The following General Exam and Testing Policies apply to all written, lab, and practical exams.
A guide for candidates of all Cisco certification written, lab, and practical exams, Certification Candidate Handbook, 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.
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 any way 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 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.
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.
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 Learning & Certification Centralized Support and click on Exam Security Tipline to open a case with Cisco exam security.
Cisco reserves the right to decline to provide exams, labs, or any other related services to anyone for any legally permissible reason.
Cisco is committed to impartiality in its certification programs. For more information on Cisco’s inclusion and diversity policies, please see Cisco’s Inclusion and Diversity page .
Cisco respects your privacy and is committed to protecting the personal information that you share with us. The Cisco Online Privacy Statement Summary describes how we collect and use your personal information.
All official correspondence to certified candidates is sent to the email and/or address recorded in the Cisco Certification Tracking System. Candidates are responsible for updating their personal information in the Cisco Certification Tracking System to ensure receipt of official correspondence. Expert-level certification holders should keep their profiles updated separately at the Cisco Expert Level Certifications Tracker.
Individuals residing in the embargoed countries and territories of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk, as well as the countries of Belarus and Russia, where Cisco has stopped business, 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) that shows a non-embargoed country residence may test and receive certifications.
Though OFAC sanctions have changed in 2021 for Sudan, at this time, Pearson VUE is licensed to test Sudanese nationals outside of Sudan.
Candidates 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.
Cisco will not reimburse any logistics or travel costs for any exams under any circumstances.
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 their performance breakout by exam section for the given exam. Cisco does not publish exam passing scores because exam questions and passing scores are subject to change and may vary exam to exam, without notice.
Associate, Professional, Specialist, and Expert-level written exams:
You must complete all requirements for certification within three years of passing the corresponding qualification written exam. Suppose the three years from passing your written exam elapse, and you still have not certified. In that case, you need to pass the qualification written exam again. There is no limit on the number of lab or practical exam attempts during the three-year window as long as you abide by the Retake Exams policy.
Entry-level written exams:
Exams for Cisco Certified Support Technician (CCST) entry-level certifications are valid for a lifetime certification from the date you pass.
In compliance with the Cisco Online Privacy Statement Summary, age requirements for Cisco certification are as follows:
For more information, please refer to the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement.
The policies for retaking exams are as follows:
When an exam is retired it may be replaced by another exam, and the previous exam will be phased out. Please refer to the Retired Certification Exams page for exam retirement information.
The below Written Exam and Testing Policies apply to all written exams, including all Associate, Professional, Specialist, and CCDE Written Exams.
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 and 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.
The Person VUE 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.
All Cisco candidates will be presented with the Cisco Candidate Rules Agreement document during the test center check-in process by the Test Administrator. Candidates must agree to the testing rules and digitally sign the agreement before they are allowed to enter the testing room and begin their exam.
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 Authenticate Score Report for verification purposes. The Pearson VUE candidate tracking webpage is the official method for confirming online candidate photos and exam score results.
The score report notifies candidates that, regardless of pass or fail results, an exam score may be revised any time 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.
Track your certification progress, status, and exam history with the Cisco Certification Tracking System. This secure database serves as the certified professional's information resource. Use this tool to:
With this additional testing option, you can now pursue your Cisco Certification goals without further delay, conveniently at your home or office. Check out our Cisco Certifications Exams page for all the details.
The following Expert lab and practical exam and testing policies apply to all Expert lab and practical exams, including all CCIE Lab, CCDE Practical, and the Cisco Certified DevNet Expert exams.
Expert-level certifications are becoming increasingly valuable and desired. To maintain the value of these certifications and ensure the integrity of the results of our exams, Cisco uses CCTV cameras in the lab environment during testing to prevent, identify, and address misconduct and cheating.
All surveillance cameras will be on and recording the personal item storage area as well as the lab testing room before, during, and after your entire 8-hour exam. The CCTV cameras enable lab staff to view live and archived images of the lab during this time period.
Cisco stores camera footage within the Meraki Camera System following each exam. If misconduct, or cheating is reported after the fact, Exam Security will review the footage and determine whether an individual may have cheated on an exam.
Surveillance footage is only shared with Exam Security in the case of a security-related incident (i.e., misconduct, cheating, or causing a disturbance while testing). Please reference the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement.
Cameras cannot be disabled during testing. If you are not willing to be recorded during your exam, you will not be allowed to test.
Prices are subject to change until full payment is made.
