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My Study Materials and Schedule (Retired)

I guess one of the most simple tasks to kick off your CCIE study is to know the required materials. If you do a quick Google search, you will notice how almost all CCIE’s or the candidates agree on 85%-95% of the study materials and will have a very similar reading list. I haven’t had a serious hard time searching and eventually obtaining the materials that I think would be enough (hopefully!) to pass the CCIE written exam. I can’t really guarantee the lab exam, since so many people only pass after failing multiple times. So, for now, I will not comment or speculate about the lab exam until my first attempt and then will see how good or bad I did!

Enough talking and let’s dig into the important stuff. Below are my reading list and materials:

  • Routing TCP/IP, Volume 1 & 2 By Jeff Doyle.
  • CCIE Routing and Switching Certification Guide By Wendell Odom.
  • Cisco QOS Exam Certification Guide By Wendell Odom.
  • MPLS Fundamental By Luc De Ghein.
  • Internet Routing Architectures By Sam Halabi.
  • BGP Design and Implementation By Randy Zhang.
  • My CCNP/CCDP materials.
  • INE Workbooks and Videos.
  • My home lab based on INE network topology. I’ll try to make a separate post for the lab specifics.


After checking other blogs and CCIEs’ success stories, I decided to add three more books to my list. I will buy them when needed.

  • Cisco LAN Switching Configuration Handbook By Steve McQuerry.
  • Developing IP Multicast Networks, Volume I By Beau Williamson.
  • Cisco Self-Study: Implementing Cisco IPv6 Networks (IPV6) By Regis Desmeules

As mentioned above, I’m sure you found this list very familiar. I think for the written exam, I will mainly focus on CCIE Cet guide book and will couple it with INE WB 1. I might also read specific sections/chapters from the other books where I find that the Cert Guide hasn’t provided much details.

Unfortunately, it is not as easy to find a common list when it comes to the actual schedule. In fact, it makes perfect sense that everyone should come up with their own studying schedule. CCIE candidates always ask about how many hours, per day, how many days per week they should study. Each person’s studying habit is different from everyone else. Not to mention their personal lives and circumstances come into play and can shuffle things around.

I have been thinking about my schedule for two weeks. I came up with a tentative schedule that made sense on paper. But I won’t be 100% sure of its effectiveness until I can see that it is really working. I have a full time job, Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. So taking everything into account, below is the schedule:

  • Monday (9pm-11pm) 
  • Tuesday (8:30pm-11:30pm)
  • Wednesday (9pm-11pm)
  • Thursday (8:30pm-11:30pm)
  • Friday OFF!
  • Saturday (9am-2pm then 6pm-11pm)
  • Sunday (9am-2pm then 6pm-11pm)

The schedule above will give me a total of 30 hours of studying per week. Although I am aiming at 30 hours a week, I think the actual study time will be less, not by far I hope. I will try to study during weekdays, study and lab during weekends.

Now the dates: Another tentative date is the written exam. If the schedule works as I hope, I will book Jan 25 2014 for the written exam. If I pass, I will book Aug 8 2014 for the actual lab. I guess 6 months or a slightly more should be really enough to lab every possible network scenario since the theoretical parts of the exam is verified and still fresh.

One date that is NOT tentative, which is the official beginning of my journey. I will start preparing for the written exam and according to the above schedule on July 1st 2013!


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