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Friday, October 14, 2011

CCIE #30914 - Do Not Fear The Reread

Please note that I have moved this blog and you will be redirected to the new page @

(Update: also see the post following this one)

After my second attempt I went into a post-exam depression. I just couldn't for the life of me understand what went wrong. I went through everything in my head and apart from that one question that I probably failed but COULD have gotten correct I couldn't see what went wrong.

I started to consider a reread. I was a bit scared considering the very low chance of actually getting the results changed. I googled after the experience of others and yes, I did find a few who actually passed. I also found a lot of posts that claims that 0.3% of all rereads ends with a changed grade. I couldn't make up my mind.

I went back to analyzing what I might have done wrong. That was when it hit me. During one of the bootcamps one of the other students lost something like 40 points without understanding why. After some digging and troubleshooting the instructor figured that maybe it was because the student had forgotten to disable debug. They reloaded the configs, made sure debug was disabled and then regraded and WHOOP, there were the points! I searched my memory and there it was. I had forgotten to disable debug on at least 2-3 devices who were involved in two different tickets. Could those be the two tickets I missed? Could it be that debug output messed with the automatic grading scripts? If that broke the training lab in one of the Cisco 360 bootcamps, perhaps the same could happen in the lab itself?

But still the horrible stats held me back. 0.3%! But then, on the 10th day after my second attempt I thought to myself, "to hell with it, it's only 300 dollars and I've (read: work) spent a LOT more than that. I'll give it a try". I applied for a re-read on September 29th.

Since then I've been logging into the portal and checked at least 5 times every day. Nothing happened until 2 days ago. 2 days ago the "FAIL" mark and the score report link disappeared. They weren't replaced by anything, just blank fields. I started to freak out and tried to find something online that could tell me what that might mean. The only thing I found was a forum thread where someone had seen the exact same thing. After a while he had gotten his exam changed to a PASS. Someone else posted in that same thread and said that he hadn't seen anything like that but he also said that he didn't get his score changed.

So now I'm starting to feel really hopeful (ask my nerdy-cisco-coworkers ;) ). I only found one single site that described the exact same thing but it sure was enough to get me going. I was hoping that the site would be updated the next day but NOTHING happened! So now the "fear" creeps back in. I'm beginning to think that it doesn't mean anything. It will end with a confirmation of the fail. It's been a month (kinda) since the attempt and I haven't studied anything. I'm preparing for the inevitable decision: I'm giving up. I can't do it again. At least not now. Maybe if I wait six months...

But then I wake up today to find this in my inbox:

Dear Magnus Pahlsson ,

Regarding the re-read request of your CCIE Lab exam was taken  September 19 2011

We are glad to inform you that your re-read request has been completed and uploaded to your CCIE CCO Account. 

The CCIE lab exam re-read result status has been changed from FAIL TO PASS. We are processing your re-read exam fee waiver. 




CCIE Program
They don't say anything about my new result. I haven't even gotten a new percentage so I don't know how much the manual grading changed my score. But to be honest I don't care.

I'm a single parent with 2 kids. I work full time. I've been studying nights. I've had pretty close to no social life for the last two years.

Today I am CCIE #30914 and damn, it feels good.


  1. I am going to study for my CCIE..Your whole blog & comments were very informative. Last 3 lines encouraged me to boost up my studies to become CCIE.

  2. What's story!! Congratulation!!

  3. Congratulations, all that hard work has paid off! You deserve it!

  4. Wow--- Life changing email :)

  5. Congratulations. Woo. I took the RS lab few days ago and got the 0% score in IP multicast & Optimize the Network. Actually I ensure I can got the full mark in Optimize the Network part and few mark in IP multicast.
    I don't know how to calculate the score. Does it sum up all percentage? if over 80%, passed. if below 80% fail?
    Also I would like to apply the Reread action

  6. Yeah you need 80% on configuration to pass. If you were close enough you will se a "Apply for reread" in your score report. Good luck!

  7. Yes. I got the 78% that total percent in the lab section and now requesting a reread.
    Did you pay the reread cost?

  8. But I don't have the "Apply for reread" Link in the score report. The total of the section is 78%. So should I still apply a reread

  9. Hello, any comments?

  10. If you don't have a Apply for reread link you are not able to request one. What was your TS-score?

  11. Congrats! What a lesson to be learned for all of us.
    Thx for sharing - DAC

  12. TS passed. now waiting the reread result

  13. I just took my R&S lab last Friday. I passed configuration and recieved a 45% on TS. I verified 9 out of 10 tickets succesfully based on their criteria. The reread option is not available for me due to the 45% grade. I am working with Cisco to try to get the reread link. Wish me luck!

  14. To Anonymous on December 16, 2011

    Oh my case is EXACTLY same as yours! I passed the config part and got only 45% in troubleshooting. Like yours I got 9 tickets working. Can you let me know if Cisco let you to reread?

  15. Would be interesting to know if you got the reread even if you didn't have the link.