IT Certification and Career Paths

Certification Exam Policies

Post Exam Policies

Exam Policy Requirements

Age Requirements and Policies Concerning Minors  |  Candidate Identification and Authentication  |  Candidate Rights and Responsibilities  |  Confidentiality and Agreements  |  Embargoed Country Policy  |  Privacy


Age Requirements and Policies Concerning Minors

In compliance with the Cisco Privacy Policy, age requirements for Cisco certification are as follows:

  • Underage Minors are children under 13 who may not test or receive certification even with parental consent
  • Minors are individuals between 13-17 years of age who may test and receive certification with parental consent on all exams excluding CCIE written and CCIE labs. For any person participating in a location that requires by law a lower minimum age for entry into such programs, then the minimum age limit for that person will be the stated minimum required age
  • Individuals 18 years or older are eligible for certification without any age-related restriction

For more information, please refer to the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement.


Minors

During the registration process, Minors must agree to their Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement. At that time, online consent forms may be downloaded for signature and submission by the Minor's parent or legal guardian. Minor's certifications and fulfillment packages may only be processed after Cisco receives signed Minor's consent forms.

Candidate Identification and Authentication

The test center admission process requires the capture of a digital photo and digital signature from each candidate in addition to two types of personal identification. Both types of identification must have the candidate's signature and one must be a government-issued photo identification.

Candidate Rights and Responsibilities

A guide for candidates of all Cisco certification written and lab exams, Certification Candidates Rights and Responsibilities, provides information, tips, and links to many resources to manage and protect your certification status with Cisco before, during and after the testing experience. The document provides an easy way to access key certification program requirement information across a variety of resources on Cisco.com, the Cisco Learning Network, and Pearson VUE websites.

Confidentiality and Agreements

All content, specifically questions, answers, and diagrams of the certification exams, are the proprietary and confidential property of Cisco. They may not be copied, reproduced, modified, published, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in anyway without the express authorization of Cisco. Candidates who sit for Cisco exams must agree they have read and will abide by the terms and conditions of the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement before beginning the certification exam. The agreement applies to all exams. Signing and adhering to this agreement is required to be officially certified and to maintain valid certification. Candidates must first accept the terms and conditions of the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement during the registration process and again prior to testing. Failure to accept the terms of this Agreement will result in a terminated exam and forfeiture of the entire exam fee.

Embargoed Country Policy

Individuals residing in the embargoed territories of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan are prohibited from testing with Cisco Systems, Inc., a United States [U.S.] company, subject to U.S. Export Administration regulations.

Individuals who present approved candidate identification during the admissions process showing a non-embargoed country residence may test and receive certifications. For more information please visit http://www.access.gpo.gov/bis/ear/ear_data.html.

Privacy

Cisco respects your privacy and is committed to protect the personal information that you share with us. The Cisco Privacy Statement describes how we collect and use your personal information.

Exam and Testing Policies

Conduct  |  Confidentiality and Agreements  |  Exam Discounts, Vouchers, and Promotional Codes  |  Exam Violations  |  Preliminary Score Report  |  Retaking Exams


Conduct

Candidates must take no action to compromise the integrity or confidentiality of any Cisco certification exam or certification program. Prohibited actions are described in the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement and Pearson VUE Candidate Rules Agreement. Penalties for violating the policy can include up to and including a lifetime ban on all future exams and the nullification of all previous certifications.

Confidentiality and Agreements

All content, specifically questions, answers, and diagrams of the certification exams, are the proprietary and confidential property of Cisco. They may not be copied, reproduced, modified, published, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in anyway without the express authorization of Cisco. Candidates who sit for Cisco exams must agree they have read and will abide by the terms and conditions of the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement before beginning the certification exam. The agreement applies to all exams. Signing and adhering to this agreement is required to be officially certified and to maintain valid certification. Candidates must first accept the terms and conditions of the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement during the registration process and again prior to testing. Failure to accept the terms of this Agreement will result in a terminated exam and forfeiture of the entire exam fee.

Exam Discounts, Vouchers, and Promotional Codes

Neither Cisco nor Pearson VUE, its authorized test delivery partner, guarantees the authenticity of discount vouchers or promotional codes that are obtained from any individuals or entities other than Pearson VUE.

Individuals or Cisco affiliated partners who use certification discount vouchers or promotional codes that are fraudulent or otherwise obtained from an unauthorized source (including legitimate vouchers for attempted re-use) may risk up to and including a lifetime ban on all future exams, the nullification of all previous certifications or other program sanctions at the discretion of Cisco. Cisco will not compensate candidates for fraudulent vouchers or vouchers obtained from an unauthorized source.