Credit cards and Expert-level exam vouchers are the only accepted payment methods for all Cisco Expert-level practical and lab exams. Candidates are responsible for paying all Expert-level practical or lab exam fees and applicable taxes (as per local laws) on time.
Thirty-day Payment Window:
Payments are not mandatory until 30 days to the scheduled Cisco Expert-level practical or lab exam date, but full payment must be received at least 30 days before the exam date. Full payment includes all exam fees and taxes. If the payment mode is an Expert-level exam voucher, any difference in the exam fee and taxes must be paid with a credit card. You will be charged immediately, as soon as you provide your payment information, even if you are paying for an exam date more than 30 days away. Once a payment method is chosen, it cannot be reverted to a different one for the same exam date. So, for example, once the exam is paid with a credit card, the payment method cannot change to a voucher. Payments can take up to three business days to process, so be sure to initiate payment well in advance of the due date and ensure your credit card limit allows for the payment.
If full payment is not received 30 days before the scheduled date, your Cisco Expert-level practical or lab exam will be dropped for non-payment. Full payment includes the Expert-level practical or lab exam fee and taxes. If your exam was dropped for non-payment, you need to schedule it again. There is no guarantee that your original date will still be available once your original exam date has been dropped for non-payment.
One email notification is sent as a payment reminder. Candidates are ultimately responsible for making the lab payment on time and in full. Cisco will not be held liable for any candidates automatically dropped due to non-payment. Make sure that your email address is current on your profile on the Cisco Expert Level Certifications Tracker portal.
Payments should be made on the Cisco Expert Level Certifications Tracker portal. If you are paying with a credit card, your credit card will be charged for the exam fee and any other charges immediately as the credit card information is provided, regardless of your exam date. If your credit card is declined, you should work with your credit card company to determine the reason, clear it, and make full payment before the 30-day payment window.
If you are paying with an Expert-level exam voucher, the voucher will be redeemed immediately once the voucher code is provided. Any other charges must be paid with a credit card to avoid your exam being dropped for non-payment.
Once full payment is received, an invoice will be issued in the credit card holder’s name within three business days. Be sure the company name, invoicing address, and email address are complete and accurate. Once the invoice is issued, the invoice cannot be changed, the Drop feature will be disabled, and refunds will not be allowed. However, you will be able to reschedule your Cisco Expert-level practical or lab exam in accordance with the Lab and Practical Exams: Reschedule, Cancelation, and No-show Policies.
Expert-level Lab and Practical Exam Voucher Validity:
Expert-level lab and practical exam vouchers are tied to a candidate ID and are non-transferable. The Expert-level lab and practical exam voucher can be redeemed up until its expiration date to schedule or reschedule an Expert-level exam. After the voucher expiration date, it cannot be used for rescheduling.
Rescheduling in more than 30 days to the lab or practical exam date:
Changes to the original exam date or location can be made free of charge if completed 30 days or more before the scheduled Expert-level lab or practical exam.
If you have not yet paid for the Expert-level lab or practical exam, to make any changes, you must drop your scheduled Expert-level lab or practical exam using the Drop button. Once you’ve dropped the exam, you have the option to schedule your exam to another available date and/or location.
If you have already paid for the Expert-level lab or practical exam, to make any changes, you must reschedule your scheduled Expert-level lab or practical exam using the Reschedule button.
Rescheduling in 30 days or less to your paid lab or practical exam:
Changes to the original exam date or location within the 30-day payment window come with a USD $500.00 rescheduling fee.
To make any changes to your paid Expert-level lab or practical exam date and/or location, you must reschedule it with the Reschedule button.
The Reschedule button becomes unavailable three calendar days before your Expert-level lab or practical exam date, and it cannot be rescheduled.
Please observe that the rescheduling fee and the charges associated with it are non-refundable.
If you cancel an Expert-level exam, you forfeit full payment. Refunds are not allowed.
If you do not show up for your lab exam, you will be marked as “No-show,” will not be able to schedule another lab exam within the next 30 days, and will forfeit full payment. Refunds are not allowed.
Candidates Requiring Visas:
If you require a Visa to attend your Cisco Expert-level lab or practical exam, it is strongly recommended that you apply at least 10 to 12 weeks before your exam date. Visa requirements may vary on a country-by-country basis. Therefore, it is the candidate’s responsibility to research and understand their country’s Visa requirements before booking their exam. Cisco cannot assist with any required Visa documentation other than the Visa invite letter and is not responsible for any changes to a country's Visa policies. Scheduled candidates can download their Visa invite letter by selecting the Visa Invite tab on the Cisco Expert Level Certifications Tracker tool and fill out all the required information. Candidates who do not obtain the required Visa to take a paid Expert-level lab or practical exam are still bound by the cancelation policy and should reschedule their exam. Once the payment is made and an invoice is generated, no refunds are allowed.
