Can't crack 70-291

Discussion in 'MCSA' started by Brendan Southey, May 3, 2006.

  1. Well.... I failed the 70-291 for the 3rd time yesterday with a score of 679

    I'm wondering if I need to expand my study materials. I been studying using
    the Sybex, Microsoft Press and QUE books. I feel like I know them all back
    the front. I'm consistently getting 95% on the practice exams (now using 4
    different test providers) and I'm reasonably strong with networking knowledge
    (hell, I've got a current CCNA).

    It seems like the questions on the exam just dont match the material in the
    books. Not one of my textbooks has more than a paragraph on SUS and none of
    them even mention the words 'Terminal Services', for example (yes, they're
    all less than 3 months old)

    Why is it that the material in the books doesn't reflect the exam syllabus,
    and where can I find more appropriate study material ?

    Thanks !!

    Brendan Southey
    MCP
    Brendan Southey, May 3, 2006
    #1
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  2. Brendan Southey

    MitchS Guest

    "Brendan Southey" <Brendan > wrote in
    message news:...

    > Why is it that the material in the books doesn't reflect the exam
    > syllabus,
    > and where can I find more appropriate study material ?


    Those materials are just a guide, not an end all cure all. Try poking
    around the MS knowledge base, and reading some white papers.

    --
    Mitch "yer such a Jameshole" S.
    MCNGP XLVIII (Now do the other certs REALLY matter?)
    Stupidity on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    MitchS, May 3, 2006
    #2
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  3. Brendan Southey

    Dwayne Guest

    Hi Brendan - Have you tried Transcenders? You talked about using practice
    exams but you didn't specify which.

    I took the 70-290 recently and passed; my study materials were Que and
    Microsoft Press books as well as transcender practice exams; During my
    preparation 70-290 curriculum talked about SUS and Terminal Services a great
    deal.

    I'm now going for the 70-291 so if I see any questions related to SUS or TS
    I should be ready based on my preparation for 70-290. Good luck!

    "Brendan Southey" wrote:

    > Well.... I failed the 70-291 for the 3rd time yesterday with a score of 679
    >
    > I'm wondering if I need to expand my study materials. I been studying using
    > the Sybex, Microsoft Press and QUE books. I feel like I know them all back
    > the front. I'm consistently getting 95% on the practice exams (now using 4
    > different test providers) and I'm reasonably strong with networking knowledge
    > (hell, I've got a current CCNA).
    >
    > It seems like the questions on the exam just dont match the material in the
    > books. Not one of my textbooks has more than a paragraph on SUS and none of
    > them even mention the words 'Terminal Services', for example (yes, they're
    > all less than 3 months old)
    >
    > Why is it that the material in the books doesn't reflect the exam syllabus,
    > and where can I find more appropriate study material ?
    >
    > Thanks !!
    >
    > Brendan Southey
    > MCP
    Dwayne, May 4, 2006
    #3
  4. Hi Dwayne,

    Thanks for the response. Perhaps I'm not faring so well because I'm doing
    them out of logical order - I haven't done 70-290 yet.

    I'll check out Transcender.

    Thanks for the tip.

    "Dwayne" wrote:

    > Hi Brendan - Have you tried Transcenders? You talked about using practice
    > exams but you didn't specify which.
    >
    > I took the 70-290 recently and passed; my study materials were Que and
    > Microsoft Press books as well as transcender practice exams; During my
    > preparation 70-290 curriculum talked about SUS and Terminal Services a great
    > deal.
    >
    > I'm now going for the 70-291 so if I see any questions related to SUS or TS
    > I should be ready based on my preparation for 70-290. Good luck!
    >
    > "Brendan Southey" wrote:
    >
    > > Well.... I failed the 70-291 for the 3rd time yesterday with a score of 679
    > >
    > > I'm wondering if I need to expand my study materials. I been studying using
    > > the Sybex, Microsoft Press and QUE books. I feel like I know them all back
    > > the front. I'm consistently getting 95% on the practice exams (now using 4
    > > different test providers) and I'm reasonably strong with networking knowledge
    > > (hell, I've got a current CCNA).
    > >
    > > It seems like the questions on the exam just dont match the material in the
    > > books. Not one of my textbooks has more than a paragraph on SUS and none of
    > > them even mention the words 'Terminal Services', for example (yes, they're
    > > all less than 3 months old)
    > >
    > > Why is it that the material in the books doesn't reflect the exam syllabus,
    > > and where can I find more appropriate study material ?
    > >
    > > Thanks !!
    > >
    > > Brendan Southey
    > > MCP
    Brendan Southey, May 4, 2006
    #4
  5. Ohh.. and good luck with the 291. I look forward to hearing how you go.

    Brendan

    "Dwayne" wrote:

    > Hi Brendan - Have you tried Transcenders? You talked about using practice
    > exams but you didn't specify which.
    >
    > I took the 70-290 recently and passed; my study materials were Que and
    > Microsoft Press books as well as transcender practice exams; During my
    > preparation 70-290 curriculum talked about SUS and Terminal Services a great
    > deal.
    >
    > I'm now going for the 70-291 so if I see any questions related to SUS or TS
    > I should be ready based on my preparation for 70-290. Good luck!
    >
    > "Brendan Southey" wrote:
    >
    > > Well.... I failed the 70-291 for the 3rd time yesterday with a score of 679
    > >
    > > I'm wondering if I need to expand my study materials. I been studying using
    > > the Sybex, Microsoft Press and QUE books. I feel like I know them all back
    > > the front. I'm consistently getting 95% on the practice exams (now using 4
    > > different test providers) and I'm reasonably strong with networking knowledge
    > > (hell, I've got a current CCNA).
    > >
    > > It seems like the questions on the exam just dont match the material in the
    > > books. Not one of my textbooks has more than a paragraph on SUS and none of
    > > them even mention the words 'Terminal Services', for example (yes, they're
    > > all less than 3 months old)
    > >
    > > Why is it that the material in the books doesn't reflect the exam syllabus,
    > > and where can I find more appropriate study material ?
    > >
    > > Thanks !!
    > >
    > > Brendan Southey
    > > MCP
    Brendan Southey, May 4, 2006
    #5
  6. Will do, thanks. Haven't given much attention to the knowledge database..

    "MitchS" wrote:

    > "Brendan Southey" <Brendan > wrote in
    > message news:...
    >
    > > Why is it that the material in the books doesn't reflect the exam
    > > syllabus,
    > > and where can I find more appropriate study material ?

    >
    > Those materials are just a guide, not an end all cure all. Try poking
    > around the MS knowledge base, and reading some white papers.
    >
    > --
    > Mitch "yer such a Jameshole" S.
    > MCNGP XLVIII (Now do the other certs REALLY matter?)
    > Stupidity on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    >
    >
    >
    Brendan Southey, May 4, 2006
    #6
  7. I can't speak for transcender (as mentioned earlier) but I can say that the
    $99 I spent on actualtests.com has more than paid for itself several times
    over. The material is highly accurate and compliments your study and
    deployment very well giving you a preparation for what will actually be on
    the exam. In fact, when I go to take the exam, I feel like I've taken the
    test before.

    Whatever you do, don't use the engine included in the MS Press book, or the
    one that comes included in the Exam Cram 2 book. I used to have some
    difficulty w/study material and exam material when I used the various testing
    engines etc. You'll find that one engine/source will contradict the other,
    which puts you in the exam room on gameday wondering which engine was correct
    (which is very nerveracking).

    I passed 291 on my first attempt with the actualtests.com PDF. For you, I
    would recommend figuring out how to purge all that nasty content you've
    inserted in your brain from the other engines and use only one source in the
    future (whatever it may be). Perhaps moving onto an elective or a later exam
    would be most appropriate for you, then coming back to 291? (That's what I
    would do)

    Rumor has it that 293 is almost identical to 291 in content, but has
    different questions and focuses on PKI and NLB etc. Maybe that would be a
    good route for you, then come back to 291?

    "Brendan Southey" wrote:

    > Well.... I failed the 70-291 for the 3rd time yesterday with a score of 679
    >
    > I'm wondering if I need to expand my study materials. I been studying using
    > the Sybex, Microsoft Press and QUE books. I feel like I know them all back
    > the front. I'm consistently getting 95% on the practice exams (now using 4
    > different test providers) and I'm reasonably strong with networking knowledge
    > (hell, I've got a current CCNA).
    >
    > It seems like the questions on the exam just dont match the material in the
    > books. Not one of my textbooks has more than a paragraph on SUS and none of
    > them even mention the words 'Terminal Services', for example (yes, they're
    > all less than 3 months old)
    >
    > Why is it that the material in the books doesn't reflect the exam syllabus,
    > and where can I find more appropriate study material ?
    >
    > Thanks !!
    >
    > Brendan Southey
    > MCP
    Cutepinkbunnies, May 5, 2006
    #7
  8. Brendan Southey

    LnkWizard Guest

    "Cutepinkbunnies" <> wrote in
    message news:...
    > I can't speak for transcender (as mentioned earlier) but I can say that

    the
    > $99 I spent on actualtests.com has more than paid for itself several times
    > over.



