Best way to study for CCIE

Hi… I would like to study for CCIE R&S and I would like to know what is the best way to start (books, labs and etc)


Fulvio Ferreira

Hi Fulvio,
Studying for the CCIE, is a long road, so be prepared to dedicate a lot of time for this. Rene has an excellent YouTube video that gives the best overall strategy I have seen.

Start by studying for the Written Exam (which I passed just a week ago!). I recommend you get the Cisco blueprint for the Written, and then copy all of this text into a spreadsheet which you will use as a “progress” tracker. Personally, I created a column next to each topic and gave myself a ranking for the topic in question–1-5. 1 = “I have never heard of this before” through to 5 = “I am an expert. I understand the topic, can configure and troubleshoot the technology”

Next, you might consider the products offered by Internetwork Expert ( I have a 2-year “All Access Pass” subscription. If you think this is too expensive, you might think about purchasing their “CCIE Advanced Technology” course. It is over 100 hours of video instruction.

I recommend you get a copy of the Anki Flash Card program (its free). As you are studying and you are taking notes, create flash cards as you go along. With Anki, it is very intelligent about asking you flash cards and repeating ones that you missed.

Lastly, here is a list of resources you might want to check out (this was some of my reading list):

Official Cisco:

Roger Perkins:

Flash cards:

Cisco LAN switching


CCIE Practical Studies V 1 and 2 (Solie)

CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 Official Cert Guide Library, 5th Edition
By Narbik Kocharians, Peter Paluch, Terry Vinson
Published Dec 10, 2014 by Cisco Press

Cisco CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 Configuration and Troubleshooting Practice Labs Bundle
By Martin Duggan
Published May 23, 2014 by Cisco Press

CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 Exam Roundup LiveLessons–Networking Talks
By Scott Morris
Published Jul 22, 2014 by Pearson IT Certification

Routing TCP/IP, Volume 1, 2nd Edition
By Jeff Doyle, Jennifer Carroll
Published Oct 19, 2005 by Cisco Press

Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (TSHOOT) Foundation Learning Guide: (CCNP TSHOOT 300-135)
By Amir Ranjbar
Published Dec 31, 2014

Routing and Switching Essentials Companion Guide
By Cisco Networking Academy
Published Feb 18, 2014

MPLS and VPN Architectures (Paperback)
By Ivan Pepelnjak, Jim Guichard
Published Mar 9, 2012

IPv6 for Enterprise Networks (Networking Technology)
by Shannon McFarland, Muninder Sambi, Nikhil Sharma
Network Warrior
by Gary A. Donahue
Published Jun 2, 2011

All-in-One CCIE V5 Written Exam Guide
by Paul Adam
Published Jul 12, 2014

Other resources:

Never used but looks like it could be good:
Techwise TV from Cisco:

Kindle Recommendations:

Study Topics

Articles By Topic

Important Books
Routing TCP/IP (Doyle) Volume 1
Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches, and Internetworking Protocols (2nd Edition) Perlman, Radia
OSPF: Anatomy of an Internet Routing Protocol - Moy
BGP: Iljitsch Van Beijnum
QOS: Cisco QOS Exam Certification Guide (IP Telephony Self-Study) (2nd Edition) Odom, Cavenaugh
OSPF and ISIS Jeff Doyle
Developing IP Multicast Networks Beau Williamson
MPLS For Cisco Networks: Fordham
VPNs and NAT for Cisco Networks: Fordham
CCIE Lab Success (non-technical)
Routing TCP/IP Volume II - Doyle


Thanks for your help… I will start to study soon as possible

Thanks again

Fulvio Ferreira

Hey Andrew, thanks for this post and congrats on the (wr). I’m going to take the CCIE (wr) soon and the 2 volumes from Cisco Press are hit or miss by topics (ie) techs. Some are excellently explained others are not. I’m sure you ran into the same issues by seeing this post, an on the MSTP lesson you gave the INE blog post from Petr Lapukhov that was excellent.

Rene its good at explaining things (hence why we are here) but I am one of those that likes to go really deep into the techs and require more. Do you have more articles, white paper, blogs post, etc. For the other topics of the CCIE. I think Petr it’s a great teacher and got all his blogs post from INE. I really like the EIGRP, OSPF, BGP, QOS sections here from Rene (and you soon I assume) they are great, but anything you have to reinforce, maybe go deeper and hopefully free :slight_smile: (there’s only room for 1 monthly subscription) unless is a book but I’m good at researching those.

I can give you a series of links I used for last minute research for the Written exam. I haven’t really organized what’s below by topic, but this should keep you busy for a while.


3rd Party Next Hop


BGP Cost Community

Multilink PPP


Spanning Tree MST

Constrained RT


Performance Routing


Unified MPLS


MAC Auth Bypass


IKE Main and Aggressive Modes

OSPF Forwarding Address

IPv6 Tunnels




Spanning-Tree Causes of Errors

RA Guard

ISATAP Tunnels




OSPFv3 (Instances)

6PE vs 6VPE




BGP Route Aggregation









Voice VLAN

Easy VPN



1 Like

Thanks this is exactly what I was asking. I will dive in and pick what works for me.


I have been reading through your Web pages, but confused which flow to follow to learn CCIE, as you have written two flows for it.
CCIE Written

Why two flow?
Please help to clear.

Hello Ankit

The CCIE exam comes in two parts: The written exam and the practical exam. The written exam is similar to the way in which CCNA and CCNP exams are done, with multiple choice and various other types of questions. The practical exam is one where you are put in a lab and asked to deploy a particular network implementation with equipment that you are provided with.

Rene has separated these streams into two sections. The CCIE R&S Written section focuses more on what is required for the written exam while the CCIE R&S focuses more on what is required for the lab.

You can find out more about these two parts of the certification process here:

I hope this has been helpful!