Candidates are allowed to schedule only one Expert lab or practical exam at a time for a given track. Double bookings for the same exam, at either the same location or different locations are not permitted. Candidates are allowed to simultaneously schedule exams for different tracks.
For candidates taking the Mobile Lab exam option, choose a site with either Cisco Kit or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and visit CCIE BYOD Mobile Labs for exam details.
Exam start times may vary, depending on the location. Location addresses are indicated in your confirmation email and can also be found on the web page associated with each Lab Exam Location. Please verify your email address in your candidate profile on the Cisco Expert Level Certifications Tracker so we can notify you of any changes. If you arrive less than two hours after the exam start time, you will be allowed to start, but you must finish with the rest of the group. If you arrive more than two hours after the start of your exam, you will not be allowed to start.
The Expert-level test center admission process requires that each candidate provide two types of personal identification. Both types of identification must have the candidate's signature, and one must be a government-issued photo identification.
All Cisco candidates will have to read and sign the Cisco Certification and Confidentiality Agreement document as part of the scheduling process. The scheduling will not be complete if the candidate does not accept the Agreement.
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 unavoidable casualties that prevent candidates from proceeding during a test event whose root cause was in the lab environment and not because of the candidate’s missing, incomplete or incorrect configuration or setup, the following applies:
Note: Proctors do not troubleshoot candidate configurations, and if the proctor is unable to identify the actual cause of the problem, an investigation into the root cause will be launched.
In case of one of two unavoidable casualty event types described at Lab and Practical Exams: Unavoidable Casualties During the Exam that prevent a candidate from taking or completing their Expert-level exam, either the candidate will be rescheduled for free, or a voucher will be issued. Refunds are not allowed. The situations are:
Failure to act in accordance with the in-lab policies could lead to invalidation and possible enforcement actions.
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.
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.
A Re-read involves having a second proctor load your configurations into a rack to re-create the test and rescore the entire exam. Re-reads are available for all CCIE tracks and DevNet Expert, but not for the CCDE Practical exam.
Re-read requests must be made within 14 days following your exam date by using the "Request for re-read" link next to your lab record. A re-read costs $1,000.00 USD. Payment is made online via credit card, and your re-read will be initiated upon successful payment. You may not cancel the re-read request once the process has been initiated. Refunds are given only when results change from fail to pass, which can take between three to five business days.
The re-read process takes up to three weeks after receipt of payment. Only one re-read per lab attempt is permitted. Only exams with potential to change from fail to pass will give you the option to request a re-read. The result of the re-read is a confirmation of the existing fail mark or an update to a pass. No further information is provided.
The following Certification Policies apply to the Cisco certifications, as indicated.
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.
Certification status will expire after three years. Individuals with a valid Associate, Professional, Specialist, or Expert-level certification must pass an exam designated for recertification to keep their status, and reminders will be sent to your email address. Entry-level, Cisco Certified Support Specialist (CCST) certifications are valid for a lifetime and do not require recertification. Please refer to the Recertification Policy page for the recertification requirements.
The Cisco Continuing Education program offers all certification holders flexible options to recertify by taking exams, earning credits, or a combination of both. Keep reading to learn more about Continuing Education options and to check out how you can maintain your certifications by doing the things that IT professionals already love to do. To learn more, visit the Continuing Education program page.
To obtain official Expert-level certification status, candidates and their employers must verify status online at the Verification Tool.
Expert-level certification holders should not allow another person or organization to use their certification credentials if they are not actively employed by them. They may only associate your Expert certification 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 in noncompliance.
CCIE or CCDE Emeritus and Lifetime Emeritus status were created to recognize members of the CCIE and CCDE programs involved in these programs for longer than 10 years and 20 years, respectively.
As with the CCIE/CCDE program itself, Cisco reserves the right to terminate at any time without specific notice to the candidate. Individuals who are accepted as CCIE or CCDE Emeritus or Lifetime Emeritus must maintain all ethics and guidelines of the program.
CCIE or CCDE Emeritus and Lifetime Emeritus represent an inactive status. The following rules apply for all Emeritus and Lifetime Emeritus individuals: