What are New in Cisco CCDE v3 Exam?

Currently, in 2022, the CCDE exam version is version 3. There are many new changes in CCDE v3 compared to CCDE v2 and in this blog post, some are the new changes will be explained, also for the things that stay the same will be highlighted as well. Also, I will share my takes in the post about these changes.

Before starting the technical changes, let's start with the exam result announcement change. CCDE v2 exam has been announced in 8-12 weeks. This was effectively allowing CCDE exam candidates to schedule the exam two times maximum in a year. Students wouldn't schedule the exam if they fail because the announcement date and new exam date were usually overlapping. This changed anymore. With CCDE v3, exam results are announced in 48 hours. It is almost like CCIE exams.

The CCDEv3 Practical Exam will be in the Cisco CCIE Lab locations anymore

CCDE v2 Lab/Practical exam was done in Professional Pearson Vue Centers. There were 300 of them and done in many different countries. Unfortunately, this change may not be good for many exam takers as Cisco CCIE Lab locations are not available in many countries and are not as common as Pearson Vue Centers.

CCDE v3 exam Scheduling is done via the CCIE/CCDE portal

• Registration opens 90 days before the exam date


CCDE v3 exam will be done every year, six CCDE exams are expected. (Previously with CCDE v2 it was 4, even sometimes 3)

CCDEv2 exam was done every 3 months, usually 4 times a year. If you fail the exam, because of the exam result policy, you couldn't attend the next one but maybe the one after. So, effectively it was two times a year. Because the CCDEv3 exam will be announced in 48 hours and 6 times a year, if you fail the exam, you can attend the next one, because there will be enough time to schedule the next exam, find a hotel, flight ticket, etc, if travel is necessary. So, making the exam more frequently would increase its popularity of the exam, so I consider it a good move as well.

Introduction of Core and Area of Expertise modules in Cisco CCDEv3 exam

For many years, we have been hearing from many students about whether there will be Datacenter or Service Provider, Collaboration or Security expertise, etc. Cisco came up with this anymore. There will be 3 different Area of Expertise you can choose any of them and one of the practical scenarios will be based on your selection. Similar to CCDEv2, in CCDEv3 we will have in total of 4 scenarios and a total of 8 hours for all the scenarios.

Each scenario will be limited to 2 hours maximum and even if you finish one of the scenarios faster than 2 hours, the remaining time won't be added to the next scenario. 3 scenarios will be named Core Module and 1 scenario will be the Area Of Expertise scenario. The core module covers technologies all candidates must know It comes with the Enterprise technologies (no Data Center/Service Provider) • Core module is vendor-agnostic The area of Expertise module covers specific technology areas: • More detailed knowledge expected • Cisco-specific technologies may appear in the Area of Expertise module

CCDE v3 Area of Expertise Modules

Area of Expertise options: Large-Scale Networks On-prem and Cloud Services Workforce Mobility You can select any of the above Area of Expertise and you will have 2 hours in the CCDEv3 exam, and around 15-25 questions in the scenario. For now, this is enough, for the other changes and CCDEv3-related content, please check the other posts and our free and paid courses.

Created by
Orhan Ergun

Orhan Ergun, CCIE/CCDE Trainer, Author of Many Networking Books, Network Design Advisor, and Cisco Champion 2019/2020/2021

He created OrhanErgun.Net 10 years ago and has been serving the IT industry with his renowned and awarded training.

Wrote many books, mostly on Network Design, joined many IETF RFCs, gave Public talks at many Forums, and mentored thousands of his students.  

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