CCDE Practical Exam: Coming All PCCs this Winter
If becoming a Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) has been somewhere on your bucket list for a while, you’ll have less excuses to keep postponing it next year. Cisco has recently announced that CCDE practical exam would soon be available at all PCC (Pearson Professional Centers) worldwide starting 20 February 2014. So, chances are that you will no longer have to travel too far to take up this exam challenge – a huge time and money saver!
Cisco strives to improve the flexibility of your CCDE exam experience by, firstly, increasing the number of exam locations from 8 to 275 (and counting). Secondly, when choosing your location, you will be able to register up to one day before the test date. Yet, Cisco encourages candidates to register at least 45 days in advance to ensure the exam site you need will be open for the required nine hours to administer the CCDE practical exam.
CCDE Practical Exam Topics:
1.0 Analyze Design Requirements – 36%
1.1 Analyze business requirements, conflicts, and constraints
1.2 Analyze technical requirements, conflicts, and constraints
1.3 Analyze physical requirements
1.4 Analyze existing network
2.0 Develop Network Designs – 39%
2.1 Identify the technology to resolve a specific design problem
2.2 Analyze the effect on the existing network and services
2.3 Incorporate best practices within the network design
2.4 Incorporate business requirements within the network design
3.0 Implement Network Design – 13%
3.1 Analyze implementation options
3.2 Design an implementation plan
4.0 Validate and Optimize Network Design – 12%
4.1 Analyze design choices based on specifications
4.2 Validate design
4.3 Optimize design
The Cisco CCDE Practical Exam lasts 8 hours. This is a scenario based design exam that aims to assess the candidate’s ability to analyze design requirements, develop network designs, justify design decisions, and validate and optimize a network design that is based on best practices. You will be expected to demonstrate your ability to apply your specific body of knowledge into current business problems of technical network design. The exam, however, does not test for any product-specific knowledge including version of code, implementation and operations specific concepts (assuming you know this already if you’ve made it that far up the Cisco certification ladder).
The exam consists of four sections, and each section contains 25 to 35 queries focused on a different scenario. The total time allotted for the exam can be up to nine hours when the lunch break is included. Candidates can take a lunch break after they have completed section 2 of the exam. Do note that if you return early from lunch, this will not increase the second four-hour block. If you return late, however, your second block will be shorter by the time you’ve been late for. So just don’t be late.
Remember that you won’t be able to go back to a previous query if you have already moved to the next one. Scenario documentation is presented at the beginning of each section. Additional scenario documentation will appear throughout each section – you’ll be getting notifications every time a new document is available for your reference.
You’ll be able to access your results in about 48 hours after completion of the exam by logging in to the Cisco Career Certification Tracing Stem. Don’t be worried, however, if you do not see your results in 2 days as they may take up to 10 business days to appear. Results are Pass/Fail and failing score reports indicate major topic areas where additional study and preparation may be useful. Cisco no longer mails hard copy score reports.
So, as Cisco brings the CCDE practical exam closer to you, it can become just another motivation to boost your career in network design.
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