    A$$fuscker.

    Please do not be spouting your communist br@indump propoganda in
    here.

    In case you are truly that ignorant actualtests are br@indumps,
    thereby being illegal and it will cost you your current certifications and
    any future chances at certifictation for having used them.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lnkwizard2 MCNGP 2^5

    http://www.mcngp.com
    "He who does not test himself is worthless indeed"
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    LnkWizard, May 5, 2006
    #8
  9. Brendan Southey

    Garth H Guest

    use honey not vinager...

    LnkWizard wrote:
    > A$$fuscker.
    >
    > Please do not be spouting your communist br@indump propoganda in
    > here.
    >
    > In case you are truly that ignorant actualtests are br@indumps,
    > thereby being illegal and it will cost you your current certifications and
    > any future chances at certifictation for having used them.
    >
    > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Lnkwizard2 MCNGP 2^5


    Nice use of language. I'll bet that it will be very effective in
    dissuading him, or anyone else from using that site again.

    Yes, it may in fact be a brain dump based site, but do you think any
    site that uses brain dumps advertises that using their site / service /
    content will invalidate your Microsoft cert?

    The argument of "You should only use the test materials listed by MS to
    study." doesn't hold any value, as the number of study guides out there
    that are not listed greatly outnumbers the few that are. Look for a
    statement that a site or service is Microsoft approved, or use of a
    sites products doesn't violate and MS policies? Well you could, but that
    is only as good as the legal system in place that would kick in if
    that weren't the case.

    So, instead of acting like an over-caffeinated driver that just got cut
    off during the morning commute, take a breath and try to use a little tact.

    For those of you like myself that are still studying, make sure the
    service you employ falls under a jurisdiction that allows you to take
    legal action. That means sites or services hosted in the US, Canada,
    Australia and the EU. If it's hosted someplace else, well you're taking
    a chance that your current and future certs may all be invalidated.

    --
    Garth H

    Microsoft Certified Professional
    Macromedia Certified Developer
    Garth H, May 6, 2006
    #9
  10. Brendan Southey

    Guest

    Re: use honey not vinager...

    Garth H wrote:
    > LnkWizard wrote:
    > > A$$fuscker.
    > >
    > > Please do not be spouting your communist br@indump propoganda in
    > > here.
    > >
    > > In case you are truly that ignorant actualtests are br@indumps,
    > > thereby being illegal and it will cost you your current certifications and
    > > any future chances at certifictation for having used them.
    > >
    > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    > > Lnkwizard2 MCNGP 2^5

    >
    > Nice use of language. I'll bet that it will be very effective in
    > dissuading him, or anyone else from using that site again.


    He always does that to anyone who admits using practice exams.
    >
    > Yes, it may in fact be a brain dump based site, but do you think any
    > site that uses brain dumps advertises that using their site / service /
    > content will invalidate your Microsoft cert?


    I've looked and looked at the microsoft sites. I still haven't found
    the page that states that using such material in preparing for your
    exam invalidates your cert.

    What I've found is this:

    MCP Practice Test Provider Program. Candidates may want to assess their
    skills before taking an MCP exam. We _recommend_ that candidates use
    practice test products developed only by MCP Practice Test Providers.
    (from: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/policies/letter.asp)

    When I look at the NDA I read it as that disclosing exam questions is
    illegal and that cheating during the actual exam is cheating.

    Might be my interpretation but nowhere can I find that using materials
    such as braindumps is actually a valid cause for invalidating a
    certficiation. Now, wether or not it's wise to actually use a braindump
    is, in my opinion, another matter entirely.

    ><snip>


    >
    > So, instead of acting like an over-caffeinated driver that just got cut
    > off during the morning commute, take a breath and try to use a little tact.
    >

    What? And actually make this and other newsgroups a place were people
    can actually discuss preparing for and passing exams? Nah, that
    wouldn't be any fun to the "use a test exam and Bill will smithe you
    from up high" crowd.

