Explore Cisco
How to Buy

Have an account?

  •   Personalized content
  •   Your products and support

Need an account?

Create an account

Certification Exam Policies

Exam policy requirements

 

 

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
  • The Cisco global certification program allows minors to test on all written exams (electronically) and lab exams.
  • Minors are individuals between 13-17 years of age who, with parental or legal guardian consent, may take tests and if passed, receive certification.
  • 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.
  • Cisco reserves the right to impose additional restrictions to comply with local data protection laws. If a candidate would like the exam results to count towards earning certification, the Cisco certification and confidentiality agreement must be signed by the parent or legal guardian of the minor and emailed or mailed to Cisco. For more information, please refer to the Cisco certification and confidentiality agreement.
  • 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.

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.

Cisco Candidate Rules Agreement

All Cisco candidates will be presented with the Cisco Candidate Rules Agreement document during the test center check-in process by the Test Administrator. Candidate must agree to the testing rules and digitally sign the agreement before they are allowed to enter the testing room and begin their exam. Please follow the link to review the Cisco Candidate Rules Agreement.

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, and Syria, 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.

Though OFAC sanctions have changed in 2021 for Sudan, at this time, Pearson VUE is licensed to test Sudanese nationals outside of Sudan.

  • Sudan will appear in the Pearson VUE registration system among the options for the country of candidate addresses and Pearson VUE will no longer reject records with candidate addresses in Sudan.
  • Candidates from Sudan must register for an exam at a test center outside of Sudan.
  • Candidates who present primary or secondary identification from Sudan will be allowed to test.
  • Additional details: Currently, Pearson VUE may provide test delivery services to candidates from around the world (provided the tests are conducted in a non-sanctioned country), except for residents of Syria.

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

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.

Online exam testing

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 Online testing policy page for all the details.

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 who fail an Associate, Professional, Specialist or CCDE Written 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 fail an Online / Un-Proctored Cisco (700-xxx series) exam must wait a period of forty-eight hours (48hrs) after the failed attempt, before they may retest for the same exam.
  • 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

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 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.

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.

Continuing Education

The Cisco Continuing Education program offers all certification holders flexible options to recertify by taking exams, earning credits, or a combinarion 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 Continuing Education program page.

Recertification

Certification status 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 recertification policy page for the recertification requirements.

Exam validity

Exams for associate, professional, specialist and expert level certifications are valid for three years from the date you pass. For additional information on the CCIE written exam expiration information, visit the CCIE exam information page.  All Cisco exams are valid for the same period of time with the launch of the new certification program.

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 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 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.

Expert lab/practical exam

The below Expert Lab/Practical exam policies apply all Expert Lab/Practical exams, including all CCIE Lab, the CCDE Practical and the Cisco Certified Devnet Expert Exam.

Certifications holder policy

As Expert certification holder, you should not allow another person or organization to use your certification credentials if you are not actively employed by them. You 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 for noncompliance.

Double bookings

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, is not permitted. Candidates will be allowed to simultaneously schedule exams for different tracks.

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, 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. 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 instruct the candidate to submit a case through certification online support.
  • 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.

Vouchers:

  • Lab vouchers will only be extended if all of the following conditions are met.
    • The resulting investigation determines that the candidate did not create the issue.
    • The lab equipment is rendered inoperable and a candidate cannot proceed with his or her exam within 2 hours as determined by the lab team.
    • The exam requires that candidates must pass all modules of the lab, and as such the candidate must have passed all of any completed modules within the exam that were unrelated to the problem being addressed.
  • Only candidates that were unable to start the lab will be allowed to reschedule with 30 days.

Exam rules

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. During an exam, you may discuss your exam with the proctor only.

For candidates taking the BYOD Mobile Lab exam option, visit BYOD Mobile Lab Overview for exam rule details.

Lab facility surveillance

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.

FAQs:

When are the surveillance cameras on and recording for my lab/practical exam?

  • 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.

How long is the camera footage stored of my testing experience?

  • Cisco stores camera footage within the Meraki Camera System for 30 days following each exam. In the event that 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. After 30 days all content is automatically deleted.

Is surveillance footage shared with anyone?

Can I ask that the cameras be disabled while I’m testing?

  • No, if you are not willing to be recorded during your exam you will not be allowed to test.

Payment

Prices are subject to change until full payment is made.

Payment Types: Lab sites in China will only accept payment via wire transfer. All other locations only accept online credit card payment (American Express, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover). 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 30 days before the lab exam date. Only one email notification 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 is scheduled well in advance to prevent the lab date from 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 within the payment window, 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 on time; 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, as will invoices for all payment types. Be sure the company name, invoicing address, and email address are complete and accurate to ensure the proper delivery of your invoice. No invoices will be generated before the lab exam due date.

Re-evaluation of exam 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 Enterprise Infrastructure, 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 $1000.00 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.

Rescheduling, canceling, and No Shows

Before the payment window: Cancellations or changes to the original exam date or location may be made free of charge if completed before the lab payment window. To make any changes, you must log into the CCIE/CCDE Tracker tool and drop your current lab. You have the option to schedule again to your preferred date and location.

Within the payment window: Changes to the original exam date or location within the lab payment window come with a fee. If you cancel an exam within the lab payment window you forfeit full payment.

If you do not show up for your lab exam, then you will be marked as “No Show” and will not be able to schedule another lab exam within the next 30 days. You will also forfeit full payment.

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. Visa requirements may vary per country. Therefore, it is the candidate's responsibility to research and understand their Visa country requirements prior to booking lab exams. Cisco cannot assist with any required Visa documentation and is not responsible for any changes to a country's Visa requirements. To download a Visa invite letter, scheduled candidates need to select the Visa Invite tab on the CCIE/CCDE Tracker tool and fill out all the requested information. Candidates who fail to obtain the required Visa letter will still be bound by the cancellation policies and must cancel their lab exam before the payment due date.

Exam retakes

Candidates who fail any Expert lab/practical exam must wait for a period of 30 calendar days before scheduling their next attempt. For example: A candidate failing an exam on May 1 may retake that exam on June 1, but not before.

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.

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 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 Expert lab/practical exams.

CCDE written exam policies

CCDE written exam: Expiration

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.

CCDE written exam: Retakes

  • Candidates who fail the CCDE written exam must wait for a period of 5 calendar days, beginning the day after the failed attempt, before retaking the same exam.
  • 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.)

CCDE 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.

CCDE written exam: Re-evaluation of written results

Rereads are not available for CCDE written exams. Each question on the CCDE written exam has specific criteria to be met, and points are awarded accordingly based on pre-defined scoring rules using detailed statistical analysis. Therefore, rereads are not offered for the CCDE written exams.