Exam Violations

Disclosure of exam content and other acts of misconduct are strictly prohibited as described in the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement and Pearson VUE Candidate Rules Agreement. Please report any suspicious activity by going to Certification & Communities Online Support and click on Exam Security Tipline to open a case with Cisco Exam Security.

Preliminary Score Report

The score report notifies candidates that regardless of pass or fail results, an exam score may be revised anytime after testing, if there is evidence of misconduct, scoring inaccuracies, or aberrant response patterns. To obtain official exam results, candidates and their employers must verify scores online.

Retaking Exams

The policies for retaking exams are as follows:

  • Candidates may only take a beta exam once.
  • Candidates who fail an exam must wait a period of five (5) calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before they may retest for the same exam.
  • Once passed, a candidate must wait a minimum of 180 days before taking the same exam with an identical exam number.
  • Candidates who violate these policies are in violation of the agreement. Such conduct is strictly prohibited as described in the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement.

Post Exam Policies

Candidate Photo on Score Report and Web  |  Confidentiality and Agreements  |  Certification Tracking System  |  Correspondence  |  Exam Recertification  |  Exam Retirement  |  Exam Scoring  |  Logo Guidelines


Candidate Photo on Score Report and Web

Upon exam completion, each candidate receives a score report imprinted with the digital photo that was captured during admission. Candidates may choose to share their photo-imprinted score reports with an employer or other third parties or to provide them with preferred online access at http://www.pearsonvue.com/authenticate for verification purposes. The Pearson VUE candidate tracking webpage is the official method for confirming online candidate photo and exam score results.

Confidentiality and Agreements

All content, specifically questions, answers and diagrams of the certification exams are the proprietary and confidential property of Cisco. They may not be copied, reproduced, modified, published, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in anyway without the express authorization of Cisco. Candidates who sit for Cisco exams must agree they have read and will abide by the terms and conditions of the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement before beginning the certification exam. The agreement applies to all exams. Signing and adhering to this agreement is required to be officially certified and to maintain valid certification. Candidates must first accept the terms and conditions of the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement during the registration process and again prior to testing. Failure to accept the terms of this Agreement will result in a terminated exam and forfeiture of the entire exam fee.

Cisco Certification Tracking System

Track your certification progress, status and exam history with the Cisco Certifications Tracking System. This secure database serves as the certified professional's information resource. Use this tool to:

  • View your certification progress, status and exam history
  • Update your demographics
  • Sign the Cisco Certifications Agreement
  • Access logos for certifications you have achieved
  • Provide access to third parties or employers to verify your certifications
  • Find out when your certificate was mailed

Correspondence

All official correspondence to certified candidates is sent to the email and/or address recorded in the Cisco Certifications Tracking System. Candidates are responsible for updating their personal information in the Tracking System to ensure receipt of official correspondence. If you are a CCIE, please update the CCIE Program Database separately.

Exam Recertification

Certification status for exams will expire after a period of time. Candidates with a valid certification must pass an exam designated for recertification to keep their status and reminders will be sent via your email address. Please refer to the About Recertification web site for the recertification requirements regarding your particular exam.

Exam Retirement

When an exam retires it may be replaced by another exam and the previous exam will be phased out. Please refer to the Retired Certification Exam page for exam retirement information.

Exam Scoring

Passing scores are set by using statistical analysis and are subject to change. At the completion of the exam, candidates receive a score report along with a score breakout by exam section and the passing score for the given exam. Cisco does not publish exam passing scores because exam questions and passing scores are subject to change without notice.

Logo Guidelines

Certified candidates may only use certification logos, certificates and other collateral as provided and in accordance with the published Logo Guidelines. Individuals or entities that misuse certification logos, certificates and/or other collateral may be subject to penalties up to and including a lifetime ban on all future exams and the nullification of all previous certifications. Please refer to the CCIE website for separate CCIE Logo Guidelines.


CCIE/CCDE Lab Exam Policies

Holder Policy  |  Double Booking  |  Equipment/System Malfunction or Network Outage During Exam  |  Exam Rules  |  Payment  |  Re-evaluation of Lab Results  |  Rescheduling, Canceling, and Postponing  |  Retakes  |  Scoring  |  Start Times  |  Travel Costs


CCIE Certifications Holder Policy

CCIE certification holders may not allow another person or organization to use your certification credentials if you are not actively employed by them. You may only associate your CCIE credentials to a single channel partner with whom you are a full-time-equivalent employee in the country where the certification status is applied. Sanctions up to and including permanent decertification may result for noncompliance.

Lab Exam: Double Booking

CCIE candidates are allowed to schedule only one CCIE lab exam at a time for each CCIE track. Double booking for lab exams in the same track, at either the same location or different locations, is not permitted by the database. Candidates will be allowed to simultaneously schedule lab exams for different tracks.

CCIE Lab Exams: Equipment/System Malfunction or Network Outage During Exam

Candidates who experience any problem during an exam must work with the lab exam proctor during their test event. Candidates who experience issues with the provided test equipment are instructed to spend no more than 10 minutes troubleshooting the problem prior to reporting it to their lab exam proctor. As a best practice, we recommend that candidates frequently save their configurations. Under no circumstance is it the responsibility of the lab exam proctor to save candidate configurations.

For system failures that prevent candidates from proceeding during a test event, whether hardware-, software-, or network-related, the following applies:

  • If the anticipated time to resolve the problem is less than two hours, the lab exam proctor will extend the lab session to compensate for the loss of time. The compensated time will always be equal to the time lost. CCIE candidates are expected to complete their exams.
  • If the anticipated time to resolve the problem is greater than two hours, the lab exam proctor will offer to reschedule the candidate's lab and submit an incident report. The lab exam proctor will also instruct the candidate to submit a case to www.cisco.com/go/certsupport.

Vouchers: Lab vouchers will be extended only if the lab equipment is rendered inoperable and a candidate cannot proceed with his or her exam within 2 hours as determined by the CCIE lab team. Requests for lab vouchers due to lab equipment or system malfunctions must be submitted by affected candidates at www.cisco.com/go/certsupport.

Lab Exam: Exam Rules

Candidates for the CCIE written exam or lab exam are not allowed to bring anything into the exam room or take anything out. This includes, but is not limited to, notes, documentation, watches, laptops, keyboards, pagers, PDAs, and mobile phones. DO NOT confer or consult with anyone about the exam while taking the exam or after the exam is completed. During an exam, you may discuss your exam with the lab engineer only.

Lab Exam: Payment

Price not confirmed and is subject to change until full payment is made.

Types. Lab sites in China and Japan will only accept payment via wire transfer. All other locations accept online credit card payment (American Express, Visa, Mastercard, or Eurocard). See “lab exam scheduling and payment information” for details. You are responsible for any fees your financial institution may charge to complete the payment transaction.

Due Date. Full payment must be received at least 90 days before the lab exam date. Only one email notice is sent as a payment reminder. Payments generally take one to seven business days to process, so be sure to initiate payment in advance of the due date. It is important that if payment will be made by wire transfer, it be scheduled well in advance to prevent the lab date being dropped. Exams for which payment is not received by the due date will be automatically dropped from the schedule. If you still wish to take the lab, you must rebook the exam online and complete your payment. There is no guarantee that your original date will still be available once it has been dropped for non-payment. If you book an exam for a date less than 90 days away, you must complete payment on the day you book the exam or the registration cannot be submitted. Candidates are ultimately responsible for making the lab payment in a timely manner; Cisco will not be held liable for any candidates automatically dropped due to non-payment.

Processing. Credit card payments entered into the system will be processed on the payment due date, exactly 90 days prior to your lab date, as will invoices for all payment types. Be sure the company name, invoicing address, and email address are complete and accurate to ensure proper delivery of your invoice. No invoices will be generated before the lab exam due date.

Lab Exam: Re-evaluation of Lab Results

A Reread involves having a second proctor load your configurations into a rack to re-create the test and rescore the entire exam. Rereads are available for the Routing and Switching, and Service Provider technology tracks.

A Review involves having a second proctor verify your answers and any applicable system-generated debug data saved from your exam. Reviews are available for all other tracks.

This process takes up to three weeks after receipt of payment. Only one appeal per lab attempt is permitted. Only exams with potential to change from fail to pass will have the option to request an appeal. The result of the appeal is a confirmation of the existing fail or an update to a pass.

Payment Terms

Make your request within 14 days following your exam date by using the "Request for Reread" link next to your lab record. A Reread costs $600.00 USD and a Review costs $400.00 USD. Payment is made online via credit card and your Reread or Review will be initiated upon successful payment. You may not cancel the appeal request once the process has been initiated. Refunds are given only when results change from fail to pass.

Lab Exam: Rescheduling, Canceling, and Postponing

Prior to Cancellation Date. Cancellations or changes to the exam date or location may be made free of charge if completed 91 days or more before the scheduled lab date. To make any changes, you must log into the Lab Scheduling tool and drop your current lab. Then you can reschedule according to preferred date or location. You may book an exam for a date less than 90 days away, if you complete payment on the day you book the exam. If you need to cancel an exam before the cancellation date (91 days before the lab date), and have paid via a wire transfer that has already cleared, you are eligible for a full refund by requesting support via the Certifications Online Support tool.

