19 Jan 2021

Taking Huawei Certified Internetwork Expert (HCIE) Exam? [Updated July 2022]

Hi, my name is Yap Chee Yuen. I am a trainer/instructor at Infosyte and working as a network consultant/designer. Infosyte is a Huawei Authorized Learning Partner (HALP), located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In my team, we have 13 full time trainers and 8 of the team members are HCIE qualified in various specializations. I receive many questions regarding HCIE, and today I am going to share some of the information about HCIE and hope I can clarify some of your questions.

How it all begin?

Huawei release HCIE in Malaysia on June 22, 2015 by CEO Mr.Abraham Liu. Infosyte is fortunate to be selected to be the first HALP to conduct HCIE class in Malaysia, and I am 3rd HCIE in Malaysia. The first HCIE is from Huawei Malaysia, and 2nd one is my team member Mr.Nic Yap. This is the link for the press release. Malaysia is lucky as we are among the few countries that first launch HCIE certification outside China.

What is the prerequisite for HCIE?

According to official Huawei requirements, there is no prerequisite, but It is recommended that you learn HCIP-Routing & Switching in advance. Five years of relevant work experience is suggested.

Please register a free Huawei account if you do not have one, as you need to download resources and book your exam.

Once you have Huawei account, please register to Pearson Vue and schedule Huawei exam nearest to you.

What is the validity of HCIE?

Two years, to recertify you need to retake the written exam. You have one year of buffer before your HCIE lapse, and after that, you need to retake all three exams.

How much does it cost and where to take the written exam (as of 2020)?

The total cost is USD1,500, tips for those who really out of budget, many Huawei partners are willing to sponsor you. Please talk to your employer or Huawei partner.

Huawei HCIE Written USD300

Huawei HCIE Lab & Interview USD1,200

Exam Code Certification Exam

H12-261 HCIE-Routing & Switching (Written)

H12-262 HCIE-Routing & Switching (Lab)

H12-263 HCIE-Routing & Switching (Interview)

Pearson Vue conducts written exams, and lab exams are conducted at Huawei office. Please get in contact with certification@huawei.com for booking the lab and interview exam.

How about the written exam? 

For the written exam, you are allowed to go back and forward to answer the questions. There are 60 questions with 90 min to answer. All questions or either multiple-choice questions or single choice, and there aren’t any simulation questions. Please give yourself sufficient study time to prepare and understand those theories before attempting the written. If you are ready, try the mock lab here

Don’t rely on a dump from the internet. Even you passed the written exam, your time investment in understanding theories is essential for your later interview exam. No shortcut here, the best resource is to read Huawei documentation. Huawei has a very good command reference and sample configuration for your reference. I spend at least 2 to 4 hours every day to go through those detail. Lab out the config and understand the concept.

What needs to have for my preparation?

Compared to other expert network certification, you do not need to spend anything on Huawei hardware. A decade ago, when I prepared for another expert certification, I invested at least USD20k for my home lab and flight ticket. Huawei is really budget-friendly. Here is the list

  1. Laptop or desktop with at least 8GB or more ram with the current processor
  2. Enterprise Network Simulation Platform (eNSP) please download here
  3. HedEx Lite
  4. Free elearning created by Infosyte
  5. Lot of practice time and support from friend and family

eNSP is a free simulator from Huawei with Wireshark integrated. Please download from the link above. This is the most important tools that you need. The second most important tools is HedEx, during the exam, HedEx will be available for you in the exam laptop. This is the Huawei documentation which is searchable. Please familiar with this tool.

How should I prepare?

Always get the latest blueprint, as of writing the latest version is V3. Please download the training material and lab guide and go through them. For more detailed configuration and display command, you can always refer to Huawei HedEx. I recommend you always refer to the HedEx and know where the location of those technologies and command reference is. This will be handy and useful during your exam.

You can watch eLearning during your free time from the link above or if your budget and time is allowed, you can attend our Live Virtual Class or physical class conducted my team of experience HCIE instructors. During the session, you can ask questions and clarify your doubts.  We have a team of very experienced trainers to guide you until you pass your HCIE exam.

What next?

Take action and go for the written exam first. Once you pass the written exam, plan at least 3 to 6 months for the lab. This is an expert level exam and does allow at least 2 times to reattempt. I did not pass my exam on my first attempt. Book and confirm your exam date early.  Mark a big X on your calendar and start the count down.

The lab exam is 9 hours long and 1 hour for lunch. Use all the available time. Read the question always and adequately recheck and save your configuration. There is a good blog on the HCIE lab experience here. Once finish, wait for your result, and if you pass your written and lab exam, schedule for the interview.

The interview will be conducted live remotely by Huawei examiners, who are also expert. If you come so far, there is nothing to fear about. My interviewers were friendly and spoke slowly. You will be given a whiteboard and marker pens for you to illustrate your point. This is where you can show how well you know your concept and your capability to articulate your answer. Questions are dynamic and based on your answer, the interview will question more in-depth or just stop.  Please refer update below

Once you finish your final interview, wait for the email.  A sample email as below from hcie@huawei.com You either pass or fail. If you fail, reschedule another interview, not a big deal. If you passed, congratulation to you. Give yourself a big hug and celebrate.

[UPDATED 9 May 2021]

Upgrade plan: The upgrade will start on May 30, 2021, and interviews will no longer be held after December 31, 2021, with a 7-month transition period.  Which mean the new HCIE certifications will no longer contain an interview section and will focus on the written and lab exams.

[UPDATE 1 July 2022]

Policy on recertification of HCIA/HCIP/HCIE Certificates and Extension of HCIE Lab exam due to the COVID-19

Dear friends, thank you for your support for Huawei certification.

Considering the travel situation of various countries, the HCIA/HCIP/HCIE certificate recertification and HCIE Lab exam extension policy is issued, which is applicable to candidates who cannot take the exam in time due to the COVID-19. The written exam and Lab exam results are postponed for 90 calendar days. All of the following policies must be submitted a case one week before the expiration date.

Scenario 1: Candidates taking the HCIA/HCIP/HCIE certificates recertification exam: The expiration date of the certificate recertification exam is extended by 90 calendar days.

Scenario 2: HCIE new exam vouchers reserve lab exam candidates: The written exam score and validity period of the new exam coupon are extended for 90 calendar days.

Scenario 3: HCIE lab & interview vouchers: The validity period of the written exam scores and HCIE lab & interview vouchers is extended by 90 days.

Scenario 4: Candidates who have passed the old HCIE Lab exam and reserved a new Lab exam with HCIE Lab & interview vouchers: The validity period of the old experiment results is extended by 90 calendar days. You must complete the exam by December 31, 2022.

Scenario 5: Interview vouchers purchased before April 30, 2021: Interview vouchers purchased before April 30, 2021 and old Lab exam results are extended for 90 calendar days. You must complete the exam by December 31, 2022.

Infosyte is offering an accelerated HCIE Routing & Switching class.  Please contact us for more detail.

The result will come from hcie@huaweicom

You can get free HCIE eLearning create by me here.


To download your HCIE cert here


You can verify HCIE certification here


All Information about HCIE


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