This just in, well not really, as the news is a couple of days old. The dreaded OEQ for the R&S lab exam is now a thing of the past.
The news created alot of buzz on the forums, twitter and facebook. It would seem that alot of people have really been fearing these questions.
My opinion on these, as its always been, is that it was a flaky idea to begin with. If its original purpose was to catch cheaters, i think the troubleshooting section was definitely a better route (no pun intended) to take. If you take a look at how many people have passed (and posted their experience) the V4 lab, the number is quite small. I think this has been a big part of the decision to eliminate the OEQ.
By providing the exam with a way to reflect a real life scenario, with both troubleshooting and configuration, you really accomplish what you want to do, which is to make sure that a CCIE has the skills expected of an Expert.
The troubleshooting part will weed out alot of the cheaters as any troubleshooting task requires a pretty deep understanding of the technology that you are dealing with. Troubleshooting issues doesnt lend themselves to memory dumps and memorization.
As i see it, the most important thing for the CCIE track(s) is to be stable for the foreseeable future. The requirements needs to be known and expected to last for at least 1,5 – 2 years now. Alot of students have put an unreasonable amount of time and effort into dealing with the OEQ where it would be better spent understanding the technologies and dealing with them in lab environments. Something that will not only help them on all levels of the lab exam, but also in real life networks.
Here’s a cheer for the removal of the OEQ and a hope for a stable CCIE track!