners question like "hey, what is wireless anyway?", but these questions are nothing you should be afraid of. They just want to verify that you didn't learn a bootcamp book by heart without even knowing what an AP is... so know your stuff, be clear and concise (thanks for that too Chris), and you should be good...

  3. I think its great, a FREE 21 points. if you know your stuff, should be no problem. only need 59 from the actual lab. How's that for putting a good spin on things

  4. it's not 21 points, only 4 points.

  5. You are right Anonymous, we have to be precise:
    - there are 4 questions
    - The total points for these four questions is 21 (learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-6083.pdf)
    - Still, you need to have at least 3 right to be eligible for a PASS.

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