Monday, October 25, 2010

CCDE Practice Exam Offering

I am breaking from my normal technology writing to unveil a new CCDE Practical practice exam opportunity.

What Is It?

This CCDE practice exam offering is intended to replicate the style and difficulty of an individual scenario presented during the CCDE Practical Exam (352-011).  Each scenario begins with a multi-page overview document, followed by up to 25 technical questions and additional documents.  The questions are in the style of actual CCDE Practical exam questions, similar to those found in the CCDE Practical Demo on Cisco Learning Network.  I am limiting this offering to a small number of candidates for this initial attempt.

What Is It Not?

This is not an actual graded exam.  It did not come from Cisco, and was not used during a real CCDE exam.  This exam was also not built using the Adobe Flash engine.  It is delivered via PDF.  The question styles and the technical difficulty of the questions closely follows the actual exam, but none of these questions will be found on an actual exam.  In other words, no NDAs were violated during the construction of these exams.

What Will You Receive?

Two days before the scheduled Webex session you will receive an email with two attachments.  The first is an overview of the CCDE Practical Exam.  It describes the exam environment, the structure of the exam and the types of questions you will receive during the exam.  You will also receive guidance on how to complete the practice exam.  For example, this exam is intended to be closed book.

The second attachment is the practice exam scenario, in PDF format.  At the current time, there are four different practice exams available, each consisting of approximately twenty questions.  Two of the exams are Enterprise-based, and two are focused on a Service Provider network.  All CCDE candidates registering for a specific practice exam session will receive the same exam.  The exam is intended to take 60 to 90 minutes to complete. 

The last item you will receive is a login id/password for the three hour exam review session.  The date and time of the session is clearly listed on the Eventbrite registration page.  Due to my schedule, I will be unable to offer multiple review sessions for the same exam.  Please be certain to clear your schedule for the duration of the review session.  If an illness or unforeseen emergency prevents an individual from attending the review session we will make an effort to schedule a second session, but I cannot guarantee my availability.  During the review session we will work our way through the exam and I will show you where to find the information to correctly answer each question.  This review session is intended to be highly interactive.  Candidate questions are encouraged and expected… I want you to challenge my answers and assumptions.

Pricing and Registration

A single practice exam is priced at $695 (US Currency).  A pair of practice exams is priced at $995.  Due to limited timing before the next CCDE Practical offering (scheduled for Friday, November 12th), I will only be able to offer two practice exams at this time.  To appeal to the widest audience, I have chosen one Enterprise exam and one Service Provider-based exam for this offering.  The Enterprise exam will be distributed to registered candidates on Tuesday, November 2nd and reviewed on Thursday, November 4th from 9am to noon (Eastern US Time Zone).  The Service Provider exam will be distributed to registered candidates on Friday, November 5th and reviewed on Tuesday, November 9th from 9am to noon (Eastern US Time Zone).

The Practice Exam Registration pages can be found at the following links:

Single Enterprise Exam

Single Service Provider Exam

Both Practice CCDE Exams

Why Am I Doing This?

The number one complaint I’ve heard about the CCDE program is the lack of practice opportunities for the practical exam.  Cisco did a great service to the candidates by publishing a sample exam on Cisco Learning Network.  Without it I would have struggled greatly with the format of the exam. But Cisco’s demo exam does not even begin to represent the amount of reading or the depth of the technical questions on the actual test.  My practice exam offering replicates the actual exam’s technical depth and ambiguity.  Those candidates who have already sat for the practical exam know what I mean by this!  :)

I have taught several week-long CCDE Practical courses for a well-known Cisco Learning Solutions Partner.  They have been very rewarding experiences for me, and based on the feedback, for the students too.  While I fully intend to continue teaching that course, I also want to offer a resource for candidates who cannot take a week-long break from their normal lives to prepare for this certification program.  If you have recently taken the full week training offering, you are already familiar with the two exams included in this specific offering.  They have been updated based on the students’ feedback and comments.

Additional Information

I am limiting these events to a small number of participants.  It isn’t clear to me how many candidates I can include in a single WebEx session while maintaining the interactive nature of the event.  I may increase the enrollment for future offerings, depending on how well this initial attempt goes.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email me at, or post a comment to this post.


Cisco Architect said...

Great work!!!

Larry H. said...

Great idea!!! I'm looking forward to attending one of these in the near future.
Larry Hadrava
CCIE #12203

Freddy Bello M said...


I'm planing to take the practical on Feb 2011, then I was thinking to take you training on CCB... Now you come with this then I get the doubt: Do I use this instead of the Instructor Lead class on feb? Thoughts?

Thanks in advanced....

Jeremy Filliben said...


That's a great question. The practice exams I am using for this offering are the same ones I use in the live class. My intention is to provide a CCDE practice opportunity to candidates who cannot commit to a full week on-site training. I would not recommend that anyone take advantage of both opportunities.

If you are able to take a full week of training, I highly recommend pursuing that option. During the live class I am able to lead discussions on topics such as Mergers & Acquisition Network Design, Network Scaling and when/where to use various MPLS technologies. We also go into adjacent topics such as IPv6 and multicast. While some these topics are covered during the practice exam review, they are only discussed in the context of the exam.

It is probably best to consider the live class as a superset of the practice exam offering.