Ok, I’ve made the decision to reach for a CCIE Wireless badge. It’s a daunting task that feels like a Lord of the Rings quest but I’m going to take it in small bite size steps and focus on the first goal, the written exam.
The initial and most important step of any venture is the plan, in this case, for the CCIE Wireless Written Exam.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
So what is my study plan, well the first thing I did was to write down the topics which Cisco cover within the CCIE Wireless Written Exam. I’ve noted the high-level topics below but you can obtain more details about these on the Cisco CCIE Wireless Exam Topics page located here: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-11620 (Note, this site requires a Cisco CCO).
The topics are:
- Plan and Design 802.11 Wireless Technologies
- Configure and Troubleshoot L2/L3 Network Infrastructure to Support WLANs
- Configure and Troubleshoot Infrastructure Application Services
- Configure and Troubleshoot an Autonomous Deployment Model
- Configure and Troubleshoot a Unified Deployment Model
- Configure and Troubleshoot WCS
- Configure and Troubleshoot WLAN Services
From the Cisco website, you’ll see that each of these topics have a weighting, I’ve taken this weighting and worked out how much time I require to cover each topic three times. I’ve also made sure there is a little room for a review and a test at the end of each cycle. Based on all of this info, I’ve set a date to sit the CCIE Wireless Written Exam in mid-January 2015.
In addition to the topics that I will cover, I’ve also included the number of hours I plan to study per a day. My thoughts are, 3 hours per a day during the working week and 8 hours per a day at the weekend should be sufficient. My study schedule will hopefully guarantee that I can stay focused on the goal and not spend too much time on individual topics. Of course, as I get through the topics, I may find I am weaker in certain areas and I will adjust my schedule to reflect this. Below is a snippet of what my schedule looks like, I just hope I can stick too it!
I’ve created a study schedule and set an exam date and now I need study material. There aren’t many books covering the Cisco Wireless Certifications but the quick reference books which I’ve used for my studies to date are fantastic. These include:
- CCNA Wireless (640-722 IUWNE) Quick Reference – by Jerome Henry
- CCNP-Wireless (642-732 CUWSS) Quick Reference – by Jerome Henry
- CCNP-Wireless (642-737 IAUWS) Quick Reference – by Jerome Henry
- CCNP-Wireless (642-747 IUWMS) Quick Reference – by Jerome Henry
- CCNP-Wireless (642-742 IUWVN) Quick Reference – by Jerome Henry
- CCIE-Wireless Exam (350-050) Quick Reference – by Roger Nobel, Federico Ziliotto, Federico Lovison, Fabian Riesen, Erik Vangrunderbeek
I’ve already passed my CCNP Wireless but I want to spend plenty of time ensuring I understand the theoretical concepts inside out before I move to studying for the CCIE Wireless Lab. However, I couldn’t help but do a little research as to how I would tackle the lab. After researching the cost involved in setting up my own lab, I decided that when I was ready, I would purchase virtual rack time. I could only find two companies that offer wireless racks, IPexpert and Fast Lane. After reading up on each, I was especially interested in the study content that IPexpert offered and I paid for an IPeverything subscription. This gave me access to all of their CCIE written and lab material including vLectures, videos, eBooks and a CCIE written test quizzes, I also get a discount in purchasing time on their racks. Another great source of information for my CCIE Wireless journey and I can’t recommend it enough.
My experience in sitting past Cisco exams has highlighted the need for excellent time management so I will be going through the example questions on IPexpert to hone-in my testing skills. I also setup this blog to use as a reference for my thoughts and observations during my studies.
That’s it, that’s my CCIE Wireless Written Study Plan. I’ve the topics to cover, the exam date, my study schedule, the books and the training source required to reach the first goal.
I just realised I forgot to mention some other points which have really helped me in the past. Join the Cisco Wireless Study Group and don’t be afraid to ask questions as you’ll probably find that other candidates are having the same issues. If you run a quick search on Google, you’ll spot a few really useful blogs, written by people who have passed their CCIE Wireless exams. These can be a treasure trove of information with useful tips and experiences. Finally, figure out a study method that suits you. Some people prefer to read, others prefer to write notes or to listen to lectures, etc. I prefer a bit of everything as I find it’s the best way to retain the knowledge.