    > For those of you like myself that are still studying, make sure the
    > service you employ falls under a jurisdiction that allows you to take
    > legal action. That means sites or services hosted in the US, Canada,
    > Australia and the EU. If it's hosted someplace else, well you're taking
    > a chance that your current and future certs may all be invalidated.
    >
    >


    Jeroen
    , May 11, 2006
    #10
  11. Brendan Southey

    MitchS Guest

    Re: use honey not vinager...

    "FrisbeeĀ®" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > But, please. You answer all the asked-and-asked-again questions. You
    > won't be the first Don Quixote in this group. We'll see how long that
    > lasts.
    >
    > Be sure to tell the dump requesters that while you don't necessarily
    > condone their use, there's nothing illegal about it, so go right ahead.
    > Doesn't affect anyone else.


    Fris, methinks you are pi$$ing into the proverbial wind.

    --
    Mitch "yer such a Jameshole" S.
    MCNGP XLVIII (Now do the other certs REALLY matter?)
    Stupidity on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    MitchS, May 11, 2006
    #11
  12. Re: use honey not vinager...

    FrisbeeĀ® wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Garth H wrote:
    > >> LnkWizard wrote:
    > >> > A$$fuscker.
    > >> >
    > >> > Please do not be spouting your communist br@indump propoganda in
    > >> > here.
    > >> >
    > >> > In case you are truly that ignorant actualtests are br@indumps,
    > >> > thereby being illegal and it will cost you your current certifications
    > >> > and
    > >> > any future chances at certifictation for having used them.
    > >> >
    > >> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    > >> > Lnkwizard2 MCNGP 2^5
    > >>
    > >> Nice use of language. I'll bet that it will be very effective in
    > >> dissuading him, or anyone else from using that site again.

    > >
    > > He always does that to anyone who admits using practice exams.

    >
    > Uh, no. He and -we- 'do' that to anyone who admits to using DUMPS. All
    > practice exams are not dumps. Do you not get the distinction on that?

    Actually I don't. I regularly use transcender (supplied by the training
    institute that does our course and which is one of the biggies in that
    business) which I consider to be rather good training material. I've
    looked at VCE files from some sites. The quality of those is far below
    the trancenders. On actual exams I've seen questions that appeared
    almost identical in the transcenders and in the VCEs.
    Yet people get flamed for saying they use VCE and not for saying
    they've used transcenders.
    I just don't get that.

    >
    > >> Yes, it may in fact be a brain dump based site, but do you think any
    > >> site that uses brain dumps advertises that using their site / service /
    > >> content will invalidate your Microsoft cert?

    > >
    > > I've looked and looked at the microsoft sites. I still haven't found
    > > the page that states that using such material in preparing for your
    > > exam invalidates your cert.

    >
    > And you won't. There are legal reasons for that. Should Microsoft decide
    > to specifically warn against a particular study guide, the owners/makers of
    > said guides could and would sue Microsoft, even though that's a lot like the
    > burglar sueing you after breaking in your house because he injured himself
    > in doing so.
    >

    Interesting theory. Sounds very improbable though. If a site hosts
    stolen exam question I'd say such a site would be a very easy target
    for a copyright infringement or an IP suit.

    >
    > > What I've found is this:
    > >
    > > MCP Practice Test Provider Program. Candidates may want to assess their
    > > skills before taking an MCP exam. We _recommend_ that candidates use
    > > practice test products developed only by MCP Practice Test Providers.
    > > (from: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/policies/letter.asp)
    > >
    > > When I look at the NDA I read it as that disclosing exam questions is
    > > illegal and that cheating during the actual exam is cheating.
    > >
    > > Might be my interpretation but nowhere can I find that using materials
    > > such as braindumps is actually a valid cause for invalidating a
    > > certficiation. Now, wether or not it's wise to actually use a braindump
    > > is, in my opinion, another matter entirely.

    >
    > Your opinion does seem to be shared by a few posters in here from time to
    > time, and I really just don't get it. If it's wrong, it's wrong, and it's
    > wrong.
    >

    Yes, well, that's your opinion and that seems to be shared by a lot of
    people who know how to type lame and assfucker in all their variations.

