From the Learning@Cisco newsletter,
Changes to CCIE Lab and Written Exam Question Format and Scoring
Effective February 1, 2009, Cisco will introduce a new type of question format to CCIE Routing and Switching lab exams. In addition to the live configuration scenarios, candidates will be asked a series of four or five open-ended questions, drawn from a pool of questions based on the material covered on the lab blueprint. No new topics are being added. The exams are not been increased in difficulty and the well-prepared candidate should have no trouble answering the questions. The length of the exam will remain eight hours. Candidates will need to achieve a passing score on both the open-ended questions and the lab portion in order to pass the lab and become certified. Other CCIE tracks will change over the next year, with exact dates announced in advance.
Effective February 17th, 2009, candidates will also see two other changes in CCIE written exams. First, candidates will now be required to answer each question before moving on to the next question; candidates will no longer be allowed to skip a question and come back to it at a later time. Second, there will be an update to the score report. The overall exam score and the exam passing score will now be reported as a scaled score, on a scale from 300-1000. This change will not affect the difficulty of the current set of exams and will assure CCIE written exams will be consistent with Cisco’s other career certification exams.
If you guys like more information, visit http://ciscocert.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvcG~wodDv8SHUDpGhse~yL~Jvkq~w3~&2=1837. This is currently for the Routing and Switching track but Cisco assured us that this will apply to other tracks as well. Now dumpsters, what is your next move? :-)
UPDATE : The open-ended questions are worth 21 points and the CCIE lab 79 points. However in order to pass the CCIE certification, you need to PASS BOTH the open-ended questions (scoring 4 out of 5 at least) and the lab. Also as some of you may already know, the open-ended questions are not interviews by humans but rather they are computerized questions like those in the CCIE written examination. An example which I think might appear on the open ended question will be something like "What is a OSPF type 3" ?