The Cisco Certification program has long been seen as the benchmark for all practical based certification exams until October 2002 when the program changed. The long renowned troubleshooting section was removed. Thankfully, troubleshooting is now a tool you should use not just for taking examinations, but for real-life situations. Learning troubleshooting skills can make you stand out as someone who can quickly and efficiently diagnose a fault and rectify it immediately.
Having attempted the CCIE lab on five different occasions and passed on three of those, troubleshooting helped me get over the line, especially in the traditional two-day lab format when I had IOS® Software and hardware faults inserted into my rack. The most agonizing hardware fault was when the proctor slightly removed the power cord and it took me 30 minutes to discover, assuming it to be a higher, more devastating fault.
A few simple techniques that I mastered in large enterprise networks allowed me to apply those skills to successfully pass three different CCIE labs, two of them in the two-day format. In the end, no examination, no matter what stream, would be a difficult exercise because troubleshooting and simply certifying the solutions become second nature. My two books, CCIE Security Exam Certification Guide (CCIE Self-Study)[1-58720-065-1] and CCNP Practical Studies: Routing [1-58720-054-6], published by Cisco Press, help you in regards to troubleshooting.
I am also currently developing a seven-day CCIE preparation course to be released worldwide in the near future. Presented here are some of the tools that I used to pass CCIE lab examinations.