First post - intro - Questions about the nature of MCSE/Study

Discussion in 'MCSE' started by c_berry, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. c_berry

    c_berry Guest

    To cut a long story short, I ended up in South Africa from Germany
    where I have been in IT consulting for about 7 years - after my MBA in
    London. With no formal qualifications in IT I did pretty well but have
    left the environment for 2 years now so a bit of paper will go a long
    way job wise...

    Experience included running/managing setting up infrastructure for 65+
    personnel in my own company etc so I was thinking MCSA would be down my
    street - MCSE only one exam further.

    Self study is the only practicable route here because of geography but
    also something I've done and enjoyed before. The main problem here is
    isolation as there are few intelligent minds to spar with within 50km.

    On the self-study route, I see a lot of books out there and resources
    catering for the MCSE qualification - a lot of dubious reviews - either
    in their quality or their verifiable veracity...

    IME, the right books always have one thing in common - they meet the
    readers learning style and more often than not, a single book cannot
    fulfil the purpose.
    My learning style goes through 3 different phases: Map out the country
    side, plot a course and follow it as best possible taking into account
    new obstacles and objectives... In study terms, that means the
    following:

    Context: A book which covers the material in the best way possible -
    probably a standard course book - or teacher's guide (better)
    Application: A book that focusses on using the material learned - best
    damn server 2003 book rings a bell
    Examination: Yup - how to ace that exam - or pass it on a really off
    day. test papers... you know...

    I've used free online resources before as well (shows my age - the
    internet was more useful in 2000 ;)) but I really don't want to focus
    on that...

    Looking at the MCDST, that should be a breeze, Networking too... Server
    environment I'd need to touch up a bit but realistically, those are
    only the practical aspects - not the academic application of passing
    the test.

    Now for my questions... what books give a good grounding and practical
    reference for the materials and tests covered in these exams?

    Is self study what 90% of people paying their own way do?

    What are the pass quotas typically? 50% of the class passes? 80%?? an
    indication as to whether it's actually difficult in other words...

    Where can I see outlines of the course materials?

    Thanks.
    cb
     
    c_berry, Sep 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. c_berry

    Guest Guest

    >>Did you see what c_berry () graced us with in
    ?<<

    <snipped for brevity>

    >
    > Now for my questions... what books give a good grounding and practical
    > reference for the materials and tests covered in these exams?
    >

    I've found that the MS Press books have given me a solid understanding of the
    materials presented on the exams, and they generally include 2 things: A CD with
    the MeasureUP practice exams, and an exam voucher (usually 15%-20% off)

    >
    > Is self study what 90% of people paying their own way do?
    >

    From what I have read in most of the forums, that would sound about right (maybe
    a little less)

    > What are the pass quotas typically? 50% of the class passes? 80%?? an
    > indication as to whether it's actually difficult in other words...
    >

    Class? nah, if you're taking the self-study pace, then there really are no stats
    that I've seen on that. If you're talking about something like a Microsoft
    Certified IT Academy, you're probably looking at less than 10% of the class
    passing.

    > Where can I see outlines of the course materials?
    >

    Microsoft should show you anything you need in the way of course materials. Take
    a look at the Microsoft E-Learning as well.

    http://www.microsoft.com/learning

    > Thanks.
    > cb


    HTH


    --
    BD
    MCNGP #51
    -- MCNGP.com - You think you know IT!?
    -- The new IT Certification Forums: www.CertGuard.com/forums/
     
    Guest, Sep 12, 2006
    #2
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  3. c_berry

    c_berry Guest


    > > Now for my questions... what books give a good grounding and practical
    > > reference for the materials and tests covered in these exams?
    > >

    > I've found that the MS Press books have given me a solid understanding of the
    > materials presented on the exams, and they generally include 2 things: A CD with
    > the MeasureUP practice exams, and an exam voucher (usually 15%-20% off)


    >From what I've heard elsewhere, the MS press books usually do not

    provide good reading and preparation - one comment was that they
    encourage you to take classes rather than self-study. Specifically the
    MCSE self-study guides - were they well written, did they provide you
    with a better or worse understanding than other publications that you
    have used? (please other readers chirp in)

    >
    > > What are the pass quotas typically? 50% of the class passes? 80%?? an
    > > indication as to whether it's actually difficult in other words...
    > >

    > Class? nah, if you're taking the self-study pace, then there really are no stats
    > that I've seen on that. If you're talking about something like a Microsoft
    > Certified IT Academy, you're probably looking at less than 10% of the class
    > passing.


    less than 10%??? is there a reason for that? Tests difficult?
    Inadequate preparation? everything written in microsoftese?

    >
    > > Where can I see outlines of the course materials?
    > >

    > Microsoft should show you anything you need in the way of course materials. Take
    > a look at the Microsoft E-Learning as well.
    >
    > http://www.microsoft.com/learning
    >


    OK managed to delve a little deeper into their website... takes forever
    on my wireless "broadband" (256kbps). The online courses make the cost
    prohibitive on an African salary and quite honestly, I've not heard
    that they're essential. Yes, I'm a microsceptic but at least not in the
    extreme...
    cb
     
    c_berry, Sep 12, 2006
    #3
  4. c_berry

    Guest Guest

    >>Did you see what c_berry () graced us with in
    ?<<
    >>> Now for my questions... what books give a good grounding and
    >>> practical reference for the materials and tests covered in these
    >>> exams?
    >>>

    >> I've found that the MS Press books have given me a solid
    >> understanding of the materials presented on the exams, and they
    >> generally include 2 things: A CD with the MeasureUP practice exams,
    >> and an exam voucher (usually 15%-20% off)

    >
    > From what I've heard elsewhere, the MS press books usually do not
    > provide good reading and preparation - one comment was that they
    > encourage you to take classes rather than self-study. Specifically the
    > MCSE self-study guides - were they well written, did they provide you
    > with a better or worse understanding than other publications that you
    > have used? (please other readers chirp in)
    >

    I suppose it's all in what you're used to and what keeps you interested. I don't
    think they encourage anyone to take classes, but maybe I missed that.
    Personally, I think the guides I have read (or am reading) were well written,
    but then I'm not a critic.

    >>> What are the pass quotas typically? 50% of the class passes? 80%??
    >>> an indication as to whether it's actually difficult in other
    >>> words...
    >>>

    >> Class? nah, if you're taking the self-study pace, then there really
    >> are no stats that I've seen on that. If you're talking about
    >> something like a Microsoft Certified IT Academy, you're probably
    >> looking at less than 10% of the class passing.

    >
    > less than 10%??? is there a reason for that? Tests difficult?
    > Inadequate preparation? everything written in microsoftese?
    >

    Very intense courses and very little time from start to finish. Many of the
    people that I've talked to were employees of a corporation that paid for the
    classes for them and they went in totally unprepared, thinking they would learn
    everything there.

    >>
    >>> Where can I see outlines of the course materials?
    >>>

    >> Microsoft should show you anything you need in the way of course
    >> materials. Take a look at the Microsoft E-Learning as well.
    >>
    >> http://www.microsoft.com/learning
    >>

    >
    > OK managed to delve a little deeper into their website... takes
    > forever on my wireless "broadband" (256kbps). The online courses make
    > the cost prohibitive on an African salary and quite honestly, I've
    > not heard that they're essential. Yes, I'm a microsceptic but at
    > least not in the extreme...
    >

    I'll keep that in mind for future inquiries. Thanks


    > cb


    --
    BD
    MCNGP #51
    -- MCNGP.com - You think you know IT!?
    -- The new IT Certification Forums: www.CertGuard.com/forums/
     
    Guest, Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. c_berry

    c_berry Guest

    Thanks for your input. Haven't made any final decisions so far as to
    materials yet but I'm looking at exam cram and past papers for exam
    preparation so far but am still a little apprehensive as to what to use
    for the core books. Can anyone else chime in? Beginning with MCDST
    aiming for MCSA in 60 days...
    cb
     
    c_berry, Sep 13, 2006
    #5
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