I bummed around for 1.5 week after the first failure. I was upset but not suicidal (those who have ever attempted CCIE knows what I mean). I finally pulled myself together and booked a new seat September 19th. That was the first possible date considering the 30 day waiting time. I felt that since I was so close it would be stupid to wait too long. So back to brussels I go.
The first time I was rather stressed in the beginning. Without going into too much detail due to NDA; let's just say that the first question I was working on on my first attempt was something that I can normally do in my sleep. But this time it took 15 minutes to fix it. I have no way to explain it other than I was stressed. As I said in the previous post I broke requirements on two different questions. I blame this on stress as well. But the good thing about the attempt #1 was that I knew where I failed and I knew what I had to work on. But hey, that was actually the entire point of the first attempt. See my previous post about not pushing the date forward.
So there I am. Second attempt. I'm very familiar with everything and I can sense that I'm a lot more focused this time. Since I know that I broke requirements the first time I was VERY careful not to do it again. I made sure to read the questions at least 2 times before typing in a single character (yes, two times before starting each individual ticket). Once again I finish the lab knowing that I probably missed one question but this time I'm 100% certain that I got the other 9 correct.
I felt extremely confident moving on to the configuration part. Again, due to NDA I can't give any details. Let's just say that I with very good reason felt very confident as soon as I started the lab and saw the topology and questions. I finished in 4 hours and spent an hour verifying. I left an hour early. I felt so good. I was very certain that I'd pass.
So waiting begins again. This time I knew that it would probably take a while so I wasn't freaking out when I still hadn't gotten the mail by the time I woke up the next day. At 8:45 (or so) I got the notification. I logged on and see that ugly word.. FAIL. Really, must they type it in upper case? Isn't it bad enough as it is? Must they throw it in our faces like that? I have never been so close to actually throwing my computer against the wall. The first time I was disappointed but not surprised but this time I just couldn't understand what went wrong.