CCIE Written Exam Information

CCIE Certification Involves Two Exams(Written and Lab)

The focus is on identifying experts capable of understanding and navigating the subtleties, intricacies and challenges of end-to-end networking. To become certified, you must pass both a written qualification exam AND the corresponding hands-on lab exam. This section provides general information on CCIE exams; detailed information on the topics covered in the exams is found in the Track Details.

Feature Image

The First Step Toward Certification

Written exams are computer-based, multiple choice exams lasting two hours and available at hundreds of authorized testing centers worldwide. You must pass the written exam before you are eligible to schedule the lab exam. The topics covered on written exams can be found on the Track Details pages, links provided on this page.

Scheduling and Payment

Payment and scheduling of written exams is arranged online through Pearson VUE primary test delivery partner. You will need to have the correct written exam number to register. You

must also use the same candidate ID number for all exams that you take, to ensure your results appear in your CCIE profile.

Cost of Written Exam

Pearson VUE, Cisco’s primary test delivery partner offers written exams for $350 USD each, and beta exams, when available at a discounted price of $50 USD. Costs may vary due to exchange rates and local taxes (VAT in Brussels and GST in Sydney).


Candidates must wait five days between written exam attempts. Once a candidate has passed the exam, he or she may not take the same exam again (for recertification purposes) for at least 180 days.


Candidates must make an initial attempt of the CCIE lab exam within 18 months of passing the CCIE written exam. Candidates who do not pass must re-attempt the lab exam within 12 months of their last attempt in order for their written exam to remain valid. If a candidate does not pass the lab exam within three years, the written exam expires and must be passed again before the candidates will be allowed to schedule the lab.

Beta Exams

Each written exam version is offered first in beta form at a discounted cost of $50 USD. Beta exams are scheduled as you would other written exams and are available at all worldwide testing locations. A passing grade on the beta qualifies a candidate to schedule the lab exam. Results, however, are typically not available until six to eight weeks after the close of the beta. A candidate may attempt the beta exam only once during the beta period.