Before anyone is allowed to schedule the CCIE Lab test, they have to pass the CCIE Written exam 350-001, which is a 120 minute test consisting of 90-110 question (see the link for official blueprint). CCIE candidates usually do either one of these two: take the CCIE written test before doing any workbooks/labs or take the exam before they are ready to schedule the lab test. I did the latter. To me it made more sense to configure each topic and have hands on experience, before taking the written test. I finished the technology based labs and scheduled my written test. As my main preparation, I used Bosom Exam Environment and utilizing the CCIE written question. I think Boson has a very useful study tool to review content and fill in any new gaps for their written exam questions. I passed it on my first attempt.