After Cancellation Date. You want to reschedule 90 days or less from your exam date. You can do so for a fee. If it is too close to your lab date, you will not be able to reschedule. This is only applicable for lab locations accepting credit cards. No refunds will be issued.

You cannot make your lab date and do not want to reschedule. If you are not able to attend your scheduled lab date, contact support to let them know the lab seat will not be used. You will forfeit your payment if you do not want to reschedule for a fee. If you do not contact support, you will be marked as a "no show" for the exam and be barred from booking another exam for 30 days

Candidates Requiring Visas. If you require a visa to attend your lab exam, it is strongly recommended that you apply 10 to 12 weeks before your lab date. Candidates who fail to obtain required visas will still be bound by these cancellation policies and must cancel their lab exam before the payment due date.. To request a Visa invite letter pleases select the Visa Invite tab in the Lab Scheduling tool.

Lab Exam: Retakes

All candidates must wait 30 days between CCIE lab attempts. Please note that the 30-day period starts from the day after a failed lab exam.

Candidates who do not pass the CCDE practical exam can retake it during the next scheduled exam administration.

Effective August 2, 2014, the following policy changes will be enforced:

  • Candidates who fail any CCIE lab exam on the first attempt must wait for a period of 30 calendar days before scheduling a second attempt at the same lab exam.
  • Candidates who fail the second attempt at any CCIE lab exam must wait for a period of 90 calendar days before scheduling any further attempts. The same wait time will be applied to subsequent attempts until the fifth attempt.
  • Candidates who fail a fifth attempt at any CCIE lab exam must wait for a period of 180 calendar days before scheduling any further attempts.
    NOTE: There is no wait time between a passed qualification written exam and the first lab or practical exam attempt. However, candidates must make an initial attempt at the CCIE lab exam or CCDE practical exam within 18 months of passing the CCIE or CCDE written exam.
  • These policy changes will be applied retroactively from the date of a candidate's first lab attempt.
 # Failed Attempts  Next Attempt Number  Wait time
>0 1 *N/A
1 2 30 Days
2 3 90 Days
3 4 90 Days
4 5 90 Days
5 6 180 Days
6 7 180 Days

Lab Exam: Scoring

You can view your lab exam results online (login required), usually within 48 hours. Results are Pass/Fail, and failing score reports indicate major topic areas where additional study and preparation may be useful.

Lab Exam: Start Times

Start times for exams are indicated in your email notification but can also be found on the web page associated with each lab location (for a list, see Lab Exam Locations). Please verify your email address in your candidate profile so we can notify you of any changes. If you have any questions about the start time of your exam, please contact CCIE customer support through the Certifications Online Support tool. If you arrive more than two hours after the start of your exam, you will not be allowed to start. If you arrive less than two hours late, you will be allowed to start but you must finish with the rest of the group.

Travel Costs

Under no circumstances will Cisco reimburse travel costs for CCIE lab exams.

CCIE/CCDE Written Exam Policies

Expiration  |  Retakes  |  Scoring


Written Exam: Expiration

CCIE Exam
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 reattempt the lab exam within 12 months of their last scored attempt in order for their written exam to remain valid. If a candidate does not pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, he or she must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the lab exam again.

CCDE Exam
Candidates must make an initial attempt of the CCDE practical exam within 18 months of passing the CCDE qualification exam (24 months for those passing the CCDE qualification exam before April 30, 2009). Candidates who do not pass must reattempt the practical exam within 12 months of their last scored attempt in order for their qualification exam to remain valid. If a candidate does not pass the practical exam within three years of passing the qualification exam, he or she must retake the qualification exam before being allowed to attempt the practical exam again.

Written Exam: Retakes

There is no limit to the number of attempts that can be made on the written exam. However, candidates must wait 5 calendar days between exam attempts. Once a candidate passes a particular written exam, he or she may not retake that same exam for at least 180 days. (Though rare, the need to retake an exam that has already been passed might occur in certain recertification situations.)

Effective August 2, 2014, the following policy changes will be enforced:

  • Candidates who fail any CCIE or CCDE written exam must wait for a period of 15 calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before retaking the same exam.
  • Candidates may attempt any CCIE or CCDE written exam up to four times per rolling calendar year. Candidates cannot retake the same written exam more than four times per rolling calendar year regardless of passing or failing the exam.

Written Exam: Scoring

Pass marks are set by using statistical analysis and are subject to change. The pass score is given on the examination score sheet at the end of the test. Along with the candidate's score, there is a notation of either PASS or FAIL. Scores on written exams are automatically downloaded from testing vendors, but may take up to 10 days to appear in the CCIE database.