    > >> So, instead of acting like an over-caffeinated driver that just got cut
    > >> off during the morning commute, take a breath and try to use a little
    > >> tact.
    > >>

    > > What? And actually make this and other newsgroups a place were people
    > > can actually discuss preparing for and passing exams? Nah, that
    > > wouldn't be any fun to the "use a test exam and Bill will smithe you
    > > from up high" crowd.

    >
    > Again, you generalize with "test exam." And if we were not discussing the
    > morality of using cheating material, do you think the request for br@indumps
    > would be less, or perhaps even gone? We'd all be discussing just legitimate
    > certification issues only? Sunshine and lollipops? If you'd read more than
    > a few of "our" posts, you'd see that legitimate certification-related
    > questions DO get answered here, and in other cert-related newsgroups. The
    > brain-dead moron who does not bother to lurk, do any research at all, and
    > asks a question that has been asked and answered hundreds of times, this by
    > an individual who wants to enter a profession that requires researching
    > skills, deserves to be set straight.
    >

    OK, granted, I'm wrong there. Over here there is a lot of real
    discussion going on.

    > But, please. You answer all the asked-and-asked-again questions. You won't
    > be the first Don Quixote in this group. We'll see how long that lasts.
    >

    I'm not a Don Quixote, I'm just adressing an issue I don't understand.
    You and quite a few other people here seem to have a list of what is
    good and bad testing preparation material. I don't see how you can make
    that distinction.

    Jeroen
    Jeroen Wijnands, May 11, 2006
    #12
  13. Brendan Southey

    Guest

    Brendan--

    The 291 is a weed-out exam, no doubt about it. It certainly caused me
    several months of teeth-gnashing before I finally passed it earlier
    this month.

    I used the MS Press book + video training from CareerAcademy.com as my
    primary training materials, and set up two 2003 Server virtual machines
    in VMWare to run the hands-on material.

    The book was more valuable than the video, but the video was helpful as
    a supplement, especially so when it showed step-by-step instruction for
    Things I Never Had Done Before.

    I would not, however, rely on the video training as my sole resource;
    it was not nearly detailed enough to satisfy the actual exam.

    I also referred extensively to various off-line content from Microsoft
    and elsewhere when Things Weren't Clicking. The 2003 Server built-in
    help documents really aren't bad, surprisingly enough, and TechNet and
    other free MS support offerings often are quite clear.

    Finally, I ran obsessively through every exam simulation I could find.
    For folks who don't often take tests, or who are poor test-takers,
    simple rote practice of the actual exam FORMAT (content nearly
    notwithstanding) can, I think, be a very useful prep tool.

    As one earlier respondent also has noted, the 70-293 exam covers much
    of the same material as the 291. I find that the MS Press title for
    the 293 exam is significantly more clearly written and more thorough
    than the 291. If I had it to do over, I might use the 293 book as my
    primary resource (paying due attention to the actual exam objectives,
    of course). As it turned out, I read the 293 cover-to-cover --- as an
    afterthought, really --- on the night before the 291 exam, and I
    suspect I would not have passed had I not done so.

    The 70-290 (Managing the Server 2003 Server Environment) does have
    material on SUS, which turns out to have become an Exam-Only Fiction
    since it since has been obsoleted and replaced by Microsoft. You'll
    only see it on the exam.

    Terminal Services, however, is a commonplace and you'll want to know
    about it. The XP exam (70-270) has some material on terminal services,
    and 70-290 has more. In real-life server rooms, you will find Terminal
    Services (and its cousin, Citrix Metaframe) deployed almost everywhere
    these days.

    Hope all that helps.

    James Atkinson
    MCP (finishing the MCSA tomorrow...wish me luck)
    Asheville, NC
    , May 15, 2006
    #13
  14. Brendan Southey

    Jon M Guest

    Thanks for the good answer James.

    I recently postponed my 70-291 exam because I'm not ready at all and feel
    that I'm just not really getting the material. I'll also have a look at the
    70-293 book in preparation.

    Thanks again,
    Jon
    MCP, MCDST, A+, KFC

    "" wrote:

    > Brendan--
    >
    > The 291 is a weed-out exam, no doubt about it. It certainly caused me
    > several months of teeth-gnashing before I finally passed it earlier
    > this month.


    <<<< Snip>>>>

    >
    > Hope all that helps.
    >
    > James Atkinson
    > MCP (finishing the MCSA tomorrow...wish me luck)
    > Asheville, NC
    Jon M, May 17, 2006
    #14
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